Trainfest – America’s Largest Operating Model Railroad Show 2017

This is the third year we have attended Trainfest, and I think each year it gets better and better.  Trainfest is held at the Wisconsin Expo Center at State Fair Park in West Allis, Wisconsin.  The first year Jason and I attended this event there weren’t as many activities for kids to get involved.  Since our first time, they have added a kids area where they can press buttons to light up lights or make things move.  They have a few ride-on mini electric trains for parents and kids to ride on.  Our favorite is the display table that has LEGO sets and LEGO trains.  This year they actually had two large displays.  Jason and I joke, but are partially serious, about wanting to set up a train table in our basement and display his LEGO buildings and have train tracks set up and operating around the buildings.  It would be awesome!  Back to our experience at Trainfest… haha  We checked out a few stands that had train sets available for purchase.  A few that we liked were a bit outside our price range, though. This year (and they may have had it in previous years but we never noticed), they had a sheet of paper for kids to fill out as they go around to see all the exhibits.  Kids were able to operate some of the train displays among other things.  Basically everything you can imagine that has to do with trains, is available to be seen or purchased at Trainfest.  They even had an Usborne Books & More stand set up.  I like Usborne Books.  If you haven’t heard of Usborne books, you really should check them out; they have books and other items for kids of all ages. Since we were there with our close friends and their son (our Godson), I decided to purchase a couple of books for him to play with that had to do with trains.

Overall, I like that the planners for this event have found more ways to get kids involved and help them learn more about trains.  I remember telling Jason during the event that in today’s world, with all the electronic gadgets around, I wish more kids would be hands on and creative with their play time.  Kids should build LEGO sets, play with blocks, assemble train tracks or race car tracks in different variations, etc.  We, personally, own a bunch of these type of toys for when our nieces and nephews come over to our house and for our future kiddos.  Jason and I enjoy working with our hands whether it’s us building model car kits, putting LEGO sets together, playing with train sets or race car tracks, putting puzzles together, etc. Hopefully our kiddos will enjoy these things, too.  We hope to pass along our interest in these activities to our kids.

We give this event two thumbs up and we definitely look forwarded to attending again in future years to see what else they add.

Here are a few pictures from our experience.

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The World or God’s Will

The few weeks or so I’ve been feeling this “tug” on my heart.  Not sure how else to describe this feeling.  I almost feel like it is God trying to talk to me; asking me to get closer to him and grow more in my faith.  I want to have this insanely strong connection to God and spend more time reading the Bible and praying.  I went through all my Christian books that have been sitting on a shelf, just waiting to be read.  I found a bunch of Bible Studies online that I can follow.  I signed up for Pureflix.  And as usual, my Christian music plays in the background.  I am sick of the world around me… the language that is used, the hateful thoughts that are shared, the sexual exposure, all the violence whether on TV or in the real world, etc. There are so many temptations out there.  Also, so many are so focused on material things.  Why must we have so many things in our lives?  Who needs the latest electronic gadgets or a TV in every room of your home?  Who needs so many clothing items that you don’t even wear half of them?  I refuse to be of this world.  I want to remove the worldly things from my life.  I want a new, clean heart and mind.  This is something I’ve been praying for lately.  I am far from perfect, but I am striving to grow closer to God and to live my life for him. 

1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them.  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Something someone had asked me when I was younger was, “If you’re watching TV, would you be comfortable having Jesus sitting there next to you watching, too?  What about when you’re hanging out with your friends, would Jesus approve of the language that is being used or the topic of conversation?”  I am embarrassed to say, no I would not have felt comfortable having Jesus sitting there listening to my conversations or watching the TV shows or movies that I had been watching.  This is something I’m looking to change in my life.  I’m sure I may lose friends or relatives along the way, but that’s something I’ll have to be okay with.  I’m not here to impress anyone;  I’m here to live for Christ and his approval is the only approval that I need.

I used to use the excuse that I’m simply too busy to read the Bible or to do Bible Studies.  In yet, I had enough time to be on Facebook or other social media.  I had time to watch Hulu or Netflix or some random movie.  No more excuses.

Growing spiritually is very important to me.  I also want to add taking care of my physical health.  I have neglected taking care of my body over the years.  There have been a few months at a time where I do great with exercising and eating right, but then I get frustrated because I don’t see results.  I know my PCOS plays a part in this, and I know I should be happy that I’m doing the best for my body, but it’s disappointing when you work so hard and see little to no results.  Enough of the excuses.  Not only will I work on my spiritual health, I plan to focus on my physical health, too. I will take care of the temple God has blessed me with.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

So, if you’re the praying type, I ask you to pray for me and that this new journey that I’m on is successful and a forever journey.  If you’re like me, struggling in the same way that I have been, let me know and I will pray for you, too!

Jennifer Peel, Author

If you’re on the search for an incredible Christian Romance author, look no further.  Jennifer Peel is amazing.  I have read every single one of her books (to date), and cannot wait for her next book to be available.  Her writing style is enticing.  The stories flow so easily and you get so involved with every character.  You laugh, you cry, and you feel the frustration that sometimes takes place.  I can’t even pick a favorite book of hers, because I fell in love with each and every book she has written, so far.

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To learn more about Jennifer and her books, check out her website.

Denise Grover Swank, Author

Last year I set a goal for myself to read 100 books in a year, which I achieved well before the year had ended.  I found a book series that I fell in love with and became a bit obsessed with.  This series was the “Rose Gardner Mystery”, which is written by Denise Grover Swank.  There were plenty of nights where I should have been sleeping, but I simply could not put the book down.  Every spare minute was spent on reading book after book.  This series “ended”, but then branched off into two new series, “Rose Gardner Investigations” and “Neely Kate Mystery”.  If you’re looking for an incredible series that brings you deep into the stories where you actually feel like you are living the life as Rose Gardner, this is the series for you.  These stories give you love, suspense, mystery, heartache, etc.  There are so many twists and turns in every book.  You may think you know what will take place next, but then something changes and takes you to a whole new theory.

I also recently finished another series by Denise Grover Swank called, “The Wedding Pact”, which I would definitely recommend.  It branched off into another series, which is called, “Bachelor Brotherhood”.

After I finished the “Rose Gardner Mystery” series, I read another series by Denise Grover Swank which was way different from the types of books I am used to.  This series is called, “The Chosen”.  I love Denise’s writing style, she has an incredible way to keep you hooked.  Even though this series was different from what I normal would read, I was still hooked and wanting to know how it would end.

So again, if you’re looking for a new author, check out Denise Grover Swank (especially the Rose Gardner Series!).  To learn more about Denise, follow this link to her website.   If you have already read some of Denise’s books, please tell me what your thoughts were.  Did you get hooked, too?

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