Saturday, June 30, 2012

blue mohawk, anyone?

blue mohawk

Thursday, June 28, 2012

the beauty book {giveaway}

Remember Here's Lily that was up for giveaway last month? Well, I'm so happy to introduce you to it's partner, The Beauty Book! The Beauty Book is a non-fiction book that helps girls understand what true beauty really is. Throughout the book are questions to help you see what you think about yourself followed by what God thinks about you. It's a great book for pre-teen girls!

As Emma G and I read through the book (she'll be 8 in September), I felt she was a little young for it (the intended age range is 7-11). I think she got a little bored with the non-fiction approach and a little confused on what exactly the questions were about. I have no doubt, though, as she gets a little older that it will indeed come in handy during those years when insecurity and confusion about what's beautiful come into play.


I have one copy of The Beauty Book up for giveaway courtesy of Tommy Nelson! You can see a little preview of the book right here. Giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only and ends July 5th at 9 pm CST when random number generator will choose one winner.

the beauty book 


1st Entry Answer this question, "How do you apply God’s definition of beauty with your daughters in today’s world and how could you use Here's Lily and The Beauty Book together to enhance that message?"

2nd Entry Tweet and/or share on Facebook the following...

#Win The Beauty Book from @TommyNelson & teach your daughters where true beauty comes from. @jenprice77

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry. Also, be sure I have a way to contact you should you win.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of Here's Lily! from Tommy Nelson in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Comments are now closed. The winner is Zalyndia!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

memories and body aches

I spent about 5 hours yesterday scrubbing the kitchen in our rental...walls, baseboards, cabinets, appliances, everything got a good cleaning. I emptied 4 buckets of dirty water and changed rags every time. My body seriously aches from all the maneuvering. I realized, though, that I was happy and excited to resurrect my kitchen (even though I was disgusted by the buckets of animal hair). Eight years ago, we put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into our house. We invested so much, not just in fixing up this abandoned foreclosure but also in making it hospitable and inviting.


I started thinking about all the good memories that live in this house. Then I looked outside to see Jeremy, the kids, and the kids across the street working in the yard. It warmed my heart. I know it's just a house, but it represents a time when we were walking out our family values so well, when the elements of home and community that we hold dear, were always present. I know we'll have that again. It's just been interesting times the last couple of years. A new season is coming, I am sure, and I wait for it with anticipation.


While I wait, I might as well get some work done. Off to paint a bathtub today!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

a fazoli moment

We've had several Fazoli moments recently. Before I lose you here, let me explain what I'm talking about. On our first day of travel, like a week ago, we stopped for dinner at Fazoli's. We had never been there, and now I'm thinking we weren't missing anything. The food was terrible (sorry if you're a fan). We left regretting that we had spent money on it. The more signs we saw for possible eateries, the more we regretted it until finally we said we had to let it go. Not only that but we decided to call it a Fazoli moment, a moment of regret, but it's in the past and there's nothing you can do but forget about it. We've had several Fazoli moments this trip.

Like the lady at Aldi charging me $6 for my bananas instead of 60 cents and not realizing it until we were well down the road. 

Like Jeremy and I getting our communication lines crossed when he asked me what kind of paint to get. He came back with a non-returnable semi-gloss when we needed a satin for touch up painting.

Fazoli moments. I'm sure we'll have lots more in this next week and now we have a code word that makes us laugh and move on. Now that I think about it, I'm kind of thankful for that Fazoli stop, because it's created a memory. Love that!

New Haven pizza, so missed this. Pizza here is the best.

  Meatball subs from our favorite Whitneyville market.

One of the things I love about New Haven is all the amazing local eateries. It's hard to have a Fazoli moment when it comes to the food here. We're trying to hit up all our favs in the short amount of time we're here. Pizza was first on the list. The pizza here is simple amazing! And the meatball subs at the Whitneyville Food Center, they melt in your mouth.

Does your family occasionally speak in code?

Monday, June 25, 2012

today's progress

It's a very wet kind of morning.

Well, it's just after 11 pm Eastern time and I'm just now sitting down to blog. There's really not much to report but it is nice to sit and just type after a day's work. Today was a wet and rainy day in New England. Days like these make me want to curl up with a book. Instead I spent the day painting and wiping down walls and baseboards. Unfortunately our previous tenants had animals, and I don't think they cleaned much. Emma G and I decided today that we don't want a pet anytime in the near future. I really can't believe how high animal hair can get on walls. Serious grossness.

I was so happy to realize, at the end of the day, that I accomplished everything on my list plus some. That's always a great feeling. How do you like my painting crew?

Today's painting crew. I think I got the most paint on me. :)

They're fun to work with although I almost had to fire one of them for not listening. I have pretty strict instructions when it comes to them helping me paint. If they don't listen, they get the boot and have to find another job. Painting is the favorite, so once a warning of job termination is given, they usually put on their listening ears.

Hope you had a great Monday! In six days, I'll be boarding a plane bound for S. Africa. First, though, we must get this work done!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

pretty please

pretty please

This is Emma G begging her uncle to shave his beard. Her sweet, little plea didn’t work.

Happy Saturday, friends!

Friday, June 22, 2012

the city museum

We left Texas on Monday and traveled over 30 hours by car to Connecticut, stopping in St. Louis and Ohio to visit friends and rest our heads. I love Fridays being reserved as my day to post about my creative ventures for the week, however, with all those travels, it’s hard to be creative with crafts (unless of course, you count creatively keeping the kids entertained in the car).

city museum

sumo wrestler

We spent one full day in St. Louis and decided to spend the day at the City Museum. I loved witnessing the creativity of the late Bob Cassilly. Oh, my. It was amazing. I’ve never been to a place quite like it. There’s so much to take in. There were more tunnels and secret passageways than I could count. Although I couldn’t bring myself to ride the Ferris Wheel on the roof, I did enjoy a ride down the 10 story slide that landed us in a cave.

in the bus

looking at the city

in a bird cage

My kids absolutely loved it. In fact, Joshua said, “We are so coming back to this place.” It’s an awesome place to explore and after about 4 hours there, my kids still weren’t ready to leave! I guess we are so going back one day. :)

down the slide

10 story slide

top of the castle

I love places like the City Museum where you can bask in someone’s creative mind. So fun and inspirational! Thanks, Bud and Kathy, for such a great day!


Linking up with Jennifer @ Studio JRU for Sneak Peek Friday.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

beehaving is best :: hermie dvd {giveaway}

I always like to have a new DVD or something different for the kids when we go on long trips, so I was thrilled Beehaving is Best came in the mail just in time for our road trip to Connecticut.


Even though Emma G has capped the intended age range of 4-7 and Joshua is well over it, the message applies to all kids. Listening to your parents and God and obeying what they say, really is best. I asked the kids what they learned from it, and their response was one that would put a smile on any Mama's face...respect others, listen to adults, have fun with chores, and don't be whiny. Good lessons indeed!


Up for giveaway is one copy of Beehaving is Best starring Hermie, courtesy of Tommy Nelson. Giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only and ends June 28th at 9 pm CST when random number generator will choose one winner.

beehaving is best


1st Entry  Answer the following question...

How do you reward your kids for following the rules and doing the right thing?

2nd Entry  Tweet and / or share on Facebook the following...

#Win Beehaving is Best starring Hermie & help teach your kids to listen & obey. @TommyNelson @jenprice77

Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. Also, be sure I have a way to contact you should you win.

For another chance to win, visit Rachel's blog!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Beehaving is Best from Tommy Nelson in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Comments are now closed. The winner is #2, MaryAnne!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

a denver getaway

In the midst of packing and moving out, Jeremy and I flew to Denver. I guess we're crazy like that. When you have a chance to share about Ten Thousand Homes and what God is doing, you just have to go with it. The weather was an amazing respite from hot Texas. It was actually freezing on top of Rocky Mountain National Park!

rocky mountain national park



frozen tundra sign

on the frozen tundra

frozen pipes

Special thanks to our friends, Taylor and Brittany, for a wonderful evening of food and conversation and our friends, James and Jennifer, for hosting us and providing a hospitable space for sharing what God is doing! You guys rock!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

capturing fireworks :: long exposure photography

One of my fondest childhood memories involve our small Texas town's all-day 4th of July activities at the ballpark. It seemed like everyone drove the dusty road that dead ended into the baseball fields for the celebrations. Baseball, three-legged races, watermelon seed spitting contests -- there was always lots to do. As the sun went down, everyone, with their sun-kissed faces, made their way to watch the fireworks show.

My dad was on the local fire department, so his job was in the thick of it, shooting off those bursts of light. As a child, the fireworks show was THE highlight. It mesmerized me.


As an adult, it does the exact same thing. It captivates me. Have you ever tried to capture the brilliance of fireworks? It's easy to try and end up with this ...

firework blip

... a small blip that is not at all what you are seeing with your naked eye. With a few easy tips, though, you can end up with shots that light up the sky and provide a memory of your Independence Day Celebrations. A few helpful tips for long exposure photography ...

1. Turn off your flash.

Yes, I know it's night time, but to achieve the results you want, you will need to turn it off.

2. Use a tripod.

Although, it's not totally necessary, a tripod can be helpful for a crisp, clear shot. It's pretty much impossible to hold your camera still enough for the shutter speed you will need for long exposure times. However, if you like a little blur, holding your camera in hand will be absolutely fine. The bokeh effect (as in the first photo) is actually created by not focusing on the subject.

fireworks 2

3. Set your camera to manual mode.

If you've ever been scared to shoot in manual, now is the time to get over your fears. I would suggest setting your ISO to 200 (the higher the ISO, the grainier the photo) and your aperture around f/3.5.

4. Use a long shutter speed.

In order to capture that brilliance, you need your shutter open for a longer period of time. Those small firework blips like the photo above come from your shutter being too fast. Slow it down. The longer it's open, the more light it will catch. I find that anywhere from 5-15 seconds or longer is a good shutter speed to catch enough light.

red burst

4. Play around with it to achieve the look you want.

Many times I'll set my shutter speed, take a photo, and realize it's too much light or not enough. Play around with it until you get the look you want.

5. Have fun!

Use sparklers or glow sticks and have your kids or friends spell words or create designs. You might not be able to see it until it shows up on your camera, which is half the fun. Press your shutter and tell your subject to "GO" with their design.

glow stick heart

Once you get the hang of long exposure photography, you'll find it's incredibly fun to experiment. The possibilities of what you can achieve by simply adjusting a few settings on your camera are both fun and great at growing your confidence as a photographer.

Happy shooting!

Monday, June 18, 2012

sing and make music tote {giveaway}

Today is travel day so why not celebrate this adventure with me with a giveaway? I thought you might like that. No mama can have too many totes, right? I mean we're always packing a whole slew of things for our kids. Well, I have the perfect tote to add to your collection, the Sing and Make Music tote from DaySpring. Made from 100% jute and lined with 100% cotton, this bag, measuring 18" L X 14" H X 6" D, is sure to fit everything for a summer picnic or an outing to the splash park.

My bag is full of snacks for our trip. I was surprised at how much it can hold! Although there are several styles available, the Sing and Make Music tote was my favorite with those cute little birds and Scripture from Ephesians 5:19, "Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord." It's a reminder that even though I don't know exactly what the next several months hold, my heart's cry is to honor Him through it all. DaySpring was very generous in that, in addition to the giveaway offer, they sent me a Hope Is In His Unfailing Love oil cloth tote to give to a friend. That one is going with me to Africa to give to one of the ladies there. I think it's really going to be a blessing!


DaySpring is generously offering one reader a Sing and Make Music tote! Giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only and ends Monday, June 25th at 9 pm CST when random number generator will choose one winner!

jute tote


1st Entry Tell me, are you a bag lover?

2nd Entry Tweet and / or share on Facebook the following...

#Win a jute tote bag from @DaySpring! Perfect for summer fun. #giveaway @jenprice77

Be sure to come back here and leave a separate comment for each entry. Also, be sure I have a way to contact you should you win!

DaySpring is currently offering a June special...Buy 2 totes, get 1 free! This includes clearance and regular priced totes. For more chances to win a tote, be sure to visit the Inspired Deals page.

Disclosure: I received a Sing and Make Music tote courtesy of DaySpring in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Comments are now closed. The winner is #22, The Bauman Family!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

special place

Very fun girl date today at the tea room. Got home just in time for the storm.

Emma G seems to find a "special place" for us girls to go wherever we may be living. We went to this cute little tea room once, shortly after we came back to the states. It made an impression of her because she dubbed it our "special place." We recently went back to our "special place" before we head out for the summer. We shared a slice of chocolate pecan pie, just like last time and afterwards we looked around the shop at all the cute things for sale, just like last time. We're already making brunch plans at our "special place" in Africa. Can't wait!

hanging linens

peek at the nursery

bag browsing

Happy Saturday!

Friday, June 15, 2012

tribute to the man cave

Normally I would have something fun, crafty, and / or creative to show you on Fridays. However, when the scene before you is cardboard boards and chaos, 1. there's little creative inspiration flowing, and 2. there's no supplies in which to create with. But I'm a photo taking maniac, so of course, the camera is safe from the chaos and put aside for months of travels. So...we did a little man cave photo shoot.

jeremy & man cave

Several months ago, Jeremy bought an old vintage camper trailer. We had grand plans of restoring it, but those plans were forever being laid aside and in the meantime, it served as his alone time getaway and his studio for playing guitar. It was lovingly referred to as the "man cave."


Since we are packing up, moving out, and traveling for several months, the man cave had to go. It was bittersweet. The eve of its departure, we had a little night photography fun to pay tribute to it. I used a really long shutter and Jeremy slowly walked. I love how you can barely see his silhouette.


Linking up with Jennifer @ Studio JRU for Sneak Peek Friday!

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