Cheap Fun before Summer’s Gone

OMG! Summertime is coming close to an end. In just a few weeks the children will be returning back to school and if you are like me you want to get every fun activity in before that time. Back to school means money, money, money will be spent on school supplies, shoes, clothes, and book bags; your last few fun activities need to be at the LOW, LOW COST OF FREE.

I have put together a short list of activities (5 to be exact) you can do for the end of summer that are FREE or really, really cheap. (The activities listed are limited to residents of Michigan, particularly for those in the Metro Detroit area)

  • Splash pads – there are several parks around Michigan that feature splash pads. What is a splash pad? An outdoor play area with sprinklers, fountains, nozzles, and other devices or structures that spray water. My personal favorite is located in Farmington Hills, MI at Heritage Park – it is completely free and it also features a playground, sandbox, snack bar (this is not free and bring cash because it’s cash only) and plenty of green space for a picnic, soccer or just lounging around. Check out their website for hours of operation and further details here. If this location is not close for you click here for several other splash pads around MI (please note some of the splash pads featured are not free and may come at a cost).


  • Kids bowl free – if you and your family like bowling you will like it even better when it’s FREE. When school ended this past year our son’s teacher gave us a card in order for him and his brother to bowl free all summer. Go to and register your children (must be 15 and under) to bowl 2 free games any day of the week for the remainder of the summer (please check the open lane hours for the bowling alley you choose). Besides paying for shoe rental the bowling is FREE and parents can join in on the bowling at a cost. I plan to get some bowling in before the summer ends. Let me know how you do? I smell a TURKEY before summer end.


  • Enjoy the ARTS – the Detroit Institute of Arts is featuring special in-gallery tours designed just for kids and their grown-ups! Tuesdays – Saturdays at 11am you can go on a free tour. Each day features a different gallery. Check out the DIA events page for more information.


  • Let them PLAY ALL DAY – Well not all day but definitely wear them out! At Jungle Java the Adults are free and you pay a small fee for the children. What I like best about Jungle Java is that it caters to the Adults – there is room to just chill, there is free wi-fi and a cafe’ to grab a cappuccino; you just sit back and watch the children run themselves silly in the play area. There are 3 locations in MI; located in Farmington Hills, Canton and Clinton Township. Visit their website here for admission prices.


  • Image result for picture of people at the movies outsideLet’s Go to the Movies – All around Oakland County you can check out a free movie feature outside. Bring some snacks, lawn chairs and blankets and watch a movie under the stars with your family. This great site has a few locations listed; it may also be worth a Google to find out if there any others around you.



This was a short list but there are a ton of other things you can do for the LOW COST OF FREE (I like saying that). Check out your local library for activities, search PINTEREST for free, fun activities to do with the family (don’t get to consumed though) and as always you can depend on Good Ol’ Google. Enjoy the rest of your summer, I hope you get some fun activities in before its too late. Please share more fun (FREE) activities.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog Conversing with the Coakley’s is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.


I am sure you have noticed the label on your mattress that reads “Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law“. Hopefully, I am not the only one but I have always wondered why is that message on the mattress. After doing some Google searching (Good Ol’ Google) I discovered that this was put in place as a safety to consumers. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s manufacturers would stuff mattresses with used or recycled bedding materials. Of course the government said you have to tell people this is what your using and if they choose to purchase than fine.

This got me to thinking even further about all the labels that are placed on us in the world. Labels such as incompetent, helpless, loser, winner, hypocrite, cheater. We get stuffed with so much garbage and carry it around with us forever. 

I am so sick of labels and I am ready to remove them. Years later the government changed the label to read”Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law Except by the Consumer.” Yeah, thats right, You bought it, its yours, You have every right to remove that label. When Jesus went to the cross he purchased our salvation. When you gave your life to Christ you can rest assured he removed all those hurtful labels that you have encountered so long – labels like liar, fearful, abuser, victim, enemy, hater. God never saw you as those things in the first place and once you find his love those labels can be erased.

 If any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).

I had been thinking on this subject of labels for quite some time and then on Tuesday July 18th, I read the daily devotion in the “Our Daily Bread” and the devotion was titled “Beyond Labels”. It was simply put that God’s grace defies labels because it is rooted in his love, not in our self-perception (nit how we see ourselves) . How we think of ourselves is no where near how God thinks of us. I’m sure there are a few of us that say “I’m ugly” but how can that be, you and I were made in God’s image and everything God did was and is beautiful and Good. Or here is another one that I’m sure you have run across “I’m a failure” – this one is actually impossible as there is NO FAILURE in God. 

You try it!!! every negative thought and negative label can be easily negated thru God’s word and Love. So go ahead REMOVE THAT LABEL!



This is an area that all of us are trying to become better and better at.  The definition of consistency or being consistent is the following:

“The quality of achieving a level of performance which does not vary greatly in quality over time.” — Oxford Dictionary

Think about that definition for a moment.  You see I was in the notion that in order to be consistent in whatever you’re doing in life; you had to be PERFECT!  As I have gotten older and wiser in my understanding, perfection does not equal consistency.  I remember my father telling me that if you want to be CONSISTENT in anything in life, you must have the following traits:


If you look at those two terms, you cannot be consistent without both.  Whether we are talking about marriage, your walk with God, children, family, work, etc., you must be dedication and discipline to be consistent.  We know that we have the perfect model in JESUS CHRIST who was the most consistent person ever!  It wasn’t JESUS who had sinned against God; it was Adam and Eve at the Garden of Eden who DID NOT listen to the “real” first commandment and instead ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden.  JESUS shed HIS blood on the cross for us due to our sins.  He listened to his FATHER and no matter what happened to him; he stayed consistent in his WORKS.  Our WALK WITH GOD should be just like JESUS!  If we have been given instructions to carry out, we should be doing it!

This is not the time to question God because HE already know the result before we do!  Are you saying you can do it BETTER than GOD?

“He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, But he who refuses correction goes astray.” — Proverbs 10:17 (NKJV)

I do not know about you but I want to be like JESUS when it comes to being consistent.  To this day, I am still working on being more consistent with my spouse, my children, my walk with God, my business, my career, you name it!  Being consistency is no matter how busy things are, YOU find time to get it done!  This is NOT about being perfect because NONE OF US will ever be that.

My message to you is sit down and evaluate yourself on how CONSISTENT you are in everything you do.  Be honest with yourself because I guarantee that there’s an area in your life that’s not as consistent as you want it to be.  Let’s be like JESUS and no matter how bumpy the road might be, we continue to do everything in our life CONSISTENCY!


Do you remember when you were a kid and they stuck the shape peg board in front of you. You in turn had to put the shapes in the correct peg hole – circle with circle, square with square. You get my drift. But you didn’t always get the shapes right, You always tried to put that triangle in the circle peg and it just didn’t fit.

As I get older I feel like I am that triangle piece and those around me are circles and it just DOESN’T FIT! To me if you have to try really hard to fit in then you really don’t fit – why force it. It’s like trying to fit into those jeans from highschool – you know you can’t wear those jeans anymore (I mean a little exercise, maybe you can, but that’s another topic). 

You would think this is something you think about as a pre-teen or an adolescent but not as an adult. But I am finding that as an adult I just don’t fit in with those around me. I mean I do have some commonalities – wife, mother, career woman however these are obvious. But, I am not particularly into going to the club, I don’t participate in male and/or husband bashing, cursing, and I am definitely not fond of negativity. It’s truly time to separate myself which can be a challenge. I am looking for something deeper that I have in common with others – I desire people that our striving to be closer to GOD, people that want to build something of their own – entrepreneurship, those that want to make a true difference in this world – Game changers. 

It seems that when GOD is preparing you for greatness he separates you from those you thought you fit in with. He has to pull you away, not necessarily alone but closer to him – he wants you to FIT IN with him. Once you have that relationship you will be able to draw more people to you. Others will be attracted to the good works that God has provided to you.

But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God; I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him, That I may tell of all Your works. Psalms 73:28 AMP


How Determined Are You?

Last night, I made a Facebook post regarding my two sons and being excited for what the future holds for them.  I am mindful that it is my responsibility to develop and nurture them as best I can being their father.  It got me to thinking, “How Determined Are You?”

Everything that my parents did for my sister & I growing up was about having a better life than they had.  My dad and mom were determined to work as hard as they can, sometimes sacrificing their own future life, to put us in the best position possible.  I found out some years ago that my parents let their home foreclosed in order to put me and my sister in private schools.  I always wonder why they would do that to jeopardize their life, their home, their finances for a school!  As a father myself, I now understand that the bigger picture was always to have the next generation better than us.  This is something that I tell my sons almost daily that I want them better than me.  A quick thought, you should ALWAYS want to teach the next generation (whether your kids or the youth) to be GREATER than this generation.  The greatest challenge that my parents gave was to find a way to learn things quicker than they did.  My mother was a computer guru so I was always into technology even at a young age.  It was such a passion and drive to be better than my mom that I studied learning to build my own personal computer and source coding from seventh to ninth grade.  Today, I am pushing my oldest son (who’s tech savvy at age 7) to develop something of his own.

One of my favorite scriptures is “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  (Philippians 4:13 KJV)

It doesn’t matter what things might look like on the surface or in our crazy world, I will continue to push myself across the finish line!  I am continually learning to stay determined and do not lose your focus.  Whatever that you’re trying to accomplish in your lifetime, DO IT TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITIES.  For me, it’s doing everything to make life easier for my boys.  For you, stop and write down for a minute; what do you want to accomplish in your life?  Once you have that, PRAY to the LORD exactly what your desire is!  Whatever you want to do, is it going to be easy?  Probably not but remember “Nothing Can Stop A Determined Mind!”


Gimme some of that Old School

I am so old school y’all. I mean I think I am. Now I know you are saying…HOW?

Well when it comes to relationships I still live by the old school standards that the man

housewifedoes certain things and the wife does certain things and there is no mixing… only in extreme circumstances. Ok, I’m not to bad, I don’t think that all the woman should do is cook and clean while the husband works..this ain’t the “Steford” wives. (plus my husband is an awesome cook, I don’t want to miss out on that good eating).

I do believe that the man is the head – Ephesians 5:22 – 23 AMP reads Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as [a service] to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as Christ is head of the church, Himself being the Savior of the body.

Those scriptures teaches us our roles as husband and wife. I am taking it so lightly when I say certain things I think the man should do around the home. I mean if something breaks, fix it or call the repairman. I used to think only the man should take out the garbage but my husband said that is DEAD!!! Lol The husband manages the finances, mows the lawn and shovels the snow. WOW… I am old school – this is how I saw it in my home though so can you blame me and I did watch a lot of the “Cosby Show” – thought my family was like the Huxtables. WHAT? Its not a bad family to model after for your own family.

I know you are thinking I am small minded but what is wrong with living this way. Some women have ruined the old school standards. We want to be so INDEPENDENT. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with independence but if you have a man let him be the MAN!


I’m done apologizing I want some of the “Old School” – open our door, wash our cars, take out the trash and pump the gas. it’s all out of love – Ephesians 5:25 AMP reads Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.

When your not around we do it but you do it so much better and we know it’s because you LOVE US.