Monday, January 16, 2017

Precious Niece Vivienne- Newborn Session

Gardening with your Kids in Mind

 Our family went to the lake after Christmas and my only goal was to sketch out my garden plans before we came home.  I love doing this every year- extra special this year with a whole new yard & potential garden spaces.  I wrote out all of the fruits, veggies and herbs I wanted to incorporate.  Then I read through several cookbooks to make sure I would actually eat/use the items in the garden because I have been known to say things like, "Oh radishes will be delicious in a salad!" and then not eat one of them from the garden :)  It felt great to get everything organized for the new year and new garden!
 After we returned home, I read a great post from Allie {here} and it encouraged me to cross off a few items on my list.  Less is more, even in gardening!  No need to overwhelm myself while learning a new yard.
In my plans, I had two raised garden beds near the house and one large garden in the back corner of our yard for the larger plants.   Why not let John Ryman and Vera each have their own raised bed?  They always love helping me each year and maybe their love will grow if they have their own space created from scratch!
We spent some time making a list of different vegetables or fruits they like... talking about why we can't plant an apple tree in the garden bed and how some grow underground and others really tall.
Once they created their own lists (with a little editing), they were able to color their raised beds.  I don't know who had more fun, me or the kids!

Now I can just take my original list and whatever was not included in their gardens will go in my large garden in the backyard!  Who else is ready for Spring?!  If I can figure it out, I'll share with y'all a free printable soon so your kids can join in the fun.  Even if it's as simple as on large patio pot! Stay tuned... and Happy Gardening.

A Quick Meal & Making Snacks Look Pretty

Food tastes better when it is beautifully plated.  It is just a plain fact.  That is the reason fancy restaurants go to great detail to present a dish that is pleasing to the eye & taste buds.  I have no idea how to make art on a dinner plate, but I have learned that a variety of color and something as simple as separating oatmeal ingredients into row... can make a quick breakfast with busy kiddos feel a little fancier :) So I'm trying to be a little more intentional with how I plate food for our family & we will see how it works!

Sunshine Juice Co Pink Drink
Trader Joe's Grainless Granola
Greek Yogurt
Trader Joe's Sprouted 7 Grain Bread (Aldi has a great similar one!)
(and a little Cookie Butter, of course!)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Snow Day with the Boys

 (my firewood delivery man!)
 (first snow for these 2 boys!)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year- 2017!

It's 2017!  It is a little bittersweet closing out 2016 and embarking on a new year.

There were moments in the past year of growth, the sweetest joy, surprising pain and the presence of Jesus throughout it all.  We started the year off celebrating my father-in-law's renewed life as he received a transplant heart. We welcomed precious Bauer into our family. Patrick took on a new role and became Lead Pastor at our church. Our family spent some time traveling on vacation and conferences throughout the year.  We moved houses and it has felt like "home" since the day we received the keys. In addition to a third child, we also added a kitten (outdoor) and a new puppy to our Garcia Farm. I have enjoyed sewing lots of scarves and taking countless photographs. We have made lots of memories with dear friends. A year without my Nana, but learning from her still.  We have shared meals and stories around our tables and plenty of laughs around the firepit.  John Ryman learned to ride without training wheels.  Vera jumped all the way through 2016 and never stops "adventuring".  Bauer beats everyone with how much he has changed this year, but his calm smile has sure stayed the same. We have celebrated babies, birthdays and anniversaries.  There have been many joyful moments and times of comforting and being comforted. We have stopped and savored the days and hustled too many away. Finishing out the year with family, holding a little closer than before and thanking God for His protection (especially my mom). What a full 2016. A year of growth and learning with Jesus' strength all the way.

I don't usually choose a word to represent the entire next year.  Typically because I forget the word by February or I decide a few weeks in that there was a better word I could have chosen :) But one word continued to come to mind for 2017, so I thought I would share it here.  Maybe you can comment with your one word for the year below or start thinking of a phrase you want to define 2017.

I want to capture moments as a family. Through photography, yes... but deeper than that.  The verse in Luke 2 that says, "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." I think Mary was able to treasure and ponder because there was a lot less hustle in her life. I want to create margin in every day to step away from busy and just to Treasure.
I want to capture moments in photography as well. This is an area I want to be intentional and grow in this next year.  Such a beautiful gift to photograph a moment or emotion that could quickly be forgotten and capture it for someone to remember forever.
I also want to capture my thoughts and cling only to the Truth of Christ. Satan throws so many lies our way.  I want to grow in my knowledge of scripture so I can allow what God thinks about me to be what I see as truth and not what Satan wants me to believe.

Let's capture this new year and hit the ground running, friends!!