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  1. Hello and Happy Fall!!
    I am an Oregon girl who grew up in the Columbia Gorge. I spent a week in Hawaii this summer celebrating my 10th anniversary, so we kind of traded places for a quick minute this year (and I LOVE that orchard with the field of dahlias and Mt. Hood in the background…we were there the week after you)!!
    I just want to let you know what an encouragement you have been in my life, as a mama desiring to raise boys who love Jesus, have strong character, and seek adventure.
    We have just started the home school journey and I am so excited about the guidance, experience, and encouragement you have to share in your upcoming book. I can’t wait!!!!
    Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us!

    1. Amy!! I love this so much. Thank you for the kind and encouraging words. Please stick around and I hope to support and encourage you in your parenting/homeschool journey! xo

  2. Happy birthday, Monica! I’m reading Boy Mom now and am really enjoying it. My son has seen me reading it and is wondering if I’m trying to crack some “boy code” ha ha! Much appreciated are the bible verses tied into the chapter lessons.

  3. Kara L Hilburger says:

    Thank you for such wonderful content in these posts and emails. I truly find them all so value-packed and enriching. And HAPPY birthday. Birthdays are such a blessing each year!

  4. Alyssa Nye says:

    Hi, It is so nice to catch up with you! Homeschooling mom of 4 boys here, it has been a rough start for our year, but the end of last week has shown some light. Praying for a great week this week. Thank you for your encouragement! I’m excited for your new book!

  5. Bronwyn Hall says:

    Hi Monica!
    Finally got the time to have this coffee date with you!!
    Thanks for all the inspiration and the wonderful “ chat”!

    We are already in our first half term break so the kids are home and to be honest, my husband and I are praying for extra patience with these 2!

    We are in England, and our morning chills are certainly here now! It’s definitely autumn here!
    Looking forward to listening to some podcasts with the kids! Thanks for those!
    Bronwyn Hall
    Ps.. I’m almost 100% sure you are beautiful without your lipstick on… because God made you! Just keep wearing your lovely smile!

  6. I live in South Texas so it’s still pretty hot so I get a fall feel by visiting local pumpkin patches with my grandsons.

  7. Bethel Smith says:

    How exciting to hear about your new book! A group of 4 of my greatest gal pals and I read “Raising Amazing” book club style over the summer with our collective 24 children running wild around us in the background. 😊 It was refreshing and encouraging! Thank you for all you do!

    1. Bethel! oh I love to hear this!! I can just imagine the scene. 🙂 Thanks for commenting! xo

  8. Amber Wright says:

    Thanks for all the great pod casts our kids liked the ones in proverbs this summer.

    1. Oh I am so glad to hear that!! 🙂 Big hugs to you and the kids!

  9. A fun update to read! I am single and no kids but love families! I will turn 53 Dec. 16. Enjoy your birthday!
    The biggest news for me: I traveled to Liberia in September to participate in the wedding of my friend who is a missionary with the Rafiki Foundation (54 & first marriage!) One never knows God’s plans!!

    1. Sandi! Your comment made me so happy. I love having you in this community! keep trusting God. He is so faithful! xo

  10. Kristi Belt says:

    Our whole family has been enamored with The Wingfeather Saga including the audiobooks! SO, SO good! What a beautiful allegory of the Gospel story!!! We’ve also enjoyed the series on Angel studios that so far has 1 season.

    We are a homeschooling family and enjoyed the freedom of traveling in the fall this year. Family vacation in September and then our boys enjoyed a week with grandparents while my hubby and I got away and poured into our marriage at a couples retreat. Such a beautiful time to travel and so thankful for our flexibility to do so.

    I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to be on your launch team for your new book! So passionate about homeschooling.

  11. Thank you for sharing. Fall in New Mexico consists of hot air balloons, trips to the pumpkin patch, and warm cozy nights in front of a fire.

    The cooler weather also means church campfires and teen ministry activities outside.

  12. Dear Monica,
    Thanks for all the ways you care for families and point us to Jesus. I was first introduced to you through your podcasts which I’ve really appreciated. I live in Australia and God’s blessed us with three young boys who are wonderfully wild and delightful and keep me growing and repenting… I’m so interested in your character training course and we are homeschooling too at this stage.
    Here it’s Spring and the purple Jacaranda trees are blooming.
    Love and thanks,

    1. awww, so great to hear from you Jenessa. I’m a big fan of all things Australia! Enjoy spring (crazy to imagine!) and please keep in touch.

  13. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I feel like you are a big sister or cousins I get to learn the import things from. My boys are still little (4mo, 2yrs) and your insight helps me in a very practical sense. I am excited and hopeful for what our family life centered on Christ will continue to grow into.

