Category Archives: Random Family Fun

Christmas Countdown 2018 Day 12

Good morning my friend and thank you for stopping by for Day 12 of our Countdown. 

I poured over today’s passage quite a bit and my mind mulled over it throughout the day yesterday. 

There is so much more to write about than time or attention by you could allow; so let’s get right to the passage.

I am going to do it a little differently today.

I am using The Message version from Eugene Peterson and sometimes will throw in the Contemporary English Version to expand the thought.

We will take it in pieces and I will add some pondering as we go along.

This is how I read the Bible often when I am journaling in the morning so let’s do it together today, shall we?

As long as I was with them I guarded them in the pursuit of the life you gave them through me (MSG) 

John 17: 12a

So much here.

In yesterday’s passage I didn’t comment on this, but Peterson uses this phrase in verse 11 –

“guard them as they pursue this life.”

This idea of pursuit, the action of pursuing life…this intrigues me. 

So often, I act more like my life is pursuing me. 

My actions reflect an attitude that I am somewhat like a leaf on the top of a flowing river that is my life and it takes me where it will…but these words of Jesus convey the idea that “LIFE” is something I need to be actively going after. 

And that my LIFE is something He gave to me…thus it is worth and worthy of PURSUING. 

This year I have tried to remind myself frequently that my day will go better if I consistently make good choices from the very start.

One good choice leading to another. 

I have a chronic problem of letting time get away with me…see…that river current that I picture as something that controls and moves me along…instead of what Jesus says here about life.

He PRAYS for God to GUARD His disciples, His followers…so they are single minded in the PURSUIT of the life…sorry…but I must emphasize this like I was penning my thoughts in my journal so…

Single minded in the….



the L.I.F.E.

they had received THROUGH Him <3 


Then He goes on to say…

 I even posted a night watch…(MSG)

John 17:12

Do you know what I thought of when I read this with fresh eyes?

What did Jesus often do when He was traveling with His disciples? 

Well, besides teach and correct and keep them from doing stupid things.

He would go off by Himself to lonely places and pray. 

He would send them on and then pray through the night. 

He would get up early and go off by Himself to pray. 

He PRAYED…and that just might be the night watch He posted. 

So a couple of things on this part:

First, there must be something quite powerful that happens in prayer if the Son of Man guarded His people with it. 

Second, does anybody else freak out just a teeny bit to think how important prayer is and how little we really do it?

Third… and this one will make your head hurt…you and I must come to the realization that while God is Sovereign and we, as Christians, tend to fall back on this idea always that everything will work out because God is in control and we treat our prayer life like it is just something to occupy and calm us while God solves the problem….we really need to recognize that God set it up to work through the prayers of His people…

so get to it, my friend.

Get to it.

Make it your business to prayerfully set up watches in this night season of our country, the Church, your family … all of it.


He would be making prayer a priority. 

And not one of them got away (MSG)…not one of them was lost (CEV) 

except for the rebel bent on destruction (the exception that proved the rule of Scripture) MSG

Here is a time in our journey when I wish I had either not attempted to look closely at a passage OR that I was a true Bible scholar and could help you all out here with the difficult questions we must face. 

We have to acknowledge that Jesus knowingly called a traitor to be one of the twelve. 

We have to scratch our heads and ask…did Judas have a choice…could it have gone the other way? 

Would God hand pick someone to betray His Son or because He is God and knows the end from the beginning, did He just know Judas would do that and so had the prophets tell it in advance?

And as we collectively nod our heads and feel a slight easing of the perplexity this verse introduced…can we just stop and back track to that previous phrase….

As long as I was with them…I guarded them…I even posted a night watch…

Because it would appear that there are options for all of us and even though God knows how it will all turn out, there is work on our part to be done. 

And we have to face the fact that while Jesus prayed for Peter that when he was sifted by Satan, he would come through…so how come he didn’t pray for Judas…or did He and yet, it was destined for Judas to be a …. well…Judas? 

Ah Advent…the tension in the waiting…we feel it today with this passage, don’t we?

Be blessed as you think on this passage today and what God might be speaking to your heart. 

And since I stretched myself and you today…and I love you and can’t stand to leave you on such a challenging thought without something to make you smile…

some pictures Rachel snapped from Saturday…
pc/Rachel Maxwell
pc/Rachel Maxwell
pc/Rachel Maxwell

Thanksgiving past <3

First off…don’t forget…enter to win…all of the above…like, share, follow, tag a friend, comment…all the ways. is a recap of our Thanksgiving.

Disclaimer is….I have a whopping head cold so I was definitely not at the top of my photo game.

But here is what we have…

Russ and I had our own Turkey Trot and walked to the Casey’s in hopes they had syrup. Thankfully they did and for a mere $3 were able to purchase a bottle that will work on about six pancakes. Max.

We came home and got things ready for the crew to show up and I decided to use fancy glasses with our paper plates..

It turned out to be a good choice.

Juice never tasted so good and I could watch this one…

drink out of a goblet til Jesus comes back.

He also enjoyed the snack mix…

Little Miss spent some time just pondering her socks…

and took a liking to this little bag G made for us years ago that hangs on the pantry door…

She carried it around for awhile and apparently decided to keep it because her mommy found it tucked in their bag of pj’s and such sitting by the door…

And speaking of PJ’s….

