Freshwater Church

Things to do in Springfield

Brad and I have been in Springfield for almost a year and a half, and our time here is coming to a close. I graduate in May and we are not planning on staying here for much longer after that. (Details about our big move will hopefully be coming soon!)

We have tried to really take advantage our time here and soak up the Ozarks. I thought I’d share some of the fun things we’ve done!

Things to do in Springfield MO

1. See a kids movie at the Palace for $1.50 on a Tuesday night.
You can’t beat the Palace on Tuesdays! We particularly like seeing kids movies at the Palace, because honestly I didn’t want to pay $20 for the two of us to see Wreck It Ralph. Of course you can see any kind of movie at the Palace, not just kids movies. Also, since movies come to the Palace a bit after they are originally released, you have probably heard if the movie is good or not. This date night is perfect for these wintery months!

2. Go for a walk in one of the great parks in Springfield.
Our favorite parks to frequent are Phelps Grove Park and Nathanael Greene Park. Phelps Grove Parks is less than half a mile from MSU, so it is a great spot for students!

Nathanael Greene

3. Go see the Springfield Lasers play a tennis match!
We snagged free tickets this summer and had the greatest time! The facility is really nice and it was a great environment.

4. Visit Rutledge Wilson Farm during the fall. You can pick your own pumpkin, walk through a corn maze, and pet farm animals! Definitely put it on your list for this autumn.

Rutledge Wilson

5. Hit up Silver Dollar City! Brad and I love SDC. We had season passes this year and had a blast every time we went (except maybe for the time it was over 100 degrees)! You can do something different every time you go, or you can ride the same roller coasters every time! Plus the food is amazing. I’m pretty sure we got a funnel cake every time we went.

sdc

6. Go to a Springfield Cardinals game.
I’m a Royals fan through and through, but the Springfield Cardinals games are a super fun environment and the tickets are pretty cheap!

7. Eat at a local restaurant. There are so many great local restaurants here! A few of them are Taylor’s Drive In, Springfield Brew Company, Grad School (get the Full Ride!), Farmers Gastropub, Tea Bar and Bites (perfect for brunch), Nonna’s, Maria’s, or Bambinos!

taylors

8. Eat a Hurts Donut! Brad and I are only a liiiiiiiiittle obsessed with Hurts Donuts. They’ve been open less than 2 months and I’m pretty sure we’ve been there about 10 times. Their donuts are creative, out of the box, and delicious.

9. Go thrifting/antiquing. There are tons of great thrift shops and antique stores in the area. Strolling through the aisles of weird stuff looking for cheap treasures makes for a great Saturday afternoon date! A few of our favorites are Victory Vintage, Thrift Haven, Mike’s Unique Collectable and Antique Flea Market, STD Flea Market, and Relics Antique Mall. We’ve gotten some great stuff!

10. Grab coffee at a local coffee shop. We love Starbucks, but there are also a lot of great local places to get a cup of joe in Springfield. Our go-to is Mudhouse, but there is also Coffee Ethic, Kingdom Coffee (aka The Hub), Classic Rock Coffee, and Hebrews Coffee. We really like Hebrews, but it’s on the other side of town so we don’t make it there very often.

the hub

11. Go mini golfing at Fun Acre.
I love Fun Acre. It’s kinda old and a little run-down, but it’s really cheap and fun! (That’s why it’s called Fun Acre.) There are also batting cages there!

12. Visit the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Springfield is fortunate to have a great nature center. There are a lot of great trails and they put on a bunch events for kids and adults!

13. Tour Askinosie Chocolate. Askinosie is a bean to bar company that supports farmers all across the world. Plus they do a lot of really cool stuff for the community here in Springfield! Take a tour and hear their full story! And of course sample some chocolate.

askinosie

14. Take a day trip to a small town around Springfield. There are lots of wineries, antique shops, state parks, and lakes around southwest Missouri all waiting to be explored!

15. Go to Freshwater Church! Okay, shameless plug for our church. But seriously it’s one of the best things to do in Springfield! Sundays at 10 am at Ed. V. Williams Elementary. Be there!

Enjoy having adventures in Springfield! It’s a great city!

