February 28, 2021

valentines parties

Layla planned for weeks and weeks to throw a valentines party for some of her friends. She delivered her quite independently handmade invitations to friends in the neighborhood. My favorite part was the large words of love, “Even if you don’t come, have a nice holiday.” So sweet. And hilarious, too.

On the afternoon of the party, we made a quick run to hobby lobby and then came home to decorate for the event. 

Layla and I both enjoy planning and setting up for simple parties. I love that we share that.

We placed red vines for straws in the cups and that was a huge hit for the evening.

Layla made a beautiful welcome sign to hang on the door.

All set and ready for the guests to arrive.

It was such a beautiful afternoon that we got to open up the sliding glass door and enjoy the fresh air.

All ready for a “love”-ly party.

Her guests started to arrive and they each decorated a paper bag to keep valentines in.

Brinn was anxiously awaiting the moment when the cupcakes, jello, and pink lemonade would be served (all made by Layla).

After the girls decorated bags and played outside, we played “do you love your neighbor” and hot potato but with a bean bag heart. We ate pizza and jello when we were done with games. And then Layla organized the girls to do puppet shows. I’ll admit, when Layla suggested puppet shows, I was a bit hesitant, but it was a huge hit! Layla divided the girls into groups and they each chose a puppet and created and performed a show for us.

Layla asked each girl to bring a set of Valentine’s. She agreed to my idea to hunt for valentines in the backyard. We placed each girls valentines in a bowl. Then I placed the bowl somewhere in the backyard with a set of fairy lights around them.

We gave the girls glow sticks to wear and then they went from bowl to bowl collecting valentines in the dark.

Happy girls after the valentines glow hunt.

There were cupcakes and a few minutes of a movie, but we ended the night with a dance party!

It was such a fun night! Layla learned a lot about being hostess and enjoyed the party immensely.

Brinna and Perry had their own school parties that same day. They were so excited to share valentines.

Valentine’s Day is the best holiday!

February 27, 2021

backyard chickens

 Layla was thrilled when she got her chicks for Christmas.

She has pretty much faithfully taken care of them since that day. She learned how to feed them and change their water. She spent hours out in that garage playing with them. And now they have grown up and graduated from a box in the garage to their very own chicken coop.

Eric carried out this project with help from many of our kids. They designed it to be big enough for all the backyard chickens, and maybe even some rabbits in the future (another dream of Layla’s).

There are still a few things that need to be finished on the coop (like painting). But I think these chickens are happy in their new home!

Well, happy until Brinna opens the coop and let’s them escape.

Thankfully between kyler, Layla, and Eric the two times she has done this, the chickens were quickly returned to the safety of their coop. (Brinna’s 3 year old spunky behavior keeps on our toes for sure:) ).

February 23, 2021

it’s so nice to meet you little one

saturday morning
a phone call
a drive to Phoenix
some lunch

then hello there,
little one

piece of heaven in your arms

pure joy

soft and careful

frantic stop

welcome home 

loving arms, proud girl

more hellos

cutest greeting yet

biggest smiles, pure excitement

another turn, heart is full

protection and care

sweet, love

wide eyes

teeny tiny

i see you, i am here

snuggle in

could it be so?

yes, in my arms you go

wonder and delight

peace and bliss

precious one


how does one so small make hearts swell so big?