To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Do you know my heart is yours

Emilie and Josie worked together to recreate this darling video 
of the
"Boat Song"
by J.J. Heller.  

I love it a lot a lot. 
Almost as much as I love them...
almost as much as they love each other. 

And oh! The way they adore each other

If you were a boat, my darling
A boat, my darling
I'd be the wind at your back
If you were afraid, my darling
Afraid, my darling
I'd be the courage you lack

If you were a bird, then I'd be a tree
And you would come home, my darling, to me
If you were asleep, then I'd be a dream
Wherever you are, that's where my heart will be
Oh, do you know we belong together?
Oh, do you know my heart is yours?

If you were the ocean, I'd be the sand
If you were a song, I'd be the band
If you were the stars, then I'd be the moon
A light in the dark, my darling, for you

Oh, do you know we belong together?
Oh, do you know my heart is yours?

Oh, do you know we belong together?
Oh, do you know my heart is yours?
Oh, do you know we belong together?
Oh, do you know my heart is yours? 

 Live in Peace,

The peanut butter & jelly sandwich was not wasted after the filming of this video, 
and was packed in Emilie's lunch the next day.  :)

Monday, March 23, 2015


I'd been saving birthday, odd job, and yard sale money for a few years to buy a chair and ottoman for my room to create a cozy spot just for me. During that time, Noah and Emilie both ditched home school for traditional school, leaving just Josie and I at home day-in-day-out. Then our good friends, Spinner & Ginger Allen, moved to DC.

And suddenly, that cozy spot didn't seem all that important to me. Getting outta Dodge with Josie, seeing our friends, and making some memories did!

Have you been to Washington DC?  It's the best place to visit. The best. 

 I've been three times (which was only possible because we've had friends to stay with each time). This time was my favorite. 

Maybe it's because the first time we traveled with a 22 and 9 month old. And the last time we went Michael had just broken his hip and arm and was in a wheel chair. To top that off Josie "conveniently" twisted her ankle the day before the trip. I think this time was my favorite because it was the first time I didn't have to carry and/or push someone. I highly recommend visiting DC (anywhere for that matter) when you don't have to carry or push people.   

Check out our 2009 DC, Philadelphia, and Amish country trip here. There are videos. Funny videos. Make yourself a giant bowl of popcorn and enjoy! 


I would not have chosen the weather we had. It was freeze-your-buns off cold! 68 degrees is nippy for me, and it was "16 degrees, feels like 1."  However, romping around in the snow ended up being part of the adventure, and in the end I absolutely loved it!
Our friends live just six blocks from the Capitol!  Woot woot! 

Their neighborhood with row houses, brick sidewalks, and snow are night and day different from the ranch style homes, rolling hills, and summer temps here at home.   

This sign was outside a neighbor's home. It made me chuckle.

The National Mall is referred to as "America's Backyard."  We took advantage of our backyard, the snow, and the cold, and had some fun! 

It was so cold that The Capitol Reflecting Pool (not to be confused with The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, which was drained) was ice. We joined a handful of other brave souls and stepped out onto it!  


  Last time we visited DC, the Allen's suggested we stroll through the monuments at night, which was magnificent. I thought it couldn't get better than that, but seeing them blanketed in snow was a real treat!

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Memorial

There are four parts to FDR's Memorial, representing his four terms in office. 
I mentioned to Josie that FDR was president when her great-grandmothers were her age.

Martin Luther King Jr.

I also mentioned that Martin Luther King Jr. was a vital part of changing the course of history when her grandparent's were teens.

Seeing our grandparent's and parent's history memorialized caused me to wonder what legacy/memorials my grandchildren and great-grandchildren would one day see in our nation's capital from my lifetime. 


This was the first time I'd been up Washington's Monument.

It will be the first thing I do next time I go (Spinner, you'll wake at the crack of dawn to go get  "fast track" passes then too, right??).  From the top you can see all of DC, as well as a bit of Virginia and Maryland.


Did you know that visiting the monuments, Capitol, National Cathedral, all the Smithsonian Museums, and more is FREE!  

