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Brian’s Birthday

September 29, 2016

Today is Brian’s birthday!  We’re finally the same age again.  :)

(Warning: Lots of pictures ahead!)

We were up early this morning for a fun-filled day!  It was a field trip day for Taylor so we got Brian to take a few hours off and go with us.  Tay gave Brian this card this morning…


(If you really know the two of them, you’ll know how funny this is!)

And then this gift that she made for him at Build-a-Bear…


(Aren’t they the cutest?)

And then we were off for some fun!  First stop was Dunkin for some donuts and coffee.


Then we headed down to the zoo.  What a perfect zoo day!  Cool temps and no crowds.  It was early morning and the animals (most of them) were more active than we’ve seen before.  It was also feeding time for several of them and that was fun to watch (well, the eagles eating dead rats & fish wasn’t all that fun).

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(I warned you about the pictures!)

Feeding time for the gorillas was our favorite!  They gave them bottles filled with some sort of food and it was so interesting watching them work to get the food out of the bottle (one took two bottles and appeared to be hiding from the others when eating :).

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And have you seen the Africa area?  Taylor had seen it before but it was a first for me & Brian.  Gorgeous!

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I took too many pictures of these camels.  They were hilarious.  The one in the back looked like he was smiling. :)


And check out this baby giraffe.


Too cute.  And for size comparison here she (he?) is with an adult…


After the zoo we stopped by Nick’s school to put new tags on his car (we hadn’t gotten them in time to give them to him when he was home – totally my fault!  Sorry, Brian!).


And then we headed for lunch at Rapid Fired Pizza.


So yummy!

We came home so Brian could do some work & Tay could do some school work.  We grabbed a light dinner and then stopped and picked this up for later…


What a fun day!

Happy Birthday, Brian!  We love you so much! :)



September 11, 2016

This sweet baby girl…


Is EIGHTEEN today!



Seriously.  Where does the time go?

We had a fun weekend celebrating with friends last night and all her grandparents today.

Here are 18 things you may or may not know about Tay…

  1. She is a senior in high school
  2. She goes to an online public school.
  3. She’s a barista.
  4. She plays the guitar.
  5. She also plays the piano.
  6. She’s a Jesus girl and shines bright for Him.
  7. She loves studying the Bible.
  8. She loves her friends (and has some really great ones).
  9. She likes “hammocking” and was excited to get a new hammock for her birthday.
  10. She LOVES dogs (and is doing her best to talk us into getting another one).
  11. She loves Nashville (and spent two weeks there this past summer).
  12. She loves serving others.
  13. She wants to go on a missions trip out of the country.
  14. She leads the youth worship band at church.
  15. She loved iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts (she likes their hash browns too!)
  16. She has all A’s in school (smarty pants!).
  17. She likes naps. :)
  18. She’s beautiful inside & out!

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!  We love you so much!

May Things

June 10, 2016

What happened to May?  Seriously.  Is it me or did May just FLY by?

Nick finished up his second year of college (see, time really does FLY!) and came home unemployed and broke.  #poorcollegekid  His car battery died the first week of summer break.  Adulting is hard.  He went to work looking for a job and eventually found one.  After what seemed like endless training he finally got started working.  We’re still trying to figure out why so many businesses post “now hiring” signs but don’t call applicants for interviews.

Taylor finished up her junior year of high school (seriously?) and is looking forward to lots of fun adventures this summer.  More on that later!

Three of the four of us were sick with allergies or summer colds.  I don’t really know what it was but it lingered for at least a week and drove us all nuts!  Tay even missed her piano recital which was a real bummer!

We did manage to squeeze in some fun too.

Some friends & I hit the Donut Trail.  #besttrailever


What fun!  Great summer activity if you’re looking for something to do.  You can find all the info here.

Tay sang with some girls from church at a church in Middletown.  She even sang a solo!  She did great!  #soproud

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I went to a fun bowling night with some fun ladies from church.  Angie had the high score of the whole night!