  14. Melissa Thompson says:

    I am currently reading your fall coffee update, drinking a PSL in DUBLIN Ireland!! I just finished an amazing trip to France and crashed an Italian wedding. I just might have to give you more updates in person. Love you friend! Hope you have an amazing birthday. We will miss Josiah. Praying for his future. 😉

    1. what!?!? I was JUST thinking of you today and how we need to catch up! And now you’re in Dublin! Amazing! Yes to catching up soon. xo

  15. Favorite fall- weather and leaves.

  16. Loved this coffee date- I feel like I actually finished a conversation with someone 😂. I have 3 young boys -7, 5, and 3- so the character course sounds like such a great resource! Thanks for being such an encouragement

  17. Great update 🙂 so many exciting things as your boys grow! I just have to say we had 4 chickens (we live in Canada & my 3 boys loved them!-their names were Pancake, Rosie, Whitey & French Toast) but sadly a Fox got them…seeing Dave with the girls made me remember them, we hope to do it again one day! Anyways I love your notes about JOY…so hard to have it when things feel dark…but glad he promises that His mercies are new every morning!

  18. Michelle McCloud says:

    My heart is trusting God as my ultimate provider. My days are hard but so thankful for our Lord who gives us so much hope! Thankful for a God who is faithful even during the times we are faithless! Thank you for spreading Jesus!❤️

  19. Joan Haarlander says:

    Loved reading all this! ❤️
    Our son Thomas, our youngest, just has his 2nd son and they have a 18 month old, baby is 1 month old. It was by emergency C section, Hannah and baby are fine. Busy month and so full of love! ❤️

  20. How exciting all the transitions and new experiences must be! Our favorite thing about fall is the leaves and the smell of fall and frost in the air as I walk in the woods. A bonfire is always a good touch too! I would love to see the PNW someday!

  21. Thank you for the wonderful update, Monica! I love in MN and I’m currently making apple crisp using apples my family and I picked last week at our local apple orchard. It’s hard to beat the fall!!

  22. Janice Wardle says:

    Love the update and love the overalls! I think I’m too old and too short to wear them 😂. Fall is beautiful in northern British Columbia but we are expecting snow this coming week. My latest news is that I tore my meniscus trying to impress my three year old grandson with my climbing prowess – now very mad at myself lol. Wondering, if I win, can I gift it to my daughter in law?

    1. Hi Janice! Oh my goodness, snow!!! Personally I think that sounds dreamy! 🙂 So sorry about the meniscus. I hope you heal quickly. And yes, if you win you are more than welcome to gift it! XO

  23. Thank you for the update! Love all of the things your family is doing!
    We are also in a busy season…and fall also is my favorite season, but we live in So Cal so we don’t have traditional falls here. We are currently in the upper 90’s but I like to crank up the air, put a sweater on and light my favorite fall candle.
    My 3 boys are in such different stages..it’s kind of exhausting keeping up and making sure they are okay. I always want to keep the communication lines open, and giving them a safe place to share if they are struggling.
    Our oldest is well into his second year of college our middle son is a Sophomore in high school and also class president, and our youngest is a 7th grader also following his brothers foots steps to help lead his generation.

    I love how you mentioned joy because on my blog this month that is what I’m writing about, I wasn’t sure if the Lord wanted me to share this, because I feel I’m still struggling with it. I struggle with keeping a joy filled heart and worrying too much on circumstances that shift my focus.
    But when you mentioned joy this had been the third time this week that I’ve heard or read about it. I know it’s the Lord graciously confirming and giving me the green light to go ahead and share.
    Thank you for letting me share…

    Much love and grace to you!


    1. Awww I love all of that Veronica! Thank you for sharing. And I love that we can say yes to joy — since it’s not dependent on us. 🙂 Big hugs to you!! Keep sharing!

  24. So lovely to read all your life updates – congrats on the new book! And it totally felt like we were sharing a coffee at a shop! ☺️ Happy early birthday to you!! I hope it’s a wonderful day and that you feel extra loved and celebrated.

    I love, love fall for many reasons but mostly because it really gets me thinking about life and death and what that means. The leaves don’t change colors here at the beach for us, but the temps do cool down!

  25. Heather Henning says:

    One thing exciting happening in my life is I get to go see my daughter this next weekend. She is in her 1st year of college and so far away (we live in Washington State and she is in Ohio ☹️). 2 months away from her has been hard. Also, looking forward to hopefully being able to do your character training course as I have a 13 year old son and need all the help I can get. 🤣

  26. Monica-
    I think you’re awesome! Thank you for the encouragement in being a mama and following after Christ! One of my favorite quotes that I have on my refrigerator is from you (from Boy Mom) about being a perfect example of an imperfect mom who doesn’t give up/stop trying!

