Care Package Packing

by Melody, age 11 with Note from Mom (Joyce) toward at the bottom of the post

Thank you to June, Irma, the Weinberger family, Rothi Dental office, our discipleship group for donations and picking up items, our family members who sponsored bags, and anyone who purchased CV Swap+Sell items from us during the month of February!

After we did our first care packaging party (you can read about it at, I wanted to do another one, and so half a year later, here we are, our 2nd package party! 

Why We Hosted

Well, I really wanted to do another one because I wanted to help our neighbors in need. They usually don’t have a place to go when it is cold or rainy or snowy or hailing, or when there are earthquakes (depending on where you live). And most of the time, unless they scavenge for food, they don’t get food to eat. So I decided to fix that.

What We Did

We packed 48 bags and this picture below is our table with all of our supplies.

This is us trying to rearrange it. We tried to do that a lot that night and then…

Our cousin Sam came over to pack half of the packages. That picture below is us packing some.

Then our neighbor Mia came over and helped also pack the rest.

How Many Packages Did We Pack?

We packed 48 like I told you at the beginning, and we got donations, too. Followers of Moy Chronicles – this is important. I am going to do another one in August. If you want to donate, it only cost $6-$8 dollars for 1 bag. And you can do multiple too. (I sponsored 2 bags.) You can see the progression of donated/collected item. Guess what? All of the monetary donations matched the amount needed to pay for the remaining items we needed to buy to fill the bags!

And this is how they look now. We packaged all of them and labeled the sock sizes.

Making a Difference

Like I told you before – I’ll repeat it so you can make a difference too. Everybody can make a difference. Sometimes in my project, I felt like I wanted to give up and I thought it wasn’t worth it anymore. But it paid off. And you can make a difference too, and donate $6-$8+ in July-August to me or my family. I have a quote on my desk. It says, “Take Action NOW!” Whether in your home or in your community, you can make a difference today.

Note from Melody’s Mom:

I’m always slightly hesitant about posting about these things. I know someone who said they were refraining from sharing a good deed their daughter did because they didn’t want to come off as a show-off do-gooder. Obviously, no one wants to come across as boastful, but I am honestly thankful for posts similar to this because it gives us ways to find opportunities to serve and love others. It was because others had shared their experience with hair donation that we are able to be involved in that, and it was because someone shared about a last-minute family situation that a community was able to rally around the foster parents and provide them with everything they need to bring an unexpected bundle in their home. And I’m sure there are more stories that spur on people to go beyond their normal routine to improve lives. But I digress… here are a few things about this project…

Sometimes there are so many needs around us and around the world, we don’t know what to do or where to start. Instead of getting stuck with analysis paralysis, Melody got to work planning how to complete her birthday project. We did look around to see what items are really needed because some unnecessary items simply become more trash in our community. Thanks to Pinterest and our experience from last time, we were able to pack the right things…hopefully. If anyone wants to host something similar, I’m sure M would love to help you out. We originally were going to pack with our discipleship group but was tight on time in our schedule, but that gave an opportunity for my nephew and our little neighbor friend to join in. It’s rare to find organizations that need little volunteers, so we just make up our own opportunities. :p

What are some of the service projects you and/or your family have been a part of locally or globally? What was the experience like?

Monthly Recap [February 2018]

Goodbye, February!

Well, that ended quickly. ICYMI (I certainly did! :p ), here’s what happened the first half of February: A Mid-Month Update. We’re not sure what we think about thinking…the more we do it, the more there is of it to do. That’s where we are right now.

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Another Fresh Start

Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year to all! For anyone who was in need of another fresh start, there you have it! 🙂 We’re learning that any day is a good day for a fresh start.

Beauty in every season.

Getting Schooled

We are slowly finishing up the different curriculum/workbooks/programs as we head into testing and spring concerts and all that fun stuff. It has been a stretching year but a year of learning for sure! Not just learning the academics but the life stuff too. (Here are some recent favorite resources –> We love our CC fam and thankful to hear during the family presentations how each family connects with the community through activities and serving and the world through their travels. I love chatting it up with the moms during lunch, but recently, I’ve also had the chance to bring some of the girls’ friends along for mid-day walks around the area. It’s neat to hear their conversations.

