Fashion Farm in Ligonier

Each year, my family takes a trip back to our hometown of Ligonier, Indiana, to visit Fashion Farm.

Along with a variety of pumpkins and mums, Fashion Farm is home to Fantasyland and a restaurant.

img_4544

Fantasyland is all about what you can contrive with pumpkins, gourds and some ingenuity. This year’s theme is Superheroes. Some of the annual displays are still there: the hall of presidents, including this year’s candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton ¬†with an empty seat bearing a question mark between them; Dolly Parton; and Snoopy.

Plenty of Marvel Comics superheroes fill the dried corn stock-lined path, along with a few villains. But the everyday heroes — firefighter, police officers and even basketball players — receive their own due.

Alas, no journalists defending the first amendment made the cut.

img_4537-1After visiting Fantasyland, wander on out to a couple of mazes and the old jail, which is a cell from one of the city’s old lockups.

img_4534

But before you leave, don’t forget to buy some homemade pumpkin doughnuts and pumpkin ice cream. Trust me. You will love them!

 

Happy Fall!

No winter blues here

After what seems to be the 50th snowstorm of the year…

20140313-220154.jpg

No exaggeration — we haven’t seen the ground since December —

20140313-220426.jpg

20140313-220453.jpg

I got to thinking that despite polar vortices, this winter hasn’t been all that bad.

I got to see Casting Crowns …

20140313-220657.jpg

I met and interviewed Darren Julien of Julien’s Auctions — super nice guy!

20140313-220822.jpg
He is in a new, unscripted TV show on Lifetime, “Celebrity Home Raiders.” Check it out on Thursdays at 7 p.m.

I found out my daughter is on the high-ability end scholastically.

20140313-221224.jpg
See, she works soooo hard!!

I got to play with the dogs in the snow.

20140313-221504.jpg

I saw snowbows …

20140313-221543.jpg

And best of all, I got to spend time with my two favorite people …

20140313-221804.jpg

A spring hike

It’s the first day of spring break, so I took my daughter for a spring nature hike. We wanted to see what was popping up out of the ground. Thank goodness there weren’t any critters popping up to surprise us!
Here are a few of our finds:

20130327-125630.jpg

20130327-125658.jpg

20130327-125737.jpg

20130327-125759.jpg

20130327-125817.jpg

20130327-125835.jpg

And we had to end the nature hike with a game of flying disc with the dog!

20130327-125940.jpg

I accept that challenge!

I like a challenge.
So when our women’s group at church developed a 40-day challenge to help us improve our personal discipline and relationship with God, I was in.
Each week has its own set of challenges.
This is the first week and we have been tasked with:
1 — Giving up sweets for a week, except for a one-time indulgence.
2 — Giving up TV and movies for the week.
3 — Playing children’s games for 20 minutes twice during the week.
4 — Memorizing a few verses out of Ephesians.
5 — Reading a Proverb a day.
6 — Writing a letter of support to someone on our pastoral staff.
Those are the biggies.
They don’t sound like much, do they? But try it.
What I feel in control about:
I’m not having a problem keeping my sweet tooth under control. Although I could seriously use a breath mint after eating most days.
And TV is not a big deal for me to give up either. However, I’m catching incidentals. I haven’t made my family give up TV, so while I’m busy doing other things in the house, I’m catching unintentional snippets.
I also really wanted to go see “Olympus Has Fallen” this week, but I’m (crossing my fingers) sure it will be in the theaters once this part of the challenge is finished.
Difficult but not impossible
Playing children’s games is my downfall. I have an 8-year-old daughter and she’s ready to play with me, but we’ve had a lot on our plates this week. We did math drills tonight, does that count?
I don’t think taking Grandma to the funeral home for a viewing counts either.
I’ll figure it out. It’s 20 minutes out of my day — a challenge NOT an impossibility.
Help! I’ve failed again!
I’m a slacker on reading my Bible, doing devotions and praying. I admit it. It’s not that I don’t enjoy that part of my spiritual life, I’m just lazy sometimes.
My You Version reminder to read my Bible at 9 p.m. pops up on my iPad and I think, “In just a little bit. First I need to check out Pinterest.”
Seriously?! What am I doing? “Uh, sorry God, pinning styles from New York Fashion Week is more important right now.” Come on!
Again these are small things, but they need to be done daily to build consistency and self-discipline.
So that’s why I’m doing this challenge. I need to kick myself in the butt and put God first.
If I can succeed in that discipline, I can succeed in others.
God bless.

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28 NIV)