Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Phoebe's Sweater

I recently won a pretty sweet giveaway from Yarn On The House.  It was actually kind of like a double bonus!  This husband and wife duo, Joanna and Eric Johnson, put together this beautiful children's book, Phoebe's Sweater.

Phoebe's Sweater

This book is seriously sweet.  It's about a little mouse named Phoebe, and while her mom is waiting the arrival of her baby, she knits a sweater for Phoebe.  Now I'm not waiting the arrival of a new baby, but I do like to knit.  Check out the story Emma G wrote for me while we were away from them...

eg's story

Translation... Once upon a time Jennifer was knitting a dog.  It was for a cousin named Arielle.  She liked it so much that she smiled.  The End.  Emma

Yes, I like to knit and apparently those around me know that, too. [Smile]  So in the back of the book are knitting patterns for a Phoebe mouse doll, a dress and sweater for the doll, and a Phoebe sweater for a child!  With this giveaway, I also won 2 skeins of yarn, one to make the doll and one to make the dress!  I'm so excited.  I think I just figured out Emma G's birthday gift!  And I have plenty of time to complete all this.

Yarn On The House does giveaways every week so if you're a knitter, you should definitely check it out!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Kid's Adventures

Before the kids left for their 3 1/2 week adventure with their grandparents, I gave them the point and shoot so that they could document their time through photos.  Of course, they loved the idea, and came back with a full memory card!  Here's their adventures!

He loves taking these shots of himself!
picture perfect

They traveled to Austin where they stayed in a hotel (Emma G loved that!), visited their uncle, and celebrated his birthday!


birthday cake

Joshua said he took this picture, because he's seen me do it many times!
taking a photo

They got to ride go karts and horses!  How fun is that!
the kids

eg riding around

jman riding

on a horse

Great shot, my son, of the W. Texas plains!
west texas plains

They also enjoyed a visit to some cousins and Joshua completed 3 weeks of summer school!  

We were actually only gone from them for 2 1/2 weeks which is still a very long time, but I know they will look back on that time with their grandparents with very fond memories!  As a family who lives an ocean apart from their family, these grandparent bonding times are very important to us (and of course, to the grandparents as well).

Monday, June 28, 2010


Weekending was spent in our home!  I think the kids are happy to be sleeping in their own beds (even though they had a blast with their grandparents)! 

We kicked off Saturday morning with a wonderful brunch and Emma G decorated the table with one of her beautiful, freshly picked bouquets!

bouquet of flowers

Then it was a day of birthday parties!  One for each of the kids.  A ballerina party for the girl and a party with a fishing trip for the boy!

with gift

pretty ballerina

I just love having friends who farm and garden!  On more than one occasion we reap the benefits!

fruits and vegetables

Unfortunately the weekend ended with me feeling a little under the weather, so my sweet family tried to make me feel better with a basket of greenery and flowers and a sweet note!

note to mommy

feel better note

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Beverages

Both of these recipes are re-posts.  It's hot in these parts, and we don't drink carbonated drinks very often, so tea and lemonade are our refreshment when we're looking for something other than water!

Iced Tea Lemonade - originally posted August 24, 2008


We've come to love making iced tea lemonade. If you haven't made it but you love iced tea and lemonade, you have to try it! Just make iced tea. We usually do 5 bags of tea (steep tea bags in hot water for 5 minutes) with 2 liters of water and 1 cup of sugar. You can either buy lemonade concentrate at the store and mix it up or if you want to make it homemade, here's the recipe we use:

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 large lemons)
5 cups water
1 cup sugar

Then add half of the tea and half of the lemonade mixture. It's very refreshing!

Iced Green Tea - originally published October 18, 2009

iced green tea

Jeremy and I LOVE green tea, but I am kind of getting tired of buying it in the store. It has so much sugar in it. And Jeremy read somewhere that if you drink green tea with food cooked with chilies, they react with each other causing your metabolism to speed up. Hmmm...sounds like a reason to make green tea! I couldn't find a great recipe for green tea. I read something about not adding cold water to the tea because it destroys some of the flavor. I decided to just try my own recipe. Here's what I did.

For every one cup of hot water, add one tea bag.
For every cup, add 1 tablespoon of honey.

So I did 7 cups of hot water and threw in 8 tea bags, 8 tablespoons of honey, and then put a tray of ice cubes (that's why I did the extra tea bag and honey).

We had some tea before it was completely cooled and it left a weird aftertaste. The next day, after it had chilled overnight, I tried some over ice and I loved it. The aftertaste was gone and it was the light tea that I love, with a hint of sweetness.

Do you have any refreshing summer beverage recipes to share?  I would love some new ones!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bathing Beauties

bathing together


The other day I lathered sunscreen on Emma G and I because we were out in the sun.  When she saw that white cream, something must have triggered in her noggin, because she excitedly suggested that we put cucumbers on our eyes and lay in the sun!

bathing girl

Joshua couldn't resist not joining in on the fun!

bathing boy

All photos by my wonderful husband!

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Day At The Museum

museum of art

Last week I went to the Dallas Museum of Art with a friend.  I hadn't been to an art museum in quite some time.  Although, last time I went to an art museum I was at a totally different place creatively.  This time was almost this spiritual, relaxing experience.  It's even hard to describe actually.  As I went through the Coastlines exhibit, it was just fascinating.  The music with the art.  As I stood in front of each painting or photograph, I imagined myself there, with the waves crashing onto the shore.  It was so relaxing!

art pieces

One thing I love about art is the variety.  I may not like all art, but I can appreciate all kinds.  I love how it can be interpreted differently by different people.  That's the beauty of it, really.  Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder

retro furniture

I felt inspired to add my coastline image to the Flickr pool.  Cape Town has beautiful coastlines!  It was accepted and can now be viewed in the Coastlines :: Images Of Land And Sea pool at the museum!

on the water capetown, south africa

Also, check out my post, First Tuesdays at Dallas Museum of Art, to see the great things offered to kids.  As someone who highly values creativity, I'm so excited about this event!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Learning To Be

“The biggest mistake I made as a parent is the one that most of us make. . .I did not live in the moment. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get to the next thing. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”  Anna Quindlen

on the water

Every once in a while the time comes when I need to be a little vulnerable on here.  Yes, even on a public blog.  Why, you might ask?  Well, I do it out of obedience, thinking that maybe it will also speak to someone out there.

God has been pinpointing this particular area in my life for some time now, and that is learning to be, treasuring the moment, slowing down my busyness.  It's hard for me.  I'm such a busybody.  I seriously don't understand the term, "I'm bored," because to me, there's always something that needs to be done.  We explored why on a recent coaching session.  I don't really know why.  I've always been this way.  My husband thinks it has to do with the satisfaction I get from completing something.

learning to be
my "learning to be" photo

That may well be right, but the problem is that somewhere along the way, my priorities got off slightly.  In my pursuit of completing, my family suffered.  It is hard for me to admit that, but it's true.  2009 was the busiest year for me in ministry since I had kids.  I led a training school.  It was fabulous, and I don't doubt I was supposed to do it, but you see, I didn't have good patterns in my life, and my drive for excellence and completion had a somewhat negative impact on those that I love most.  It literally grieves me.    

Sabbatical is such a great time to work on some upgrades, to develop some patterns in life so that no matter the season, busy or calm, they will be there.  And that's what I'm working on.  I don't doubt that I will have most posts on this as God continues to speak to me.  I always hesitate sharing my personal struggles, because I so want this to be a place where you find refreshment and a smile, but I still pray that you leave this post feeling just that! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


This is not a paid review but simply some thoughts on a recent read.


You know how you go through different seasons in life?  Well, I'm in a reading season.  I used to read a lot, but somewhere along the way, I slowed down.  Maybe kids, maybe busyness.  I don't know, but reading became infrequent.  It's been so nice and refreshing to occasionally slow down with a book in my face.
I just finished reading Deadlock by James Scott Bell.  It seems there's always a nugget I can find in every book I read.  Something that I can apply or that speaks to me in some way.  That nugget came on page 279..."You look back, and you see what God's pattern was."  That's something I truly believe and have frequently told others.  God's hand isn't always felt or seen in the moment, but almost always, as you look back, you can't deny His workings.  

Another thing I loved about this book is seeing God's relentless pursuit of us.  He longs to be in relationship with us, and it was very evident with several characters in this book.  Deadlock proved to be a great, easy read.

For another great read, check out my review of Her Mother's Hope at Today's Mama!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gananoque Boat Tour

athlone inn

While in Gananoque, we stayed at the Athlone Inn, a beautiful little bed and breakfast with comfortable rooms and a lovely morning breakfast.  You know what made this stay even sweeter?  Watching episode 8 of season 5 of The Office.  Michael gets sent to Winnipeg for a business trip.  If you watch The Office, you know that Michael is a trip to watch!

chair by the window

Anyway, back to the post.  After our little biking adventure, we embarked on the 2 1/2 hour Lost Ships of the 1000 Islands boat tour.  It was so lovely!  The first half was spent boating along the USA side of the 1000 Islands.

me and hubby

scene from the boat

We were able to circle around Boldt Castle.  The name sounded familiar but I couldn't confirm my suspicions until I was able to get to Google.  I was right.  Boldt Castle was owned by Charles Boldt.  He just happens to be the subject of one of my favorite stories of hospitality!

boldt castle

boldt castle

boldt castle

The last half of the tour was spent along the Canadian side.  It was so fun learning the history of the 1000 Islands, including the recipe for the dressing named after it, Thousand Island Dressing!




We ended the day with a wonderful meal on the water.  There's something so romantic and poetic about eating a nice dinner on the water!


lamb chops

This concludes my posts on our Canada trip.  A special thanks to our friends, Trent and Amanda, for hosting us!  We had such a great time and can't wait for them to visit us in Texas!

our friends


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