Category Archives: Random Family Fun

We are having a snow day/sick day/party day kind of day <3

We were supposed to be at the grade school Halloween party but a bit of a virus has forced us to make lemonade with our lemons.

And snow is coming down that would be very charming if we were putting the tree up today, but is making trick or treats look more like Mission Impossible.

So we made a donut run and thanked the good Lord for the foresight of someone to have added a drive up window to the Krispy Kreme.

What’s your day like?

Hope it is sweet and surrounded by some of your favorite people <3

Austin-palooza weekend recap <3

We went from….


which kind of makes you wonder…but … we had a great time because apparently we are both far from normal and a bit weird…so there’s that.

We also went from fall to summer and I was reminded repeatedly why I could never live in a place where there is no fall or winter or snow or lack of heat and humidity to give me respite.

We flew into Dallas and drove to Austin which meant a pass through Waco.

Russ was convinced I needed to see the Silo’s, which forgive me dear fixer-upper fan friends, but I never watched the show.

I think Chip and Jojo are adorable…love all the pretties on Pinterest but wouldn’t put up shiplap to save my life…and I even struggle saying the word “shiplap” for fear I will embarrass myself….

so that’s as close as we got and I was fine-arooney with that view.

But we were hungry so we went to a local place nearby…

which you know was a class place because the coasters…

And we weren’t even to Austin yet…weird.

So we missed the silos, ate the best brisket we have ever encountered and behaved ourselves so we didn’t need the services of Mr. Chapman and made it back on the road in time to visit John at his office.

Saturday we went downtown and saw the library, where I once again celebrated the conquering of my fear of heights…


So maybe I chanted “I think I can, I think I can…faster and faster Lola went up the steps of death…”

But I did it…and that’s what counts.

We loved the view from the top…

and blessed the man who took our photo and said these are special days and how much longer would our son be in college…we all took it as a huge compliment and just to be kind we didn’t correct him…because we are all old enough now to be happy for being under guessed on our ages.

John let me be his sous chef and we made a delicious lunch…

Later we went to a Longhorn game and thanked the good Lord it was a 6:00 game because…did I mention the heat?

which apparently these people are oblivious to because they were all in for the outdoor festivities.

The stadium atmosphere was fun and even if the color is not one of my favs…

it was quite impressive.

We went to church on Sunday where one of the songs was based on the passage from Joseph…what was meant for evil, God will use for good…and I thought that was sweet that God.

And then we toured some of the Hill Country…ate wings…watched the Astros on TV and said goodnight.

We thought we would be saying goodbye to John in the morning, but the tornado that touched down in Dallas kind of prompted us to make an earlier start so we just said goodbye over the phone and yes, I still managed to weep like a baby as we drove away and let me tell you…hug your people a lot because you never know if you are going to get another one in….

We made it out of Dallas despite lots of flight issues as people had been rerouted and planes delayed and we got a bird’s eye view of this area that is home …

All in all…

best. weekend. ever.


Mid week Randoms <3

This was Monday …. they are either keeping me young or making me old…one or the other.

They all love to climb.

I can only thank the good Lord Caroline was busy getting off and on of a jumbo dinosaur bouncy thing and didn’t see what these monkeys were up to.

I didn’t get a post up yesterday because I had to be at the beauty salon by 8 am and I think we all know that was a bit of a stretch. It was a full day and so here are just some randoms to touch base.


Anybody else feel like after about the fifth time someone says how nice your hair looks on salon day start wondering just how bad it looks the four weeks and six days between appointments?


Why does America over do everything?

I mean, I love pumpkin and spice smells and flavors but now I just feel cliche even thinking about making some bread or dessert with it.

May be my rebel heart … sigh…but the “Fall y’all” people are stealing some of the joy…


Don’t you love when you run into people who do what you do?

I was buying a gift at the local department store this week and had a blast talking about the way customers complain about Christmas going up too early as they purchase stocking stuffers and ask for holiday wrap for gifts.

I flipped the calendar last week and saw a note on this week where I wrote back in January:

Paint those Christmas ornaments now. You will be so glad that you did when December rolls around.”

Foresight can be 20/20 too <3


We are headed to Austin this weekend to see our favorite Texan and I may just be a tad excited.

Which also means Friday Night Lights will be traded in for a big Longhorn Saturday


In honor of six years of the Journey, I did some random giveaways. I had some duplicates I had purchased of some of my favorite books and so here are the winners that represent my appreciation for anyone who has taken time to read my posts, comment, like or just tell me in person that you get something out of your visits here <3

Jesus is my “why” but you are my “who” …. the faces on the other side of the screen. Your hearts, your lives, your stories matter. Thank you <3

Here are the winners from:

Email subscribers list: Leann Chastain receiving a copy of The Mercy Prayer by Robert E. Gelinas

Facebook page followers: Janet Myers receiving a copy of Devotions from the Front Porch by Stacy J. Edwards

Instagram followers of journey.onward: Becky Arndt receiving a copy of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

General comments, likes and support on social media: Jolene Isom receiving a copy of Missionary Mom by Shontell Brewer

Our a-maze-ing Tuesday <3
Thank you Auntie Lisa for telling us about this find at TJ Maxx…huge hit!