Goal Get ‘Em!

I’m done with setting my 2018 goals. I know I can’t hold onto them too dearly, but it gives me some focus and direction for my days. I’m so glad to have to have an accountability buddy in Melody to review our goals and encourage one another.

Meal planning/food prep is getting a little easier and we hope to get into a rhythm so we can add new things to the mix with ease. PB&J is a fave around here and we’ve been playing around with a few different variations. It’s nothing new or creative, but it gets us out of a rut of the “same old thing.” You can read how Emily likes to make her PB&J “Burritos” or “Rollups” –> And we tried TJ’s Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend.

Sidenote: Thanks to *Plan to Eat and the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle (this is no longer available but the *Gut Health Super Bundle is available until 3/31/18), we are working our way to better meal planning, and eventually, healthier meal planning!

The more up-to-the-minute book updates are usually on FB or IG, but if you want to follow along with the reading fun with me, here’s my book list for the year >>> and these are the books I’m reading in March >>>

GIVEAWAY HEADS UP: We have two giveaways coming up.  One of them has a cool augmented reality element to it, so don’t miss out by not following our social media accounts! The last giveaway ended already, but you can still read Norm’s review of the new Passion album – Whole Heart –>

No pics of decluttering but if I may say so myself, we are doing a great job! We are hoping to get the stuff OUT and the people IN! I know no one expects a perfect house when they come over, but if you saw what was on my book list for February, you understand and maybe you get me.

Get in My Belly

We’re always up for some good eats. We love sharing our food finds, but don’t always have the time to blog about them. Let us know in the comments if you want to know our reviews of either of these places.

Some of the fam got to try the new pizza place in town – MOD Pizza.

We had a super duper early birthday celebration for me with Norm’s side of the fam since his parents aren’t around close to my birthday. Not up to a big hurrah so we kept it simple with going to Shari’s in the Village. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve had salmon chowder(?) before.


An update to come soon, but Melody’s birthday month project was a success! As we look into the needs of our community, I see more and more needs, but I am also seeing more and more people coming together to do beautiful things. It is so amazing, and I’m glad to even be a teeny tiny part of it. Thanks again to everyone who took part in helping Melody reach her goal! The girls both have a few things up their sleeves. I’m so inspired and encouraged by their hearts. Stay tuned!

We were part of a video project and that was an interesting and fun experience. We don’t have all the details, but we’ll share when we do. 🙂

As the winter season draws to a close, I think something new will be springing up soon! If you follow along on my personal blog, you’ll probably find out there first. For now, I thought some thoughts, and I wrote a thing –>

How was your February? Any lowlights or highlights? What are you looking forward to in March?

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Favorite Homeschool Resources This Week

We’re thinking about sharing other favorite resources besides homeschool stuff. Let us know in the comments what you would find helpful – book/music/restaurant/food reviews/recommendations, kid activities, thoughts about family-related topics, or something else?

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.

*The Maestro Classics 12 CD Music Collection

We got The Sorcerer’s Apprentice a long time ago, but just recently rediscovered it! It is perfect to get kiddos interested in music. If you think about the musical scores in your favorite movies, you’ll remember the difference that it makes to draw you into the story. Imagine if there was no theme song to open up your favorite TV show or no dramatic sounds during a slow-mo scene as the football team scores the game-winning touchdown…or something like that…I only watch the games for game day food. :p It’s fun to explore different types of music. We’re passing this on and hoping to get the whole collection.

Get your own copy *HERE or HERE.

*Pass the Pig

Melody’s class has been using the game for review time and all the kiddos love it! It’s not this exact version, but you can find a bunch of different ones on Amazon, including one with giant inflatable pigs!

Get your own copy *HERE.

