About a week ago, I had the privilege to volunteer in Garfield Park with some of my coworkers. We were working with an organization called Breakthrough Urban Ministries. One of the programs that this ministry puts on during the summer months is an event called Homecourt.

Emily was great at making the kids feel special!

They are in their six season of throwing these block party type events for a neighborhood that is poverty and violence stricken. A study has proven that by hosting these events, violent crime during the summer has dropped 52%! It’s amazing what a positive influence can have on an entire community

My brother, Steve, playing soccer with some of the boys.

My brother, Steve, playing soccer with some of the boys.

We spent the afternoon (after a torrential downpour) making crafts, grilling hotdogs and hamburgers, playing games with the kids, and just being a light in a neighborhood that sees a lot of darkness. I was shocked by how many kids were there without their parents. By the end of the night I was exhausted, and it looked like I had gotten into a fight with Tinkerbell (there was a LOT of glitter!). But afterwards I was just so thankful that there is a ministry in Chicago that is providing a safe place for these wonderful, and innocent children, and that their efforts are truly forming a better community.

With football season starting in two days, we have spent a couple nights with some of the other coaches’ families. It’s great to have a community of other coach’s wives for support, to gain wisdom, and to experience wins and losses together. There are some women who are starting their first season just like me, and others who have many years under their belt. It will be great to get to know them all more throughout this season.

Not to waste our last few days of summer, one of the families put together a fun Friday night, of trampolines, pizza, and a bonfire.


Just some adults acting like kids for an hour.


Bonfires are the perfect place to get to know someone.


The Bible talks a lot about community. It is important that we are in fellowship with each other to encourage and love one another as we walk with Christ.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.      -Hebrews 10:24-25

It’s also important to eat with friends too. So I leave you with this great guacamole recipe!


Spicy Guacamole

  • 3-4 ripe avocados (the mushier the better)
  • 3 tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp (or to taste) Guacamole Seasoning Mix (I use a mix that has salt, chile de arbol powder, tomato flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, ground sesame, and other spices, but you can make your own)
  1. Using a food processor, dice onion, add to bowl – I like mine cut up a lot so I don’t get big chunks while eating the guac.
  2. Mix tomatoes and cilantro in food processor, dice, add to onion- I try to strain out some of the juices so the guac doesn’t get too watery.
  3. Add peeled avocado, garlic, and juice of half a lime into food processor, blend until smooth, with a few chunks – depending on how you like your guac.
  4. Mix avocado mixture in with onions and tomatoes, add salt and pepper, and seasoning mix.
  5. Eat with your favorite tortilla chips! Enjoy!

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