Category Archives: Random Family Fun

Field trip to the Lou <3

We took advantage of the school holiday on Monday so the band of brothers could collect on their Christmas gift from Tia.

Which in reality, just seeing her seemed to be enough joy to float their boats but…

she wanted to take them to the new aquarium and ferris wheel in St Louis.


we got to slip in on the fun.

It was basically a boy’s dream trip…

fish nibbling your hands…

a skink right up close and personal, blue tongue and all…

more sticking your hands in water and touching critters…

not having to share Tia with Caroline…

a shark or two…

and then…

we climbed in the ferris wheel and saw the whole city from the sky…

even Lola was a brave little toaster…

After that we went for pizza on the Hill…

Drove by Tia’s so we could hug Rocco…

said goodbye and many thanks and plans made for another trip soon, soon, soon!!!

and basically…

crashed…except for Emmett…who managed to keep his energy up for the entire trip home.

All in all…

Best. Day. Ever. <3

Weekend check in…I mean literally… we checked in somewhere…<3

Well, I haven’t done one of these photo journal things in a while.

I totally skipped a Christmas recap because this year I just didn’t take that many pictures and on the heels of the whole 24 day countdown with Luke, it didn’t seem appropriate.

But we took advantage of the MLK holiday and took the band of brothers and little miss thing to a hotel with a pool and it was such insane fun, I figured it might brighten your day as much as it did ours…so here we go…

These kids were all in and we had only planned to take the boys, but someone packed her Minnie Mouse suitcase and was not going to be denied.

We told mom and dad we would keep her as long as she was willing to stay and girlfriend was 100% committed.

Please note the poor man on the elevator trying to get off with his cleaning cart.

Good luck with that, sir and you may want to just take that cart back up to floor two because we most likely will be needing your services.

This crew makes themselves at home wherever they land. We got settled in and….

returned the the cart promptly with help…

We swam and ordered pizza…

which mom and dad joined us for extra hands.

Please note a couple things…the fancy party supplies..which covered a variety of holidays.

And you can see by my hair that everyone was very attentive to my pleas that Lola’s hair not get wet…yeah…right….

After pizza there was another dip in the pool and then more carbs and games…

I manned the cootie board while Papi and Graham played yahtzee…

We watched the end of the Packers/49er’s game with deep reverence for Lola.

Joel laid next to me and cheered to the bitter end with encouragement like “Come on Packers, you can do this! Win it for Lola!!!”

They didn’t.

Let’s not talk about it right now, ok?

We had stories and a blessed quiet settled.

We were concerned about Caroline being away from mommy for the night but her little mess of hair settled right in to a deep sleep and although she called out a couple of times she settled quickly and sprang into action the next morning because…

she knew there was a second swim suit in her bag for round #2 and she was adamant she needed to swim again.

Mommy and Daddy came by to say good morning while we ate breakfast and mom headed off to work while dad helped us pack up. He was taking them to a trampoline park so we came along for the grins and giggles and jumps…

Small-but-fierce decided she could do the climbing wall “all by myself”…

and it was all cute until things got real…

No worries…she survived her dismount kinda upside down and her dad was laughing so hard in that kind of nervous adrenaline rush way we have…oh my gosh…she’s a force to be reckoned with.

We bid our goodbyes and thanked the good Lord He gives us children when we are young…and we are still smiling from yet another….

Best. Day. Ever.


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