Category Archives: Random Family Fun

Weekend was so full…so fun…all the emojis <3


I didn’t write on Friday because I got to go to a Cub’s game.

My first one ever.

People ask me if I am a Cubs or Cards fan..well…we always gravitated to St Louis when the kids were little and then our daughter married a Cub fan and I grew up watching the Big Red Machine back in the days of Johnny Bench and Pete Rose so basically I am just a fan of baseball.

Mostly because it is a quiet game that moves at a pace and with a level of strategy that my mind can wrap around.

So whatever game I attend…the hometown of that team is my team for that day.

My motto is…buy the shirt…enjoy the people watching…eat some over-priced unhealthy food and embrace the moment.

And this beautiful stadium is incredible.

This one and Fenway have found a place in my heart <3

The Cubs lost, but we had a great time.


On Saturday we attended a birthday celebration for Caroline’s second…Graham’s eight…and Emmett’s sixth…

Since getting together has to be squeezed in between ball games, vacations and work they had a three-birds-with-one-stone party…no…that wasn’t the theme…

boys had dinosaurs and Caroline had her beloved Minnie Mouse <3

and it was all hands on deck and still a few who couldn’t be there.

This little dude was a trooper and just celebrated everybody else with a smug smile knowing he shares his birthday with No. One.

Tia made it so we got another pic of the ladies…

and if you are curious if Caroline has managed to wrap her dad around her little finger…

done and done…


This is genius.


This is stuck on my desk next to my computer.

I have no idea why.

I have looked at all our calendars and nothing is written down on that day.

If I made an appointment with you, I have forgotten it.

I’m sorry.

Hebrews 3: 12&13

This is my “why” for getting on here as many of the five weekdays as I can.

It’s a way God has opened for me to make someone laugh or smile or think or feel like they are not alone.

It’s a way to remind us that life is hard, but God is always good…it is not a cliche or something to put on a bumper sticker or t-shirt and then forget.

Write it on your heart and engrave it in your mind … He is faithful.

We are flawed people and we live in a fallen world and in spite of it all, He loves us and provided a way for us to be in relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ.

Encourage someone … or at least yourself today…with the truth of that statement.

You are loved <3

That day we took the circus to the zoo….<3

I really had not intended to share this on the blog for two reasons.

One reason is I feel I have overexposed our family on social media recently with all the get-togethers we have pulled off this summer.

And second, I didn’t take the crew on a field trip with a blog post in mind…but we had such a great time I want to give a shout out for the wonderful set up for families to have an adventure day in Peoria and they were so stinking cute and good, I can’t help but share some pictures.

Since the forecast was for a cool, rainy day and I was going to be with this bunch from 8:30 to 5:00, I asked if I could take them to Peoria and visit their children’s museum. It is called the Peoria Playhouse and I can’t say enough good things about it.

Set up in what appears to be a large cabin-like house, the play areas are fantastic and fun and safe and made for kids to interact with other kids.

Things like a construction site where they could operate two different vehicles and load and unload super soft but realistic bricks and rocks…a hen coop…milk a cow where real water sprayed into a bucket…a huge kinetic sand box set up on what is a glassed in porch area.

If the idea of a children’s museum with one, let alone four children, freaks you out – this one is ideal. The play areas are designed in contained ways so that you don’t have panic moments where you have to leave the 99 to go find the one and fear you will now lose the 99…not that I have ever done that in a children’s museum..or back yard…or Chick Fil’a…or…the dinner table.

The Playhouse sits across a park area from the Peoria Zoo and there are several amazing playgrounds and picnic areas dotting the park along with ample parking.

As God smiled on us, the Zoo was having a free day and since I had only planned to spend an hour or two at the museum and hadn’t packed a lunch, yet discovered we could camp out for a week in the museum and not stop having fun…we decided to take advantage of a somewhat non-rainy spell and walk over to get food at the zoo.

The choices were a restaurant with pizza and hot dogs and such or lunchables at the gift shop.

