Fun Friday Favorites: Fourth of July, Zach Johnson, and Stay-cations

It’s been a busy few weeks and I need to get back into my thrice a week blogging.  This vacationing and playing all day and partying all night has got to stop.  Sometime.

So, this week’s Fun Friday Favorites will not showcase my favorite fashions, soaps, shoes, or whatnot.  I’ll be sharing some of my favorite moments over the past week or so.  It’s bound to be just as entertaining.  And five times longer than a normal Friday post.  Sorry.

1.  Fourth of July – visiting my family

Grandma Helen and I playing Spades with my mom and Papa Joe

Grandma Helen & I playing Spades with my mom & Papa Joe

Remember Hubby, the boys, and I were on vacation at St. Pete’s Beach through July 3rd?  (Yes, I will still be getting up a post about our vacation…you know me…so many stories to share.)  Well, the next day, Hubby and the boys felt like they needed some “240 outdoorsy time” so, I enjoyed a quiet drive down to New Sharon to spend the Fourth of July afternoon at my Grandma Helen’s visiting my parents and the Hargis family.  My mom and Papa ended up beating my Grandma Helen and I in Spades.  But Grandma and I had a good run going for awhile…until the dealer changed (note to self:  I’m a horrible dealer that turns a good card game to bad, hence…Grandma and I lost).  But it was fun.  And here is what I brought…notice the Nora Fleming dish which was one of my favorites I posted about a few weeks back…it’s fancier than the Key Lime Dip, I know.  (In my defense, I had nothing fresh in our fridge after being on vacation.  Other than cream cheese.  And a Tastefully Simple packet in the cupboard.  Mix the two together and whaaalaa.  You have Key Lime Cheeseball Dip.)

Key Lime Cheeseball Dip

Key Lime Cheeseball Dip and the cute Uncle Sam’s topper


2.  Fourth of July – Outdoorsy Fun

After a fun time seeing my family, I headed back home and meet Hubby and the boys at the 240.  (PETA people…stop reading here.  You will not like the next sentence.)  They were desperately wanting to show me the good time they’d been having…shooting snakes in the flood waters.  So, in our Ranger we went, down to the flooded backwaters of the Iowa River…


And here we have our brave boys.  And the dead snake.

And here we have our brave boys. And the dead snake.

Nate and his sharpshooter aim

Nate and his sharpshooter aim

cRaZy FaMiLy!!!

cRaZy FaMiLy!!!

After showing me their dead snake that was shot with a BB gun, we enjoyed some more outdoor wildlife.  Maxim loves frogs.  This is his latest pet.  Well, if you consider carrying around a tiny frog for two hours a pet, then by all means, this was his pet for the evening.




3.  Zach Johnson Foundation Classic Gala –

Zach giving a speech

Zach giving a speech

Sunday evening, we attended the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic Gala.  Hubby’s company that he works for (World Class Industries) has been a big supporter of Zach Johnson, the former Cedar Rapidian who is a pro golfer.  Pat Cobb is on the Zach Johnson Foundation Board and we were excited to be seated at the table with Pat and his wife, Sandy, along with other friends for a fun evening of dinner and the live auction.

Zach Johnson is an incredible man and listening to him talk about his Kids on Course program was moving.  Zach is so humble and he gives God glory for his golfing talent and the skills he has been blessed with.  He and his wife, Kim, have started the Kids on Course program in Cedar Rapids, along with the cooperation of United Way and the Cedar Rapids Community School District.  To hear all of the opportunities of how this program is helping children was so incredible.  I could relate because the schools they work with are schools that I have taught at:  Harrison and Van Buren elementary schools and now Grant Elementary will become the third Kids On Course school.

It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t tell you about my little oops that I did in the silent auction.

Upon arriving, I checked Hubby and I in and then, signed my cell phone up to be in the silent auction.  Hubby and I looked at all of the great items to bid on and then, we made our way to our dinner table.  We were talking with friends, Sandy and Tom, and she was getting texts because she and another bidder were going back and forth bidding on tennis lessons.  That’s when I decided to check out a few of the items I was wanting to bid on.  Well…I should never do two things at once.

