Unexpected Joy

We are home. Mom and Melissa are home. All the LPM girls are home. Well, they are at work today, but still. Home! Home is good!

My little family had a very fun, unexpected blessing at the end of our trip. My friend Janelle, who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, invited us to stay with her family on the way home from Missouri. It was perfect! We drove eight hours on Sunday with the goal of making it in time for dinner. Janelle’s husband, Heath, is an amazing cook and was making a feast for us. We had our eyes set on the prize all day. First, we stopped for an hour in McKinney and met up with my college roommate, Mel, and her precious new baby. I have so many sweet friends in DFW that I miss terribly! Mel and Janelle are both the kind of friends who are more like sisters.

We arrived at Janelle’s house just in time for dinner.

Jackson and Ella, who were born in the same hospital just two days apart and were each other’s first friend, were thrilled to be together. It’s so precious to see how much they love each other despite the physical distance between our families.

After dinner, Annabeth went to bed, the “big kids” watched a movie, and the grown-ups turned out attention to Phase 10. This has replaced UNO as my new favorite game. I have no pictures of us playing it, but we played for hours. It was so much fun. Does your family have a favorite game you play together?

The next morning we had an amazing breakfast at a restaurant called Mimi’s. It was like a cross between La Madeleine and IHOP. I loved it and deeply regretted not going there when we lived 20 minutes away. The last time we were with Janelle’s family we hit up Cracker Barrel. I guess breakfast is our new thing. It used to be Double Dave’s pizza.

Ella was concerned for Jackson’s safety and wanted to hold his hand. We were cracking up.

Our children formed a praise team.

Just the girls.

We finally made it back to Houston on Monday evening after four more hours on the road. We picked up our dog, Beckham, from a very generous friend’s house where he was spoiled and loved on by her three darling kids. He climbed into the back seat of our Suburban and pouted like a small child. He wouldn’t talk to us until the next day. I don’t know if he’s mad that we didn’t take him to Nana’s house (he thinks he’s a grandchild) or because he didn’t want to leave Heather’s family.  Bless his heart.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Melissa is preparing a post for tomorrow and I can’t wait to read it! Y’all have a great Wednesday!
Love,
Amanda

Share

91 Responses to “Unexpected Joy”

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Gravatar.com. Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.

Comments:

  1. 51

    Our miniature schnauzer, Shelby, is a grandchild too… to her Nana (my mom) 🙂
    We went through a phase where we played Phase 10 all the time… loved that game! Right now our favorites are Nines, Canasta, HotSeat, and Alabama Rummy (which is a contract rummy & very much like Phase 10, only with regular cards).
    Oh and by the way, I love Mimi’s Cafe! I don’t live near one either, but I’ve eaten there with friends at least 3 times… Yum!

  2. 52
    Kathy B says:

    How wonderful to hear the fun details of your trip. So glad you were refreshed by time with dear friends. Did you actually ask about games? Oh, now you’re talkin’. For Mother’s Day one of my darlings gave me coupons good for games of Scrabble and Runs ‘n Sets (a variation of Phase 10 that uses 2 standard decks of cards). I was elated. I’ve been known to buy ice cream cones for any parties willing to play Bananagrams–fun & fast Scrabble-type game. Questionable parenting, perhaps, but lots of fun.
    Thank the Lord All are home safe.

  3. 53
    Jennifer says:

    So glad everyone is home safely!! Phase 10 is our favorite!! We were introduced to it a few years ago and it has become a staple in our home!!

  4. 54
    Patti says:

    Loved, loved, loved the praise team picture. I think it is my favorite ever – until the next batch of pictures anyway. As always, thanks for sharing, and I’m so glad everyone is home safely.
    Hugs and blessings,
    Patti Hayes

  5. 55
    Kelly Jo says:

    Have you ever heard of the game “THINGS”? It’s so much fun and I would love to play it with you and your family, because I know I would laugh my hind-end off. Amanda you seriously need to purchase THINGS. For example you read a card and it might say Things you shouldn’t say to your father… or things you could use for an excuse on judgement day…. or things you shouldn’t name a children’s book… then everyone at the table writes down their response and you have to guess who said what. My cousin Kyle wrote “The Coolest Stranger” Which I thought was good. It’s just a lot of fun!!!! And I am glad everyone is back home!!! I Love you all 🙂

  6. 56
    Barbra Keeler says:

    So glad everyone is home safe and that you got a chance to visit friends on your trip! Isn’t it fun to watch your kids play with kids of friends you love? The matchmaking is hard to resist!

