fourth of july weekend :: saturday

Today we celebrated Fourth of July by having friends over for a cookout. Shish-kabobs are soooooo good. So are grilled peaches.

Fresh-cut, homegrown zinnias from the mailbox garden in the front yard. In sarsaparilla bottles.

I made some patriotic pretzels, just putting glaze on yogurt pretzels that I had. We had no red food coloring, though… so I used beet juice. You couldn’t taste it though; they were pretty delicious.

I also made a garland out of paint samples from Lowes. And some garage-sale-found white Christmas lights, and a homemade heart bokeh filter.

And a bunch of these crazy people were playing Ninja. Super intense and super fun to watch. Also, I’m getting a little better from being so bad at it.

And, my super cute sister!

And one of my other super cute sisters and her not-so-bad-looking boyfriend.

Even more plans for tomorrow! Happy Fourth of July, everyone.


happy fathers day!

A few favorite pictures of me and Daddy. I’ll have to see if I can find any when I’m not tiny. But Dad is still as good-looking as ever : )

Learning to pray! I treasure this photo.

and storytime!

and my Grandpa Big Mike on my Mom’s side

and Grandpa Chris on Dad’s side

oh and Mommy too

our whole family (minus Clara, who was not alive?)

and Dad and three of us girls this winter.

I  am blessed to have such a great Dad.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy-o!     Love, Ellie-Bird

snow should be white.

recently i read somewhere online about adjusting a photo’s levels to make the whites, well, white.

this photo i took back at the beginning of the snowpocalypse.

isn’t it sadly gray? really really sadly gray.

but this… this is what snow should look like.

and i’m not one of those bloggers with tons of photoshop tutorials and handy-dandy screen shots of what i did, so i’ll try to explain it. (and i use gimp, anyway.) but in levels, when the whites in your photo are gray, you drag the white arrow (on the far right) over to where the histogram starts. if that makes sense. (a friend of mine mentioned you can do the same thing with the black to even out the look. i haven’t tried this yet – just starting to use gimp more.)

but there are good things.

I was thinking about how inconvenient and not nice this ice covered weather is. But there are good things – like, we have a wealth of stores on the intersection just near us, so it’s not extremely difficult to get groceries when we need them, because we can just walk.  But what if we lived in Autumn Chase or something? no close stores.  (There would be the huge amount of nearby neighbors, though.) And at least i’m stuck at home with nice people! I love my family.  And we do fun things together, like me and Clara blowing bubbles outside to see if they would freeze.

And walking to the Asian supermarket with Dad on Tuesday to get vegetables. I held onto his arm; so if one of us slipped the other was there to hold both of us up. Thankfully we didn’t ever both slip at the same time.  (I think I should say thankfully instead of luckily – because luck isn’t real, and I am thankful to God.) And then today since we were stuck at home again, Amy, Clara, Dad, and I (and Ginger) walked to Redbox to rent a movie. Walgreens didn’t have good ones (I suppose everyone is renting movies since they’re stuck at home?), so Amy and Clara and Ginger walked home, and then Dad and I went to the Redbox at CVS.  Got Toy Story 3, and then also got tortillas at the Mexican market.

And at dinner time tonight, we were all listing the number of layers we were wearing.  Clara took the prize for 5 tops, 3 pairs of pants, and 3 pairs of socks.

Our power went out sporadically this morning, but didn’t stay out for long. So we can eat breakfast. (Biscuits and gravy this morning- delish.)

Dad and I were able to go to prayer meeting on Tuesday because a friend (who had chains on his tires!) picked us up.  Such nice fellowship.  Not too many people were there, but some braved the cold and walked from their apartments.

And we can bake! Biscuits this morning, gingersnaps yesterday.  And countless cups of tea. We have to wash spoons throughout the day since we use so many to stir our tea.  (We also have to change Ginger’s water throughout the day too, since it freezes. She was in the garage some today, and Clara was reading a story from the Grimm Fairy Tales book! But that’s a rabbit trail… or shall we say a dog trail?)

I think that was the most I have written on this blog since like… ever.  But there is a list of wonderful things for you.

reading books aloud

I started reading Mary Poppins by PL Travers outloud to Clara each night. A chapter a night, we’re now on chapter 3.  [As you can see, I use paint samples for my bookmarks.  I think this is my favorite one – I love mustardy yellow- but I had misplaced it and only found it when I reread the book I had left it in. This is also a new mug of mine – one of my favorites. From awesome store World Market. And you can’t tell, but in the mug is Abuelita’s hot chocolate.]

But just this afternoon I started another book, which so far seems like it would be a really good read-aloud book too.  The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.

How can you keep sentences like this to yourself? “Wiggins meanwhile pursued with his tongue the taste of the long-since-digested dinner that still lingered among his whiskers.” That right there almost makes me want to grow a beard. Haha, not.

And another gem: “And it was bitterly cold and they had been travelling for what seemed like a century, and still there seemed no sign of their ever getting there.”

As I told Clara, I read it out loud in my head.


This year I’ve started taking a photo every day and posting it on a blog. Here:  So, enjoy looking. 10 days so far.

And also, a few lists for today.

Sad things:

-when you reach for your cup of tea but it’s empty because you drank it all already

-when you finish the last book of a really good series

-when you can’t find a black pen


Newly discovered things:

-Port Blue by Adam Young


Really good things:

-soup on a cold day

– staying warm when it’s cold out

-french braided hair staying up with only bobby pins

new mexico

we are driving a rental van this trip, which is rather strange. but there’s this sweet storage space in the floor that Melissa calls the Jew hiding place. On the day we drove to Albuquerque, we ate lunch at Rosa’s Cafe in Amarillo which has been tradition for the last couple years.

^this was our view much of the time.

^the trees actually do turn colors here. it’s beautiful.

^ and yes, in corrales there are signs for horses.

^ the sandia mountains are beautiful.

^ new mexico definitely has cooler and prettier license plates than texas. the normal ones are yellow, but these turquoise centennial ones are nice.

^ we spent the day with my cousin Esther and made these lovely earl grey tea cakes. recipe here.

and even though i have to keep chapstick in my pocket at all times because of the desert climate, being here is worth it.

but still, i feel like texas is my home. that’s where God has called us.


this weekend

…was GFA’s Friday night prayer meeting (which you can now watch online on Tuesdays, and the first Friday of every month!

Good times.

And also good food.

And also taking a family picture. [The way we kept smiling was tickling each other while the self timer counted down.]

Melissa surprised us and came home for the weekend.  She cooked us good food, and kept us laughing, and also some of the family went garage saling, which always seems to happen when she’s home.

a story of God’s provision

As many of you know, lately I have been wanting to buy a DSLR camera.  Ideally I would get one before we went to New Mexico and before a friend’s wedding, so basically before November.

First, my friends Casey and Eric had the idea to do a raffle to raise money for me buying a camera, with the prize being me doing a photoshoot for someone.  It seemed like a great idea and was working out, until we found out that doing a raffle as an individual in Texas was… illegal.  So, that door closed.

Second, I started pursuing looking on Craigslist for used cameras, planning to buy one of what I have in savings.  God opened doors  there – it seemed like it was working out to  go that path.  I had contacted one guy, in Mansfield who was selling a Nikon D80 and and 18-55mm  lens, for $600.  But it wasn’t working out smoothly to meet with him, and then, that evening I looked on Craigslist again, because Casey had encouraged me not to get my heart set on one specific camera.   And, there was another D80 listed, with an 18-135mm lens, for $100 less!  Dad called the guy (who was named Ernie… I thought he would be an old man) and it turned out that he had only had the camera for a few months and then got a D90, and that (this is the best part) he was a worship pastor!  We met him after church at his church (also in Mansfield… it seems like I’m fated to buy cameras from people in Mansfield) and now I own a camera!

It’s like Amy’s story of how she got a job… God just dropped the opportunity in her lap, and it turned out to be the perfect one.

Praise the Lord.  That’s all I can say.

evening downtown

This evening some of us girls went to downtown Carrollton, for a ladies chocolate walk they were having.  Basically walk around the square, go in all the fun shops,  and eat the chocolate samples.

^ really sweet balls of thread at the antique store

^ this picture pretty much sums up clara’s infatuation with owls.

^ a cameo

^ through the viewfinder of a cool toy camera

^ us five girls

^ Summur with the big bag she liked

^ Melissa at Vintage Martini in a big fur coat

^…and me in this ridiculous coat, in which Clara thought I looked like a magician