    1. thank you Jenna!! That so encourages me. 🙂 Big hugs to you!!

  27. Love your update! I get excited about fall too (hello, birthday month!). I celebrated my 40th a few weeks ago and felt so special.

    My oldest placed first at the Fox US Open of Mountain Biking (amateur U18). Definitely a pound momma moment. We’re also starting to think about colleges and wow… all the emotions 🥹.

    My Levi is busy with two soccer teams and an eighth grade work load.

    My youngest

  28. This is my first round of coffee time updates and it’s been fun joining in. I first learned of you through a friend who let me borrow your books Raising Amazing and Boy Mom. I am slowly working my way through them feeling the call to pour more into the lives of my children in this season and engaging more in hospitality.

    I look forward to future updates and the release of your upcoming book – Congrats!

    Hope you have a blessed week ahead.

  29. Hannah Yoder says:

    Hi Monica,
    As a fellow boy mom, I imagine it must have been wonderful and somewhat strange to have two girls living under your roof for several months. What a gift that was. Your boys continue to impress me, and while I know they are not perfect, I hope my boys will grow up being bold Christ followers like they are. My oldest is 12 and I have thought he and Levi could be fast friends 👏🏼

    I live in SC and we have definitely entered into fall. While spring is my favorite, the slowing down of the earth and entering into a season of winter is grounding to me. My birthday is in March, you said yours in this month, I wonder if our birth months have something to do with that season being our favorite? I also look best in bright tints, which means all the spring colors and prints 😆.

    Our family took our first backpacking trip recently which was fun! Carrying everything on your back that you will need for the next 48 hours and going deep into the forest just does something in your mind that is hard to grasp in our modern day world of hurry and constant hum of electricity. I also like that it is a character building tool for all of us. If mama can be positive and the rest of the fam sure has a better choice. Mama needs this training too 🤪 It was a blast! Our three year old was as happy as a little clam (or should I say songbird since we were in the woods?) and did an amazing job with all the hiking in our South Carolina mountains!

    Prayers for your new book coming out next year and much love and blessing to your ministry and your family ♥️ Thank you for all that you do for The Kingdom and always pointing us back to Christ. I needed that article on Joy today.
    -Hannah Yoder

    P.S. When you’re in Augusta GA in August (What a champ Levi is 👏🏼), are you planning a meet up? I live about an hour away from Augusta. I’d love to meet you 💕

    1. Hannah! I love all of this and always love seeing your name pop up. 😉 What a sweet update from your end. I’m proud of all you’re doing and choosing! I think a meetup near Augusta would be so cool. Stay tuned, maybe I’ll make that happen! xo

      1. Hannah Yoder says:

        Thanks a bunch! That sounds great 👍🏼 I don’t get on social media much so if you wouldn’t mind letting us know through email if that is something you plan to do, that would be so great 😀 I always read your emails. If a meet up doesn’t work for you, I understand family comes first and enjoying being your fellas may be exactly what you need to focus on at that time ♥️

  30. I too feel like the last coffee date just happened, until I thought of all that I’ve done since July and wow that puts things into perspective. Here in Utah we are having the most beautiful fall I can ever remember. I have been thoroughly enjoying it and because you remind me that seasons are unique I think I do so even more. Congrats to all your family on the recent events, there are so many great accomplishments to celebrate. My big change is that my two sisters moved in across the street from me. This is a big deal and I am so excited about it. Our youngest sister has Downs Syndrome and now we are able to both take care of her as my dad and step mom need to focus more on staying healthy as they are getting older. It’s so wonderful to more easily care for her daily and to watch my children grow in their unique relationship with their aunt. Happy Birthday next week, I hope you have a wonderful day. Mine is the following week and I have always loved my birthday season so much it’s a fun time to have a birthday. Much aloha to you and your family!

  31. Happy (almost) birthday!

    So fun to hear about all your summer adventures! What a joy to have all your boys home for one day.

    I am a mama to a 2.5 year-old son and 9 month-old daughter. Our daughter and the sweet foster baby we had in our home most of last year are getting dedicated at our church this weekend. So lots of God’s goodness to celebrate over here!

    Thank you for all of your encouragement! 🍁🍂🌻☀️🥕

  32. Samantha Brown says:

    It is such a blessing every week to open my inbox and get to sit down like a little (virtual) coffee date with a friend. I thank you for your transparency as a mom and follower of Christ. As a 35 year old mom with a 5 year old, I look to you as my son grows and will eventually go through some of the stages your older boys have traversed. Thank you for your faithfulness to this calling of yours and for sharing!

