Chance to change a child’s life!

Hello Blog……yea I know it’s been forever since I have written anything on this dear blog of mine. The activities of summer leave me busy and with little time for blogging!    I wish I could push a pause button on summer, it is going so fast!

I thought I would jump back into the swing of blogging with a post about our Fresh Air Fund teen’s visit with our family.

He just left Tues after spending 2 weeks with us.  He has left his cramped Bronx apartment every summer for the past 8 years to come and stay with us.  I have blogged about it here and here.

I thought I would post some  of his own words from the visit  and some of my favorite pics.



When asked why do you like to go outside when you get up each morning.

He replied simply….because I can”  ( he lives on the 6th floor of a city apartment, getting up and going outside in the morning really isn’t an option)


When asked, why do you often wash a clean dish off before using it?

Sometimes bugs and stuff ( roaches and rats) get in our cupboards at night, so I just rinse it off before using it.”


After watching LOTS of SportTman’s baseball games.  I asked if he got bored.

He replied, Nope it’s great to be part of a team, I’ve never been able to be part of any sports team!”


We are always telling him to eat up while here.  I feed him lots of farm fresh veggies and fruit and lots of food from the grill.

He always thanks me and says, My mom always tells me to save some for the others ( he has 6 siblings), it’s nice to just be able to EAT!!”

Our Summer Family,  our Fresh Air Fund teen truly is part of our family.  We have watched him grow from a city little boy to such a well rounded teen who aspires to go to college.

We are thankful to the Fresh Air Fund for sending him to us each summer.  It has been such a blessing we  also brought him down last year at Christmas.

Feeling rather BLUE!

We love blueberries!!!  Summer is such a great time for fresh produce.  I bought 10lbs of blueberries last week to freeze.  I also made a family favorite recipe for these scrumptious muffins!


1 1/2 c. flour (I mix in about 1/4 of whole wheat flour, to help me feel better about eating so many of these!)

1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg

1/2 c. canola oil

1/2 c. milk

1  1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Add egg, oil, and milk.  Stir until just enough to moisten dry ingredients.  Fold in blueberries ( Tip!  coat blueberries with flour before folding into mixture, this helps the blueberries to mix into the dough and not gather at the bottom of the muffin!)


Scoop into a greased or paper lined muffin tin.  Sprinkle with sugar before baking


Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

~~ ENJOY!!!!!

Friday Fave Five

Always fun to reflect on the week, and pick Five Faves!  Thanks to Susanne for being such a great host!


Faves this week included;

The 10 lbs of blueberries I bought!  I freeze them every year ( info on freezing and recipes to come!) and enjoy fresh blueberries in baked treats all year long!   I made these blueberry muffins today.  21 of them, there are now 4 left!  We love them!


I am also relishing all the local fresh produce and quaint produce stands all around me!  The fresh, local produce is in abundance around here.  Here is one of my fave places to stop.

And who can resist all of this!!  Another fave is all the good fruit we are enjoying!


And with temps in the 100’s this week, I have been enjoying my “new” “clothes dryer!”  🙂


Fireworks with friends also makes my list.  We have been getting together with the same friends for the past 5-6 years.  Now the kids are all teens and have cell phones…….this pictures is so typical…taking pics of the fireworks with their cell phone.  It was a wonderful night and our small town sure put on a wonderful display!

Lots of baseball and airplanes!

I‘m back!!  Feeling like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz……There is NO place like Home!!

I know,  you didn’t even know I was over a 1,000 miles away from my home, I didn’t post on my blog that I was flying to of all places…….Omaha, NE.

I decided to keep it hush so all of you wouldn’t rush to my place to rob it while I was away! 🙂

So now the big question that needs to be answered is WHY did Jesus and Dark Chocolate and the fam fly to Omaha??

Baseball of course! 🙂

SportTman got to play in a tournament there and as part of the tournament, we got tickets to see the College World Series.  A great thing for a boy who aspires to play baseball in college.  And I must admit, I have come to also love the game of baseball!  Geez I can now tell the difference between a curve ball, fastball, and  change up from 400 ft away!  If you look closely at the pic you will notice SportTman’s right hand fingers are “buddy taped.”  He had broken his pinkie finger 3 weeks before the trip.  But as God so graciously provides, he was good to go and pitched and played well!

This was the first time my kids have ever flown – great experience, especially the small plane we took from Chicago to Omaha!

We also enjoyed this hip rental, the sweet lady in Omaha gave us an upgrade since she thought it was cool that she had actually visited our quaint hometown before!

We were thrilled to see both games of the College World Series. The championship game was wild, chaotic, fun and as a bonus we got to see a streaker!  Good thing they put paper boxers on him before escorting him from the stadium!

It was the last year the game will be played at this stadium, so The Inventor and I had fun checking out the stadium before the game.

There was also a cool Water Park in our hotel!!  Drums and I were the ONLY parents there that actually joined all the kids at the water park!  We had so much fun! Lazy River, cool water slides and a glorious indoor/outdoor hot tub. 🙂

There is also a really nice zoo in Omaha…..who remembers Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom?  I used to love that show……so the zoo in Omaha was the setting for the show.  Great, modern zoo!  Here are my kids in the big desert dome, it was very realistic complete with some nasty snakes!

It was a very active vacation, no real down time, we were up early to play baseball and out late watching baseball.  But I must admit, even with out the down time…..it was a true family memory making vacation!

What are your vacation plans this summer?  I truly believe family vacations make lasting memories and bring the family closer together!