Last Weekend, our family made the trip across the county to visit my brother and his Bride for their beautiful Wedding in Tennessee. We have been planning this trip for months, and it crept up all of a sudden and we were thrust into Airline Travel with two 17 month olds. (Fun!)
Here are some tips from my experience:

1) Make sure your portable DVD player is charged. (Your kids don’t like it much when 10 minutes into  Bear in the Big Blue House, it shuts off and cannot be charged until you make it to your layover.)

2) Pack snack foods for the adults, not just the children. (We had plently of kid foods, but we didn’t realize until 4 hours into our trip that we were STARVING, and there was no “real” food to be had!)

3) The day after you get back home is FAR worse than any part of the trip combined. (I am currently listening to both my children scream, without any clue how to “fix” whatever their issue is..)

4) Fly with a second (or in our case, third) set of hands. (My mom made the trip down and back with us, and I cant imagine how it would have been to try and pee, much less sit down, leaving Joel in an airport with two running toddlers..)

Overall our trip went very well, and the kids did much better than expected. We had fun, and it was great to see my brother and his wife Sara, as well and much of my family from Spokane:

I can  take credit for NONE of these pictures, I was attending to my duties as Bridemaid. (Thanks to my husband and younger brothers and sisters!)


The Beach!

We only live about a hour and a half from the Ocean, but every weekend around here is BUSY, and so don’t make it there as often as I would like. But, since I have about 3 minutes until the kids need something from me again, here is our beach trip (the Twins FIRST!) in pictures!

4 Years!

Today is August 2. And, fours years ago today, I married my very best friend.

Lots of people said that being married is the hardest thing you can do, but never has something felt so easy and so right. I am blessed with an amazing man that always looks to take care of my needs and the need of our family, and make sure that I know how much I am loved in the process. My Mom told me once that she was amazed to watch how Joel cherishes me, and I think that is the perfect way to describe it. Everyday I feel cherished.

  Joel, you are the most wonderful man I have ever met, and I love you so much. Happy Anniversary.

Summer Fun!

This summer seem to be flying by already, but luckily we have been able to spend a bunch of it playing outside with the Kiddos! They love to play outside, and we recently added a Big Climber to our outside play set-up, which makes for very tan babies and mama!

Check out some pictures of our FUN!

We are having TONS of fun here at the Roppo Farm!

(And, yes, we did finally did get the front door painted red, looks great!)

With all the home projects going on here, we haven’t done as good a job keeping up with the garden as we should. But, I am happy to report that we have a great crop so far nonetheless!  We are currently enjoying our lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, snap peas, strawberries and cauliflower! Yum. Hopefully I can get out there with the kids in the next few days to take some pictures for you all!

And, I will leave you all tonight with this: I don’t know about your kids, but M can be a PICKY eater (E will eat ANYTHING.) And, I recently came across a recipe for “Toddler Muffins” so we decided to try it out today, and it was a big hit! These muffins are basically just a trick to get more veggies in picky eaters, but are slightly sweet so enjoyed by all!  (Joel is working out to town for the next few days, so he hasn’t given them the thumbs up, but I think he will!) The recipe is as follows:


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, or to taste
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar baby food squash
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar baby food carrots
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour.)
  • 1 cup oat bran (.. and I used wheat germ, because it was what I had!)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 24 mini muffin cups or 12 standard muffin cups.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs. Stir in the flour, oat bran, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until just combined. Spoon the batter equally into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes (I baked the mini- muffins for 10 minutes.) Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Store at room temperature for up to two days, or freeze.


No more purple!

Many of you have been to the Roppo Farm in the past two years, and some of you have not. So you may not have been able to experience the previous tenants paint job of a terrible shade of brown-purple. With tan trim. IT. WAS. AWFUL.

Ugh. Anyways, last weekend my Dad and Grammy made the trip down from Spokane to help us paint the house. It was great to see them, and the Twins were trilled to have more friends to play with, but I was most excited to get my ugly house painted. Woo hoo! It was a decent weekend to do it, although we did fight a few rain showers..

We had some great help, including: my Dad, Grammy, (Joel’s Dad) Phil, David, Andy and my sister, Meredith! Thanks everyone so much for coming out to help- it went FAST and looks awesome!

