Our Family Service Trip Journal, Day 4: Church in Colorado Springs, Meet & Greet, Garden of the Gods

In case you missed them…Day One: SEVENS Ministry, Day Two: Handing Out Food to 100 Families, and Day Three: Purple Door Coffee and a Wedding.

Did I ever tell you we used to live in Colorado Springs? Yep, from 1998-2002, Matt worked with a small congregation in the southern part of the city. In fact, our two middle boys, Justus and Elias, were born in Colorado Springs. Good memories! And so, we were excited to head down from Denver to Colorado Springs on Sunday morning to worship with the church family where we had worked for four years. 

We drove by the house we used to live in, saw the park where we used to play…and pretty much nobody remembered it but Matt and me since the boys were all so little while we had lived there! They still had fun having us point out all that we remembered.

Our former church family welcomed us with lots of hugs and plenty of, “I can’t believe how big your boys are!”  The congregation is much smaller than it used to be, so we were glad to learn of some prayer needs there. Our goal was to encourage those that were there, so we are prayerful that God used our family in that way.

Later that afternoon, I was able to meet quite a few Colorado Springs area readers. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the visits we have at these Meet & Greet events! We shared stories, recipe ideas, parenting tips…it was great. As soon as I’m able to put some of these thoughts in writing, you’ll be able to benefit from these visits too. (Just wait till I share the homemade cereal recipe I heard about!)


Several brought their kids along, which I always love. They all got along great, playing board games and cards together while we ladies visited. I loved hearing some of the kids tell me, “I really love the recipe {fill in the blank} my mom makes from your website…”  Yay for healthy recipe lovin’ kids (who don’t hate me because I’ve encouraged their moms to ditch the jelly beans)!


Because the first four days of our trip had been so full, and because we had a big day of service ahead of us the next day in the northern part of Colorado Springs, we had made reservations at an inexpensive (but nice) hotel for the evening. I knew we’d all need some downtime to keep our wits about us. This ended up being the perfect treat. We checked into our hotel, kicked back for a little while, then headed out to experience Garden of the Gods together.

Did I ever tell you that Matt and I had our honeymoon in Colorado Springs? That was before we knew we’d live there someday and that two of our babies would be born there. Being back in Garden of the Gods brought back great memories from 18 1/2 years ago when we were newlyweds. How awesome it was now to head back there with our four boys!


We thought we may not be able to walk around and enjoy the beauty because of the rain that had been threatening all afternoon and evening. Instead, we were blessed because the rain stopped AND we got to see a rainbow!


The boys had a blast climbing (in the areas were the park allowed climbing).


Don’t worry, Asa and Justus really aren’t as high up as they look…


Here’s a great shot of Pike’s Peak:


And a shot with Matt and I with Pike’s Peak behind us:


This may be one of my favorites of all the boys:


And of course, Mom and Dad had to get a picture in the same location. Hey, if the boys can be silly in pictures, so can we!


Just before taking off for the hotel again, the boys climbed one last rock:


And then they pushed each other off while screaming and crying. Kidding. I’m kidding.  They’re just good at adding drama to an otherwise normal climb down off of a boulder.


I’m having so much fun re-living our trip while I share pictures and tell you about it. God is so good to give us such great learning experiences, opportunities to serve, wonderful people to meet, and awesome memories we’ll hold onto forever. Can’t wait to tell you about the rest of our trip!


  1. says

    How fun! Your photos made me smile. We live in Woodland Park (20 minutes west of CO Springs) and our church is in downtown Springs. We stopped briefly at Garden of the Gods last Sunday afternoon (as we sometimes do to let the kiddos stretch their legs before we drive home) so we might have been there at the same time as your family. It’s such a beautiful place! God’s handiwork is amazing.


    Laura Reply:

    How awesome that you have such a beautiful place to stop and walk around! Wish we would have run into you there!


  2. Laura S. says

    Yay!! It was so much fun to meet you and your family. You and your blog have been a real blessing to our family… and helped us get rid of those jelly beans. ;-) I’m glad to see the rain didn’t spoil your trip to the Garden– it sure was raining hard when we left Panera! What fun to return to your honeymoon spot. Makes you fall in love all over again, eh?


    Laura Reply:

    It was great to meet you too!! Loved that you brought your kids too. Hope your kids did well on their oral exams. :)


    Laura S. Reply:

    Thank for asking– they both got a “high pass”– the best they could do! Proud Mama! :-)


  3. Deborah says

    Love watching all your adventures. Thanks for sharing your family. I am still needing to try some of your latest recipes. I have loved all the ones I have tried. I wish you were coming to the Nashville area. Would love to see you. How did you ever convince your husband and family to eat healthy and do away with sugar???? My husband has to have his candy bars and ice cream every night after dinner.


  4. Lisa Eldridge says

    I LOVE Colorado Springs! We have lots of family in that area so we go a couple times a year. It’s always beautiful.


  5. Paula M says

    I used to live in the Springs (2001-2002) also and just drove through Colorado from Ohio, on the way to Washington State where we have since moved. We met up with friends I lived with (were you at Panera in those pictures?) for lunch, at Panera, then headed to Garden of the gods with my other friend whom I met in the Springs in 2001 and have kept in touch with for the past 10 years. I lived in the apt building right near the garden and hiked there daily, so beatiful. We have the same pictures, same rocks, different people, very fun! Thanks for sharing. Paula M


  6. Ann says

    Hi Laura – we are taking our two boys to colorado for a summer vacation. did you go to Rocky Mountain National Park/Estes Park too? I am wondering if it’s worth the apx 2 hour drive up there from colorado springs. we’ll be coming from /going home to Kansas. Thanks!!


    Laura Reply:

    We didn’t, but it sounds awesome!


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