The unanimous and enthusiastic win was the lunchables…who knew…

So a mere $20 later and with a bag full of processed food we headed over the indoor picnic area to set up our buffet…

And if you want to pin this to your “Summer Entertainment Ideas” board, please feel free.

As we ate the skies opened up again…

so we thanked God for perfect timing, ate, talked and waited until the deluge subsided and then made our way back to the museum with a slight detour in some of the fun climbing exhibits.

We did more exploring and playing…

and drenching our already soaked clothes with more chemically treated water.

And when we were so wet that someone’s diaper had increased triple its size, we headed out to the van and did a wardrobe change and then decided we needed to go back to the zoo which is pretty incredible.

There are beautiful habitats housing some impressive creatures like a rhinocerous, giraffe family and zebras and including…

Simba and Nala…yes…that is not a mural…those are two real, live lions and yes…we did roar at them…repeatedly.

It was indeed a best day ever.

It was spontaneous…it cost a little cash…and it wasn’t without bodily injuries of the toddler kind.

It wasn’t well-planned, nor was stylish attire required.

It was loud and wildly fun and for me, who tends to talk herself out of trying new things…it was amazing to just watch them go at their pace and make our decisions and see them care for each other as they navigated an unfamiliar place and made it their own…

I am thankful for it and thankful if you had fun sharing it with us.

I really hope for each of you some summer delights that catch you by surprise and refresh your soul.

You are loved <3

And in the blink of an eye <3

So yesterday afternoon, my Gdawg stuffed a nerf gun, a birthday present and a ball cap in his back pack…along with a small piece of his Lola’s heart…and hopped on his bike to ride four blocks up the way to a birthday party. 

All by himself.

Four long blocks where you turn corners and are out of sight from the woman who used to rock you til you fell asleep and then wouldn’t put you down because she knew this day would come. 

I went back in and put his little sister to her nap…and I may have held her a little longer than I needed to.

Then I went and put Joely Bear down and I spent some extra time watching his chest rise and fall and those lashes that go on for days rest on his chubby cheeks.

And finally I went down and sat extra close the one who tries so hard to keep up with and outdo, whenever possible, the kiddo who was running around in some yard four blocks away with about ten thousand angels surrounding him…if God answered all my prayers. 

So all you mommies and daddies…grandma’s and grandpa’s….don’t blink.

Don’t miss a minute. 

Soak in the every day’s because…

it is in the ordinary that God pours out His richest treasures <3

Papipalooza recap <3

We celebrated someone’s birthday this weekend with great joy and lots of personality.

With the help of these three…

and the original three R’s…

we gathered in Kansas City and took Papi to the stadium he and his family would visit as children.

The youngest of us helped make his favorite cake before we left…

I decorated it in retro style from his 35th…

because apparently I have always had a flair for cake decorating…

plus the kids wanted to do a reenactment photo and …

which brought me so much joy and laughter…I can’t even capture my heart with a thousand words or pictures or happy tears, though believe me…I have tried.

We got the world’s best BBQ…

and had a fancy dinner in the hotel…

We mixed and mingled….

and napped when we could…

and all in all …. .


Best. (Birth)day. Ever.


Running the numbers just for fun <3

So today I am led to do one of those number things because I think they are fun to read so I hope you agree because that’s what I have for you today.


The number of years since this one and I covenanted to love each other for better or worse, and so far the worst hasn’t really been too bad at all and the better just keeps getting better.


The number of times we stayed up late talking and while I hear of couples doing this, I am totally fine with the fact that we talk in shorter increments of moments. Also, I out talk him by a long shot and even I get tired of hearing me ramble on so it’s all good.


The number of homes we have lived in, starting with our little apartment and ending here in a ranch style that I fought tooth and nail because I love traditional two stories and now thank God every day for the ease of getting to live on one level.


The number of months we dated before we knew we would be miserable until we could be married. 


The number of months we were miserable until we got married.


A great podcast I listened to yesterday that made me cry because she talked about how our spouse should be our “battle buddy” and that’s what this guy has been….for all of us under his love and care.

Even though, lately he seems to have eyes for a younger woman…

Oh well…she is kinda cute <3