    A tired, but very grateful mama

  33. Tracy Seeve says:

    Good morning! As I sit in the peace of my home before my children and husband wake up, I remembered my blessings. God has lead us to homeschool our children and although it is the hardest thing I have ever tackled I know in my heart it is the right thing for our family. It is women like you that remind me that I can do this and I am not alone! Thank you!

  34. First time coffee chat person as I just read and reread Raising Amazing. To me this book is the “parenting manual” we wish that kids came with! Which I’m super excited to hear the character course is opening up!
    Our family loves fall, Mtn biking, pumpkin patches, soccer games and all the beautiful colors here in WA. Also it’s the season for birthdays for us too, mine and my first born in just a couple weeks!

    1. yay Taylor, I loved having virtual coffee with you! Happy Birthday and enjoy fall! I hope the CTC blesses your whole family! xo

  35. Chelsy Page says:

    Hey Monica! I’m so glad you had such a great summer! We did too with lots of swimming! JJ(my son) and I love making the energy balls! He calls them healthy meatballs🤣 he’s only 4 and has a big imagination. We’ve made a ton of your recipes and they are great! Especially the pumpkin ice cream! My husband has recently taken up golf too! Thank you so much for your updates I sure do love and look forward to them! Until next time Prov 3:5-6!

    1. Aww, Chelsy, I love your comment so much! I will never look at my energy balls the same again! 😂. I LOVE IT!! sending big hugs your way!

  36. The weather is just starting to change here in Saskatchewan. We have had a beautiful fall and are expecting snow as soon as Sunday 😳, I don’t think I am quite prepared for it!
    I am also excited that we are starting up a Mom group to go through Raising Amazing 1 chapter each month so that we can listen to your corresponding podcast and walk together through motherhood.

    Have a fantastic birthday Monica!

    1. Jill! Oh wow, I cannot imagine snow (but it sounds so fun to us!!) I am thrilled that you will go through Raising Amazing with a group. LMK if you guys want to FaceTime as you get near the end. I’d love to meet your crew! 🙂 xo

  37. I love seeing your pictures and seeing how your family loves each other! And the recipes! 🙂

  38. Jess Noble says:

    The last few months have been full of adventure for you and it sounds like you created amazing memories! I live in Arizona, and yes a million degrees sounds about right. Lol My husband and I were so incredibly blessed to be able to head to beautiful Costa Rica for a getaway with the 3 other couples we are close friends with. It was a time of laughs, relaxation, drawing closer together, and taking in the gorgeous green scenery, which is definitely something I miss living in the desert. We celebrated my oldest turning 17. It has been bittersweet as this is her senior year as next year she will be away in college. Now, my family finishes up football season with my son. There are just 2 games left. Then we head into the busy holiday season where ministry ramps up, especially with planning my church’s annual Christmas outreach. I wouldn’t trade it for the world though!

  39. Melissa Lynch says:

    We are enjoying the cooler weather that has finally hit East TN-the kids are happy to play outside now that the heat and humidity have calmed. Plus, lots of crunchy leaves to stomp around in (although those make hide and seek harder). Our oldest has an early September birthday, so she kicks off our season of fall celebrations that goes through Thanksgiving.

  40. So thankful for your email. Love your encouragement and enthusiasm for the Lord💕

  41. Your coffee dates are so fun and full of good stuff. Here in Georgia the mornings are crisp and cool with highs is the 70’s, and the trees are showing off their fall colors. My favorite time is when the sun kisses the treetops as it rises and those colors pop against the blue sky. My four boys keep me busy, but there is nothing better than the joy of being their mom.

    1. awww, sounds beautiful and I love your heart for Motherhood! xo

  42. I love reading your coffee date posts, it makes me feel like I am out to coffee with the mentor mom I crave in real life that’s a step ahead! I have three young boys and we are loving the fall colors in Minnesota right now along with helping my husband out with the harvest and taking combine rides. 🙂 We just got done hosting two teenage girls in our home from another country so that part of your post with “stand in sisters” hosting made me smile too! Have a great birthday!

    1. hey Nicole, that makes me feel so happy! I wish we could meet in person! 🙂 Yay for stand-in-sisters…so special right? sending love!!

  43. We have had a beautiful, warm fall…with snow on the way this week😵‍💫. My boys headed out for their first big game hunt this morning so that is the excitement for the day…even more so if they end up getting something! Lots more opportunities for that kind of thins now that we moved back to rural life. Looking forward to your homeschooling book coming out! You have been one of my main homeschool mentor for so many years now I appreciate all your wisdom!