    My family also loves games… my three daughters enjoy just about ANY Cranium game, but especially the Family Fun Cranium edition. If we get together with my parents and brother’s family, we play Settlers of Catan. Love that game! We were even given the “bible” version, Settlers of Canaan, for Christmas. It’s not very different, but is easier, I think, for kids to learn on.

    Can’t wait to read Melissa’s post tomorrow! God bless y’all~

  7. 57
    Susan says:

    I’m addicted to bejewled on facebook. We use to play Rummy when I was a kid. Glad ya’ll are home safe. With the weather getting hot my poodles go for rides in the evening.

  8. 58
    Pam says:

    So very happy and relieved everyone is home safely! I love the praise team picture–priceless!! I am soooo excited to hear about the trip–I have learned a lot just from the short post that was made! Can’t hardly wait until tomorrow.

  9. 59
    Tara G. says:

    Scrabble- my husband and I have in-house date nights with Scrabble. 🙂 We like card games, too, with bigger groups.

  10. 60
    Jeanne Messer says:

    Amanda, so glad that everyone is home safe and sound. I am still praying for you and Curtis. Hearing that you were in Springfield, MO has made me a little homesick. We lived in IL right across the river from St. Louis for 5 years before we moved here to Hawaii! Such a great family place…St. Louis!

    As far as card games…Phase 10 has to be one of my favorites. We play that for hours with a couple that we have been stationed with at 3 bases. Amazing how time flies when you are having a good time. 🙂

    I also loved the pictures! I am sure that J and AB’s Bibby is going to love the Praise Band/Team pictures. Cracks me up at their early start…Is Travis going to help keep it going? It is nice to visit friends and break up that long journey from MO to Texas! Trust ME!!!

    Little miss Ella has to look out for her special friend, Jackson…TOO CUTE!!! Little girls seem to have that protective nature to watch out for others in them.

    Sorry you did not get to go on your Israel trip but was glad that you had the chance to be with your in-laws and your husband during this time. Praise the LORD that you were not already overseas! Your posts have been such an encouragement to me! May God continue to bless and use you, Melissa, and your Mom, Beth!

  11. 61
    Sparki2003 says:

    Hi there,

    I am sitting here praising the Lord that “our LPM Teams” made it home SAFELY, especially the ones who were in the Holy Land !!! They have been on my mind big time ever since I heard about the “un-rest” over there recently. Miss Beth and the ladies from the LPM team are very special to me, [although I know that I know where Y’all would go if anything extreme happened = Heaven], I am So glad that He chose to bring you to your earthly homes this time. 🙂

    I am in the middle of Miss Beth’s Esther Bible study right now, via the Lord, the cds, and myself, as not too many people in my area seem to want to “dig deeply” into God’s Word, as Beth’s studies challenge us to do. 🙁 However, I think Haman is about to have his “day of infamy” soon! I just love Miss Beth’s insights about these kinds of things . . . 🙂 And, I praise God that she is still writing Bible studies like this! However, I have noticed that some of the really interesting stuff has been removed from them; the Greek & Hebrew words and their meanings … Please bring these things back! I absolutely love learning stuff like that!

    Family games? Hmmm… We have a handful of good ones that we play regularly. One is a dice that we call “5,000”, but it sounds a bit like “Farkle”, only with 5 dice. Another is a domino game called “Chicken-foot”. Jenga, Perfection, and card games like Pyramid [or Christmas Tree] Solitare, and “King’s Corners”, etc. have all been family favorites, and do not cost much, either.

    In Christ’s mighty Love,

    Jennifer O.
    Southern Wisconsin

  12. 62
    Gillian Robinson says:

    We love games too!!!! Uno, Phase10, Dutch Blitz and our newest one is Ticket for a Ride. Glad to hear that your mom and sister arrived home safely. Looking forward to reading her blog tomorrow.

  13. 63
    campbell6 says:

    Glad everyone’s home safe!

    Our favorite game(s) to play are Blockus and Monopoly Deal. You’ve GOT TO, GOT TO, GOT TO check out Monopoly Deal. It’s a $5.00 card game that absolutely ROCKS. We play it all the time…for hours. Hope you enjoy it too!