We got a glimpse of the new Christmas ones and yes, this is the only pic I have of Emmett…his backside…I told you my game was off…

and I did manage to catch only one of G that wasn’t a blur…

Rachel snapped one of me and C in this outfit we got her, which Rachel and I are both hoping we can squeak at least a few more times to wear pumpkins because…

we sure did like seeing her in this gem..

and if you didn’t believe me about my fridge before…check it out in all it’s messy beauty…

and finally…

whatever you are doing today whether it is winning the state championship or traveling or Black Friday shopping … I hope you are doing well and I look forward to seeing  you Monday……

The end…


Just another incredible birthday in the books <3

This one turned three and had a bowling party to celebrate.

And by bowling, I mean..

kind of a free for all event that thankfully did not get us kicked out of the place and we are eternally grateful for the gracious people in the lane next to us.

The quality of the photos was not helped by the fact that bowling alleys are terrible for lighting and the subject matter…

was in constant motion…not to mention the shoes which please…who knew bowling shoes have progressed to a new level of ugly and gross…


we opened presents and …

made bunny ears and…

got some hugs in and …

got some Miss Alex love

and thus…

we ushered in the new era of Terrific Threes for Joely Bear i

and I can guarantee…

it is going to be…


It’s always the re-entry that gets me <3

Oh my…I have so much to tell you.

Only I am fighting to just say you…because I want to say “y’all”….

because I spent three full days in Texas and well…Y’all….it fits everything.

It’s inclusive when you are speaking to a known or unknown crowd…and works when just speaking a friend.

It finishes a thought or sentence with a much sweeter connotation than our Midwestern go-to “Do you know what I mean?”

So please forgive me if you see me and I slip up and use it…but I think if I didn’t love and live right here in God’s country…Texas would be my next best choice <3

So here is a short recap of the past few days and then I will be spilling out some of what got poured in so…y’all come on back…sorry…last time…I promise <3

First off…

huge shout out and thanks to Russ for showing up and for all you sweet friends who supported us with donations and being at the walk on Saturday.  I kept getting pictures sent and email notices of donations and my heart was so blessed.

And Russ cheesing it with the local news celeb…may have laughed out loud on that one <3

So thankful for each one who showed love for the caregivers and patients of this disease.

Also a very big thank you to Robin who is an amazing gift from God tech person who helped me unglitch my email list in a panic on Wednesday so my scheduled posts could go out.

The Declare Conference was amazing and I will be sharing more from that this week.

I got home around 1 AM…and hit the ground running Sunday morning because we went up north to hear our favorite brothers in Christ sing…and then Papi thought we needed an overnight so…

the band of brothers…including the rookie in the middle…climbed in Papi’s truck and the adventure began.

We detected a bit of maybe too much smiling from…

momma bear since Little Miss Thing looked really sleepy and the house looked waaaaayyyyy too quiet….

Because our truck was anything but.

You know we had a blast doing the most unPinterest worthy things like…

taking a spin through Menards….

using a box of crayons that has “Sarah Reimer” written in black marker on the top…yeah…circa 1996 art supplies.

My sous chef and I made pumpkin bread and muffins…

Boys played their favorite game…

count the change in Papi’s big baseball bat bank.

After a restful nights sleep for them and not us, of course….

We took a trek down to the butterfly fields and the creek…

Learned why it’s important not to have an open glass of water in front of you when you are playing cards with the band of brothers….

Met up with mom at the pumpkin patch…

introduced Caroline to the wonderful culinary world of Pumpkin Donuts…

and had…

all in all…


another series in the on-going series of ….

Best. Day. Ever’s.




Because it seems like it’s been for forever…

Good morning to you on this post-Labor Day weekend Tuesday.

I am moving incredibly slowly this morning.

Trying to figure out how to best be efficient with the day ahead while I am also considering how soon is too soon to take an afternoon nap.

Probably should wait until after “noon.”

Since I have nothing profound to share with you, maybe just some pictures of our weekend and then it’s off to tackle the To Do list that is lurking around the kitchen counter somewhere near the calendar….

I will do a quick summary of the weekend highlights and let you get on your way <3

Friday night, we went to our second game of the season…

this time to see our favorite cheerleader more than the actual game…

and since we had to eat dinner…

there was this.

We decided I could do a fall football game food review so I can report that the Maroa Forsyth team made a pretty tasty burger last weekend.

Since I am not and expert on pork tenderloins, I have nothing to compare this one with but  Russ said Mt Zion serves up a good one.

I worked on Saturday and Russ held down the home-front.

He reported that the grocery and post office lines are ridiculous…yes, yes they are.

And I am so grateful he embraced the wait so I don’t have to do those tasks today <3

Sunday we headed to St Louis after church to attend…

with these two…

And yes this is a spliced together picture because we just snapped on the way to the car after dinner.


On Monday we celebrated Labor Day by laboring in the yard and taking a long walk.

Soooooo hot….

Then dinner with some friends and time to read before we crashed.

This morning we got a text from Rachel with pictures…
pc/Rachel <3

Graham checked off one of his summer bucket list wishes…he caught a monarch.

In case any of you are activists for this beautiful butterfly, no worries…mom also said that they had a talk about what it might feel like to be a glorious winged creature reduced to living in a cage and so they set him free…
pc/Rachel <3

And that is how we ended the Summer of 2018 <3

How about you ?