    1. Thank you Rachel!! Wow, boys turning into men right before your eyes!! Love it. I’d love for you to be a part of the homeschool book launch when the time comes. Please do stay in touch! xo

  44. Kristy Haight says:

    I love your emails! Always so uplifting and fun. The Haights are doing well! Living our best lives with my four boys. October is my favorite month too.

  45. Monica,
    I enjoyed your note over tea – delightful! I tried the baked oatmeal from your last note, I added some mini chocolate chips, an extra egg for protein and cooked 5 minutes longer the second time I made it for more bar like feel. The recipe is soo good.

    Eager to listen to the podcasts with my boys. Thanks for your encouragement, always, Katie

    1. Thank you Katie!! And chocolate chips make everything better, haha. 🙂 Hope you and the boys enjoy! xo

  46. Hi Monica, it seems as though you and your family have been so busy filled with so many fun things/events going on! I too am an October birthday gal (the 11th- just turned 43, who also started to get back into homeschooling my 3 kiddos and it is going good! Loving this special time with them again). Fall is a beautiful time where I live (near Buffalo, NY) with the leaves changing colors, cool breeze, Indian summer, comfy sweaters, lots of snuggles on couch watching movies, and pumpkin EVERYTHING! Ha. I checked out your pumpkin recipes (btw) and I am saving them all to make. I don’t think I can wait until thanksgiving to make that dessert, I’ll be making it for friends that are coming over for a dinner date tonight😋 Also, thank you for sharing the kid podcasts (and your new episodes too🙌🏻), I will be sure to have the kids and I listen to them during the day and when we are in the car. Thank you for always being an inspiration to listen to on your podcasts and your emails. ♥️

    1. Thank you Erin!! Sending big hugs and love. I hope the dessert turns out amazing!!

      1. The dessert turned out amazing and my guests REALLY enjoyed it! I had to make a copy of the recipe 😉👌🏻😋 thanks again, Monica.

  47. It sounds like you’ve had a busy few months, but filled with all great things. I love to hear what God is actively doing in other’s lives.
    We are getting ready to say goodbye to two foster babies. Unfortunately, it’s not a great situation, thus God is teaching me to trust Him on a much deeper level and even in this…. He is good.
    And, the fall leafs right now 💕….I’m soaking them in before the snow comes.

    1. Oh wow Katie…foster parenting is such a selfless loving act. Bless you! Enjoy the fall leaves and then enjoy snow for us too! 🙂 XO

  48. Wendy Yoder says:

    I LOVE reading your emails, blog posts, books, all the things! Thanks for this update and I hope you enjoy your birthday on Monday! Our family lives in Indiana and the colors are downright amazing right now! Our backyard is orange, yellow, red, little green and LOTS of orange!! It’s beautiful!!

  49. Ashley Matteo says:

    Love the update and so proud of Levi!!! Make sure to try the pimento cheese sandwich in Augusta when you go. My crew lives in Birmingham, AL and we homeschool our two boys grades 7th and 9th. They Mtn bike and play drums in a band so they keep my husband and I busy and way cooler than our natural selves! Hoping to win the character course!

  50. Hi Monica as always I enjoyed reading your family updates. I would love to win something/anything. My update is my son Zeke started to attend BIOLA and he loves it and is thriving

  51. Your course sounds wonderful!

  52. I love the kids podcast recommendations! Thanks for sharing!
    PS- can our little fam rent your “big boys” house for the year?? What a dream!!!

  53. I enjoyed your updates (although I do wish I’d have made a coffee first 🙂 Also from Phoenix and can say, it’s been super hot! Supposed to get cooler day by day and we are looking forward to it. Homeschool is going well, my littles finished reading The House on Walenska Street – they gave it 5 stars. With am almost two-year old running around, I am praying for God to keep me content here at home and pour out in full Christ love on these gifts he’s blessed us with.
    The Lord bless you 🙂

  54. Thanks for the chance…I’m an October bday gal too! (23rd) Sounds like a fun filled quarter!

    1. Well we are birthday sisters!! Yay and happy birthday to you! sending love!

  55. Cara Whiting says:

    Happy Saturday Monica! Thank you for taking the time to have a “coffee date” with me :). I connected with you early summer through instagram messages when I found your podcast (mom of 4 boys 😊🙋🏻‍♀️) and I am continuing to love listening to you. Lord knows I need all of the encouragement and wisdom I can get on being a boy mom. I also started your boy mom book and LOVE it!! Have the best birthday 🥳

    1. Thank you Cara! sending much love to you and please keep in touch on IG or wherever! 🙂 XO