Category Archives: Random Family Fun

Our a-maze-ing Tuesday <3

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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…

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loaded up the crew….

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

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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…

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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.

Right.

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…

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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!!!

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

this was our view…

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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 best.day.ever. 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…

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we made it out.

And don’t worry….

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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

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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. 

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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

Football palooza is in the books <3

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So we took a road trip to Wisconsin this weekend and instead of Friday Night Lights at one of the local high schools…we packed an array of fanwear into the trunk and headed out after work to embrace our inner Cheesehead.

We stopped for dinner…

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and learned that even Subway are Packer backers.

We met up with our friends who had planned and then hosted this amazing weekend of fun…and after enjoying the most delicious Wisconsin sausage…and of course…cheese…

we headed to bed so we could hit the ground running bright and early for…

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the Badger game.

We toured around Madison a bit…

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before heading the stadium.

If you have never been to a game at the University of Wisconsin, I highly recommend it .

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Of course, I acted like I knew all about Camp Randall…but hesitated slightly to pass under that eagle because without my glasses…I thought the words under his feet said “Old Age”…and I was not inclined to want to go through to the other side…but on closer inspection…i believe it says Old Abe.

And really…I was caught up in a sea of red and white bodies by that time so I had no choice…

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It really was quite an experience to be a part of a stripe out…

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even if some people didn’t get the memo…

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nice guy though…even if he is misdirected in his loyalties.

The whole atmosphere of the game was incredibly fun…

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and don’t let those empty seats fool you. That’s the student section and they tend to be a late arriving crowd on morning game days.

All the classwork and studies from the week must have led them to sleep in a little.

Or something like that.

We did have a brief shower…

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that did nothing to dampen our enthusiasm. Though it did prove detrimental to my hair but all in all…

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Wisconsin beat Michigan…we had a blast and it was a great day that ended with the next leg of travel to “the Mother Ship”…

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We arrived before sunset and enjoyed walking around the area surrounding the stadium, though I forgot to change in my Packer wear…

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but at least I had the right state.

While we only had a brief spell of drizzle on Saturday, Sunday proved to be a bit soggy…

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so we took cover under one of the Green Bay landmarks and plotted the course of our day.

First stop was a picture of us in front of Lambeau before the humidity completely killed our hair…

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Then I had my first official Cheese head sighting…

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and found the famous “Ultimate Packer Fan” who was named in the top 25 fans recognized by ESPN in 2013 …

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I know this because I have his business card now.

And of course we had to do our version of the Lambeau Leap…

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Which I am thankful I could not see Russ’s face as we were taking the picture or I would have collapsed in a fit of laughter to the point of tears.

Thankfully I saved that for the walk to the other side of the stadium where…

the next stop was to get one of those cool rain jackets because when in Green Bay…

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As our friend Marcee said, when the rains would start up pretty heavy inside the stadium the fans never got up to leave…they just shifted positions, set their beverages down and commenced to putting on ponchos…

Go Pack Go…

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It was a great game and the fans and the players did not disappoint…

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We beat the…

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had another Best. Day. Ever.

and as we bid a fond farewell to Wisconsin, God painted this over the landscape…

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and we know the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow is found when friends make weekend memories that keep you laughing all the way into the Mondays of life <3

Speaking of sky-writing <3

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Yesterday was spent up north tending the fab four and their new puppy. 

After school, we were scheduled to go to a local pumpkin patch/play area and so we navigated the car pool lane and survived and made our way out into the country. 

As we were driving, the clouds in the sky were so incredibly beautiful I was marveling at God’s handiwork and thought I would attempt to draw my passengers into my love of our creative Creator. 

I started to make a comment that sounded almost like a Sunday School cliche and so rather than go with my first observation, I simply told them to be sure and look past the video screen production of Veggie Tales and observe how the clouds appeared to be almost like a water color painting across the blue sky.

Behind me came the voice of that firstborn boy who has been penetrating my eyes, thoughts and heart for over eight years now. 

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In the softest voice he said, “Lola, can you believe God painted that with His own hand?”

My thoughts exactly.

Coming out of the mouth of the offspring of our offspring. 

I could only manage to whisper…yes Graham. Yes I can believe He did that. 

And then I just let my heart bow in worship to the One who paints such beautiful pictures in the sky and over mankind. 

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Best. Day. Ever. 

<3

Randoms for a Tuesday <3

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It seems to be a good day for some randoms…so here we go in no particular order:

#1.

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You may know I have a thing about Jeremiah 33:3 and how 3:33 is a time or $3.33 for a price happens that pops up frequently in my life to remind me of the verse God kind of laid on my heart to be a life verse.

Friends and family frequently text me when it pops up in their experience and recently our sister-in-law Sonja sent me a little card she received somewhere…

it is taped to our computer and says…

God will give you good ideas.

Call to Me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own. Jeremiah 33:3 The Message

Love it <3

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#2.

I asked John to do a gratitude challenge with me for the month of August. 

I set my alarm for 7:51 each day (please do not ask me why I selected that time. I can only surmise that was when I decided I would need an alarm set) and then I sit and think about something I am genuinely thankful for that I have failed to express to God. 

It’s been good for me and proven true that if we practice gratitude it actually does enhance our attitude to be more positive and also flourishes into more gratitude. 

Which is quite possibly why we are told in Scripture to be anxious for nothing, but in everything, with prayer AND THANKSGIVING make our requests known…

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#3.

I wasn’t too excited about this Back-to-School thing happening so early in August and I still think we short-change summer these days…but I must admit…my love for all things Fall is getting stirred up. 

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#4.

Our family, thanks to John, did our Fantasy Football league the other night. 

While I have absolutely no idea who the players are and had to ask Russ what a WR is (and he told me, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what he said), we had much laughter as John hosted a wide range of family members on a conference call that spanned seven homes located in Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Texas. 

We don’t always have the most traditional family reunions, but we sure do enjoy what we can get.

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#5.

In line with the gratitude thing, I surely am thankful for the variety of skills and trades of people who can do the things we don’t know how to do. 

And I am also mightily grateful for the ones God has given us to use to help others. 

What’s your skill set like? 

Take some time to write it down and then ask God to show you where He is calling you to serve <3