Angie killing it at the bowling alley.  Check out her shoes.  NOT the rental shoes.  You know you’re with a serious bowler when they have their own shoes.  :)

Charlie had a GREAT time during his first trip to the dog park.

So many great dogs!  We had NO idea how he’d do.  We have a big backyard and he HATES it.  He LOVED the dog park and ran all over.  Tay said she was so proud – it’s like watching your kid socialize.  LOL!  I have a feeling the dog park will become a regular thing (one friend even made a facebook group so we can make plans to meet up!).

Nick’s summer got incredibly busy this week when he started his normal work schedule and two summer classes.  Tay’s looking forward to the first of her summer adventures starting next week.  You’ll have to wait for my June post to hear about all of that!  :)

March & April Things

May 19, 2016

I was at lunch with some friends today and someone mentioned blogging.  My DFF leaned over and whispered, “You’re a bit behind on your blog.”  I know, I know!  I have no excuse!  #lazyblogger  At this rate, I’ll have six posts at the end of 2016!

I know that no one (except my parents) probably cares what we’ve been up to the past couple of months but here it is anyways.  :)

March was filled with fun stuff (and not-so-fun stuff too).  Taylor visited “her college” twice – once with her youth group and once with us.  She is in love with this school and cannot wait to attend there in another year.


I went with a bunch of my favorite people to an amazing women’s conference at a local church.  We had a fun family night out seeing Newsies.  Tay & I spent the next several weeks performing the songs in the car whenever we went somewhere.  She’s a tiny bit bitter that she’ll never be cast in the lead role.  :)


Tay helped with the Easter egg hunt at  church and we all headed to Springfield on Easter to celebrate with all the grandparents.


Nick was working a job down by his school so we didn’t see him too much in March so we really enjoyed when he was home.

Taylor’s spring break was the last week of March.  We had big plans for a day-o-fun on Monday of that week.  We started out at the mall and ended up at the hospital!  She’s had some issues off & on for the last year since her surgery last April and she was in pain and needed to get checked out (she’s fine now, thankfully).  We tried to focus on the good things of that one day-o-fun because the very next day we had scheduled to have her wisdom teeth removed.


She was HILARIOUS after the procedure.  She posted this picture on twitter (posted here with permission!).  I hesitated to give her her phone but she insisted she was “fine”.  She may have also mentioned something about tweeting her “fans” so I probably should have held on to the phone.  :)

Brian headed to Seattle the first week of April and Tay and I made almost daily visits to the oral surgeon as she had some healing issues (they warned us it could be bad and it was).  Taylor took the ACT a couple of days after coming off pain pills (probably not the best decision!).  She also did great selling her jewelry at a vendor show at church.


Brian & I had a fun night out seeing Beauty & the Beast.  It was good but not the favorite show we’ve seen.


And that’s a little peek at what’s been going on around here!

I wonder if I should mention to my DFF that she hasn’t blogged since January 2015.

January & February Things

March 17, 2016

Yes, I am posting about stuff that happened in January & February.  Yes.  I do know that it’s the MIDDLE OF MARCH!


It’s my blog and I’ll post late if I want to.  :)  How did January & February fly by so quickly?

The fall leading up to the holidays was BUSY!  The holidays were BUSY!  Honestly, I thought things would slow down a bit after Christmas but I was wrong.  Lots of great things going on but I just didn’t make time for blogging.

(Warning:  Lots of pictures ahead!)

January was filled with kids returning to school, doctor appointments (everyone is fine), fun church stuff, and a couple of trips.

Brian traveled to Seattle for work and he & I spent a long weekend in Mexico!

We had a GREAT time soaking up the sun.  And those fish tacos (bottom left)?  Life changing.  #imserious

While we were enjoying the SUN, Tay was here…


Tubing with her peeps.  What fun!

We celebrated our favorite boy…


He turned 20!  #wheredidthetimego

I totally missed getting a birthday blog post up for him (Sorry, Nick!  I know he doesn’t care one bit!).

