Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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How Does Generosity Make You Feel?

My forehead tensed up as I saw the homeless man alongside of the road where I was going to have to stop at a stoplight. My mind raced. I sized up the older man clothed in a big jacket against the Minnesota cold holding a cardboard sign. I looked over at him as I pulled to a stop. He didn’t even look at me.

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Point Reyes, California Photos

We had an adventure at Point Reyes this afternoon! We walked the beach, saw the cows, and walked the cypress grove. It’s a gorgeous place to visit. Here’s some more photos:

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Teaching the Christmas Story to Our Son

img_0991Three days ago, Stephen held our 13-month old, Joel, as I pulled out the Nativity stable and set it on the top of a bookshelf. Then we got to unwrap the characters in the story! First we pulled out the angel to hang on top of the stable: Joel liked touching her wings. Next we unwrapped Mary. As I showed the figure to Joel, I said, “This is Jesus’ mother!” Then we found baby Jesus lying in his manger—Joel was interested because he likes babies. And then we unwrapped Joseph, as I said, “This is Jesus’ earthly father!” We enjoyed looking at it for a minute more before he wanted to get down and play.

Yesterday I picked up Joel so he could see the Nativity scene again and I told him more of the story, “Jesus came down to earth as a baby because He loves us!” He looked at the figures thoughtfully—it felt like he understood what I was saying. Then he smiled and wanted down so he could play.

It is such an honor to teach him this beautiful true story!

I don’t remember when I first heard the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke 2 in the Bible, but it was early like we are teaching Joel. He is enjoying the colored lights, music, and seeing friends; I’m glad we get to share with him whose birthday celebration this day is in honor of!

We aren’t the only one teaching him the Christmas story; a couple of weeks ago at church we came back to the nursery to pick up Joel and he had colored his first picture at church! I love seeing those colored marks–his coloring skills consist of making dashes and sometimes dots.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! May your 2019 be amazing and full of delightful transitions.

Love, Mary Hope and the guys

Copyright 2018

P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as from  Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income (at no extra cost to you!), for which I am thankful. So…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card/notecard/art shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope


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Christmas Letter 2018

2018 has been sweet (baby smiles), salty (tears), achy (from moving), satisfying (from making a home together in a new place), and invigorating (from serving at a new Bible study group!)

The sweetness of seeing a baby grow and flourish in front of you is better than I even hoped! Sometimes Joel’s blue eyes sparkle when I come in to see him after his nap. He likes turning my head to look and see if I have earrings on. First he started rolling across the room in the summer, then he switched to crawling with one peg-leg or “crab” crawl. Now he is a quick crawler and is practicing standing without holding onto anything. He loves playing in the kitchen and exploring the pots and pantry items. Yesterday he was making a drum out of a big soup pot. At 13 months he is able to balance without holding anything, and he has tried to take one step between his walker and a freezer; running will be in the near future! This year sweetness also came through getting to help a friend with the labor of her third baby. Babies are such a blessing Continue reading


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Spicy Beef Crockpot Chili

I cooked up this chili to celebrate that I can eat tomatoes again!! After realizing last winter that my breast milk made my son spit up and have burps when I ate tomatoes, I stopped eating tomatoes for 11 months. (I sure missed chili, pizza, and spaghetti). Now that Joel is one, he seems to handle tomato-y milk better. He even had a couple of bites of the chili, but isn’t a fan yet.

Yay for tomatoes!!!

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Rice Crispy Trees 🌲

What’s better than crisp rice treats?!? Rice crispy trees!!! We had a woodland themed birthday party for our one year old, and I had to make some tree treats.

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Lots of Phlegm? Here’s a Natural Way to Help!

Have that croupy cold going around that has lots of phlegm and coughing? We got it last week, and one thing that is helping us #recover is eating lots of #pineapple! Pineapple contains #bromelain which breaks up mucus in your #lungs and so you can cough it out.
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Mom tip: I just discovered that I can cut the core of a pineapple into strips and give them to my one year old for him to gnaw on. The #fiber is strong in the core so that he does not bite off big chunks, but he can enjoy the #juiceand little bits break off. He then can breath better and the mucus isn’t so bad. Now I know my guy likes pineapple! 🍍

If you want to not have to eat pineapple, you can buy bromelain in capsule form. Check these out:

NOW Bromelain 500 mg,120 Veg Capsules

My favorite is to just eat lots of pineapple…so choose what you like best. What other foods do you eat when you are sick?

Copyright 2018

P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as from  Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income (at no extra cost to you!), for which I am thankful. So…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card/notecard/art shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope