Spread the Word


What word? The R word. Retard. That ugly word that is still used so often all around us.

Why? Because it’s honestly so incredibly important to stop using this hurtful term. Last year I wrote a post about why, as a mother, I think we need to stop using it. I was nervous about publishing the post, but when it got over 10,000 hits on Facebook, I realized just how many people really do want to ‘spread the word.’ Please take a second to read the post and share it with those who may not know why so many of us are hurt when we hear the word. And please, please, please…let’s get rid of this ugly word!

Please click over to take the pledge to stop using the word and then encourage those around you to delete it from their vocabulary.

If you do it for no other reason, do it for this guy.




{inspired} I Run 4

Do you workout? Ever think it’d be nice to have a little more motivation to get your workouts in? I Run 4 is a perfect reason to get your run in, to complete your yoga workout, or go for a long walk.

I was first introduced to I Run 4 one year ago. The organization started in January 2013 when a runner named Tim started dedicating his runs to a guy named Michael, who has Down syndrome. A few friends joined Tim in dedicating their miles, which started that official group. By September of 2014, the group had grown to 30,000 members consisting of runners and their buddies. That’s crazy growth!

I began following IRun4 on Facebook last spring. Being a part of the Facebook group has been wonderful. Every time I check Facebook, I see at least a couple posts from a few runners to their buddies or from the buddies to their runners. They encourage one another and celebrate the big & small events of their lives. It’s a beautiful group that is creating awareness of many conditions and building relationships between families all around the world.  This video is a small gimpse into the awesomeness of this group!

Finally, last fall I decided to complete the form and get a buddy for Sam. Just a few days later, we got a very exciting Facebook message that Sam had been matched! Kim has been clocking miles through the bitterly cold winter months and dedicating them to our little man. She posts her progress on my wall or with the iRun4 group with cute graphics and sweet pictures. I always show them to Sam who smiles and points at the pictures. Of course, he doesn’t quite understand what it’s all about quite yet but he will before long.  Sam will continue to be Kim’s buddy while we’re in Kenya, because all we’ll need is a connection to Facebook, and most days we will have that! We do hope to someday meet Kim in real life so Sam can cheer her on during a race and maybe even run across the finish line with her. Wouldn’t that be amazing?


Not only does Sam have a buddy, but as of last night, Ella does, too! The organization has developed the irun4 sibling group to develop relationships between runners and siblings of those in the iRun4 group. Ella is going to be thrilled to connect with her runner. It will be her own special thing.  I can’t wait to tell her after school!

Do you know someone who would be interested in matching up with a runner or buddy? Send them to whoirun4.com! I especially encourage you to do this if you know anyone who is not able to run, no matter their age. The list of runners is quite long, but buddies are not as plentiful. Let’s help spread the word and get more runners and buddies connected!



Date Night Scavenger Hunt

scavenger hunt 2

Every Wednesday night, our dear friend, Hannah, comes over to watch the kids for the evening so Pete and I can go on a date. We’ve been very intentional about having a weekly date night since Ella was little. It has been amazing for our relationship. Even when we don’t feel like we’re connecting, whether it’s because Pete is working a lot or we’re just not ‘clicking’ for some odd reason, we know Wednesday is coming up and we’ll have time together without the kids to reconnect. We sometimes have to spend the first hour or so going through business just to get it out of the way, but after that, we focus only on each other. We almost always feel much closer by the end of the night, like we’ve been able to reset together.

This week we began our date with a friend we had wanted to connect with for a few months, but when we parted ways with her, we didn’t have any plans. As we drove over the bridge between Superior and Duluth (Wisconsin and Minnesota) we ran through a few options for the rest of the night. We both wanted to do something a bit active, which meant we weren’t going to just sit at Barnes & Noble, a favorite date night spot when we can’t think of anything better to do. We thought about walking the mall, but it was about to close. It was far too cold to walk outside, so that basically left two places: Target and Walmart. Since we’re not spending money, I didn’t really want to go to Target. It’s easier for me to avoid it altogether. That’s when an idea hit me. A Walmart scavenger hunt. Pinterest had to have something we could use. After a quick search as Pete drove, I found a list that would definitely work for us, even though it was designed to be done by competing teams. Hot dog! We were set!

With the list on my phone and my camera ready to go, we stepped through the sliding doors of the ginormous store and set a timer. Thirty minutes would give us enough time to get through most of the list but still keep us moving quickly. Besides, we needed to keep it exciting!

Three. Two. One. GO!

Create a team mascot. (We’ve got a whole lot of Frozen in our lives, so Olaf seemed an obvious choice.)


A food neither of us like…


A food we’ve both had in the last week…


A toy we both had when we were younger…


A DVD neither of us has seen…


Something that is only used outside…


Create a battle scene… (our favorite!)



Wearing something that matches… (Go, Bulldogs!)


We completed about 19 different challenges in our 30 minutes. It was super fun, and we spent absolutely zero dollars! The list we used worked, but it was designed for a team, as were the others I found on Pinterest. So, I put together a date night list that we can use in the future. I’ve included it here so you can use it, too!

Date Night Scavenger Hunt Blue

Click here to download the Date Night Scavenger Hunt. Print it or save it on your phone, grab your honey, and head to a big store for you next date night!

What’s your favorite thing to do on date night? Leave a comment below or by clicking on COMMENTS under the post title.

Photo Friday is a little glimpse at our week in pictures. To see more, follow TheMangoMemoirs on Instagram!


Posted on Link Ups:  A Group Look, Good Morning Mondays, Monday Musings, Tell It To Me Tuesdays


A Few New Features

If you swing by often, you may notice that we’ve got a few new things hanging out in the sidebar. And if you’re not a regular visitor, WELCOME! I want to take just a moment to point out the new features.

But first, a photo of Sam. Just because it feels right.



Ok, new features:

  1. We have a new photo! This was taken last summer at my sister’s wedding by the incredibly talented Anna Genevieve. (Click here for photos of my sister’s beautiful day.) I asked her if we could get a family photo, we paused, she snapped, and that was it! Honestly, I was a little worried it wouldn’t turn out since she took one single photo, but it absolutely did! We’re all smiling and looking at the camera, and I love how she completely captured Ella and Sam’s personalities. This is the same photo we’re using on our prayer cards as we prepare for Kenya.
  2. We’ve added a link to our page with World Gospel Mission (WGM). This is the organization we’ll be working with in Kenya. The page includes our biography as well as a form to make a donation to our ministry fund, the fund that will help our family get to Kenya and then do all the incredible things God has laid on our hearts for our life there. More on that later…
  3. You can now follow our blog by email! Instead of checking in for an update at random times, you can sign up to receive an email when we do post something new. We encourage you to sign up in the sidebar!
  4. There are a few new categories, and I’m now working on going through old posts to categorize them, which make it much easier to follow a particular theme here on the blog. All you have to do is click on one and a whole list of posts will pop up in that category. Like I said, though, I’m working on getting those updated.
  5. I’ve added a link to The Influence Network, an incredible community of women I’ve joined for encouragement and inspiration. They offer lots of resources through online publications, live online classes, conferences, podcasts, and discussion forums. Click the link if you’re interested in finding out more!
  6. Finally, we’ve launched a new Facebook page and have added the link to that new page. This was the easiest way to make our Facebook presence more user-friendly as we begin to share our heart for Kenya with lots of new people. If you’re not following our new page yet, simply click the like button in the sidebar.

new features

One other change you won’t see in the sidebar is actually on our CONTACT page in the top menu. We now have a PO Box as we prepare for Kenya. It’s a permanent address for us through our upcoming moves. If you ever want to contact us through snail mail (which we love!), you can use that address. If you already have our regular address, though, you can continue to use that one until our move.

Wow! Look at me! I’ve posted three times this week! I used to have grand dreams of posting 4 or 5 times a week and covering all these cool topics, but then I got real and recognized the fact that this blog is not my job. As cool as I think it would be to be able to blog for a living, I just don’t feel God leading me that way. It is always my goal to get in one solid post each week, something a little more than simply posting a few photos or a link to something I like. It a good way for me to continue to write. Besides that, I really, really love connecting with each of you. I do. It means the world to me that I can write from my heart and there are real people who take the time to read it. And then you respond! Some of you comment here on the blog and a lot more of you comment on Facebook or Instagram. I’ve also been getting some very encouraging emails and Facebook messages from others who are either going down similar paths as our family or who are inspired to do so. It is because of all of you that I continue to return to this space with excitement to share our days through words and photos. Please don’t stop commenting. I can’t tell you the encouragement it brings!



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