Anderson Farm’s aMAIZEing Fall Festival

There’s no better way to welcome this beautiful fall season than with a carefree day on the farm…Anderson Farms in Erie, CO that is!  This aMAIZEing Fall Festival, boasting some of the oldest corn mazes in the state, is a popular family tradition to many, and after having spent a day there myself, I can see why so many people find it to be such an attractive destination.

A day of fun on this farm includes 30 acres of intricate corn maze trails with checkpoints and challenges for those up for more than just your traditional maze.  There is a mini hay bale maze for the little ones, old-fashioned hay rides out to sprawling pumpkin patches, gemstone mining, gourd launching, kiddie train rides, pedal karts, s’mores by the fire pit, and much, much more!

With the many options, you may want to draw up a plan of attack before setting out.  During our visit, we tried to sample a little of everything, and I can tell you that we weren’t a bit disappointed with any of our endeavors…well, my daughter was a little concerned that mommy was “lost” amongst the endless stalks of corn…it’s very hard to explain the entertainment value in that to a three-year-old!

We had hoped to discover the entrance to the Farm Scene Investigation (FSI) maze – my son was particularly attracted to the Scooby-Doo allure of finding all the clues and solving the mystery…and there was a prize at stake.  We never did find that entrance though, and I can tell you, from my directionless wandering through the corn, we were just lucky to have made it out of there in time for lunch, ha. 

The Anderson Farms Fall Festival experience is one that you and your family won’t soon forget.  My kids found it to be absolutely enchanting and were completely exhausted before we had accomplished everything on our list…and that is our good excuse for a return visit!

FREE $25 at Boondocks with Kids Deals!

As some of you know, I do editorial reviews for USFamilyGuide/  Well, they are launching a new program called “Kids Deals” to offer families some fabulous discounts on entertainment and fun in our area, yayyyyy!  They are trying to get the word out and the company president is offering $25 gift certificates to Boondocks to those who are willing to pass this information along!  All you have to do is post the link at the bottom of his message to your Twitter, FB, Blog, or whatever you do 😉  Here’s the message from Mike…

We are excited to share the Kids Deals group buying program with you.  This new opportunity allows parents to purchase highly discounted vouchers for local activities and attractions.  We are launching this program TODAY with a 67% OFF offer for a 5 Day Open Play Pass from Little Monkey Bizness of Lone Tree.  We have several other businesses scheduled for future offers including My Art Workshop, Denver Firefighters Museum, Heritage Square and more! 

I would like to ask you to help us get the word out and give you a $25 Gift Card to Boondocks for your help.  Please email/tweet/post the below link to all your fans, followers and email list.  Also please post it on your Facebook page and/or Blog.  We will soon begin to run several promotions simultaneously so, even it Little Monkey Bizness is not for them, there will be more great deals for parents to enjoy and we want them to sign up to receive future deals.  Our intention is to expand this program throughout the entire US Family Guide network and as we grow we will be looking for people within our network to get more involved and share in the success.

Just send me an email letting me know that you will help get the word out (please include your current mailing address) and I will pop the $25 Boondocks gift card in the mail:

Michael Marston <

Also email any questions or other ideas on how we can get the word out and/or if you would like to get more involved.  Below is the link and suggested text. – Kids Deals!
50% – 90% OFF Family Fun
Link to Deals Index – this will display all current deals

Link to the Little Monkey Bizness deal

Baking Cookies With God

This is a great one for fellow moms (and dads too).  Thanks to my friend Rebecca for sharing this beautiful analogy of parental love!

Now, lets see if I can get it right 😉  It goes something like this…

While we, as believers, are called to witness and serve, we know that God doesn’t actually need us to complete His good works, and yet, he chooses to let us be part of His amazing purpose here on Earth.  He doesn’t need our participation in reaching out to others, our help in spreading His message of salvation, or for us to provide for those in need, and still, He invites us be part of all of this and more.  So, why would a God, capable of innumerable miracles, trust us with such important tasks?

Maybe He just wants us to bake cookies with Him!

As moms, we know that if we invite our children to “help” us in the kitchen that we don’t really need their assistance – – and, we can be sure that things are not going to go as planned, the process will take a whole lot longer than necessary, our helpers may get bored or frustrated and quit before the job has been completed, and we will most certainly have a HUGE mess to clean up in the end…and still, we ask those little people to bake cookies with us time and time again – why would we do such a thing?  Just because we love them.  We want to spend time with them.  We want them to remember what it felt like to be part of something and to pass that endearing feeling on to their children.  We do it out of love for our children.  Is this what our Father is doing for us?  Letting us be part of something, that we will most certainly mess up, just because he loves us and longs to spend time with us?!?  Pretty amazing. 

Have you baked cookies with God lately?

Top 5 Stress Relievers for Fall

And so we say a sweet goodbye to summer…hello to busy fall schedules, brisk mornings, leaves for raking, holidays for planning, cookies for baking – maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but as moms, our schedules get a little crazy this time of year, and who couldn’t use some extra stress relief – and not just for this season!

In my attempt to provide fun ideas for easing fall tensions, I found a variety of interesting thoughts on stress relief – some much more creative than others – and I’m going to have to try some of those!  But, after researching some of the most popular ideas, combining them with my personal thoughts, and condensing all that info (yes, I had a lot of thoughts) into 5 main topics, here’s what I’ve come up with…and not in this specific order 🙂

1. Healthy Lifestyle
This includes eating right, exercising moderately, sleeping at least 7-9 hours each night – depending on your personal needs, scheduling time for work and play, caring for yourself — because you need selfcare because others depend on you, and taking time to follow my list of stress relievers!

2. Friendship/Love
I believe that humans are made for relationship and for love – not just silly, puppy love – 1 Corinthians 13 love.  I believe that this type of social relationship is essential for human survival and allows us to thrive.  We may find this type of relationship in a mate, our children, family members, and friends that we truly love.  With this type of relationship comes socialization, companionship, self-disclosure, trust, and the fulfillment of an array of needs we may not even know we have.  Ok, now I just want to give all my friends a huge, stress-relieving hug.

3. Sex
I don’t think I need to explain this one, but incase you’re wondering my thoughts…I believe this to be an amazing gift that, when used appropriately, is one of the best forms of stress relief offered to mankind.  Oh, and I think that following the other items on this list (not simultaneously) may make this one even better for you.

4. Laughter
So, here’s something I came up with after doing some web research — laughter was a popular stress-relief topic, and I did find some thoughts on moderate drinking being healthy for the body and soul.  So, I put together a fun recipe that goes something like: martinis/wine/beer/whatever you prefer, woodfire pizza, and a group of your best friends…all in moderation, and not to be combined with item number 3.

5. Prayer/Meditation
It is my belief (and a lot of stress-relief professionals seem to agree) that staying true to yourself and that in which you believe is the one, most accurate predictor of whether you will feel a sense of self-fulfillment, accomplishment, and joy in the life you live.  My thought on this is that we must continually seek understanding  and guidance from the Lord for direction in our lives – consciously letting go of human judgement and following His will rather than our own.