The Color-Changing Celery Experiment! by SciShow Kids

Other Faves:
These are not directly homeschool-related but we love *Smencils! They’re so fun to use while doing your schoolwork…so maybe they are (home)school-related. 🙂 A friend shared a *Famous Figures of the American Revolution book which look like a fun and different way to learn about history. Another one we are looking forward to is *SQUILT Music Appreciation.

CLICK HERE to check out other favorite homeschool resources.

What are some of your current favorite school resources?

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a tiny percentage if you make a purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. We received one or more items for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Monthly Recap [January 2018]

Goodbye, January!

January seemed to be one of those months that went by quickly but was at the same time also really loooong. ICYMI, here’s what happened the first half of January: A Mid-Month Update. Also, the above pic? Norm’s desk at his new job. You can ask us about it when you see us. 🙂

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Getting Back to a Routine

We are all about the theme days around town, so we had pajama day, wacky hair day, community heroes day, and superhero day. We added to our stash of First Responders Thank You cards for community heroes day. We are thanking our garbage men and teachers/librarians. We also hope to add ones for nurses. Anything else you can think of?

Moms were invited to Awana this month, and while I sat out on the games (no one wants to see my coughing fit), it was fun to watch the no-mercy moms take first place during gym time. It was also great to meet with our Education Specialist to kick off our 2nd semester of school. It’s great to be mostly caught up with schoolwork even though we had many sick days. And…of course, a new season of community choir started up.

Field Trippin’

No field trips this second half of the month, but we blogged about our individual dates with Norm to the Exploratorium in San Francisco. That’s right, he took each of us out. Thank goodness for company passes and field trips, otherwise, these trips would probably cost hundreds! We each wrote about our dates and which exhibit was our favorite >>>

Goal Get ‘Em!

I’m just about done with setting those 2018 goals. We did come up with quick, general goals during our NYE party but SMARTER ones are better. ;p Food/meal prep is still on the list so below is a look at some meals we made the past few weeks. We haven’t finished blogging about them, but you can check out the One Pot Spaghetti here –> Sidenote: Thanks to *Plan to Eat and the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle (this is no longer available but the *Gut Health Super Bundle is available until 3/31/18), we are working our way to better meal planning, and eventually, healthier meal planning!

The girls are looking forward to sharing some of the new series they have discovered from the library and their Christmas gifts! For now, I have an updated book list for the year >>> and these are the books I’m reading in February >>>

GIVEAWAY ALERT: This giveaway ends on Saturday, so make sure to enter for your chance to win. It’s as simple as commenting on our blog. >>>

As recovery from sickness has been super slow, I am taking things down a notch with the decluttering. I did go through quite of bit of school stuff since we already have next school year on our brains, but I put aside the Declutter 365 challenge with Home Storage Solutions for now and will go on through the tasks as we have time…and health. I’m proud to say the area below is all cleared and stuff has been decluttered from the closet next to it.

We’ve never been good about following the exact Simple 7 challenge plans, but we love our green smoothies! >>>


Little nephew is doing well in the world. The girls are enamored with this little guy and are keeping a “Count-Up” to his first birthday! :p

We really enjoyed the movie Hidden Figures. Someone online asked about it and here was my reply with some added clarification:

I would say it is family-friendly compared to even some animated movies that I’ve seen with slight inappropriate jokes that are meant for adults in the audience. There is a scary “fireball” scene. As always, it depends on the kid, as some images and scenes stay with some teens and adults but there are preschoolers who watch something scary and not care about it afterward. There may or may not be a possible discussion of relationships as one of the characters who is widowed with 3 kiddos remarry. There is some language, but probably not more than they would hear if we sat long enough in a public place…quite a few “d” words. We don’t ever use that kind of language (no worries if you do, we’ll still be your friend), but I didn’t even realize how many there were until we watched it with them. But again, we also don’t censor much in media or our conversations about most topics if it comes up. Some discussion points: segregation, gender gap, education, science/discovery, historical events, friendships…

We wrapped up our first HelloMornings 30-Day Challenge of the year and I am thankful for this community. I am leading a 6-week HelloMornings accountability group for the first time in years. If you’re local, I’m looking for 5-7 women to join me. I ordered copies of the study already, so you can buy one from me at a discounted price when they arrive. If you’re not local to me, group reg will open next week and you can get your copy on *Amazon or a PDF from the HM Shop.

