School Days

In the midst of all of our travel, work, and other activities, I have been attempting to do preschool with Elias.  Somedays it’s super fun, somedays it’s super frustrating and somedays it doesn’t happen at all!  This year, I bought curriculum called “A Year of Playing Skillfully.”  It is based on the idea that preschool-aged kids learn through play.  So far, it’s been pretty fun and much better than my night-before Pinterest scramble that I was doing in Indonesia!

FAITH School

FAITH School

FAITH School

FAITH School


Elias has started to develop a love for books, which is basically this mama’s dream because it gives me an excuse to buy ALL the children’s books.  My kid book wishlist is longer than my own book wishlist.  It’s an illness.  Of course, he mostly wants to read about Legos and ninjas, but it’s a start, right?  Lego books are a gateway to E.B. White and N.D. Wilson, I’m just sure of it!  In the meantime, we’re learning all about Hero Factory, Ninjago (Legos and Ninjas!), Lego City and Lego Batman.  Hashtag: boymom.  Hastag: yesiknowthatsnothowhastagswork.


On the Beach Where we Live

On the beach where we live

I’ve said this before ’round these parts, but I can almost forget from day to day that we live so close to the ocean.  We so rarely every go down there.  Though it looks pretty from high above, the beach is actually full of trash,  animal parts and other generally unpleasant things that you wouldn’t normally hope for in your beach-going experience.

Recently though, Elias and I have started taking walks on the beach to hunt for “treasure” (pieces of sea glass, coral and shells) and I’ve come to appreciate our little stretch of beach for what it is.

Searching for treasure

amongst the trash

Ocean front

While it is indeed a dirty beach, it is still a beach.  The waves crash while salty breezes blow through my hair.  The sand is squished through our toes.  Sounds of town are drowned out by the ocean.

wooden boat


more treasure

Crabs skitter as Elias squats to pick up his treasure. (“When you see some treasure, you say ‘ahoy’, Mom.”)  And he has this uncanny ability to look past all the trash to find the little bits of beauty.

Nabire Ocean front

the search continues

Wooden boat

drift wood

So, I am coming to appreciate this little beach of ours.  For all that it is: trash and treasure.


Three Years!  On August 15, we celebrated the three year anniversary of the day we finalized Elias’ adoption.

Can you believe it’s already been that long since Elias’ very first Gotcha Day?  Time sure flies when you’re having fun (and chasing a busy toddler!).




Even now, I still get a little teary-eyed when he introduces himself as Elias Fagerlie.  Adoption is awesome!  I’m so proud that he’s mine. We love you Elias Tate!

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You might be a PKMK (Pilot Kid, Missionary Kid) if, when standing on a flight line of super cool airplanes, you are more interested in catching the tiny moths flying around because airplanes are just a part of normal life.

Catching Butterflies

Who Cares about the Airplanes?

Butterfly Tamer

Butterfly tamer

I love my little PKMK!

All The Books


You guys…I have to admit something: I am somewhat addicted to children’s books.  I even took a children’s lit course in college.  I want to buy ALL THE BOOKS!  Currently, my…I mean, Elias’ book wish list has 47 books on it, and he’s not even in school yet.  We have a tiny little library here in Nabire that a few MAFers put together several years ago and it’s awesome for what it is; believe me, we raid it all the time.  But it is still tiny and now it’s out of date.

So, what’s this book loving girl to do?  For Nathan and I, it’s pretty easy.  We each have Kindle e-readers, which we love and use everyday.  But for my kiddo?  An electronic device is just not the same as holding a picture book in your hand.  So, we bring books in suitcases, we borrow from other and we utilize our little library…and then I dreamily make book wish lists on Amazon.

We are obviously not the first missionaries to experience this difficulty of getting children’s books and there are some AWESOME peeps out there making the gathering and sending books for MKs their mission.  It’s super amazing and such a blessing.  Here are two that I’ve found:

We have ordered from Bookends in the past and I’m waiting on an order from Books for MKs.

There’s also this amazing site that offers free shipping on books worldwide:

So, are you a missionary looking to get your hands on some books?  Check out the sites above!

Are you looking for a creative way to bless your missionary?  Ask them what books they want and send ’em a few OR check out the amazing ministries above and see how you can get involved!