  14. 64
    Kendra says:

    Last night my hubby and I decided to ditch the t.v. (we don’t have t.v. per se, but have a lot of things we can watch on the computer – amazing race, survivor, office, movies etc.) for a game of Boggle and boy am I glad we did… I’m already ready for a re-match, and it did us good to have that quality time together 🙂

  15. 65

    I played Phase 10 once, it was during youth group…I was like 17:) I bought it, but only played it that one time:)
    Scattegories, Pictionary, Uno, scrabble, and Monopoly are all my personal favs:)

    I am glad that ” Joy comes in the morning”:) and that it did for you during such a rough time. 🙂

  16. 66
    Helen says:

    So glad that everyone is home safe and sound. Your post was such a breath of fresh air for me this morning. I’ve been working for several weeks from dawn to dusk…..plus some trying to have an estate sale for my mom this weekend. We are cleaning out the house that became my “home” when I started Kindergarten……I’m 51 now….so there is lots of stuff. My mom is 86 and has moved into an Senior Assisted living home in the town I live in. I can’t imagine my children going through all my treasures one day and wondering “why in the world did mom keep that”!!!I have been so overwhelmed at times that I’ve literally sat in the floor and cried. I have come across a few real treasures. 1. A German Bible dated 1896 that my Great Grandfather brought with him when he traveled to the US and landed at Ellis Island. 2. Loads of vintage pyrex dishes, aluminum cookware that is worth a WHOLE lot more than $3.00. I should have researched that better. I had some early customers that said they had been burned out and that they had a handicapped son and wondered if they could come early. I wasn’t ready for customers…..I had everything organized but NOTHING priced. Mercy mixed with Madness allowed the lady to get some extremely good deals. The roaster she bought for $3.00 ended last night on e-bay for $134.00. And a baking pan she bought for $1.00 was sold on e-bay for $54.00!!!! I found out later that she uses this story to go early to sales and has her own antique store…..imagine that!!! The funny thing was that in all the books she found a brand new Bible still in the box and asked the price….I told her it would be an honor for me to give it to her. In her rush to get to the car with all of her “steals” she left the Bible on the table. A friend told me where she lives and I pass her house every single time I go to church. I’ve decided that when everything is cleaned up and back in order I’ll drop it by to her. I’m not bold enough to say anything so I’ll just leave that up to the Holy Spirit. Sorry for the rambling this morning but for some reason I feel better just venting and sharing with my Siestas in Christ. Please pray for my sweet little mom (June), I know this is so hard for her to part with earthly treasures and I want so badly to honor her through it all. Better get back to work pricing.
    Thanks for letting me talk…..I’m praying that your day is Blessed Beyond Measure!!

    Helen

    P.S. We are game nuts around our house. Two favorites are Mexican Train and Spades. I think we have Phase 10 but have never played it…..I’m looking forward to pulling that one out!

  17. 67
    Tina Harrell says:

    I’m glad you had a safe and fun trip back home. Two things clicked with me – we love Phase 10 and played it every day on vacation with two other couples and our dog loves going to Grandma’s too!! Enjoy home sweet home!

  18. 68

    I’m so glad you had some fun during your trip.

  19. 69

    I love that you play Phase 10!! I’m such a fan of card games….but no one ever wants to play them with me! lol It’s nice to remember there’s others out there who enjoy them like me! 🙂

  20. 70
    Donna says:

    Good morning Amanda, thank you so much for your post and all the pictures…love seeing how your little ones are growing….and, LOVE the new praise team!! I know you must have been a ‘tad’ disappointed in not being able to go with your Mom & sister, but sounds as though God blessed you with a wonderful, though sad, trip. Thank you again for all your wonderful posts & pictures. Love to all….

  21. 71
    Joni says:

    Monopoly and Clue rules at our house. So glad everyone returned home safe and sound. Pictures as always were precious! 🙂

  22. 72
    Mishababy says:

    Our new fun card game is Monopoly Deal. It’s like the Monopoly board game but in card style. You can find the game in any toy/game section of a store. I really like it and I am not a fan of the board game version.

  23. 73
    Margaret says:

    Favorite game: Quiddler. A fun game if you like words!!!

  24. 74
    Sparki2003 says:

    Hi there,

    I am sitting here praising the Lord that “our LPM Teams” made it home SAFELY, especially the ones who were in the Holy Land !!! They have been on my mind big time ever since I heard about the “un-rest” over there recently. Miss Beth and the ladies from the LPM team are very special to me, [although I know that I know where Y’all would go if anything extreme happened = Heaven], however, I am So glad that He chose to bring you to your earthly homes this time. 🙂

    I am in the middle of Miss Beth’s Esther Bible study right now, via the Lord, the cds, and myself, as not too many people in my area seem to want to “dig deeply” into God’s Word, as Beth’s studies challenge us to do. 🙁 However, I think Haman is about to have his “day of infamy” soon! I just love Miss Beth’s insights about these kinds of things . . . 🙂 And, I praise God that she is still writing Bible studies like this! However, I have noticed that some of the really interesting stuff has been removed from them; the Greek & Hebrew words and their meanings … Please bring these things back! I absolutely love learning stuff like that!