 The Supreme Court

The Library of Congress

 The National Cathedral

Okay, so actually we pay for it all with our tax dollars, so in that case it's the complete opposite of free, but that's all the more reason you should go to DC! Go take advantage of all those tax dollars you're forking out. 

National Air & Space Museum

National Museum of American History (we visited this one twice. It's my favorite). 

A few of the President's wives dresses, Julie Child's kitchen, a portion of the Berlin Wall, 1980 Apple Computer, and Dorothy's ruby slippers. 

On this trip we also toured National Archives, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of Natural History, Holocaust Memorial Museum, US Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the Capitol (which was under a bit of reconstruction).  

Of all the things we visited I might've gotten the biggest kick out of this-
Coat Check! 

Clearly, I need to get outta  Dodge a bit more than I do. 

The most beautiful building we saw was the Library of Congress.  The LoC was majestic. Every architectural detail has purpose, has story. I love story. 

 Did you know that every single published book in the U.S. is recorded in the Library of Congress?

That inspires me to want to write, publish, and add a book of my own.

I could've spent hours in the LoC looking up, like Spinner and Josie are doing here.



I love people. I have zero problem walking up to a stranger and initiating conversation. 
DC is great for meeting a variety of people! It's not only "The Great American Melting Pot," it's also the world's melting pot!  

This is "Wemathaandjoeandmeshaaeel" (We're Martha and Joe (not pictured) and Michelle) pictured with us at The Washington Monument.  Martha is from Georgia, and I'm pretty sure she and I are cut from the same "super friendly" cloth. 

Here are some of the faces of the beautiful people we met from from India, the Ukraine, Germany, Australia, England, China, Brazil, Holland, Russia, and Chile.
I think it's fitting that Josie is surrounded by "the melting pot," while standing on the exact spot where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Wouldn't it have been fun if we had taken a map of the world with us and had a people scavenger hunt?! We could've filled the map with signatures from people from all over our country and the world!  That's something to remember for next time! 


All the snow play, touring, and chatting made these girls hungry! And DC did not disappoint.

The following are our top food musts when you pay DC a visit:

Pre breakfast and post breakfast snack (you're on vacation! live it up)-  Stop by Ted's Bulletin on Capitol Hill for a daily made pop tart. Buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth. GOOD.  Do it.

Breakfast- Bluebucks (Blueberry/Buckwheat pancakes) at the Eastern Market is something you must experience! Preferably on the weekend, when the market is set up indoors and out with vendors. 

Lunch AND Dinner (you read that right)- run, don't walk to We, The Pizza. Order Colletti's Notorious BBQ Pie... BBQ pizza WITH onion strings! My taste-buds died and went to heaven. 

I would absolutely save my gift, odd job, and yard sale money for a few more years to go back to DC. Especially with this girl. 

 Josie Jones for President!
This sweet time with her, making memories together on the other side of the United States, in our nation's capital, was as one Instagram friend commented, #betterthanachair 

So much better. 

 Live in Peace,


Sunday, March 15, 2015


Josie and I were in DC last week. When we returned Wednesday evening, and were walking from our plane to the terminal gate where I could see Michael in the distance I felt giddy.  I hadn't expected that. It turns out that "absence really does make the heart grow fonder."  As we got nearer he smiled at me.  I'd forgotten how dang good looking he is.  And I'd forgotten long before we even took our trip.  Like many married couples we can easily get caught up in everything else, when what we ought to be caught up in is each other.  I looked at him, waiting for me at the gate, and was caught up. As he smiled I thought that's MY husband!  I've got it good. So good.  What followed next was like one of those ridiculously sappy scenes from a romantic comedy- I couldn't help myself, and planted a big one on him and held him tight right there in front of God, our girls, and everyone else in Fresno Yosemite International Airport.  

I've been home a few days now and really want to be deliberate about remaining caught up in my husband before I get caught up in everything else. He We certainly deserves that. 

Also, it's his birthday today.  
 41 looks so good on him.

Happy birthday to you, Michael!

I'm so glad God thought you up. And I really do believe that when He did, He was thinking of me, thinking of how He could tangibly lavish His incredible love on me. 
I hit the jackpot when God gave me you. 

