Category Archives: Random Family Fun

How it went down <3

So here was the guest list.

And we took multiple pictures to get at least one where everyone was facing in the right direction. Let me just say Rocco, Zach and Rachel never moved from picture to picture but the rest of the cast must have thought I was taking a video.

Clicking through the pictures is like a flip book cartoon…hilarious.

Besides eating our weight in turkey and carbs…

we watched a smidgen of Elmo…

did some crafts…

which some people took to a whole different level…

fell more in love…

took selfies on mom’s camera when she wasn’t looking…

and walked off a little bit of our pumpkin pie…

 

All in all…

Best. Day. Ever.

Now it’s time to deck the halls so have a blessed weekend and I will see you on Monday

<3

 

 

As John Denver would say….hey it’s good to be back home again…

Russ and I took a few days to visit the Windy City and I have to say, for all the hype…Chi town got nothing on the wind coming off the prairie down state.

But we did have fun exploring the city and here are a few pictures and observations before I go switch out the laundry and pack my lunch and such for work…

We took the train which was a fun slice of life and much easier than fighting traffic and finding parking in the city.

We had in-depth conversations with each of our driver’s and loved our Sunday visit with a sweet taxi driver from Ghana who was playing Christian music. I told him I liked his station and he smiled and said Yes…Moody Bible…loved it.

We also were treated like royalty by the young men and women who worked the various areas of the hotel and so many nice waiters and servers and such…but we missed our people and kept up with them through texts and calls and Face Time … because aren’t we blessed to be able to stay in touch with family and friends when we travel?

We fulfilled one of my wishes and found Millennium Park so we could have our picture taken with the bean – which I actually just goggled to make sure that is what it is called since I have a tendency to make names of things up and then convince myself that is what everyone calls it.

Rest assured…I have fact-checked and it is indeed a bean.

It was hilarious to watch all these people (us included) taking selfies. It’s the little things, people…

Since we walked a lot, we were able to take in the wide variety of architecture…from old

to modern…

 

all mixed in together.

We also ate well…of course…

Yet so odd to wander in and out of luxury stores where we had to stifle shocked looks when we took a gander at the price tags…and then pass oh so many people begging for money.

The contrasts of extreme wealth and extreme poverty were magnified on the busy streets and truly made us realize how much we have been given.

How blessed we are…

in so many ways.

So thankful for the provisions of the Lord and it is humbling to know that all that we have is  a gift from the hand of God.

Thankful for you and the chance to share a little of the journey with you.

Be blessed today wherever you are and I will see you tomorrow

<3

Two birthdays, a wedding and something I never thought of before <3

So this one happened to be in a wedding this weekend here in the area which worked out great because…

this one…

had a birthday palooza that included plenty ‘o sugar…

an impromptu, unlicensed tattoo parlor…

and an opportunity to actually have all three of these treasures in one room for a while…

Then on Sunday we celebrated a second birth day…

when our son-in-law brought this little man to become our brother in Christ through the waters of baptism.

Hallelujah!

No greater joy <3

It was a full and beautiful weekend and I thank you for indulging me to share some of the fun and joy.

But I want to leave you with something to ponder as you work your way through Monday.

The sermon text before Graham’s baptism was on Joshua 2.

The passage is about Rahab hiding the two spies and while the pastor made many great observations, this one stuck with me because I had never thought of it before.

We tend to focus on the two spies being sent into the city of Jericho to check out the situation.

But evidently they were terrible spies because everyone in town seemed to know they were there and what they were doing.

Also, considering God’s plan was to destroy Jericho without the army actually entering the city, there was really no need to size up the situation from the inside.

So the story we find in Joshua is not really about God sending out special forces for His army, but rather about the plan of salvation for one woman named Rahab and her family.

He reminded us that all of the whole context of God’s Word expressed through Scripture is the story of a rescue mission.

Of a God who is in the business of saving souls…pulling us out of the places where we had no hope of redemption…saving us from who we are because of who He is.

Be blessed to remember this, dear ones.

He is still working salvation stories all around us today <3

Friday Randoms <3

Happy Friday!

Have we had a random day recently?

Well, whether we have or haven’t we are having one today because…in no particular order….

<3 I am behind getting this little collection of thoughts on the blog this morning because I am doing a wonderful study and I was half a page away from finishing this morning so I could watch the video so I did take the time for it and so thankful I did…

If you don’t have time to attend a Bible study, may I suggest you take advantage of this one by Kelly Minter called All Things New that is being offered FOR FREE on the Lifeway site.

You do need to purchase a work book – but Lifeway is offering the video sessions free through the first part of December. It is a wonderful study of 2 Corinthians and Kelly is so personable and transparent. While geared toward women, I can assure you this is a good one for men and women!

<3 I took advantage of a free afternoon on Monday and hung out with this crew….

and can I say…they crack me up constantly.

I have several shots and Rachel’s face remains unchanged in all and yet the party going on around here changes with every frame…busy, busy, busy….

and then there is this one…

and no…I didn’t make the hat…but yes…Von Maur saw Papi and me coming when they set that little creation on the shelf a few weeks ago.

<3 In keeping with the family theme, we took Tuesday off to spend some time with this gem…

and it was good for the heart to just get to work alongside her in her yard and enjoy some of her delicious homemade soup.

She and her dad continued a tradition he started many years ago when we moved into one of our houses. We purchased it in the fall and so he took the kids over and helped them plant tulip and daffodil bulbs.

When spring came and those little green shoots came up, we were reminded of how far we had come in making the transition.

It will be her first spring in her new home and I may be already anticipating the morning she steps out and sees those new signs of life and sends us a picture …. and I may have just one or two tears seeping out of these weepy eyes already.

<3 I am painfully aware I have no picture of Zach nor John in this montage…but have no worries…I will more than make up for that absence when we are all together next weekend for someone’s second birthday-palooza….

So that’s a wrap for this week…

hope you have a great weekend doing things you love with people you love <3

That time Russ asked me to Homecoming…

Well…

it took 40 years but the guy I have a crush on asked me to Homecoming this year…

Yes we climbed in the car early Friday morning and made a road trip back to where it all began…so here’s the highlights of Homecoming Road Trip 2017….

First stop was for breakfast because…

we can’t get enough of them…and I don’t mean the donuts…

We basically overdosed on sweetness…

before heading to the grocery because…

we thought she might like some help.

And our apologies to all the customers and employees at Sam’s Club that morning…

but “quiet” is not in our vocabulary….

From there we headed westward down the highway with a few thousand semi’s and decided since we were already going to miss the pre-game festivities we may as well have a side tour of the Amana Colonies.

And when in the Amana’s…

one must…

ahh…sehr guts essen!

We did make it to the game in spite of all the carbs and salt…

where we fine-dined on the cuisine of Friday Night Lights…

and then I realized that I weigh as much or more as the opposing team front line…

So while Russ visited with class mates, I kept scanning out players to see what I would look like if I was 6 feet tall.

It was slightly depressing.

The next day we traveled through the little towns where the generations of Russ’s family called home and let me tell you…

it truly is some of the most beautiful country to behold.

We traveled up the road his sweet mom took to go to school via horseback…

and we may have lingered a little while there just thinking of her <3

Then it was on to a family reunion of some of the cousins from her side of the family…

and there was no small amount of stories and memories shared around that circle…

Then it was off to get ready for the big alumni dinner…

and more stories.

Funny how we have the need to go back sometimes and just see the people and places of our past.

To share a few memories and put something solid and tangible to the parts of our childhood and youth.

To remember who we were and how it connects to who we are.

It was fun and exhausting and delicious and now we are home.

So today is catch up day…thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a happy Monday <3