Sunday, July 23, 2006

Where I am...

I am where the Texas sun shines bright and makes the cool river feel like paradise. Where Barney the basset hound and mama kitty are always around.
Where my ESL students make a feast for my arrival and I feel so loved and so full of love for them that I could burst.
Where mom and dad and I read and read and laugh and watch episode after episode of "Baby Story" and "What Not to Wear" and eat ice cream almost every night.
I am where my good friends are...friends that know my heart and I know theirs and it is so comforting to me to exchange thoughts and dreams and laughter with them again. Where i get to hold their new babies and see them as mommies.
I am in Texas, the place that I was born and holds all of these familiar and beloved people and places. I am trying to cherish this time as much as I soak up each person, each conversation, each experience.
I am where my sweet man is not. I miss him and wish he were here continuously, but know that soon I will be back to where he is, which is truly my home. Jen

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mom's fingerprints...

Mom always leaves our home and hearts more beautiful than when she came. Here are just a few evidences of that...

Our little cottage finally has some flowers around it! I love waking up in the morning and seeing these beautiful flowers when I look out the windows!!
Inside the house I am now be surrounded by pictures of the ones I love...

Here is the most perfect rocking chair that I got for my birthday(sorry for the dying flowers in the background...I'll let go of them tomorrow I promise:)
It's the perfect reading corner now.

So, thanks mom for all of the time you spend making your children's lives more beautiful, more whole. I always feel so confidently me whenever you are around.

Well, mom left Thursday morning and Thursday evening we had visitors from Hawaii! We were sooo excited to have out good friends the Lomonts come and stay the night with us on their way from vacation road trip spanning from Arizona to Oregon. We had such a great time with them catching up on Hawaii friends and memories. They are one adventurous family! Its Brett and Kathy and their two teenage sons Sean and Josh. I remarked to Joel how respectful Sean and Josh were to their parents and how that teenage "we're too cool to like our parents" attitude didn't seem to be there. His response was that he had observed how respectful Brett and Kathy were to their kids--meaning that they really enjoyed them and didn't treat them like annoying teenagers. Very true. It was good to see. We miss you guys!

Friday brought my last working day at the English Language Institute for the summer session. I'm ready for a break! We start again on August 22nd and I'm scheduled to teach 2 classes. What a learning experience this has been. I am very thankful for the opportunity but a bit overwhelmed to jump into such an academic setting.I love getting to experience the different cultures that this program attracts, though, and getting to see a whole new side of the ESL world will keep me there despite my feeling inadequate.

Tomorrow morning I am leaving for a 16 day trip to TX. I am really excited to see my friends, my friends' new babies, my family of course,my favorite animals Barney the basset hound and Mama kitty, my ESL students from Seguin...I think it's going to be one great trip! I'm sad to leave Joelie though. We are such a part of each other, it just feels unnatural to be without him. So, I'm going to go now and spend some time with my love. Pack too, I must pack:) Hopefully I'll be seeing some of you soon and to the rest of you, I hope your summer is restful and that you are enjoying each day.Jen

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Islands, bird shows, and Strawberry Shortcake--It's been a busy week!

Mom and I went with my ESL class to Antelope Island. It is an island on the Great Salt Lake and we had a great time exploring it. We hiked, saw lots of buffalo, learned about it's history, and had a fun time chatting with the students. Oh, and we did this...
I may look calm and happy holding this harmless snake but I was FREAKING out inside. I had to be brave for the students so this was my "everything is fine, I love holding snakes" face:) One of them freaked out and screamed bloody murder and ran away--that's really how I was feeling inside.
Here's the crew.
Mom, on the other hand, "used to play with snakes all the time when she was little" and didn't mind at all that it was slithering towards her face!
Mom,dad and I went to the Tracy Bird Aviary which is at the park across the street. It was really fun and this is mom and dad at the bird show. Many of you know how much mom loves flamingos, so you can imagine how excited she was to find this visor in the gift shop.She has never been afraid of wearing "daring" headgear. Think reindeer antlers with blinking lights for Christmas:)
Mom and dad with the flamingos.
Then there was my surprise Strawberry Shortcake birthday party. It was a bit early but we wanted to celebrate before dad left. It was so much fun and I got some fabulous gifts that I'll show you once I take some pictures of them. The party included lots of KFC. Hey, it's my party and I can eat KFC if I want to!:)My grandma always wanted KFC for her birthday party and I figure someone must carry on the tradition. Plus, I love it. There, I admitted it.
Dad at the party:)
More birthday decor. Those are delicious chocolate dipped strawberries to go with the theme----so cute!

Sorry it took so long for me to update, oh loyal readers, but we've been busy as you can see! Hope you enjoyed the little picture journal of our adventures...I would write more but it's late and I'm sleepy so I'll try and write again soon, Jenny

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A walk in the park...

What a joy to be with mom and dad in our new home and new life. The house now smells like coffee and candles, giggles from the girls abound, and adventures are around every corner. For example...

Mom and I went for a walk in the park across the street on Sunday evening. Immediately upon entering the park we heard loud hip hop music and saw that a graffiti contest was going on. Then, under a pavilion, mom spied break dancers and said, " Oh, I love break dancers! Let's go watch." I looked at mom in her bright pink running shorts and me in my capri jogging pants. We are straight from OldNavyland. She doesn't even think about that. We march straight up to the break dancing circle to sit down and watch. It was really fun and little did I know that this was just the beginning of our adventure in the would take forever to document it all, but in one lap around the place we saw break dancers, pink flamingoes, a hippy drum circle complete with hulahoopers and fire dancers, a bag pipe player who was ever elusive and who we only found after mom spied his bagpipe sticking up over a bush, and oh so many more random things. I truly don't know if things like this go on in the park all of the time and I am just oblivious to it with my head phones on, or if it really was a crazy night in the park. I have a feeling things like that abound and because mom is so brave and willing to jump into experiences that I would only watch from afar, we got to experience it. It was so random and wonderful and totally classic mom time.

We have done many more things such as read bunches, go for a picnic by a rushing river, drive along the most beautiful stretch of road in the world, thrift store shopping, garage saleing, talking into the wee hours of the morning, eating good food,and discovering a syndrome called PYS that Joel claims to have. That would be Pre Garage Saleing syndrome:)

Here are some of my favorite pics from the trip so far...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Hunt Hotel...

Mom and dad are in route to Salt Lake City! We are so excited and scurrying around like mice to get everything ready. Well, at least one of us is...

I left to go tutor one of my students, but gave Joel specific instructions on what I needed him to do in the guest room while I was gone. I don't think "take a nap in the guests' bed" was on the list:)
If you haven't heard Joel's big news, click on the "Joelie's blog" link to the right and you can read about it. Then you'll understand why he especially needs rest right now with all of his new responsibilities:)
Guess that's all for now. I've got a bathtub to scrub,a guest room to prepare, flowers to buy....I'll try to keep this updated with our adventures with the folks during their stay at the Hunt Hotel!