And…it’s been more than 4 weeks since the start of the 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life coaching group with Crystal Paine, but I’m slowly getting through it. I’m not sure if/when registration will open up again, but I highly recommend her other courses *Make Over Your Mornings and *Make Over Your Year.

How was your January? Any lowlights or highlights? What are you looking forward to in February?

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.


Each of us went to the Exploratorium last year on a date with Norm/Daddy.  Here’s the story of our mini-adventure in San Francisco!

Captions by: Melody, Emily, Joyce 
Photos by: Dad Norm + Mom Joyce
More info here –>


Emily’s Visit

I liked the first part of my visit. I liked the spinny thingy at the front.

Vibration! So much science!

Love the sand art! Sand that spins while you do art!

Me gathering up the mist!

Get a marker and choose a spin! (Like a HUGE Spirograph!)

Smoke tornado next to the marker art!

Bubble solution thingy! Make it as tall as you can!

Mirrors all around!

Different colored lights!

Joyce’s Visit

For our anniversary, we took BART out to San Francisco for a day date. We had lunch at eatsa, which we may blog about another time. Yummy! And then we headed to the Exploratorium. I have only been to the old location as a kid for a field trip and one other time when Melody was little. I’ve also been in the lobby and store of this “new” one but it was my first time visiting. It is a lot bigger and newer (of course), so if you go, make sure to allow time, especially if you go through the school year during school field trip hours. There are so many fun and educational exhibits to explore. Afterwards, we headed for an early dinner at Roy’s Restaurant to avoid the crowds coming from work and/or tourists. We’ll blog about this too. Yummy again! 🙂

Melody’s Visit

We traveled there by BART for a field trip with our homeschool group, and then we waited awhile for everyone. But it turned out they were on the other side of the building! So we went inside to go into the building.

This first picture is me with a tornado.

I liked this next one below. First, you drag the material up with your magnet, then you release and it makes a HUGE cloud (only if you hold for a few seconds).

So this next one below is me with a soap film painting. First, you drop the bar down, gather soap, then bring it up as far as possible without it popping. You have to get a lot of soap to make a bubble. Then I blew on it to make it like a bubble ripple.

This is me and my dad with a circle of electrical lights.

This is me with a tree stump – I actually counted the rings. The tree was about 160 years old, but I might have counted wrong.

This is me with a water tornado. This is one of my favorites because you can control the amount of water you put in.

This is a mist-area thingy. So you basically wave your hands around to gather a lot of mist. I couldn’t do it that well because there was a lot of people, but my dad could do it really well.

This is a tracker to show where different transportation methods have been in the last couple of months, days, hours, etc. You can move it back and forth to find out!

This is my favorite picture when we were sitting in the quiet bay observatory.

Thanks for a great time, Exploratorium!

Emily’s fave: The sand art!

Melody’s fave: The quiet bay observatory. I liked it there, it was much more peaceful.

Joyce’s fave: Hard to choose but I liked the area with the parts of the typewriter

Norm’s fave: Shadow Box

Some Notes + Tips from Mom Joyce:

  • Definitely check if your library has a pass for the Exploratorium to save a bit of money as you will probably spend some getting there and for a meal as well. Our library has Discover and Go.
  • Avoid the school field trip crowds by going a bit later.

Have you been on a local mini-adventure lately? Where did you go?



A Mid-Month Update [January 2018]

Happy New Year!