I looked up item #145, The Sanctuary Spa $75.00 gift card bid.  Then, I went to look up the item #170.  But I wasn’t actually on the correct screen.  I was still on the #145 screen.  And that’s when my bid went through.  I showed Sandy the confusing message and we realized that I had just put a $170 bid in on a $75 gift card.  I can’t even.  She was receiving texts saying someone else upped her bid.  I did not.  No one is going to up my bid of $170 on a $75 gift card.  Well, as we all joked…”It’s for the kids.”  And it was.  A good cause that we were happy to be a part of.


4.  Zach Johnson Foundation Classic Golf Tournament –


Zach at Hole #9

Zach at Hole #9

On Monday, I took the boys to the golf tournament.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and they loved getting to watch Zach and others golf.  Again, Zach was such a great guy and so friendly to the boys.  He commented on how much he liked Maxim’s and Nate’s hair, making this momma proud.  (Hey, when you don’t have girls, only boys, it doesn’t mean your kids still can’t have cool haircuts.)  Later, Zach saw us again and told the boys he needed to go to their hair stylist.  They thought Zach was pretty cool.



5.  Road Trippin & a Stay-cation with my bestie and all of our kids –


On Tuesday, my bestie and I took all of our kids on a road trip.  With Francy’s three kids and my two boys, we were off to Meadowlands Resort.  We had a water-view room (ponds and creek in sight), along with great food and hospitality.  Ok, so we were just in southern Iowa.  On an acreage near Fremont.  Visiting my parents.  See, I wanted to show her where “home” was for me.  So, it was a Stay-cation because we stayed at my parents’ home and didn’t accrue the costs of an elaborate vacation with hotels and dining.


6.  Stay-cation memories at my parents’ house –

Grandma Melanie with Nate & Maxim and Francy's son, Carver

Grandma Melanie with Nate & Maxim and Francy’s son, Carver

Picking green beans with Papa Joe

Picking green beans with Papa Joe

Ready for a Gator ride!  (No Maxim did not drive...)

Ready for a Gator ride! (No Maxim did not drive…)

Nate chillin' and fishin'

Nate chillin’ and fishin’

Selfie fishin pose!

Selfie fishin pose!

Nate and Lexy having fun with sparklers

Nate and Lexy having fun with sparklers

There was plenty to do at my parents’ house!  Gator riding, picking fresh green beans from the garden, catching fish…so much fun!


7.  Some of my favorites in Southern Iowa –

Tasos' Steak House in Oskaloosa has AWESOME pizza!

Tasos’ Steak House in Oskaloosa has AWESOME pizza!

We drove into Oskaloosa for supper on the first night.  I love the pizza at Tasos’.  Then, we went and fed the swans after supper.


The next day, we went to Pella because they have an amazing pool.  Slides, high dive diving board (that Nate and Shay went on…the only two brave ones in the group), a lazy river…it was just perfect!  My cousin, Jess, and her two girls joined us for an afternoon of swimming and fun.  And, while we were there, we saw two other cousins of mine.  So much fun!


Of course, you can NEVER leave Pella without a visit to the best bakery EVER.  People.  If you haven’t been to Jaarsma Bakery, then I. am. sorry.  They are known for the dutch letters, but personally, I’ve always had a heart for their frosted Miss Piggy cookies.  Delish.

Jaarsma Bakery in Pella...the BEST ever!

Treats from Jaarsma Bakery in Pella…the BEST ever!


We came back from our Road Trippin’ Staycation on Thursday.  It was so fun to show my bestie and her kids all that Southern Iowa has to offer.  My parents were amazing and they put the H in hospitality.  (I’m not sure what that means, but it sounded good.)  Great food, fun, and memories…that’s what it’s all about.


So…what have been some of your summer favorite memories?  Share!  It’s the little things we do that make the most memorable times.


Have a great weekend!





1 Comment
  • Melanie
    July 12, 2014

    We had a great time! Looking forward to having Francy and her sweet children back again, too. Miss you guys already!

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