(During the CRAZY 10 minute downpour! Look at Andy and Grammy power through!)

E is a big helper (and only wanted to be outside playing in the dirt all weekend!)

I am pretty decent with a paint sprayer!

And, the final result…?!

Ta Da! Beautiful! (Red front door to come..)   🙂

Dirty toddlers!

This week I haven’t stood still or sat down long enough to think of anything particularly profound or witty to say (one kiddo with an ear infection, and one with a respiratory infection, AND prepping to paint out house) .. so, would you settle for adorable pictures of toddlers in the dirt?  🙂

E has discovered dirt and water equal mud! (And that rocks look a little like food.)

And this is his dirty I-don’t-want-to-go-inside-to-take-a-bath face! (This boy would play outside with the “chk-en”, and the “doggy” in the mud all day if we would let him.)

M doesn’t want to play in the dirt..

..she does however want to pick my radishes! Silly girl.

Stay tuned this weekend.. its HOUSE PAINTING TIME! Great Grammy and Papa are coming over from Spokane, and we have some great friends here who are going to help us (finally!) paint our ugly house! Yay!

How far we have come!

One year ago today was my first day home with newborn twins by myself. Oh, how far we have come! E and M turned one on May 5th, and have been the biggest blessing (and biggest challenge!) I have ever experienced. Those people who say that stay-at-home moms have the easiest job,  have obviously never been at home with their kids. This is BY FAR the hardest job I have ever done in my life.

The Twins are getting big! E is super curious and always on the move (and on a mission to get outside to play in the yard.) He loves to play in his pool, and get dirty in the front yard. He wants to chase the dogs and chickens, but isn’t quiet fast enough yet!

M isn’t quite as fast, but don’t mistake her as passive, she is a firecracker! She will be the first one to tell you that she needs help or wants something from you. She always wants to play with her tool set, and LOVES her Daddy the best.

This past spring I met a beautiful woman named Gretchen, who works very hard to provide a natural, nurturing environment for her children, and writes a great blog, http://www.thatmamagretchen.com/. She is going on maternity leave from her blog to have Baby #2 this fall, and asked me to write a guest blog post for her readers about our experience with pregnancy loss and foster care/adoption.   This morning, I finished our story, and I thought I would share it with you all as well:

“When my husband and I got pregnant in April 2010, we assumed, like most women do, that pregnancy would be easy and we would end up with a beautiful baby to take home from the hospital in 9 short months. That July, at 15 weeks pregnant, we found that our little miracle had stopped growing and there was no heartbeat. We were devastated. No one is prepared for the loss of a child. But, we pulled ourselves together bit by bit and thanked God that he had given us the blessing of being pregnant, however short it was. We knew that God would bless us with a family when the timing was right. We named our little blessing Matthew, which means “gift from God.”

In January 2011, after much convincing, my husband and I started the process of being licensed to be foster parents, which is something I have wanted to do  since high school, but we had originally decided we would do “after we had gotten started on our own family.” In early March 2011 we found out that we were pregnant again. We were very excited about having our own child, but decided that we would move forward with the licensing anyways. We knew that we might be getting in over our heads, but we knew that God was calling us to care for children that, for whatever reason, weren’t able to be cared for by their parents.

In May 2011, at 10 weeks pregnant, our little Elizabeth went to Heaven to be with her brother. Our foster parent license came in the mail the same day. We were
heartbroken, but reassured that maybe God’s plan for our family was not the same as the plans we had.

On May 18th we received our first long-term placement call. The Coordinator on the phone told me about the children, and then said, “Oh, I am so sorry, are you pregnant?” (She must have been looking at our file.) “Because this will be a long-term placement, and they would need to be the only children under 2 in your household.” At that moment, I knew something special was happening, and told the woman, no, we were no longer pregnant. I signed the placement paperwork that afternoon to take custody of premature boy-girl twins, born May 5th three months early. M and E were born at 2.5 and 3.5 lbs, and no one was quite sure what medical issues they were going to have moving forward. They spent 6 weeks in the NICU, learning to breath on their own, regulate their own heartbeats, and drink from a bottle, and then came home to live with us. Everyday with newborn, medically-fragile twins at home was a challenge, but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the whole world. I was finally a Mommy!