The end of the year was not how we had thought it would be, but sometimes that’s just life! We mostly rolled with it because what else can you do? If you missed it, here’s how we ended our year –>

Getting Back to a Routine

The end of “winter break” meant we slowly started up our routine again. It was nice to find a rhythm after we were thrown off our regular schedule by sickness, Thanksgiving, sickness, concerts, Christmas, sickness, performances, sickness, holiday festivities, sickness of other family members, visits…you get the point. We are glad to be meeting up with our discipleship group, Awana, homeschool group, and choir for a new season of fun, friendship, and food (hopefully :p ).

Field Trippin’

The new semester started out with a field trip for Melody. Norm’s old workplace offered passes to the Exploratorium for employees. He took Emily there for her birthday in May, me as a part of our anniversary day date in August, and since he no longer works there, we took advantage of our homeschool group’s trip for Melody to go with Norm. (I sense a blog post coming soon on our Exploratorium experience.)

Goal Get ‘Em!

We may or may not share more about our goals later. As part of our family New Year’s Eve celebration, we usually think about our goals/plans for the coming year after reflecting on lowlights and highlights of the past year. One of Emily’s goals was to learn to play the guitar. She plays ukulele but now her hands are little bigger to play the guitar too.

I’m still going through the goal-setting process for a few of my goals, and while cooking (or rather, not being anxious when cooking) is not one of my specific goals, I do plan to try new things more often. (One of Melody’s goals is to help out more with meal prep and cooking.) This is indirectly related to one of my “relationship” goals. We did try out one other recipe but didn’t get a chance to share it yet. They’re both brunch-ish recipes because we are seeing if changing things up on Saturdays will work out better for our schedule. Sidenote: Thanks to *Plan to Eat and the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle (this is no longer available but the *Gut Health Super Bundle is available until 3/31/18), we are working our way to better meal planning, and eventually, healthier meal planning! Banana Stuffed French ToastFrench Toast Pigs in a Blanket

If you’ve been “following” me at all through these past few years, you’ll see that I’ve been on a journey to simplify. When my mind, space, and heart is a little less cluttered, it allows me to be free to enjoy those around me…I am probably more enjoyable too. 😉 In the past, I have hosted decluttering challenges, but because they were fairly short, there were always spaces I never got around to decluttering. I suppose we could have just chosen different ones to join in without a break but since they are shorter, they were usually more involved, which often leads to burnout. This year I chose to do it as a year-long process with Home Storage Solutions, which makes sense because stuff continues to come into our homes and hog up space, so we need to declutter things we don’t have a need for anymore. (An update to come soon!)

We read much and often around here, but I’m the only one who has reading goals because otherwise, I won’t make time for reading OR I’ll try to read all the things. There have been some amazing books released in the last year and coming up as well. We’ll never have enough time to read them all so I must curate a list of those that may help me with some of my other goals. Check out What I’m Reading in January [Book List]!


In other random news, I’m so proud to be a tiny part of the launch of my friend Kat Lee’s Hello Mornings book! Read about it here –> | Buy it *here –> * I’m hosting the 30-Day Challenge in our HM Facebook community group of almost 4,000 women, and let me just say that if you want to keep accountable to doing your 3-Minute Morning, this will do it for ya! (I plan to lead a small group through the upcoming HM group session and study, as well as host a Hello Mornings book club, so make sure to grab your copy and join me!)

I will probably post on my own blog about the 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life coaching group with Crystal Paine. I’m not sure if/when registration will open up again, but I highly recommend her other courses *Make Over Your Mornings and *Make Over Your Year.

What have you been up to so far this new year?

Family New Year’s Eve Celebration

(This ended up being a longer-than-expected post. Hopefully, this will give you some ideas for your own Family New Year’s Eve Party! The first portion is from my Instagram post.)

🎄 The hustle and bustle of the holidays are a bit full and sometimes overwhelming so for the past few years, we have been closing out the year with just the four of us. It is a silly time of celebration, but also a thoughtful time of reflection. No big bash for the Moys…lots of Thanksgiving and Christmas bashes already.

