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Back to School!

It’s the first day back to school for the Millers. They kids were excited. Mom was excited. The littlest was excited until he realized he was NOT going to get to attend. We may have had some tears from him at the bus stop. 😩 Other than that, the first day started without a hitch!

…except that I forgot to turn in some paperwork, so Zeke and I jettisoned to the school to say hi to the bigs while dropping it off. Also, because apparently 3rd grade is when boys get “too cool for mom,” Zion was MORTIFIED when I said “Hi” as he and three other compadres sauntered into the hall from the bus. Zoe girl, on the other hand, was delighted to see us and begged for us to walk with her to her room where, again, Zeke didn’t want to leave. He was convinced this is his year to start school! Nope. But preschool twice a week starts next month. Yay for all of us!

Then a friend and I grabbed coffee and perused a local shop with only one child in tow which is the equivalent of feeling naked in public. You keep checking yourself like, “I feel so light! Did I forget to put something on? Leave a child somewhere? What on earth is wrong?!? No one is yelling my name!!!” And then you realized, it’s because they’re at school and all is well. Oh, and if you live in my area, GOOOOO check out Blooming Daisy Marketplace and support your local shops. It’s the cutest! The perfect place to pick up a gift or some home decor. Zeke was most enamored with the goats and chickens out back!

And if you’re a teacher, administrator, custodian, school bus driver, or any other person that makes our amazing school systems work, I hope you know you were prayed for. Our family got together last night to pray over the kiddos and then for all of you who work day-in and day-out to help shape and mold these amazing little humans. I couldn’t be more grateful for each of you.


She is so ready for 1st grade!




He also didn’t want to show his teeth to smile, but one joke changed all that!


Friends, Zeke couldn’t be more ready for school even though his is ONLY 2. He was the first one up this morning, “Ready for school with my backpack!” and his pajamas still on. It’s going to be quite the day when he really goes. In case you couldn’t tell, he also LOOOOOVVVVEEESSSS getting his picture taken!

I can’t believe the other two are growing so quickly. Summer flew by per the usual. Little brother is going to miss these two so much, but hopefully soon sister will be joining us from the Congo (DRC).

Here’s to a STELLAR 2017-2018 school year!

Celie and Brandon first met at a Great River Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) retreat in 2004. Later, they went to the same university where they became good friends and eventually dated. Time passed and they each went their own way, but life has a way of bringing good things together.

The forecast said 100% chance of rain. Mother Nature held off. The clouds drifted and the skies parted. It was a perfect May day for a wedding. Surrounded by their closest family and a handful of friends, Celie and Brandon exchanged vows promising for better or worse, in sickness and in health, and for many adventures and good coffee!

Brandon and Celie kept remarking on how simple and perfect their wedding day was. I think the pictures show just that.

Happy wedding day you two! Thank you so much for trusting me to capture your day. I hope you look back on these photos years from now, and they remind you just how simply good life can be. Much love.

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Watermelon Wednesday

It’s summertime and Wednesday, and Zoe is in the kitchen whipping up all things watermelon. Today is actually a double-header video in the kitchen: watermelon, feta, and basil salad and a watermelon limeade spritzer that is DELISH! *Video is at the bottom of the blogpost.

Watermelon, Feta, & Basil Summer Sala2017-06-07_0001.jpg

This dish is so easy, your 5 year-old can whip it up…or for those of you who cooking anything feels overwhelming, I promise these two dishes are anything but hard.

Feta (I get it crumbled – one less step)


Chop up your watermelon into bit-sized cubes. Take your basil leaves and stack several one on top of the other. Then, starting at one end, roll the leaves. Take the roll, and starting at one end slice the basil. It make nice long thin ribbon-like strips. The fancy term is called chiffonade. We’ll just stick with “cutting our basil into strips!” 🙂 Next, put the watermelon and feta in a bowl and add the basil. Then stir and enjoy!

*If you want to this to be a 5 min or less meal, buy your watermelon pre-cut.

Watermelon Limeade Spritzer2017-06-07_0003.jpg

2017-06-07_0004.jpg2017-06-07_0002.jpgWe had recently came across some delicious watermelon spritzer recipes recently, but let’s just say they were not kid friendly. So, we made a twist on a recipes that we found and swapped the lemons for limes and added spritzer water instead of alcohol. The result = AMAZING! I’ll be whipping this up regularly around our house. It’s refreshingly sweet, but not too sweet. The lime cuts right through. If you’re needing a “mommy-drink” I’m guessing you could add vodka, but I’m definitely not the person to ask. Mix-mastering is nay my forte!