It has been just over a year since M and E came home from the hospital and became a part of our family, and they are growing more fun and challenging by the day as they head into toddler-hood. I still look back at that day I received that call, and know that God was at work. We have been blessed beyond words to have them in our lives, and we are hoping to complete their adoption this coming fall and make them officially part of our family (although they have been my children, in my heart, since the first day I held them in the NICU.)

This April, early in our third pregnancy, we lost another angel, Owen. This loss felt different from the first two, because this time I came home from that appointment to hugs and smiles and kisses from my sweet babies. I knew then more than ever that these children were God’s Gift to us, and that despite going through terrible, depressing times, wondering if we would ever have a family, I now had the beautiful family I always dreamed.  Someday we might have children that our biologically ours, or maybe not, but I am continually blessed by God’s grace and mercy in our lives. I remember every day what a miracle my children are, and how it is only by God’s grace that they came to be ours.

I hope my story can give other women who have gone through devastating losses, but are coming out the other side of their grief, a reassurance that God loves you and although it seems hard now, He says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)”


It has been a bust day on the Farm today: Church this morning, then LOTS of yard work this afternoon (and my first sunburn!) So, excuse the “lag” in this post, I am drugged up on benadryl!

We are prepping the house to give  it a new coat of paint in a few weeks, and so Joel has been diligently working away at getting it pressure washed. This gave me ample opportunity to make piles of junk to get rid of or throw away that have been stacked outside the past TWO YEARS from the previous owners. And, thankfully I feel like we are finally getting somewhere! Working in the yard is hard work- and not something I much enjoy- but I always feel better once it is done. The garden is a different story, however. I LOVE being out there! It is such an uplifting space. I mean, think about it! You put seeds (or if your lazy, like me, plant starts) into the ground, a little water, some sunshine and Poof! YOU ARE GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD! Amazing. As of today our garden is all planted and contains: snap peas, cauliflower, pickling cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes, onions, carrots, radishes, lettuce, green beans, broccoli, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Whew!

This year we took a different route with our potato planting, trying to see if we would get a larger crop. (Last year we planted directly into our raised beds.) They took up a lot of space, and the crop was good, but not great. I came across this idea on Pinterest, and so, last weekend we put our plan into action:

We just started with about a 4-5 foot section of weld wire and created a loop. (Cut off the bottom row, so it would poke into the ground.)

Line the bottom with straw.

Line the wire with straw as well, then shovel dirt into the middle. Going into  this I didn’t think the straw would line the wire well, and I figured it would be a chore to hold it and shovel. Not the case! The straw lined very easily and stayed right where I put it. (Very easily a one person job.)

Plant a few potatoes (eyes out!) into the dirt along the border to the straw. And, if the potatoes have more than one eyes, you can cut them in several pieces (one eye on each piece) and plant each separately.

We then lined more straw, and more dirt for a total of three levels of potato plants with two at each level. Woo hoo (12 plants in much less space!)

I will keep you updated on the Potato Progress!

New Year’s Resolutions

You know when you have a New Year’s Resolution like working out every day, or paying off your credit card debit, or eating healthier (or blogging every week?) in January and you are really excited about it, then you look down at your calendar and your ‘To-Do’ list and you realize its JUNE and you haven’t done any of it? Yeah.. sorry, guys. Well, the good news is I am back, and hopefully (!) can get back into the swing of regular posts.

So, what have you been up to since we talked last? Lots of great things have been happening here, and some hard things, too.  First off, the Twins are getting BIG! We celebrated their first birthday in May, and boy, are they are toddlers now! Everyday they surprise me by doing something fun and new, and my Joel is constantly getting interrupted at work by me, “Guess what you daughter did today?!” We are getting closer to adoption too, so hopefully they will be the Roppo Toddlers by Christmas!

We also experienced the loss of our third pregnancy this Spring, which was hard, but I am always so grateful at what a wonderful God we have. We arrived home from the Doctor with this news, and my sweet babies were there to cuddle me and give me kisses and remind me that He definitely has a plan for our family.