🎉 We take turns planning the evening and it usually involves an hourly activity until we count down to whatever midnight hour we can make it to. This year was a bit different than past years and that is okay. I planned it this year, but with NYE being on Sunday when we have our family dinners at my parents’ house with the sibs and family, I was thinking of something different…but then someone goes and has a baby right before Christmas and someone goes and gets sick…we decided to keep that simple and move up our own shindig, which meant we didn’t quite do what I was planning.

🎊 We did half-hourly activities, from enjoying an appetizer dinner to photo prop goofiness, from reviewing the year to dreaming of what 2018 could hold, and a new one for our party this year was games. We love board games and play often but this was an NYE first. It was funny to see we each picked the game that was somewhat of our “specialty.” You can see in the games pic what we chose.

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Half-Hour #1

We had an appetizer dinner. There was something else planned but we couldn’t get it together in time. But all was enjoyable and enjoyed. 🙂 Yum! On the menu were cucumber slices and Trader Joe’s Tzatziki Creamy Garlic Cucumber Dip; sliced bread and Trader Joe’s Spinach Dip; Trader Joe’s Mini Greek Spirals & Mini Quiche Duo; and some chicken…I can’t remember the specifics.

Half-Hour #2

We watched a slideshow of some of our favorite moments of the year. The photo on the laptop is of my sister and Melody at Melody’s 10th birthday dinner. 🙂

Half-Hour #3

Everyone was able to choose one game/activity to play. Since we only had 30 minutes, we only played one round of each game. Like I mentioned, it was funny to see what we chose because they are all things we usually would win.

– Emily chose *Mancala.
– Melody chose the *World GeoPuzzle. *Individual continent puzzles are also available.
– I chose *Boggle. We have the travel edition but it looks like they don’t make it anymore. There are various editions, like *Boogle Junior, *Super Big Boggle, *Scrabble Boggle, and more!
– Norm chose *Jenga. There are various versions of this one too!

Half-Hour #4

Dessert time! Emily chose Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Brownies. One of our fave vacation activities is watching TV since we don’t own a TV, so I figured I’ve watched enough cooking/baking shows to do some sort of fancy plating. It goes to show that there is beauty in the everyday. Add a few chocolate-covered pretzels, raspberries, and powdered sugar, and voila! It’s not going to win any food competitions/shows, but there you have it!

Half-Hour #5

One of our favorites is photo props. We have them out all year and make every visitor who comes through our doors take selfies with them. We typically download new printables to print and/or trace each year. While it is fun, it is also time-intensive. This year, I opted to order some. There were so many fun pieces for a great deal, we put together a small party bag of props, chocolates, and glow stickers for our neighbor friends.  It looks like the company is already prepping for next year because the 2018 kit is not even available on Amazon anymore. BUT you can get your *Valentine’s Day props OR be super duper prepared for *Christmas (this one is a really good deal!! as of the time of this post publishing). There are wedding and baby shower props and much more!

Emily was reading what we were to do for our next half hour.

Half-Hour #6

I received the Growth Mindset New Year Kit from Big Life Journal and thought it would be a fun one to work through. Even if we didn’t all fill out all the worksheets, I think it was so helpful to review and reflect on our year, as well as look ahead to dreams and goals. (We’ve been meaning to tell you about the *Big Life Journal and haven’t had a chance to put words to the screen yet.)

I was hoping we would continue our celebration but we lost steam the next few days as some of us were still weary from all the holiday activities and sickness. BUT if you were wondering what was planned, we usually watch the countdown of other countries (we did do this at my parents’ house and we watched Paris, Australia (so good!), Hong Kong, London, New York, and maybe a few others), *glowstick dance party to our traditional NYE *dance party tunes (we always have glowsticks available because we buy a lot to pass out during Halloween for the Teal Pumpkin Project, and of course, we do the countdown to whatever time zone we can stay awake until. 🙂 And we would toast to a new year with some sparkling cider and apple juice (the girls do not like fizzy stuff).

It didn’t go as planned but we still had a bunch of fun.

HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Moys!

How was your New Year’s Eve? Did you go out or stay in? Do tell!

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