Friday, August 31

This river must flow

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

In my life I have songs that I have sung for so many years that I sing them without thought..they just kind of fly from my lips, sometimes in tune, sometimes not so much. As of late I've begun to focus on the songs I am singing, listening to words that have long lost their conviction and just become a part of rote vocalizations. This past Wednesday I was standing in the church service singing along with everyone else when Holy Spirit nudged my spirit and focused me in on the words I had been singing but not really meaning.
"Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that You're my God.
You're all together worthy , all together lovely, all together wonderful to me."

And then I couldn't sing anymore, I couldn't get the words to come out around the lump in my throat. My focus up to that point, to be completely honest, had been "whew, we made it on time to church". But once the words hit my spirit, I realized that the reason I was in that exact seat at that exact moment was to worship. to bow my heart, to proclaim God as my God....because He is worthy, lovely and wonderful to me.
As the week as progressed this song has come to me again and I sit on the couch (why am I here? To Worship), as I pray with my kids (why am I here? To bow down my heart), as I sit down to write at my laptop (why am I here? To say that God is my God). I am able to go through my days because God is wonderful and lovely to me by blessing me with this family and life, for no other reason than because He is God.

Thursday, August 30

Bria's Photoshoot

jen for photo shoot
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

My oldest, Bria, is now in 8th grade. I know! I can't believe it either...I remember starting 8th grade. It's the year I started wearing make-up, the year I moved to Smalltown Missouri where I eventually met Jean 2. It's when I began to fill out and started looking like a young lady and less like a little girl. So.....Here's Bria at this milestone. She's singing in a band for our church's Friday night youth hangout. She's wearing make-up. She's taking algebra and plays the flute. She's growing up.

Honey Heaven

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Yesterday Christi and I had a "special girls day". She decided that we both needed to wear pink from morning to night. She decided that we MUST start the day with a tea party. She decided that we MUST paint our nails (pink of course]. She decided that we then needed to eat marshmallows and drink pink "tea". After following all her play cues, and even saying all the lines she wanted me to say in response to her "tea talk"....I said "Hey, let's go to lunch at a tea room." She agreed and here is a picture of her with her pink lemonade tea, her honey mustard honey drizzled chips and a beautiful smile. :)

Monday, August 27

replacement photo for post

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

My photo for the previous post disappeared, so this one is the replacement. :)

Saturday, August 25

Manic Mommies

Well, as most of you know, I am addicted to my iphone. And my laptop. And my Internet. And now.....Podcasts. Yesterday I was stumbling around itunes looking for new things to download. Here I found Manic Mommies podcasts. I clicked on it to just give it a try and found myself laughing so much, backing it up to listen to something again and realized...these ladies are so much like ME! I downloaded a full episode to listen to while I was cooking...and then I ran back to the laptop to download another episode...and then I went to "bed early" so I could listen without the kids making feel guilty for not paying attention to what they were saying. Now...I have found myself downloading 15 episodes, listening to the other 45 episodes...even listening to one of the episodes while I blog about it. Give it a listen and I think you'll get an idea of what it would sound like if Jean 2 and I had our own podcast. :)

Wednesday, August 22

Ortho you said

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Well, Bria had her consult today for possible braces. We went in thinking that she would be a slam dunk kind of case. They would look in her mouth, see that she'd been wearing a retainer for a year and a half and say "Well, it's not going to be much work for me here." INSTEAD...."Hmm, I don't remember what Nicki's teeth looked like exactly, but I would have to say that this mouth is in worse shape then hers!" Stunned silence. Shock. Then "Huh? What do you mean?" Well, short story:
overbite (check)
+open bite (check)
+crowding (check)
+excessive wear on back teeth (check)
+rotated teeth (check)
+ removal needed of at least four permanent teeth (check)
= a very large check!

Fortunately, we understand that God pays for what He we are at peace with this knowledge, although we will be watering our money tree a little more frequently. :)
Blessings on your day!

Monday, August 20

I'm thirsty anyway.....

I'm thirsty anyway
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

So bring on the rain. (Jo Dee Messina song #6 but you might want to ignore the background picture on this site. ;) )

After countless days of 100+ degree weather, drought-like conditions, moving sprinklers around the yard like clockwork and taking refuge in any air-conditioned's raining! And 76 degrees. Yippee! Our yard is drinking greedily, the flowers out front are springing to life and I am finally going to get to wear my favorite jeans today. And while I sympathize with those of you dealing with Hurricane Dean, I am also grateful for the break in weather we are getting.
Happy Monday to all of you!

Friday, August 17

Brrrrrrr, it's Frosty in here

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

We've been working overtime these last few weeks to keep our bodies cool, which in turn keeps our tempers cool. With a long string of 100+ degree days we've gone to many lengths to find cool air that does not make our utility bills over $1000. Yesterday we decided to store hop. We would go from one place to another to take as long as humanly possible (but not long enough for the store managers to think we were casing the place for a future hiest) and picking up items to throughly inspect, reading the entire book jackets, purusing the full line of available cds. After a few hours of this, we headed to Wendy's for a Frosty. It was great. Now, I'm off with hubby to take our youngest two for a few hours of trout fishing, Yippee! (There had better be another Frosty in my near future.)

Tuesday, August 14

Christi's masterpiece

Christi's masterpiece
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Today I took Bria and Nicki for back-to-school haircuts. While waiting Christi and Ryan played tic tac toe and a version of the dot game. After a time Christi walked up to me and said "I'm going to draw a picture of you and Levi". Levi is our long hair mini daschund. I think she nailed it! :)

Sunday, August 12

Just a-swingin'

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Christi is in the throes of learning how to "push and pump" to make her swing go higher and higher. She has worked, and worked and worked, to get herself to the stage of being able to swing "really high". To document this, she called to me and said, "Take a picture Mommy so I can see how close I get to the clouds!" I'd say she reached one...Cloud Nine!

Saturday, August 11

Shop til you drop? Uh, yeah!

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Thursday the kids and I took the visiting cousins to Branson Landing for a fun filled day of shopping and water front fun. We went on a day when everyone told us "You're crazy! It's supposed to be so hot!" But once we got there, it being so close to the water, it was actually a fairly perfect day with moments of cool breezes and water splashes. Everyone had a such a good time, finally heading home just after


Friday, August 10

Iconic custard

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Every area or town, depending on size, has one place that locals know is the BEST. Whether it's seafood, barbque ribs hambugers or frozen custard, the locals will know it well and visit it often. Our area has Andy's Frozen Custard. THE. BEST. EVER. When we have family or friends come to visit, it is THE place to go. We usually save it as a nightcap to a full day, knowing full well that it is going to make everyone very happy.

This week, my husband's nieces have been visiting us for the first time without parents or grandparents. We have gone to the movies twice, went shopping yesterday, they have stayed up late playing Monopoly and talking and such. It was finally time to take the cousins to visit Andy's so we made it part of the planning for Wednesday night after church. This, in and of itself is a treat, since when school starts back we have to rush home from church and go to bed so we can wake up in time for school mornings...but summer gives us that leaway to stay out a little later and have a little bit of frozen manna custard.
Come visit sometime, we'll take you too!

Wednesday, August 8

Bringing them Home...

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

This post is about a friend of mine of many years and a newer "blog-acquaintance", his wife. Kevin and Candace are in the midst of enlarging their tent" (Is. 54:2 ""Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not"). They, along with their five children are in the midst of adoption processes for bringing home three children from Liberia. This is a section of their blog that I am going to link you to later in this post.

"We are the Stewart family and we are in the process of bringing our three adopted children home from Liberia (West Africa). Fannie (age 6), Charles (age 5), and Giftee (age 4) are siblings whose father was killed in the summer of 2003, at the very end of the 14-year civil war which destroyed much of Liberia. Their mother continued to care for them the best she could, but because of extreme poverty and deteriorating health, she severed her parental rights and left them in the care of a Liberian orphanage in December 2006. Our hearts’ desire has been to keep these three little ones together and to provide them with a loving home and family. We received our referral for their adoption in January and their adoption was finalized in May. Their passports were received in July and now we just wait for clearance to travel from the US Embassy in Liberia. We hope to have them home by the end of August or early September.

I have been following and praying for this family for the process once I reconnected with Kevin earlier this year. They have been through the process of raising funds, jumping through the hoops of adoption requirements and are legally the parents of Fannie, Charles and Giftee...just waiting now for clearance to travel and they can bring them home to meet their five brothers and sisters.

I am someone who believes very strongly about the power of prayer and the spirit of agreement, so I am calling upon each of you who happen by to intercede for this family, for the three children who are waiting to come home and five children stateside who are waiting to finally meet their new siblings. I ask you to pray for the authorities in charge to submit to The Authority in charge, giving the "go ahead" to travel and bring them home. I ask you to visit the site here ( that gives you an opportunity to donate one dollar toward their journey.

To read more about this, visit their site :

Tuesday, August 7

How hot is it?

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Well, it's so hot we have been finding "inside" things to spending three and a half hours at our Incredible Pizza playing games, eating lunch, drinking sodas and playing games. Two of the cousins are in town for the week, that's them in the foreground. The girls are having fun together staying up late, giggling late into the night and helping each other pick out their clothes for the day. Tomorrow we are going to go watch Ratatouille, and another day we are going to the indoor swimming pool. At times like this I find myself so thankful for such things like air conditioning and computers (great for relieving boredom) and satellite television.

Few places of interest I've visited today.

  • Back To School Giveaway With Gymboree this site is giving a $250 gift card to my favorite children's store.
  • august 1st post. This is a blog I read daily and have already signed up for this project. It is a postcard swap. You have until Aug. 9th to sign up if you want to....the gist? Email her your address, she is going to compile lists and give you a list of 12 people to send a handmade postcard. It's about beginnings, it's about connection, it's about making our great big world just a little bit more friendly. Cool huh?
  • this is a digital scrapbook supplies site. I love this site (I go there OFTEN) because it not only sells digital items, but it also has freebies. They have sets of papers and embellishments that you use with your photoshop programs and other digital editing programs.
  • another digital scrapbook site...with even more free kits. Yea!

Well, that's all for now. I'll post my regular type of post later on today. Have fun surfing and hope you get some great free stuff. :)

Monday, August 6

Life is just a walk in the park.

Day at the park
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

My husband and I decided to take some special time with our youngest two while the older two were at youth group this past Sunday. Upon being asked what they would like to do they quickly requested that we "show Daddy our special park". Good idea!
While driving there our son and daughter began to fill him in on the favorite things about the park, the neat play equipment and the fact that they had really clean bathrooms. Husband laughed and said "I guess we'll have to check it all out."
Daddy did in fact like our "special park" very much. He pushed the kids on the swings, (even got on one of the swings with them) helped them use the teeter- totter and watched them climb on the jungle gym. I sat on the bench and watched. I took pictures. I savored the sight of a Daddy playing so joyfully with his children and felt so blessed to know that this is my partner in raising children.
We later drove over to our favorite pizza place where we spent over an hour just talking and laughing, enjoying the fellowship of love.
Thankfully we get chances to learn, grow and have fun...some days all we need to know is that life is just a walk in the park.

Thursday, August 2

Another bit of history

white barn and silo
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

This barn and silo is positioned along one of the roads I like to drive to get to the nearest Godfather's Pizza. It took a few takes and a slow drive by shooting (camera speak, that is). As I was discussing my fascination with barns to my four year old she asked many questions about why barns were needed. I took some time to discuss with her why people used them, why they would need horses for more than riding for fun, why we don't have one. After a bit of talking, we sat down and watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie. When it was over, she looked at me and said "Let's get a barn! I think we need a horse!"