Category Archives: Random Family Fun

This and that because it’s Monday <3

We had a whirlwind weekend full of a church conference, an impromptu afternoon with our kiddos dropping by and a trip to Chicago yesterday.

The Intentional Church Conference offered some great insight into the challenges we who profess to follow Christ are facing in the rapidly changing culture of today.

The kids were full of energy which meant much bike riding, ball throwing and bucket carrying.

And the trip to Chicago was where Russ fulfilled some more of his “for better or worse” commitments and drove me to the Spring Stylemax at the Merchandise Mart so I could order the rest of spring and summer clothing for Tournesol. 

I want to give you a few takeaways from the conference in tomorrow’s post so you have that to look forward to.

The pics scattered throughout the post catch you up on some of the fun we had with that little crew of loveliness.

And to sum up our trip to Chicago…

<3  I will take the concept of four cars ahead of me at the traffic light being rush hour EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. of my life, please and thank you.

<3 If I ever wonder what my face would look like at a hardware store convention, I have seen it mirrored on my dear husband as he found benches to sit on and marveled at the sights that are the world of fashion. 

<3 I am beyond thankful for that man because he allowed me an opportunity at this age and stage in my life and encouraged me to pursue something that I always held in a spot tucked away in my heart filed under impossible dreams.

<3 We drove home alongside the edge of a pretty serious storm. On one side of the highway was clear skies and a bright sunset and on the other side was the darkest, heavy cloud. Rain was pounding down on us even though the light of the sun was pouring in through the passenger side of the car. 

As we outdrove the front, off to the side where the storm was, there was the most vivid rainbow I have ever seen. I was driving or you would have a pic, but the light of it caught my eye. 

I am not exaggerating – the bottom of the bow was visible on the field right outside my window. 

I have never seen a rainbow that close or that tangible. 

I pray today whatever storms you are on the edge of or in the middle of, you experience the tangible proof that your God is WITH YOU and I pray He delights you and I pray that you worship Him when He does that incredible thing that affirms His Presence and His Promise FOR YOU!!!!!

I hope you have a great Monday!

I am slow at returning from my fast <3

Well, this has been an interesting week as I stepped back from both the blog and social media.

I definitely learned some things about the amount of time those take up in my day and to be frank with you, I am having a little awkward pause trying to get back into it.

I will say I thought about you daily because you are a part of my weekly routine and in my absence, I would pray for the unknown and a few known faces on the other side of this screen.

I have somewhere to be in just a little while, so to kick off my return I thought I would just share some random stuff from this past week.

Grab a coffee or a cup of tea..or water…or whatever and we can have a quick chat…

First off, last Monday I got a whim to finally follow through on all my big talk about chalk painting two corner cabinets in our kitchen.

Let’s just say there is a reason the Lord did not call me to a decorating blog…

This is a split screen of the same cabinet…the one on the right is my first attempt made on Monday… too blue…the one on the left is the redo…just right.

Except for the part where it makes the walls look to yellow so guess what we will be painting next…

On Thursday I spent the day with Fab Four and Joely wanted a picnic.

Since it was anything but warm out, we made do with an indoor party for two…

Note to self, do not serve Cheetos on a white fluffy blanket.

No worries, just off screen is Lola armed with several wet wash cloths and towels.

After school there was beaucoup excitement because the book order had arrived that day and…

we now have an almost complete set of “Who Would Win” books.

Life is good.

On Sunday Russ and I went down to St Louis to visit Sarah.

It was a beautiful day but I only managed to take a few pictures…one of which was this charming table before they brought our brunch…

And then Sarah took this one…

which made me all kinds of happy and may be finding a frame for it to go on that newly painted shelving unit <3

Yesterday Rachel brought the crew down for the day and it was a perfect Spring Break kind of adventure.

We took them to the Children’s Museum where they spent hours and had a blast and wore us out…

so Graham and Emmett made couches and I snapped this picture…

which was super cute except Graham’s face is a little shaded by that other team’s hat and so I asked him to take it off and he was sweet to oblige.

So I took another and Joel must have thought he wasn’t smiling enough because this happened…

And if we ever took a picture where at least one person wasn’t making a goofy face, we wouldn’t know what to do with it.

Best. Days. Ever.


It’s not the heat…it’s the humidity…and the reptiles…that too <3

We are packing up and getting ready to head home and while it was nice to see green and sun, this Midwestern girl is ready to return to the land of 20 degree, snow dusted flatness for miles; where four cars and a tractor constitutes a traffic jam. 

Because as all of us from the middle of America know from birth…

it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. 

And the lizzards.

My husband can vouch for me that I have one answer to the question, “Would you ever want to live in ___________?” 

Do they have snakes and humidity? 

Because either of those and my answer is a big, fat no. 

Which is why I am pretty sure Ireland would be my perfect location, but the commute to see family is the deal breaker on that one.

On the prairie, we have humidity but it confines itself mostly to summer and we excuse that because the corn loves it.

And since the corn puts food on most of our tables, we put up with it. 

But even our humidity does not hold a candle to Miami. 

I have such thin, fine hair that often I barely get the hair dryer plugged in and it’s half dry. 

Here I have found my arms going to sleep as I lifted wet strand after wet strand up to the hot air.

When I think it is finally somewhat dry and I walk to my curling iron, it has somehow gained moisture on the trek and I am back to the hair dryer. 

I have somehow perfected the art of spiral curling it which helps because as it wilts and coagulates with my hair spray, it kind of looks like the regular way I curl it. 

Until I step outside and then I look a little like Dennis the Menace with a bad haircut. 

Which is really okay because hopefully this makes me look unappealing to the various large lizards that seem to have no fear of humans. What. So. Ever.

And then there is the unpredictable nature of golf balls…which thankfully they behaved when I walked the track a couple of times.

I did enjoy an outing to Little Havana which gave me the opportunity to practice my espanol. Our waitress was super impressed and began saying everything in Spanish. 

Really fast. 

I smiled a lot and hope I didn’t agree to anything I am going to regret.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience to be in a different place and meet new people…

But we are ready to get home to our normal and our friends and family although the boys are expecting me to tuck a reptile or two in my suitcase for a souvenir for them.

No mas, mi amigo…no mas….

A heart of gratitude <3

Good morning!

I have been using this week on the blog to write about ways I want to love better by following Christ better  <3

I am one of those people who loves Valentine’s Day just because it’s fun to watch little kids bring home boxes from school full of little paper cards and sweet treats. 

It’s a day where you can simply show some love to friends and family in whatever small way you like and all the pink and red brighten up where the cold of winter has started to wear us down a little. 

I had some ideas to wrap up the week, but here I sit and all I have is just a funny story from last weekend…so all deep thoughts of love aside…enjoy a slice of our life <3

Last Saturday Graham received a $5 off certificate to Meatheads for passing the ball well at his basketball game. 

We had planned to take everyone out anyway to grab a bite so to Meatheads we went. 

$60 later and with our tummy’s full of meat and fries…our laps full of crumbs…our faces full of ketchup and our hearts full of love, we piled in cars to head back to the house where daddy would be just getting home from work and we could wave our bye byes and head home. 

Graham opted to ride with us and as we pulled out of the parking lot, I did what I always did when our own kiddos were little and I made it a point to say “Thank you Papi for the delicious dinner.”

Graham quickly caught the tide and chimed in with his own thank you.

This kid though.

He knows how to be funny and my my…I do love funny.

After a sincere thank you, and with perfect comic timing and an accurate impersonation of me..

 he added…

“And we should all be saying, ‘Thank you, Graham, for earning a free dinner so we could all go out and eat.’”

We laughed with him, but as I mulled that over in my head I did have to think how like me. 

God does all these incredibly kind and amazing things in my life and I do one little tiny good thing and think how the world owes me for my graciousness…I am cracking up here, but seriously….

Don’t we do that?

Ride along on God’s abundant grace and mercy and hold up a $5 off coupon as we feast at His overflowing table of love? 

Oh from the mouths of babes.

Let’s all stop a minute today and just thank God for all that He has done for us. 

Let me help you…this is from the Valley of Vision; a book of prayers credited only to “the Puritans”…

“I thank thee for personal mercies, a measure of health, preservation of body, comforts of house and home, sufficiency of food and clothing, continuance of mental powers, my family, their mutual help and support, the delights of domestic harmony and peace, the seats now filled that might have been vacant, my country, church, Bible, faith.”

As I read that list, I think how rarely I stop and thank God for many of those things.

Let’s put our coupons down and express our gratitude to God. 

I hope you have a blessed weekend. 

You are loved <3

Another year is in the books…Christmas recap and moving forward into 2019

We packed away 2018 this week.

Another coffee stained devotional finished…another 365 days of life lived.

So before we move on into what 2019 will be, I’m taking a moment to give a glimpse into our Christmas this year in case you want to take notes and start planning.

I jest.

My photos are characterized by bad lighting…constant movement…and anything but a picture perfect event.

Please note Elmo face down against a mug of cold coffee….or egg nog…or apple cider…or who knows what …Tia’s current novel…two calendars going…rotting bananas…and G is down at the end using all my foil to fashion action figures which Tia then decided to hide all over the house and has requested remain until she returns….

I did have plenty o’help in preparing dinner….

And the non-food “crackers” were once again the best part of the meal…

although we each have our own unique style for sporting a crown…

and one of us just never took her’s off…

We hugged a lot…

took some walks to burn off energy…

hugged some more…

played games…

and music…

and put on puppet shows…

and when we got bored with the toys, we made our own fun…

Zach stepped even further into the role of girl-dad…and untangled a princess’s hair from the infernally frustrating packaging she came imprisoned in.

While Miss Caroline patiently waited…

We made room for each other…

and while the pictures may not be perfect, nor the people in them…we thank God for the gift of family that He has given us and we look forward with great hope and expectation for how He will continue to show up and show us how to love well in 2019…