Family BBQ


Every July Stafford Creek Corrections Center is the host of an event called “The Family Fun BBQ.”

The criteria for me to attend is simple: Must be 6 months infraction free, and must have at least one minor in attendance.

This year was awesome! My mom brought my niece, Austyn.

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The visiting room has a side door that leads to a grassy yard. That’s where you’ll find a Carnival type atmosphere.

Music was playing along with a ton of kids everywhere! There’s hula-hoops, plastic horse shoes, footballs, mini basketballs, face painting, a station to make sock puppets, and a couple inflatable bouncy houses.

As Austyn and I stepped outside, a song was playing. I asked her if she knew who was singing. She immediately said, “Taylor Swift.”

I said “OMG, I love this song” as I started to gyrate to the beat.

I asked if Austyn wanted to dance. She said, “No!” with a big smile.

That’s when I observed that there was no kids in one of the bouncy houses. So I ran to it and dove in!

That’s something Austyn has been trying to get me to do for the past few years. I had always told her, “NO…I’m too big for that.”

But this year was different. Probably because I realize she is almost 13 years old. And soon, these type of things might not be so appealing to her. So why not make some memories…I just dove right in!

Then, to my surprise, the entire house started to collapse! I was too big for it. I pushed out way too much air! I quickly jumped out. Austyn was standing there…laughing!

After we got that bouncy house standing again, we went over to a section of black top. There was huge chunks of chalk that was used for drawing on the black top.

Austyn wrote STEVEN in huge letters. I wrote LOVE”S AUSTYN in huge letters. Then we wrote the names of all our family members who we love in small letters all in-between and around the huge letters. We used different colors. It looked super cool as we took up a lot of space.

After that, we went to the sock puppet station. She made a kitty cat and I made a blue-eyed shark. They turned out awesome! We were having a great time.

After eating BBQ burgers with all the trimmings, we went back outside. Austyn dragged me to the face painting station. How could I say no? For years I said no to the bouncy house. This year is all systems go! Plus, how bad could it be? Other guys were running around with hearts, whiskers, rainbows, and other designs on their face.

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Before I knew it, my entire face was covered! Other kids were using little paint brushes. Austyn gobbed it on using her fingers.

It was all fun and games until my mom tried to wipe it off of Austyn’s fingers. This stuff was not coming off. I panicked a little. I went straight to the bathroom and scrubbed my face with soap and water. A lot of it came off. But my hands and face were still stained red. And that was not coming off.

Come to find out, that was NOT face paint and it accidentally got placed at the wrong station. Oh well, I love it! It created a great memory and gave me something to blog about. 🙂 All in all, this was an awesome day. One I’ll never forget.

Thank you D. Taylor (the event coordinator) for allowing me to attend.

Than you mom for taking the time and money to come see me.

Thank you Austyn for being an awesome niece and for all the love & joy you bring to my life.

Thank you to my wife Suzie, and to all of my friends & family for your constant love and support.



Steven Jennings



  1. Greetings from my visit to Colorado!
    Good for you Steven, sounds like you had a wonderful time!

    I’ve gotten to see my son twice, but just day before yesterday they decided to finally move him from a med. security facility to a min. security facility which is much farther away and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it there. However I am truly thankful, even if I cant see him again this visit I was able to spend time with him, and of course knowing he’s in a better facility and we’re all that much closer to his final release date!

    Liked by 1 person

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