Summer Days

I probably could have just titled this post “Days” because pretty much everyday is like Summer over here.  But “Summer Days” for me evokes memories of long hours of playing outside, laying in the grass, and drinking in the warm sun.  How lucky is Elias that he not only gets to do this nearly everyday, but he also has friends who live just a hop, skip and a jump away to enjoy it with?

summer all the time

with these fun friends

so much fun

in the dirt


Truth be told, I get tired of the heat and long for cool breezes and Pumpkin Lattes, but Elias loves it!  I hope that some day he looks back at this and remembers the mud soup, the dirty construction projects and the friends he shares it all with.

Snow Day!

I just got home from the store and I’m sweating. And I don’t mean that in a glistening sort of way, I mean that in a I-just-lost-3-pounds-of-water-weight sorta of way.  It’s hot here y’all.  And not just hot, humid.

So, let’s think back shall we?  Let’s think back to three weeks ago when Elias and I were SO COLD, but SO JOYOUS to be playing in the snow at my parent’s house in Michigan. (Let’s be real…Elias was much more joyous than I was…I was mostly just cold.)

There was a snow-covered dirt pile in the backyard, and if you know my boy, you know that this dirt pile had to be conquered!

King of the Snow Mountain

See, I was there too

Flying on top of snow mountain

“I can just fly off it, Mommy!”

But, instead, I insisted he slide down…

Sliding down snow mountain

More Sliding

And then Elias helped Grandpa shovel the driveway and I took way too many pictures because he is too cute for words.






Finally, it was time to go inside!  But not before gathering up some fire wood so that we could thaw in front of a warm fire.

Helping with firewood

So, with that, I’ll all cooled off (or maybe the A/C has something to do with it) and dreaming of the next time we see big, fluffy, white snow!


My Spunky One

My goodness, this child of mine, he is something.  On the day we met him in the hospital the nurse’s words to us were, “He’s a spunky one!”  And man-oh-man was she right.  He’s definitely not short on personality!

Just look at this sweet little face:

Elias is 3!

Elias is 3!

Elias is 3!

Elias is 3!

Oh, and then there’s this face too:

Elias is 3!

Elias is 3!

Elias is 3!
Elias is 3!

Elias is 3!

Elias is 3!

And then he caught a tiny little frog.

Elias is 3!

I could not love this little boy more!

Birthday Party Round-Up

It’s official.  My baby is three.  And in true missionary-kid-on-the-go fashion, we had three birthday parties for him: one in Arizona, one in Michigan and one in Nabire!  Spoiled much?

First up: Arizona.  In AZ we had a combined birthday party for Elias and Wren, his cousin who was also turning three.  They had a Mickey and Minnie Mouse party.

AZ cupcakes

AZ presents

Happy Dance

AZ Mickey theme

And then we traveled to Michigan where he had a Cars themed birthday party:

Blowing out Candles

Clothespin drop

E with presents

MI Birthday

And finally, at home in Nabire we had a what-d0-we-have-around-the-house themed birthday party (I kinda lost my mojo on the third party–blame it on jet-lag):




We are so blessed to have Elias in our lives!  He is kind-hearted, crazy-fun, a dancing fool, a chatterbox and a smart little cookie.  We love you, Elias!



Sleeping for Doughnuts

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this chart a few weeks ago.  I’ve been trying to encourage Elias to stay in his room during nap time and at night, and apparently the key to success is stickers and doughnuts!  If he earns 8 stickers in a week, we make homemade doughnuts for breakfast on Saturday.  We’ve been doing this for three weeks now, and we’ve made doughnuts twice.

Sleep Chart I cannot resist fried dough.  This system is quickly going to wreak havoc on my waistline, but for now it’s working, so we’ll still with it for a little bit longer.  Sleep is a wonderful thing :)


I always make cake doughnuts because they are SO much quicker and easier!  I found this recipe on the internet some time ago and it’s been my go-to doughnut recipe ever since.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 t cinnamon
2 Tbsp melted butter (I use coconut oil instead)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten

Oil, for frying

  1. Heat oil to 375F.
  2. In large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Mix in butter until crumbly.  Store in milk and egg until smooth.  Knead lightly, then turn out on a floured surface.  Roll or pat into 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut with doughnut cutter.
  3. Drop doughnuts into oil a few at a time.  Fry, turning once until golden brown.  Drain on rack.

You can eat them plain, or mix up a little glaze with powdered sugar and water.  Or just dip them in granulated sugar when they are warm.  All options are delicious.  And seriously, there is not much better than a warm doughnut on Saturday morning.  Except maybe a sweet little two-year-old who has stayed in his bed all week!