We did add some more poultry to the Roppo Farm this Spring, after the Great Chicken Massacre of 2012 (I will spare you the details, but this involved several of our birds being eaten by two very large dogs, IN OUR OWN YARD.)  Three baby Welsummers joined us in April, and are now outside in the coop beginning to intermingle with the big birds. And, yes, that brings our chicken count to 12 (which in case you aren’t chicken-savvy, that brings our daily egg count to between 10-12 eggs.) We are giving a lot of eggs away, because there is no way we can eat that many (with Joel being the only true egg-eater in our house) and we are going to begin selling them locally. So, if you need eggs, please let me know, and I would be happy to distribute!

Our summer garden is up and running, too, and I am excited about a few changes we have made, but I will save that for my next update, so be sure to check back in for Adventures in Potato Farming! 

(Pictured: E and M “helping” with the farming!)




Over the past several months I have been struggling with changes in my life that had left me feeling relatively uneasy and out-of sorts. And, as hard as it has been at times, I am thankful because it is given me pause to rediscover the things I really think have become important to me. Becoming a Mommy to the Twins has been the biggest life and priority change I have ever experienced. It used to be that my darling husband and I could just pick up whenever and do just about anything and all we really had to think about was the dog (and maybe the chickens.) Now, I have to make plans way in advance and going anywhere for any length of time is a huge project.  Don’t get me wrong, I am blessed and I am thankful for every moment that I get with my kids, but having a quiet moment this afternoon to digest the last 6 months of our lives has left me to do some thinking. There are lots of things that I have definitely taken for granted, so, I came up with a list of 3 things I am especially thankful for this holiday season:

1. MAKING NEW FRIENDS (AND KEEPING GREAT OLD ONES)-  This year I am especially thankful for new friends (and old friends who have really worked hard to stay in my life despite all the changes.) I think I have always taken friends for granted. I have always made superficial friends relatively easily at work, or church, but I haven’t every really worked on making deeper connections with people until they initiated it. Which is so sad! How many amazing people have I missed out on knowing because I was too full of myself to push past the surface? Making real connections with people is something I am going to work hard at this upcoming year.

2. VULNERABILITY- I think women keep their pain to themselves. (Maybe men, too, but I don’t know?) I was sitting in a group of women recently, and had the opportunity to speak up about our  two miscarriages and how I believed that God had a different plan for our family than the traditional. I was amazed at the response. Most all of these women had experienced the same pain, or knew someone close who had. These women also spoke of needing connections in their lives, health problems and other traumas. This year I am thankful for vulnerability, because we all go through the same types of issues and how can we build each other up if we keep it hidden inside?

3. ENJOYING MY FAMILY- Often times I get so wrapped up in the planning for what we are doing, or the schedules, or the chores that I don’t stop to enjoy my family.

My babies! Even when they are cranky, I am so blessed to be able to experience the joy of helping them grow, I am committing to spend more time enjoying them for all their little personalities are worth (even if that means the laundry doesn’t get done right away.) Every tear, every noise and every smile is precious; I won’t ever get this time with them back.

My AMAZING husband, Joel.  *sigh*  Joel is my rock and the love of my life. He might be the thing in my life I most take for granted, because he is always there to catch me when I stumble.  He is everything I could have ever dreamed of in a husband, and I WILL spend more time this season (and hopefully for years to come) enjoying my time with him. Even if it is a cup of tea on the couch after a long day (or working to complete the 31 Day Challenge.)  🙂

And finally, my parents and my siblings. Over the last several years I have really been able to form friendships with my parents that are beyond what I had ever expected, they are wonderful people and I am so blessed to have them as my friends as well. I LOVE YOU BOTH VERY MUCH.                                                                                                                                                My brothers and sisters are all younger than I, and I think watching them grow up and become real people has been such a blessing. It seems like just yesterday you were all toddling about, and now you are almost all adults. I want to form relationships with all of you that goes beyond siblings to real deep friendships, and I commit to you moving forward that I am going to work hard to form and maintain those.

My life is filled with so many blessings and after rereading this, my heart is full. I have so very many things to be thankful for, it almost makes that hard stuff seem unimportant. I hope you all have a great holiday season, and I will be back you after the holidays!