Lark Toys in Kellogg

Just before school started we took the kids on a little adventure to Lark Toys in Kellogg. I admit I was a stitch skeptical of the idea thinking what in the world will we do at a toy store? And it’s how far away?

UntitledBut alas it was a great time. All of our kids had a blast. And we were there pretty much all day.

Introducing Lark Toys.
The best and most fun and magical toy store you’ll likely ever visit.
UntitledThis is no chain toy store, this is an original, complete with a toy museum with all of the classics and just about any other specialty toy you can think of. From baby dolls to puppets to Legos to books. There are brand names and Lark wooden exclusives. There are toys for everyone.

An old fashioned candy shoppe right on site complete with ice cream by the scoop.

There is plenty to do at Lark Toys between the browsing in the store for books and toys to having a snack to playing a round of mini golf outside …
…and my personal favorite part, the carousel.
A real, old fashioned, gorgeous original carousel.
It was F’s first ride and she loved it.

Well, honestly she was skeptical but I loved that it was her first carousel ride.

If you go, Lark Toys is open year round and is free to visit. We found the food reasonably priced for homemade picks. Toys range in price as does the candy shoppe. The carousel is $2/person but those age 90 and older can ride for free.

The second Friday of each month they hold a special preschool story time that includes a FREE carousel ride. 

Have you been to Lark Toys?

On Serving Well.

This morning we sat gathered with friends and family and people we don’t even know, who knew my father in law, to remember his sweet 83 year old life. My father in law passed away 10 days ago now and life has been such a whirl with details and planning and too much pneumonia in our household and life all mixed together.


I sat in the crowded funeral room sandwiched between J and F and M. My arm draped around sweet M, who’s so sad to have lost her grandpa and J leaning forward to touch his mom. A woman who’s spent the last 55 years serving her husband.

The minister spoke and he looked right at Judy and he said, “you have served your husband well.”

And I was so taken aback by those words. Not because they aren’t true because they’ve likely never been truer, I’ve never seen a soul serve another so wholly and deeply in my life. But I was just taken aback by the fact of it all. Of the many, many things I could say about my inlaws, the flaws and faults I could poke at, there’s not anything I could say that would change this fact.

Judy has lived her life as though her job was to serve Bernie. 

Our society tends to nitpick anything that speaks of gender roles when it comes to marriage. And I admit I’m one of the first to speak when I feel as though women are given the short end of the stick.  We value individualism and pride ourselves on being able to “do it ourselves”. There are thousands of articles and blog posts and journals written about women and power and feminism and equality and more. But service isn’t about any of that for me.

For 55 years my mother in law has served my father in law.

She served him well by raising their children and by supporting him while he chased his dreams of opening a bakery. She served him by working at that bakery and cleaning and cooking and shopping and doing all the things wives do. For the last 18 months or so, she has served him in sickness, in real, true, heartbreaking sickness. She served him at his best when they married and were both handsome and beautiful people, young and alert and ready for the world. And she served him at his worst, when his body was broken and his patience was shot. She served him all these years and she served him well.

J serves me daily. He gets up at night with our kids when he knows I need to sleep and when I am sick as I was this last week, he steps in and takes care of me better than I would take care of myself.  And he’d probably have to mention that just about every single night as I climb into bed, I’ll say “oh shoot, I forgot my water. Will you go grab it for me?” And he does. Every time. He serves me and our family well.

We are served by others in our life in many ways. Friends who brought meals when we needed them, family who helped with kids when we needed. We are served well by others.

I only hope I, too, am serving others well.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

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