Nick quit his job at McDonald’s so he’s not coming home every weekend like he had been.  We miss him when he’s not here but we’re so thankful that he loves school and has had a great start to this semester!

February was packed with fun things.   Taylor and I painted pottery with friends…

and spent a fun day exploring the Newport Aquarium on a school trip.

We had fun at our church’s chili cook-off where Angie won first place!

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I love this picture!  She really was surprised!

Tay LOVED going to Winter Jam with her favorite people.


I had a great time with some of my favorite peeps at our Women’s Ministry Movie Night.


(We watched Mom’s Night Out — so funny!).

We loved serving dinner at City Gospel with our church peeps…

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and the families at Ronald McDonald’s house with Brian’s work.


(I always hesitate to post pics from the service things we do.  I don’t EVER want anyone to think I’m posting to “brag” on what we’re doing!  I hope you’ll see how much FUN we’re having serving others and get out and serve!  You’ll be a blessing to others AND you’ll be blessed yourself!)

Brian traveled to Seattle again.  He doesn’t think those LONG travel days are much fun!  :)

Whew!  So that’s what’s been going on around here!  What’s new with you?





Weekend Wrap Up

February 8, 2016

Let’s pretend I haven’t gone over an entire month without a blog post!  I’ll play catch-up later.  For now, here’s what happened over the weekend.  It was a good one!

Friday night, Taylor had plans to meet a friend for dinner.  They did a little shopping and then came back here and made some super yummy chai latte cupcakes.   Brian and I decided to take advantage of a free evening and headed out on a date that didn’t involve a trip to Home Depot.  :)  It did however involve a trip to the Christian bookstore and Sam’s.  How is it that you can go into Sam’s, not find what you’re looking for and still spend $116?  We also had a great dinner at Cancun.  Brian had never been there before and loved it.  I think it’s his new favorite.

Saturday morning I headed to the grocery store for a few things.  I came home and made a bunch of Rice Krispie treats and took a short nap (I had a headache – yuck!).  The first Saturday of every month is “Servant Saturday” at church so we headed out to meet up with some church friends.  We went downtown and served dinner to 144 people!


I wish I could show you the wonderful people we served.  I know this hot meal is a blessing to them and it’s a huge blessing to us to get to serve them.  There’s one sweet man who is there every time and he always stops by the kitchen afterwards to thank us and to sing for us (he sang the first time we went and now we ask him and he loves sharing an original song with us).

Last year we started taking Rice Krispie Treats and it became a little competition between the ones with sprinkles and the plain ones.  This time our friend Nancy went a bit crazy and made extra thick, HUGE treats that were a HUGE hit!


Can you see how big those things are compared to the “normal” (wimpy looking) sprinkle covered treats that Angie & I made?  (One man said sprinkles were for sissies.  We were cracking up.)  I’m not sure this picture really shows how BIG those treats were.  Rice Krispie Treat bake-off coming soon!  :)

At the end of the evening I gathered everyone for a selfie (I should have brought my selfie stick!).  Check out Tay in the making of this group selfie…

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She was eating a candy cane and trying not to show it in the picture.

Such a great night and a fun group of people to work with.

After serving we headed towards home and met Nick for dinner.  He came home to spend Sunday with us. It was fun sitting down together and catching up for a bit.

Sunday morning started EARLY when I got up to throw some chili together before heading off to an early KidZoneFX rehearsal.  We had a super fun morning in children’s church and a great church service.  I loved seeing Tay playing her guitar again in the service (and I didn’t take a picture!).

After church we had a chili cook-off and this happened…


One of my BFF’s, Angie, won the whole thing!  She was so shocked!  She had told us all morning that her chili was “simple” and “nothing special” and then she wins it all!  Way to go, Angie!  I tasted her chili and it was really good!

We decided to skip hosting and/or attending any Super Bowl parties this year and just spend the evening at home together and it was so nice to have a quiet night at home together.  I fixed everyone’s favorite party foods and we just had a relaxing evening watching some fun (and some weird!) commercials (Brian & Nick watched the game too).


