When You Let Your Kids Call the Shots

July 11, 2011 | 29 comments

For the days when you wonder if you’ll ever find your smile,
and your Joy-Meter has tanked,
and your laughter has done walked off the yard…

On those days — the doggiest dog-days of summer — this is the one question that can change everything: “Kids, What do you want to do today?”

And just watch the magical thing that happens.

(Girls, you had me at ice cream.)    

Okoboji

Daddy saying, “You decide.”

Kid agenda, open wide.

Cannonballs and head-first dives,

Rattling wooden coaster rides.

Carousel and ferris wheel,

Mama with a childish squeal!

Nutty bars and Husker Du,

Okoboji sunset view.

Sitting next to farmer boy,

Tuckered out, but reclaimed joy.

Arnolds Park Roller Coaster

Tell us: How do you refill your Joy Meter on the doggiest dog days?

by | July 11, 2011 | 29 comments

29 Comments

  1. Traci

    Oh how I LOVE this post and adore your pictures! Thank you for sharing.

    Love,
    Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Traci! Thank you for sharing in our fun. 🙂

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Yes, Lyla! And if you click on the “wooden coaster” link, you can get a good feel for the Legend Rollercoaster there. Have you been?

      Reply
      • Lyla Lindquist

        Yes. 🙂 We vacationed with the Webster City clan, et al, at Fillenwarth Beach just down the road from the amusement park and the Emporium most summers when I was a kid.

        Reply
        • dukeslee

          Have you been to Arnolds Park amusement park lately? It looks a lot the same. When you were a wee kid, did you ride the little boat merry-go-round? Still there…

          Tipsy House. Mirror Maze. All there…

          Reply
  2. Stephie

    How “sweet” Jennifer 🙂 Kids are the best directors. Recently, my sister and I got to baby sit our little 5 year old cousin. And it was so nice. We took her for icecream (she got two big scoops–rainbow and cookies and cream) and just to see a child happy over the simplest things in life is precious. This did refill my Joy!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Stephie,

      It was so good to just take a couple days and let the girls plan the agenda. We had a ball. No office time. No computers. Just swimming, and cotton candy, and silly games, and all the simplest things.

      Reply
  3. Sheila Lagrand

    Jennifer,
    This post is such a blessing! We’re on our first full day of a three-generation vacation. Last time I did one of these I was in the youngest generation. Now I’m the Lala enjoying time with my daughter, SIL and their two boys.

    Cadence, who’s not quite 5, does have exciting plans for our trip.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Have a great time, Sheila. I look forward to hearing where Cadence leads. 🙂

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Let me know how it turns out. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Tay

    I refill my joy meter by spending tine with my precious family {aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents}. Just being with them brings me to much joy. I can hardly contain myself when were all together.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Tay … I’ll bet you bring much joy to your family, too, Tay. I’m always amazed at the wisdom you have, especially at such a young age. Do you have another year of school left, or will you be in college?

      Reply
      • Tay

        Yep, one more year of high school left!

        Reply
  5. kendal

    refilling the joy meter? something fun with the whole family. and even THINKING of our upcoming vacation, that does it! great photos!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Wonderful, Kendal! Where will you be headed for vacation? We’ve got a short trip to Wisconsin on our agenda, and another short trip to a fishing lake in Minnesota.

      Reply
  6. Shaunie Friday

    I love the picture showing the ad for Blue Bunny Ice Cream–just like me, born in LeMars, Iowa!! =)

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      That’s right! Shaunie, do you still have family there? Would love to see you if you ever come this way. I only live about 50 miles from LeMars.

      Reply
  7. Nancy

    You had me at cotton candy. There’s something about summer that just moves the joy meter for me.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Nancy … For us as well. Gardens and swimming pools and picnics in the park and boat rides …

      Reply
  8. Simply Darlene

    Forget the roller coaster, let me at that jumpy thing though! (Did you jump, miss JDL?)

    Blessings.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Darlene,

      No I didn’t jump. But when I posted that picture on here yesterday, I wondered, “who of my friends would have taken their turn on that crazy thing?” You came to mind. 🙂 … I love your spirit, Darlene.

      Reply
  9. David Rupert

    Nothing like summer fun. We WANT to make our kids happy, to bring them joy!

    Reply
  10. Michelle DeRusha

    Love it, love it — especially you on that wild roller coaster!

    And me? I find joy in resting in His creation — this morning I watched a red belly woodpecker hunting for bugs about the yard as the wind swept through the tall oak trees. And I sang, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad and be glad!”

    Reply
  11. S. Etole

    Whatever it is usually involves chocolate and concentrated thanksgiving!

    Love that photo of your little girl peeking through the window.

    Reply
  12. Missie

    Love love love the photos!

    Reply
  13. elaine @ peace for the journey

    I’m scared to ask my kids what they want to do. It usually involves lots of money and water. Since I don’t have much money, nor a bathing suit, I usually send them to grandma and grandpa’s. They have both:)!

    peace~elaine

    Reply
  14. Lori

    Wonderful, I feel like I just went to the boardwalk sitting here at work! Thanks I needed that…..Lori

    Reply

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