               We all did.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Very Crafty Slumber Party

To celebrate she wanted to combine two of her favorite things~ crafting and friends.

Years ago I had a mama friend who allowed her kids to plan and execute their own birthday parties.  I was a major control freak, who thought she was nuts!  

These days I'm just a minor control freak, and now I think that mama was a genius. Party planning is exhausting Y'all. If the kids want to do it, let'em! 

Everything~ the decorations, crafts, food and games for this crafty slumber party was Josie's doing... well, everything, but the balloons. I wanted them, she didn't. I told her parties neeeeed balloons. I'm old school like that. 

Aren't her custom-made, crafty, decorations darling!?! 

These turquoise fringed streamers were cut from plastic tablecloths.  

I think it's clever  how she paired them with book page bunting, then accented using these sweet book page roses (She and Em worked together to make the bunting and flowers)   
I was most impressed by how Josie thoughtfully planned every craft, and gave a lot of consideration to what would be enjoyable, easy, and economical.  

These strips of whimsical fabric and elastic were transformed into braided headbands. 

White Dollar Store mugs and Sharpie pens became personalized hot beverage cups.   

$1 Composition books became tailor-made journals by simply decoupaging them with clippings from magazines and a Dollar Store dictionary and bible. 

For the last project, Josie found pillow cases in packs of 2 for $5, which were remade using 80's Glam Sharpies and puffy-paint into a sweet spot for her pals to lay their pretty heads.
 Who knew three strips of fabric and a bit of elastic (which I stitched on over the course of the party) could look so darling.

These mugs are easy-peasy to make.
Simply draw your design on the mug, then bake the mug in an oven set at 325 for 20 minutes (hand wash only). 

Oh my goodness, aren't these girls clever!?!
All their mugs are so charming...I wonder if they'd notice if they went missing??

Since the girls were on a crafting roll, for dinner we kept their crafting juices flowing and had them construct their own nachos. 

Chloe, you need more olives.

After dinner the girls decoupaged their journals.

When Emilie was very little she referred to my journal as a "journey." *love*  
She is going to gather her favorite words and quotes to fill up the "journey" she created. 

"Journey" crafting was followed up by more food crafting- dessert! 

Ice Cream Sundays in chocolate bowls.

 In the history of teenage girls these are the BEST EVER! 

In my day (seriously, just dated myself by saying that) teen slumber parties consisted of comparing trendy clothes, gossiping, boy talk, watching hours and hours of Night Tracks (music videos before there was MTV), and freezing the training bra of the unlucky girl that dozed off first. We all wanted to be perceived as much older and cooler than we were.  Thankfully, these sweet girls don't care one iota about any of that!   They craft, giggle, play Mafia, giggle, sing karaoke and choreograph dances to accompany their songs on the spot, giggle some more, then play more mafia. They're not in a hurry to grow up. They simply enjoying being thirteen, together.  They make me wish I'd been born 30 years later so I could've been friends with them. I love them. I want the world to be filled with more teenage girls like them. 

I have long prayed for my children and for the friends that would enter their lives. I've hoped their friendships would be a blessing to them, and that they would likewise be a blessing to their friends. 

When I think of their friends
 the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson's words come to mind~
  "I didn't find my friends, the good God gave them to me."

I'm so grateful that our good God picked these lovely young ladies out for my sweet Josefine.   

After a bit of slumbering the girls kick started the day with some waffle crafting
(by the way, that's homemade caramel sauce~ made by the coolest daddy ever).

Which was followed by the last craft of the party, pillowcase embellishing. Did you notice that the case on the bottom left says "Hello Beauty-Full?" I love it, I love it, I love it!

After they completed their own cases they graffitied each others with encouraging words.

 Told you, they're "the best teenage girls EVER!"
Two things you should know before I wrap this up~
That mama who let her kids plan their own parties, well her daughter grew up and planned and executed every detail of her own backyard wedding. It was beauty full! 
I'm expecting the same from Josie 10+ years from now. :)  

Finally, you should also know that Josie's Very Crafty Slumber Party was a week ago and the decorations are still up... 
serving as a bit of proof that these days I'm only a minor control freak. ;)

 Live in Peace,