What a great weekend!

2015 – Year in Review

December 31, 2015

Happy New Year’s Eve!

I’ve been a BAD blogger lately.  Life got so busy this fall and although there were many times I meant to sit down and write, I just never made myself do it.  Hopefully I’ll do better in the new year!  Here’s a look back at 2015…

January – Nick turned 19!  Brian and I took an AMAZING trip to Arizona.  The highlight of the trip was visiting the Grand Canyon (and spending the night in a cabin right on the south rim!).   We also had fun in Sedona (the Pink Jeep Tour is FUN!) and Phoenix.

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February – We hosted a fun Super Bowl Party.  My book club had a neat “favorite things” party.  Tay went snow tubing and to Winter Jam with her youth group.

March – Nick spent spring break in California!  He had a GREAT time visiting some of the country’s top technology companies with a group of nerds guys from school.


Ball pit @ Google :)

April – April started with Taylor having surgery for an unexpected health issue found in March.  It was the month of going to the theater!  Brian & I (along with two of my besties) went to see Lion King (I’ve wanted to see this for YEARS!).  Taylor and I went with friends to see two different local high school musicals (Thoroughly Modern Millie & Mary Poppins).  I started leading a women’s Bible study at church.

May – Nick finished his first year of college (wow, that went fast!).  Brian traveled to Michigan for work.  Taylor played in her first piano recital (and did an amazing job!).


June – Taylor finished her sophomore year of high school.  Nick was busy working at McDonald’s.  We spent a long weekend in Nashville.  I went to a Beth Moore conference with some friends from church.  Brian traveled to Michigan again for work.


July – Nick was busy working and hanging out with friends.  Brian traveled to Michigan, again!  Taylor went back to Nashville with a group of teens from church for a mission trip.  Taylor & I volunteered at VBS.


Super Hero Night @ VBS

August – Nick moved back to school.  Taylor started her junior year of high school (seriously?).  Brian went back to Michigan.

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I LOVE that Nick sent me a “first day of school” picture! :)

September – We celebrated my parents’ 50th Anniversary (it was in June!).  Taylor turned 17!  Brian traveled to Michigan – twice!  Some friends and I started attending a Thursday morning Bible study in addition to our Wednesday night group.   Taylor attended a leadership conference with some teens for church (and I went along as a chaperone).


October – Brian and I celebrated our 25th anniversary!  We spent a long weekend in Gatlinburg (where we went on our honeymoon all those years ago!).  Brian volunteered at “Give Camp” again this year.

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November – I went on a fun Women’s Retreat with the ladies at church.  Brian traveled to Seattle for work.  I had my last ever “book club” meeting.  Taylor spent a fun weekend with her favorite people at the Ohio State Youth Convention.  We had fun at the youth group’s annual “Turkey Hunt”.  Nick went to Springfield early to help my mother-in-law with Thanksgiving day cooking and baking (something they’ve loved doing together for many years now).  We had a fun Thanksgiving day (and have MUCH to be thankful for!).


I’m thankful for these people!

December – Taylor took the ACT (and did great!).  She sang with the church choirs (and played her guitar) at a local farm for their Christmas event.  We all enjoyed an early showing of Star Wars thanks to Brian’s company.  Tay played in a Christmas piano recital.  I ended up sick right before Christmas and almost had to cancel our Christmas day plans.  Brian & the kids pulled together and did ALL the work so we could entertain – and did a GREAT job!  Taylor is ringing in the New Year in Chicago with one of her besties and the bestie’s mom.  Nick’s plans for the evening changed so Brian and I changed our plans as well and we’ll all have a quiet evening at home.  Just the way we like it!


Other than Taylor’s health issues (and we’re SO thankful that wasn’t any worse than it was!), this was a really good year!  Hope you all had a wonderful 2015 and have a safe & happy New Year!  I’m looking forward to 2016!