As a mom of six, one of my greatest joys in life is spending a day with my husband & ALL of our kids. It seems to be increasingly difficult to make time together with all of the activities they are involved in and life’s many obligations. Since Taylor left for school it has become even more of a challenge to schedule, but we try to take advantage of her trips home no matter how short they might be. Something as simple as our Sunday morning breakfast followed by Mass together is often one of her favorite ways to enjoy our Family Time.

Sunday after Mass we had plans to head out of town to enjoy the day together before Taylor had to head back to campus. One of my favorite family activities is our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. No matter how old our kids are there is something each of them enjoys about the day. From the corn maze to the zip line….even a simple game of checkers brings a smile to their faces. In this life that seems dominated by gadgets and gizmos, it is always fun to enjoy a day of simple pleasures.

We were blessed with an absolutely gorgeous day; the temperature was in the 80’s which is unseasonably warm for Nebraska this time of year. Some years we are bundled up from head to toe and have to take a hot cocoa or cider break to warm ourselves up. This year we were going through cold water bottles like crazy! No matter what the weather, a good time is always had by all.

Each of us has our favorite activities at the pumpkin patch; mine is the hayrack ride out to select our pumpkins! This year it seemed like there was an abundance of BIG bright orange beauties! I love watching the faces of all the little ones as they find that perfect pumpkin then try to carry it back to the tractor 😉 Little Darby and Liam ventured off into the fields to score theirs.


There were a few new additions this year; they added another giant bounce pillow, a tunnel slide and a cow train. We had fun racing around on the inflatable “ponies”, and peddling the four-wheelers. The zip line is always a hit & we love aiming for the wood targets at the pumpkin sling-shot. A day at the pumpkin patch is a pretty fun way to get a little exercise!

Once we had our wagon full of pumpkins, faces painted, and our traditional bag of kettle corn for the ride home it was time to call it a day. Laughing together and seeing the love the kids all have for each other is pretty much the greatest gift of all.

“When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are the family happinesses”

-Joyce Brothers

It is easy to let life get in the way of finding joy in the little things, but this week I am so grateful for the beautiful family God has blessed me with and the times we share!

Photo credit: These photos were taken by my daughter Taylor at:

Traci Runge

Traci was born and raised in San Diego and has called Kearney, Nebraska home for the past 18 years. She is married to Darby Runge and together they have 6 children. They own and operate Pro-Tint, a window tinting business. Along with being a full-time mom, Traci is also a Manager and Certified Trainer with SendOutCards, she works with businesses and individuals to build relationships and grow their income through Relationship Marketing. Traci works hard to balance her roles of mother, wife and business owner. She strives to help make the world a better place through kindness and love and leading by example. Traci is committed to her family, church and community and can often be found volunteering in some capacity.