Category Archives: Relationships

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

The great ones typically come disguised as quiet and gentle servants <3

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We lost another good one this past weekend. Another prayer warrior who slipped quietly into the arms of Jesus. 

He left us after a long and painful surrender to the devastations a stroke left behind and supported and loved by a family and friends and a community who all have stories of how he quietly touched our lives. 

We first got to know him when our John was a young kid in junior high.

He had the divine appointment to be randomly assigned to Curtis that school year under a prayer initiative we used to do. 

Parents signed up their students…people signed up to pray for them…names were paired and letters were sent and our John landed a faithful prayer warrior that never stopped praying for him all these years since. 

Nor did he stop praying for all the other names he received assignments for. 

And he didn’t just pray. He showed up.

For every sport John played all the way through his senior year…and believe me…he played them all…Curtis would show up at at least one game. 

After high school, he followed his activities in college and always knew what year he was in and prayed him through some rough times with health and adjusting to being on his own.

He always knew what job he was currently in, what town he was living in and delighted to hear how he was doing with rec league games now that he’s all grown up. 

When the stroke held him captive and he couldn’t get out and go to games and be out in the community he loved, he signed up to be on the Intercessory Prayer Team and I can tell you right now…there is a void in the battle and we are missing him in the trenches. 

I don’t know of any Scripture that says Curtis will be praying for us in heaven. 

From what I read, Jesus intercedes for us…so thankful for that…but Curtis will be praising God with all the saints.

He did his praying and his showing up and his caring for people and his remembering things because we mattered to him here on earth. 

People are sometimes surprised when we show up at a ball game to see some kid play that we know from church or we attend a concert or a musical because some young person we pray for is in it. 

We learned it from Curtis. 

We remember what it felt like for us and for our son to have someone who didn’t really have to come just show up because he wanted to. 

Well done, Curtis…well done <3

Tuesday check in <3

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First off I have to acknowledge the specialness of this day in our family as we celebrate the birth of our first child, Rachel. 

We are so thankful for her and the ways she loves not only her little tribe but us and her siblings and so many others.

Growing up, she was always the quietest of our three…but she loves fierce and she has a quick wit that makes us all laugh so hard and an eloquent way of expressing herself in words and prayer that moves me to fits of both tears and giggles…simultaneously. 

So Happy Birthday Dachel <3 

You are deeply and dearly loved.

Second, I am dragging out finishing the No Other Gods study because it is just soooo good and sooooo rich. 

Like this nugget that I have been chewing on for two days now…found in Day 3 of the final week of the study. 

Deuteronomy 6:23 “He brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers”

Kelly says regarding this passage:

“Leaving our idols is not the final goal. We leave them so we can experience the fullness of Christ who is our life!…We make room for God to fill it. We say goodbye to say hello.”

No Other Gods Study page 173 Kelly Minter

I couldn’t help but think of the passage in 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you OUT of darkness INTO his wonderful light. 

Called us out…to bring us in…

So many love the darkness now. 

In fact they are dragging their darkness out into the open and embracing it.

But it is still darkness. 

Remember today that He called you out of it…to bring you in.

Live in the light that you were brought into. 

No matter what. 

The darkness may not be able to comprehend the light, or love the light, or want the light….but darkness cannot put out the light.

Light always invades the darkness and overcomes <3