On Tuesday I spent the afternoon with these gems and what a day we had!

Due to the driveway being blocked for some work that had to be done in yard, PLUS the fabulous fall weather, PLUS a puppy and two school boys with excess energy to burn….

we packed up water for everyone…must stay hydrated…

loaded up the crew….

and then realized why Lola was having a terrible time rolling this party van out of the driveway…

So plan B…we had the men move their equipment, transferred everyone to the motorized vehicle and headed off to pick up Thing one and Thing two.

We had planned to go to the pumpkin patch anyway so we headed there and on the way Joel asked if we could do the Corn Maze.

I said I thought it cost extra and so, no…we would not be doing that. He insisted it was free…the older two started telling him it wasn’t…Joel hadn’t napped…long story short, Lola had to pull the van over and do intervention.

Which means I put on my mom-voice and said, if it costs we aren’t doing it – if it’s free, we are. End of story. Period. We are done with this discussion.

Well we got to the gate and asked and sure enough it was free.

Joel led the way to the maze…which turned out to be the large silo filled with corn kernels…which IS free and would have made my life much easier if he had not thought that this little diversion is NOT a corn maze but a grain bin….sigh.

Too late for us though because the woman at the gate had made us sign in for participating in the corn maze so that if we got lost and didn’t come out they could send a rescue squad.

I have no idea why she thought we would get lost…they gave us a map…

According the nice man who sent us on our way, we just needed to enter at #3 and follow the clouds and around through the barn and it would lead us right back out in 20 minutes.


I can’t read a real map…take a gander at the pic in Joel’s hand and imagine navigating it from this vantage point…

After the first few times they asked me which way to turn, I gave up and said…go with your best instinct boys…if we aren’t out by dark they will come find us.

We turned one nightmare corner after another….with Joel constantly reminding me not to step in the mud…thanks Joel…

and finally, with great rejoicing in my heart I heard the boys holler that they had found it!!!

Turns out what they had found was this outlook post that supposedly is like the “halfway” point….

this was our view…

I started laughing uncontrollably as I realized how far we were from the start/exit…and how hopeless the whole prospect of getting out of there before bedtime was…and what in the world had prompted me to think we could do this…and all rolled into one hilarious moment.

I felt we should just go back from whence we came…but my navigators insisted we blaze on down the other side of the stairs and so we did and eventually…

we made it out.

And don’t worry….

this one did too, but she was no-how and no-way going to stick around for a picture because the band of brothers was making big talk about doing the challenge path next….

another day boys…another day.

First day of fall done up right <3

Good morning! 

I had so many things I could have done to catch up on the piles around the house yesterday but took advantage of a school holiday and beautiful weather and played hooky from my responsibilities so I could hang out at the pumpkin patch with this crew.

I have a sweet memento of the day to share with you at the end but here are a couple of things I am currently working on, and if any of them are mildly interesting please consider yourselves invited to check them out and if not…scroll down to the pic of Caroline. 

If you follow Instagram, I am doing a writing challenge by Hope Writers…I don’t subscribe to their community but the challenge is open and I love a good challenge so for ten days I will do a microblog post centered on a daily theme. Yesterday was “Start” and today is “Angle.” 

You can find my posts for the website at journey.onward … you have to request because as with all things social…I tend to be cautious.

Good news is, as long as you are not a creepy guy who claims to love Jesus, follows 10,000 people, has 15 followers and 2 pics of himself in military uniforms or a woman who claims to love Jesus but all posts are about the product you sell…I will probably accept the request <3 

Another thing I have in mind to do (and keep in mind, I do reserve the right to switch my mind and bail on the whole idea)…my cousin Kenny suggested I do more videos and since he is an unpaid consultant on my blogging career, I thought I would give Facebook live another try whilst doing the Joseph study. 

I briefly thought about doing a summary post of each week of the study, but have been praying about the possibility of doing the recap via Facebook live. 

The first one will be tomorrow morning unless I chicken out. 

Or my family bans me from it like they did the # debacles of my early Instagram years…turns out some #’s have double meanings…whoops…and I am somewhat gifted at finding the worst of them.

Ok. Enough announcements…

Here is Caroline’s pic and my cute story and then we can all go on our merry way.

I have mentioned before that Joel is my Achilles Heel and the child knows how to work it. 

Yesterday as we were making our way from the pumpkin donut/apple cider break towards the goat barn, he grabbed a hold of my leg and declared he was going to hug me. 

I stopped to receive it and he looked up at me with that one-tooth missing, red round cheeked, sweat dripping from his hair cuteness and thanked me for coming to the pumpkin patch. 

As my heart was dissolving into a complete puddle of mush he put the cherry on the sundae and told me he loved me. 

Worth every gallon of gas, load of laundry still sitting, paperwork piled on dusty counters and empty fridge that needs some TLC.

Is there someone who needs to know you love them to the moon and back today? 

If appropriate, grab them by the leg and make them stop long enough so you can tell them <3