pulling joy

Hello from Acton, California! It’s a chilly 49 degrees outside. Swift 25 mile an hour wind gusts are giving the juniper bushes outside my window a proper morning workout. Despite the clear blue skies and few stubborn leaves still clinging to the trees, we are not fooled; even here in Southern California, we have not fully escaped winter’s clutches.


Inside our electric fireplace blows its warmth and the faux logs eternally burn. Nat King Cole fills the air with the sounds of Christmas past. Our pint-sized Christmas tree, complete with homemade ornaments, and the neighboring diffuser emitting evergreen dream into the air, completes the seasonal sensory requirements. It’s not snowy Idaho, but we feel festive just the same.


Not so jolly are the germs we’ve been battling. Sore throats, coughs and fevers have been unintentionally swapped between the families we’ve been traveling with. It’s tricky to balance sharing spaces like playgrounds and potlucks without also sharing sickness.

Photo: the lovely pack of full-time kids we’ve been enjoying
Photo: our weekly Bible Study that typically meets on-line, together in person!

Despite our recent health setbacks, we’ve been experiencing an incredible time of community through Bible Study, potlucks, fireside visits, trips to see a movie and Christmas lights as well as the unique opportunity to participate in a traditional Mexican Posada (click here to learn more about what a Posada is) and serving at Operation Christmas Child.

Photo: opening night of Star Wars
Photo: taking part in the Posada
Photo: sorting & checking shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child


We now anticipate the arrival of Trent’s parents who will stay with us for the Holidays. All in all, our cups runneth over with joy. I pray as Christmas nears you find yourself surrounded by people you love and find the awe of our Savior’s birth pulling joy from your heart.

Book recommendation: We are currently really enjoying the advent book, Jotham’s Journey* (on loan from a friend). I highly recommend it as a consideration perhaps for an advent story for your family next year. Note: the main character gets involved in some intense situations. It hasn’t bothered our children but some younger listeners may need you to edit the story slightly if they are sensitive. *Affiliate link

Listening suggestion: I was recently a guest on the Family Adventure Podcast for the second time. The first interview was right before we hit the road about a year and a half ago. This time Eric and I did a follow up episode and discussed how our time traveling has compared to our previous expectations, what homeschooling has looked like for us, how we have found community on the road and more. I invite you to check it out here.

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