Tuesday, September 29, 2009


The husband and I both love to cook. We are definitely "foodies" and not only love to cook new and fun things in our own kitchen, but get more enjoyment out of going to a fancy dinner for a night out and spending 2-3 hours dining and enjoying ourselves than we do from going out to a club, bar or show.

So, when the little man came into our lives and it became apparent that our cute - and small- little ranch house in an older neighborhood just didn't fit our life any more, we decided it was time to find a bigger, more family friendly home in a neighborhood that was full of other children to play with and not so many busy streets.

As our house hunt ensued, we finally narrowed it down to two homes : one with an amazing gourmet kitchen complete with state-of-the-art appliances and granite, and one that - although still had a decent kitchen - was in a neighborhood full of other children, in community very family oriented and in one of the best school districts in the nation.

Although it was hard to say good-bye to our dream kitchen, we chose to keep our eye on the bigger prize and chose the house that would be better for the entire family.

And we haven't regretted it since.

The great thing about the community we chose is not only does it offer outstanding schools for the little man, but the community as a whole is very family oriented. There are many, many families and the community is always hosting family fun events that offer good old-fashioned wholesome fun.

Such as the case two weekends ago, when we ventured out to quite possibly little man's most amazing day yet.

I had heard that our local Recreation Department was offering an event called Touch-A-Truck, which was entirely geared for little kids ages 3-6. In short, the city arranges for a parking lot full of all kinds of vehicles that are open and available to kids to touch, crawl on, get in and explore. They also arranged for the operators of those vehicles to be available so they could answer any questions the kids had about that particular vehicle and what it did.

The morning was beautiful and as we rounded the corner and approached the event, the little man immediately began to squeal and point.

Before him was what I could best describe as a little 3-year-old boy's Mecca. There were skid loaders, excavators, dump trucks, military vehicles, a fire truck, police car, limousine, a Smart car ... the list went on and on.

Together we smiled and laughed as the little man explored each vehicle, asking questions of the operators and simply having pure fun. I couldn't help but to smile as the little man ran from truck to truck, exploring, climbing and jumping in and out.

He loved every second of that morning.

And for mommy, no amount of granite, stainless steel or culinary luxury was worth more than the smile that was permanently plastered on my son's face that day.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fair Fun

Last weekend we hit up an American staple of growing up ... especially in Kansas.

The Kansas State Fair.

The Kansas State Fair is much more than livestock judging and tractors. It's a wonderland of rides, all things fried and gooey, and just good old fashioned family fun.

However, the State Fair is so much more than that to our family. My husband's grandfather served on the State Fair Board for many years. My mother-in-law (which I am very blessed to be able to say I get along with wonderfully and have a very dear friendship with) spent her childhood summers at the State Fair with her family. Later, as she began her own family, she then took her children to the State Fair each year. My husband has many, many memories of exploring the State Fair with his grandfather as he served his duties on the Fair Board.

Sadly, I never met my husband's grandfather, for he passed before I even met my husband. But his memory lives on in the family, and we did not think twice about loading up the car and taking the little man to the fair.

While not as interested in the animals as I thought he would be, little man spent the day laughing and riding all of the kiddie rides, eating ice cream and batting his little blue eyes and Nana and Grandpa when he saw a toy for sale he thought he needed.

{Which, of course, worked wonderfully.}

And at the end of the day, when we had had our fill of ice cream and funnel cakes, we loaded up the car and made the trek home.

And with that, the love the State Fair was instilled in the fourth generation of our family.