This Year

Here is a video my family made in the beginning of the year after JJ Heller introduced her new song “This Year” along with a cover contest. Although we didn’t win we had fun putting it together and are happy to have such a cool music video 😉


Hello Blog


It’s been awhile.

I practically feel like I’m starting a new blog!

So far 2014 has looked like this for me:

January- I housesat 14 days, we celebrated my parents 25th Anniversary (woot!), and participated in a Civil War reenactment across town.

February – I started leading our HighSchool worship team on Wednesday nights and went with Jordan to Pheonix for 5 days to participate in a Justice For All training and outreach.

March – Enjoyed fellowship around a bonfire, as well as at our Church picnic a couple days later!

April – Performed with a band in our homeschool group’s talent show and celebrated Joshua’s 7th birthday on the 10th along with my Dad’s birthday at the end of the month. AND we went to the Grand Canyon and stayed in a trailer (but that’s a long story for another time)

May – Choreographed Musical Bootcamp and taught 50+ teens in one week!

June – Left for the Dominican Republic on the 6th, Jordan’s 22nd birthday, and had an amazing 2 weeks there working hard, building a great team, reaching out, loving on children and sharing God’s love. I missed Father’s day with my dad, but made him this song. 3 days after arriving back in the states my Dad and I drove my sister to Kansas, her new home! She is now working as an intern with Justice For All!

And that brings us to July! The coming weeks are packed for me, so it’s likely I’ll disappear again, though not so long this time! Family coming into town and a lot of housesitting for my sister and me!

Hope that helps get this blog up to speed 🙂 I’ll be posting about a highlight from my trip to the Dominican Republic soon, so stay tuned…

❤ Riahjoy


PS How do you like the new blog look?

Daddy’s Birthday! – 4-29-13 {Flashback Friday}

Birthday sign

Delicious chocolate ice cream and cake with whipped cream, cherries, coconut and chocolate sprinkles for breakfast!!!

Delicious chocolate ice cream and cake with whipped cream, cherries, coconut and chocolate sprinkles for breakfast!!!

Presents Yum!

I’m so grateful to have such a wonderful Daddy! He’s loving, caring, thoughtful, a good listener, a hard worker, my teacher, and an amazing husband!

Thank you for…

…Doing {stuff} with me

… Driving {fast} with me

…Daring {far} with me

…Dancing {whenever} with me

…Dreaming {big} with me

I love you Daddy!

Saying Good-bye to Great Papa – 3-30-13 {Flashback Friday}

Soon after my Great Grandpa moved in with his daughter (my Gramma) because of his decline from lung cancer, we noticed his health deteriorate even quicker. It was time for a barbecue to spend some last moments with the patriarch of the family. It was bittersweet for all of us since we knew it would most likely be our last time with him, but we also knew how much he was eagerly waiting to be reunited with his dear wife in Heaven as well as meet his Savior whom he had served faithfully.


Watching Papa grill

Watching Papa grill

Lil josh

After Great Papa woke up we all got to spend some special time with him.


Daniel showing off the wordless picture book I made them from their hike on the mountain.



Now we couldn’t have a visit to my grandparents house without having the traditional egg hunt. No matter what time of year or what holiday we are celebrating we hide around 12-24 wooden eggs!


We also had some time to spend with my Aunt Becki and my dad’s cousin (Nate) and his wife (Sandra).


Plus we got to chat with my Aunt Kris to wish her happy birthday on Skype!



My favorite picture of the night… my Dad having his last conversation with his Grandpa


The beautiful sunset that night

We love and miss you Great Papa!

Unexpected Love by Julie Zine Coleman

A book review by Kim Newhouse (my mom 😉 )

I was intrigued by the title of Unexpected Love: God’s Heart Revealed in Jesus’ Conversations With Women. It’s often difficult to understand exactly what we should take from various Bible stories because of our extreme cultural and historical differences from that place and time, so I hoped this would help clear that up some. I didn’t hear much in the way of new insights (from previous books, sermons, and articles examining these characters) and was not real comfortable with some of the conjecture that took place as the author tried to breathe new life into “old” stories. ie I was reading some aloud to my daughters and found myself stopping to say “well we don’t know if he or she REALLY thought (or said or did) that”.