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Our Christmas Week

Our Christmas week included baptisms, hospital visits, Christmas carols, a death, time with family, gifts, a funeral, and a new dog. Now as I sit in our home in Springfield I feel as if we finally got off the emotional roller coaster we had been on since last Saturday.

Many people have asked me how my Christmas was, to which I replied some version of Oh, it was a crazy week, because no one wants to hear that your Christmas included a funeral. My grandma’s husband, Frank, passed away on Christmas Eve. He had been battling poor health for several years now, and we had been expecting his passing for a while, but it is still difficult to deal with loss during Christmas time. However, we are joyous that he is now with The Lord, and no longer has to endure the physical obstacles he had faced for the past few years. Also, we were blessed to have two of his kids join in on our family Christmas. My favorite moment of the week was in my grandma’s basement with all of our family singing Christmas carols, led by my dad and husband before we read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and opened gifts. It was such a special experience and we decided to make it a new family tradition.

christmas carols

It was a difficult week, but I was constantly reminded of God’s goodness. I’m incredibly blessed to have a family that trusts in the Lord, and a husband that leads me with gentleness and truth.

You can read Frank’s obituary here.

Brad and I experienced a lot of joy this week as well! Our week began at Freshwater Church, Bolivar, where we had our first baptism service! God had been so good during these first four months as a church and it was so exciting to celebrate four people’s lives that have been changed because of the gospel! We also had a wonderful visit with both of our families. We even got a TV (thanks Lea!!)!

But our favorite Christmas gift was one that we had not expected at all! On Christmas we got together with Brad’s mom’s family at his grandmother’s house. His grandmother is getting married and moving soon, so she was looking for someone to take her dog. Brad and I have been wanting a dog, and we’ve always loved hers, so we called our landlord to see if it was okay if we got a dog. He said it was fine, so we picked her up the next day! Her name is Libby and she is a little cutie. She is 3/4 dachshund and 1/4 miniature pincher, so she mostly looks like a wiener dog, but not as long. We think she is dealing with a little bit of separation anxiety right now, but other than that she’s doing really well! She’s one of the most chill dogs ever and is mostly content to just sit by you (or on you). I’m sure you’ll be seeing plenty of her on my Twitter and Instagram!

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I hope that you had a wonderful time with family and friends this Christmas. I pray that you experienced the joy of giving, and the blessing of Emmanuel, Christ with us, this year.

Christmas Bags, a family tradition

I love holiday family traditions. I was blessed to grow up in a great community of families. At Christmas time, everyone usually buys presents for their family members, but my family also wanted to show our friends how much we love and appreciate them by giving them bags full of Christmas goodies. This tradition began one year when my family arrived home to find a Christmas popcorn bowl full of treats from my mom’s good friend Carrie. We were so blessed by this surprise that we decided to make it a tradition of our own. Each year we would spend a Saturday in December in the kitchen making breads, cookies, and chocolate covered pretzels. We would buy plain brown paper bags to decorate, then my brother and I would deliver them in person.

There are so many aspects about this Christmas tradition that I love. Your family friends get something to munch on during the Christmas season, we spent quality time together as a family making and filling the bags, and my brother and I got the joy of chatting with our friends and wishing them a Merry Christmas when we dropped off their bags.

As Brad and I began building our own family traditions, I knew that this was one I wanted to continue for not only Brad and me, but also with our children in the future.

Growing up, we had too many family friends to make bags for all of them, so we switched it up every year. Brad and I have adopted this part of the tradition too. It’s so hard to decide who to give them to, but what a great problem to have! We’re so blessed to have such a great community here in Springfield.

We had a blast making and handing out our bags this weekend. This year we are filling our bags with banana bread, white and milk chocolate covered pretzels, candied nuts, and peanut butter Special K bars (my aunt Lori’s specialty).

Pretzels, YUM!

more pretzels!

For the Carringtons

I encourage you to make this a family tradition of your own, or even to try it just this year! There are endless people to bless with Christmas goodies: friends, family, neighbors, pastors, coaches, teachers, babysitters, your mechanic, the pharmacy, your bank, or the baristas at your favorite coffee shop. It’s a great way to spend time as a family and to bless those that are important to you during this season of giving!