1/2 c. Watermelon Purée
1/4 c. Fresh squeezed lime juice
3 T. Simple syrup (just put equal parts water and sugar in a pan on low until the sugar dissolves).
3/4 c. Spritzer
Mint sprigs for garnish

Squeeze 1/4 cup of lime juice into a pitcher. Then, using a high powered blender, liquify 1/2 cup of watermelon. Add the watermelon puree to the pitcher. Next, add your 3 T. of simple syrup and give it all a good stir. Last but not least, pour your 3/4 cup of spritzer into the mix! I like putting the watermelon/lime mixture into the cup first and adding the spritzer into the cup. It fizzes and forms the slightest foamy layer (don’t freak out froth haters!) and looks so fancy 😉 Garnish with a sprig of mint. Sip and enjoy!

*You can make this recipe as large or small as you want. This recipe makes a FULL 12 oz glass.


Zeke’s Room

We ( I actually have nooooo idea why I used a plural pronoun there) I finally started working on getting Zeke’s bedroom put together. Missouri has been our home for the last 9 months, but I just didn’t have it in me over the holidays to do anymore house projects. Nesting during this adoption has finally kicked me into high gear. Or maybe it’s the fact that we need photos of the house for the dossier and I still just have primer on my banisters! Or maybe it’s because we need to rearrange kids in rooms so child number 4 can have her place too. Whatever the case let’s be honest, can we? When I have a deadline I like to make it as horrifically imminent as possible which is why I painted yesterday instead of minding the stack of papers on my desk.

Zeke’s persona is so bright and cheery it’s only fitting his room match. I only spent a whopping $35 at Hobby Lobby to make this work. I just repurposed things we already had. No, I haven’t changed the electrical outlets although I have purchased them! And eventually I’ll get some curtains hung and knobs put on the closest to replace the missing one and broken one; but for now, before little Miss O arrives, we’re at least in good shape.

Zeke totally approves!

I ❤️ all things Lindsey Letters creates. She can do no wrong in my eyes! I am so excited that she sells a few select pieces of work at Hobby Lobby. Hello fabulous! That’s her canvas work below.


Cutest mobile evvvvaaaahhhhh! Give one as your next gift. Do it. Ekisa Designs sells these soft African animals on our Fields of Dreams Uganda website.

2017-03-10_0036.jpgI love reminding Zeke that Superman was adopted too.

Our sweet neighbors in Texas has these verses cards made for Zeke and gave them to me just before we went to Uganda. I clung to these and prayed one over him daily.

Zeke’s Favorite Story

My dear friend CeCe sent me this book in the mail as a gift for Zeke’s arrival. I opened it, read it, sobbed, and sat it aside when Zoe said, “Mom, who wrote this book about us?” And it hit me. This is (almost) our exact story with a few details changed. I was sitting in the salon when I got the call, and we were in Uganda rather than Rwanda. But other than those few things, this is our story too.

It’s also Zeke’s favorite. He loves pointing and saying, “Wook at Zekey, Mom!” and “Mom, wook! Zion and Zoe!” We read it often and tell him his story. We tell him how we waited and nested and prayed for him. How our sweet friends threw us the most fantastic shower and welcomed him. We tell him about walking down the red dirt road with his caretaker taking us to where he was lying in a bassinet by the window at the orphanage and that Zoe was the first to exclaim, “There he is! Our baby brother!”

So today, Zeke and I are going to “read” you this story. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Mommy’s Heart Went Pop! An Adoption Story, by Christina Kyllonen and Peter Greer.


Happy Friday Friends!

Everyday Hummus

It’s been awhile since we’ve aired an episode of In Zoe’s Kitchen. Almost a year if we’re keeping track 😳.  Zoe begged me this past week to start filming again.  So today as soon as we got back from a short trip to the farm, we walked into the house, dropped our bags,  and quite literally pulled out the camera and started filming. I am so glad we did. The kitchen is one of Zoe’s favorite places. Put a camera on her in the kitchen, and it’s a recipes for sheer entertainment.

The weather here has been unseasonably warm.  Eighty degrees today (we’re not complaining), so a summer-like snack was in order even though it is still winter in the Midwest. One of our favorite go-to summer snacks is hummus.  It’s easy to whip up a big batch, and there are ton of variations you can do depending on your favorite flavors.


  • 1 15 oz can Chickpeas
  • 2 T. – 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 T. water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (1 entire large lemon)
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 2 cloves of garlic or 1 if you prefer a milder taste
  • pinch of Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


Drain and rinse chickpeas. Pour the chickpeas into food processor and add all other ingredients in the food processor as well. Blend until smooth. If you like a smoother texture, add more EVOO and/or water to taste. We like to add a little bit more of both.


  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Pine Nuts
  • Jalapeños & Cilantro
  • Carolyn Spratt - Good job Zoe! I love hummus! It’s about time you came back to Zoe’s kitchen. Love you. Grandma and grandpaReplyCancel