    Family games? Hmmm… We have a handful of good ones that we play regularly. One is a dice that we call “5,000”, but it sounds a bit like “Farkle”, only with 5 dice. Another is a domino game called “Chicken-foot”. Jenga, Perfection, and card games like Pyramid [or Christmas Tree] Solitare, and “King’s Corners”, etc. have all been family favorites, and do not cost much, either.

    In Christ’s mighty Love,

    Jennifer O.
    Southern Wisconsin

  25. 75
    Colleen Delbridge says:

    We don’t often play games but have had lots of fun with Pictionary – a drawing game. Do you have it in America?
    I think Beckham was fed up with you for not taking him to visit Nana.
    Amanda, I know you probably don’t want problems but I am not having any luck finding the book for the Summer study. I live in Cape Town, South Africa, & neither of the Lifeway distributors have the book. They don’t seem able to get it either. Any suggestions?
    Love
    Colleen

  26. 76

    What a fun way to wrap up your long journey! Friends like Janelle are treasures. Phase 10 replacing Uno as your favorite game?? Uno has been my favorite game since I was little, playing it constantly with my grandmother, so it seems as though I’ll have to give Phase 10 a try!

  27. 77
    Ola Mae says:

    So sad to hear the news but SO happy to hear the blessings on the way home. Sisterchicks are amazing to have and necessary!!

    We have to have HEARTS in our family. My daddy is always the one to beat! Can’t wait to pass that on to the next generation.
    Blessings,
    OM

  28. 78
    Christina says:

    My dad and I used to play rummy 500 a lot, but since Christmas, our game of choice is Monopoly Deal. My mom and I play Boggle a lot during the summer, where I win 99.9% of the time. My dad beats me more than I beat him. My singles group, we do like to play Phase 10. My students and I like to play Connect Four.

  29. 79
    Valerie says:

    It’s so fun to see Jackson & Ella together at this age.
    I remember the pictures of them together as babies.
    I love the picture of “the praise team.”
    My kids had a little wooden piano just like that one that AnnaBeth is playing. 🙂
    I have a relative who lives in McKinney. I love that town!
    Glad y’all are home safe and sound.
    I also can’t wait to read Melissa’s post.

  30. 80
    Ann says:

    Thank you for sharing your time also. We raised our children in Springfield. It’s a beautiful city! We also lived in Dallas (Plano) so I know it a bit as well. It’s always a treat seeing your beautiful children playing happily.
    Our sympathies to you & Curtis.

  31. 81
    Kristi Brewer says:

    Hey Amanda!

    Welcome home! It was so cool to see pictures of Janelle and her daughter! (and of course your two cuties too) I met Janelle at a Deeper Still conference a few years ago. She took a picture of you and me. Good to know she and her family are doing well.

    Been praying for you and your family. May the Lord continue to work mightily in your life.

    God bless!

  32. 82
    Lindsee says:

    I think my favorite is the new praise band! I’ll be their manager when they get older and more experienced. I can already see it now! 🙂

  33. 83

    Glad to hear that everyone’s back safely!

    Our favorite game is Cranium, but since we’ve moved to a place where only one out of a dozen friends speaks English, we now play Blackjack. ha-ha

    We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our friends, this September. They were our game cohorts when we lived in Texas. We can’t wait to say, “ Let the games begin!” 😀

  34. 84
    Janelle says:

    Oh Amanda…I forgot to leave this on my earlier comment. I thought of a game you might like. It’s called Dummy Rummy! I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it. hehe

  35. 85
    Angela says:

    Amanda,
    I love to read this blog and get a peek into the life of the Moore’s. I wanted you to know that there is a Mimi’s Cafe in Pearland off 288 at 518. We love going there for brunch…delish.

  36. 86
    Barbara says:

    We have enjoyed playing a new card game called Five Crowns. Similar to Phase 10 but faster.

  37. 87

    The pictures of the praise team make me happy!:) BTW, we have a Mimi’s here in K-town too, it is like you described it:)

  38. 88
    Monica Davis says:

    Amanda-

    If you like Phase 10 you’ll love SkipBo!!

    Great Blog…sorry your trip to Missouri wasn’t under better circumstances, but glad you and your family made it home safely!

    Monica Davis
    Houston, TX

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: