Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Where in the world?

I'd love to be there right now. Sigh. Any guesses where this is? 

My dad took this in May 2004 of my brothers and I. Oh, and how I miss my little brothers! It will be so good to see Jon and Christopher at the end of July.

Monday, June 27, 2011

James 1:27

This little girl is so blessed. Ana was adopted into a wonderful, caring family that loves her unconditionally and takes excellent care of her. I'm so glad that they adopted her so that she could have a better life and learn about Christ from an early age. I've loved getting to know her and I appreciate being able to call her sister since my biological siblings are both brothers.

Lots of summer firsts!

First of all, I want to say a big thank you to those of you who commented on my last post and left blog recommendations for me. I had a great time looking at the blogs you suggested and I hope you enjoyed my recommendations, too. Thanks again!

Now, on to the activities of this past week...

Thursday my "adoptioned" parents, (a term Ana so affectionately coined a few days before my arrival), Jaycie, and my adopted grandma went to see Jersey Boys at PlayhouseSquare. We weren't allowed to take pictures during the performance, but I took these shots before the play started. Doesn't that chandelier look really neat? I didn't enjoy the play very much but it was still fun to get out and do something. Actually, this wasn't the first play for all of us; a few weeks ago my adopted mom and I went and saw Next to Normal.

Friday was one of those ugly, gray days when it's too cold to go outside and there's nothing to do inside. We decided that it was a good day to watch Mr. Popper's Penguins at a nearby theatre. However, when we got to the theatre, the man selling tickets told us that the movie had already started because "movie times are different on Fridays", so we had to drive to another theatre. Thankfully we made it with plenty of time before the movie started. For the first movie to see in the theatre summer 2011, Mr. Popper's Penguins was cute - the humor was kinda stupid but it was definitely kid-friendly.

Afterwards, my adopted dad had an idea and he set it in motion. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home from the movie and stocked up for a bonfire and cookout. It took a while to get the fire started because it had rained earlier and the woodpile was wet.

The hot dogs and pizza sandwiches took a long time to cook, and I began to get impatient the hungrier I got. Finally, around 10 we were able to eat and it was delicious! Afterwards we made s'mores and shared them with the neighbors. It was a fun family gathering and the first fire of the season! The smoke reminded me of PNG and made me homesick. =(

Believe it or not, until Sunday we had not been to the pool even one time this summer due to the wacky June weather and busyness. Finally, on Sunday afternoon after church and lunch at Max & Erma's, we had our chance! It was a beautiful afternoon and I'm so glad we got to spend it in the water.

Have you done anything for the first time this summer this past week?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Beautiful Blogs

Lately I've been inspired by a multitude of blogs so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you. I love some of them because of their beautiful photography and others capture my heart with their amazing words. God has blessed people with great gifts and I'm so grateful to be a part of what He's doing around the world through these lovely bloggers. They would love it if you visited their blogs, and even more so if you decided to follow them. These are worth your time, I promise. If you're not already a follower, go visit them and see what they have to offer!

In no particular order:

A Beautiful Journey
Madeline Bea
Katie Lloyd Photography
A Hopeful Romantic
Live Every Moment
The Blair Affairs
Pastor's Girl's Ponderings
Finding Joy
Ramblings and Photos
Simple As That

This blog hits a personal spot in my heart since I grew up in Ukarumpa, just like Mandie did. If you want to know how I feel as a missionary kid, read Like it was yesterday.

Also, I'd love it if you stop by my writing/devotional blog, Jessica's Journal. Feel free to provide feedback too, if you'd like.

Sorry the list is so long, but as you can see, I've found many noteworthy blogs, and this is just a portion of them, as I follow over 100 blogs. I hope you enjoy visiting the ones I listed above. :)

Do you have any blog recommendations for me?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Heat Has Arrived!

And on the first official day of summer, too!

I spent the day shopping for a dress to wear to my cousin's wedding in a couple of weeks, making Crusty Cuban Bread, and playing outside with Ana and Jaycie. Ana and I created a long game of hopscotch and when we got bored of that, we moved on to drawing a flower, spaceship, and butterfly.

Dinner tonight was perfect to celebrate the summer season. I love spaghetti with veggies and fresh bread. For dessert the girls had ice cream sandwiches and I had a bowl of cookies and cream ice cream smothered in Hershey's chocolate.

Jaycie and the neighbor kid Jake started drawing a game of Hopscotch and then Ana decided to create her own; one that would be better than theirs.

This girl is so competitive!

This summer is amazing because I get to share it with two incredibly cute and loving girls and a cute little dog named Ixi. Yes, summer has officially begun!

and then, she {snapped}

Summer Love.

Summer love = feelin' the grass between my toes, watching the sun sink beneath the horizon at nine o'clock, drawing with chalk, running around the yard, etc. I could go on and on...

Ixi likes to test her boundaries and often has to be told that she's gone too far.

Such a cutie. Enough said.

Linking up to Allie's Happy Monday Contest.

While Ana's zipping around on her bike, I'm trying and failing to scoot around on her short scooter, holding my camera in my right hand and the handle bar in my left.

This is my favorite time of day. The time after dinner before the sun sets for the night.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Duct Tape Festival '11

Sunday after church we decided to go to the Duct Tape Festival that was going on this past weekend. When we got there, the sky looked a dark bluish grey. A storm was definitely headed our way. Still, we proceeded to enter the crowded fairgrounds, anticipating what fun duct tape activities there would be.

Next to this display a sign read, "Stuck with you for life."

We walked up to a tent filled with people making duct tape crafts and no sooner had we gone under cover when the rain came pouring down in torrents and it didn't stop for a couple of hours, even going so far as to flood the lower end of the tent. It provided us with plenty of time to make several of duct tape crafts in a wide variety of colours that included hot pink, hot green, dark green, silver, red, yellow, and black.

The only craft that I attempted and managed to make was this lowly wallet. The directions were hard to follow, and I had to ask others for help more than once. In the end, I deviated from the rules and devised my own side pocket.

Ana and Jaycie had a great time making bracelets and a wallet with the help of their smart mom and dad.

People crowded into the tent because of the unrelenting rain outside.

A beautiful display showing warriors made of duct tape, created in mere moments captured the attention of visitors. I myself am amazed by the artwork that comes from tape!

After staying cramped up in the tent for a while, we left the festival and headed to dinner at Chili's. Mmm.

Sorry, I don't have photos of that.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Matthew 7:24

P.S. Thank you, Sara for telling me about Photobucket! I just got an account today so I can continue to share my photography. =D

Friday, June 17, 2011

What's the Next Step?

"We're sorry, but you have exceeded your photo upload quota. For more information, check out this Blogger help page."

Now what do I do? I can purchase storage space, but I don't really have the money to do that. Do you have any suggestions for what can be done? 

I may not be able to post photos on my Google blogs, but I can post them elsewhere. Just yesterday I created HeartofRuth, a Wordpress blog, and I will be sharing photos there. My photos are also available on Flickr and DeviantART. Like my Facebook page to see more photos and get updates on what's happening. I'll keep you all updated, but for now, I won't be posting photos around here. =(

Psalm 37:18-20

Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent, and they will receive a reward that lasts forever. They will survive through hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough. 
But the wicked will perish. The LORD's enemies are like flowers in a field-they will disappear like smoke.
Psalm 37:18-20

I'm entering this in Mikayla and Allie's Photo Challenge. The theme for this week is Something Close Up.

{A Photo} Challenge

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tomato Herb Focaccia

I got this recipe from fellow blogger Christy at Christy's Musings and have already made it twice. It smells delicious and tastes great, too!

Tomato Herb Focaccia (from TOH)

1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp each: dried oregano, thyme and rosemary
1/2 tsp dried basil
dash pepper
2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzerella cheese
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1 Tbsp oil, salt, sugar, garlic powder, herbs, pepper and 1 1/2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into a 9 x 13 inch rectangle; place on a greased baking sheet. Cove and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. With fingertips, make several dimples over top of dough.
Brush dough with 1 Tbsp oil; arrange tomatos over the top. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake at 400* for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack.

Enjoy! =)

Scavenger Hunt Sunday: June 12th

1. Long Exposure

2. Shape(s)

3. Green

4. Fruit

5. Childhood Memory