But on the other hand, I did like the format of the book very much. After the brief reiteration of the story, we are given a bit more historical and theological information, an application section entitled “For Today’s Woman”, then some questions to think about, and finally some journaling prompts. My favorite part was the application section, especially the one on Martha. It zeroed in on what Jesus was truly admonishing her for—not her actions or busyness, but her attitude. It was her critical spirit, her focus on self, and her need to control things that got her into so much trouble. And yet Jesus loved her and extended grace to her at each interaction, gently drawing her into deeper relationship with Himself.


Unexpected Love makes a great devotional book, particularly if you invest plenty of time on the journaling section, but it would also be good for Bible study or discussion groups.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

American Heritage Festival – 11/23-26/12 {Flashback Friday}

2012’s American Heritage Festival was amazing and thanks to the Paulsen family I got to participate all three days! My family came up on Sunday and brought my camera, so for the first time I got the chance to capture scenes from years ago…

Enjoy! (all pictures are taken by me unless I’m in them ;))

Red Coats Playing cards

Cellphone pictures from the first two days… We got a breathtaking sunset Saturday night. I was amazed I caught it so well with the iPhone!


Me & girl Mom and me

Lining up for the morning parade…

Redcoats Parade Parade 2 Parade 3 Parade 4 Parade 5 Parade 6 Confederate cry! Parade back Parade back 2 Family Line up

I could not get enough of these guys in their red coats. The details and color of this era are so fun to capture!

Redcoat British flag Shadows A man with his gun Drills Lined up Line up Forward! March! Shadows Taking a blow

In between battles there was lots of time for books, cards, writing and hanging out with friends!

Books Cards Learning Friends

Taking pics Serious

Union photo bomb


Union photo-bomb ^ (click to view larger)

Boot Boots

My favorite battle was when the confederate army set up camp not knowing their enemy was planning an attack by surrounding them!

Confederate "camp" Quite camp Attack Confederate camp Union Union fire Fall

It was an incredible, fun, and tiring weekend. Let’s just say it was good to have my own bed back with no loud trains passing through multiple times in the night!

Happy New Year!!

Even though we rang in the new year a month ago I’m finally here and ready to ring in the new year for my blog! I was able to pull some thoughts together in January so I have a lot planned for the coming months…


The next several Fridays will be featuring something I’m going to call Flashback Friday. I’ll be blogging about events from the past 5-6 months that I never got around to blogging about! Look forward to lots of pictures 😉


The past week God led me to the word PASSION. I hope to blog about what God is teaching me about Passion and what it means for me in my life.


February brought on a whole new venture for our family: the GAPS diet. My older sister will be blogging about this journey HERE. Although the beginning will be rough I know God will use this to heal and draw us closer to Him.


And of course some random ramblings!

I hope you’re as excited as I am!

My birthday!

On the 17th I had a wonderful winter wonderland birthday party! For the special occasion my sister Jordan made me a dream dress, which was of course orange 😀

Sweet sixteen!

Sweet sixteen!

My personal designer ;)

My personal designer 😉



My wonderful family

My wonderful family

The beautifully decorated room

The beautifully decorated room

Sweet sixteen birthday wishing...

Sweet sixteen birthday wishing…

Silly cousin picture (the only kind there is, right?)

Silly cousin picture (the only kind there is, right?)

Of course, an action shot ;)

Of course, an action shot 😉

Chase the squirrel 2


Thanks to all who made my birthday party a huge and wonderful success!


The Past 4 Months in Pictures – part 2

Here’s our July trip to Mt. Lemmon in Pictures:

I hope you enjoyed the pictures (even though they were a bit late 😛 )!