Finding Joy in Him

Through Every Season

Tag: Friends (page 1 of 3)

Spring Break Photos Part 1

Yum Fudruckers

Judi, Miranda and James on the left.  Rebekah, Nichole and Mike on the right.

 Girls in Judi’s car following us bumper to bumper (the norm) in Pigeon Forge.

Our view Sunday evening.

Our view Tuesday morning after 2 days of snow.

Making snow balls.

4 inches of snow on the cars.

Which ball is smaller?

I think this one is.

Our snow person.

Our tongues keep popping out to catch snowflakes.. 

Mountain at the end of our road.

Friendly horses in Cade’s Cove

Cheese!

The church choir.

It was a little muddy..

James was computing while climbing the mud slide and slid himself.. ipad survived the mud.   Judi said, “I have a towel you can use in my trunk.”  James asked, “Where is that?”  Judi, “Attached to the back of my car.”  James wouldn’t budge.. do involved in making sure his ipad was okay.  Judi was so great that she marched down, got the towel and gave it to him… while the girls and I laughed at James for falling in the mud and took pictures.

We are church goers.

Maybe my favorite snow picture.

Or this one.

The barn.

Girls in the hay loft.

both sides.

Jumping down.

I got mud on my rear.. is that from James?

Best cabin yet.

The road behind.

The road ahead.

Did I share enough of these?

Love this one.

James’ Birthday

James turned
A few of his good friends helped us celebrate after church.
We only make this awesome cake when we have friends to help us eat it..

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cake
1 chocolate cake mix
Heat oven to directions on box. 
Prepare 2 layer cake as directed. 
Cool completely.
Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting
12 ounces cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 cup butter, room temp.
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
In a large mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese, butter 
and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. 
Add the powdered sugar and peanut butter and mix until smooth.
To frost the cake, place one layer on a serving plate. 
Spread 1/4 of the frosting over the top. Place the second layer on top. 
Spread the remaining frosting over top and sides of the cake.

Do you keep calling your kids “kids” when they become adults?

Should I be calling them our young adults?
James loves to serve
@ church
@ his job
and sometimes.. 
@ home, too.
We are so blessed!
Jenny

Judi and Chloe

Judi and Chloe asked me to go with them for a photo shoot at the play ground ( a first).
Chloe is Judi’s best friend from Spain.  She is actually from here but has lived
in Spain as a missionary kid for 14 years.

 Saved the best for last.  A double backhand spring in the field.

Clarkson Bridge Park

This week has just been beautiful.  
Weather in the high 60’s and yesterday it got up around 70.  
We couldn’t stand spending all week inside so we got out and met some good friends 
that we met originally in FL in Cullman at a covered bridge there.  
The bridge was built in 1904.
Just beautiful.
Houston, Holden, Abbey, Judi, Joel and Zoë
Kids had a grand time hiking and playing hide and seek.  
And we moms enjoyed just sitting and talking in the fresh air.

Labor Day Weekend

My poor sad tree thinks it’s fall.  What should I do?
Saturday evening we got to go visit our missionary friends from Spain.

They recently bought a house here so they’d have one when they’re old.
Hal and their friend Jesso fly back to Spain today.  
So they had a going away party for them.

Judi just loves Cloe.
Jesso doesn’t speak very much English.. He spent a couple of days with Joel and Josh to see how Americans live.  They took him bowling and hiking and played video games with him.

Here are the guys hanging out.

The girls had their own table.
Jane made us this wonderful Spanish dish in a paella.. witch is a super large pan.
In Spain the usually include squid in their paella.. but Jane was nice and just used
chicken and bacon.  She even went to the store for some sea salt .. 
so it’d be corn free and I could eat it, too.

Mark and Suzanne’s Wedding

My good friend, Suzanne, got married this past weekend.  We are so happy for her. 
After 10 years of living as a widowed, single parent 
God has brought her a husband and father for her two sons.
She met Mark over the internet almost a year ago.  
I knew right away that he was the one.  It took her a while to believe
that God loved her enough to bring her someone who really loved her.
God is so good.  Better than any of us could ever imagine.
Mark lost his wife five years ago and had been bringing up her two sons and their 
daughter on his own.  Both parents are so happy to find someone 
to help them love and raise their children for Christ.
Judi and I arrived Wednesday afternoon to help prepare for the wedding.
Judi and Michelle hit it off right away.  Michelle’s a year younger than Judi.
Judi helped Michelle with her make up.
Doesn’t she look great?!
Here’s the happy bride with her new daughter.  I am so glad she gets a daughter.
Every mother should have at least one of each.  Michelle is sweet, smart and a lot of fun.

Here’s the happy couple.  They were both so calm and took everything in stride.
Don’t you just love Suzanne’s dress?  She looks like a princess!
This is one of the prettiest dresses I’ve ever worn.  
I have the groom’s ring on my thumb.  🙂
Aren’t the flowers just gorgeous?

These flower girls are Suzanne’s new nieces.  They are just adorable, busy, funny girls.
I smiled for this one.  Smiling can be challenging for me.  I need someone to make me laugh.  

Here is the whole wedding party: Michelle, me, the bride and groom, 
Mark’s best friend, his two older boys with Suzanne’s boys on the end.  
Here’s the whole family.  Suzanne now has more kids than me and a daughter-in-love,
who couldn’t come because she is expecting their first grandchild!

They took this photo outside.. hoping later to photo shop in the missing daughter-in-love.
Don’t they all look so happy together?  They really are.  I’ve never seen Kyle so happy.
The wedding service was very beautiful, worshipful, full of thanksgiving and prayer.
Everything went very well.. Suzanne and Mark had a ton of help 
from friends and family who were all so happy for them.
J

My Birthday weekend in GA

For my birthday Mike took us to GA to see our friends from IL who just moved back there and to visit our church in Montgomery. We had a great time. The kids stayed at my friend, Ranae’s house. We’ve known their family since I was pregnant with Judi and she was pregnant with Victoria. The kids get along great.
Mike and I stayed at Sugardoodle’s Playhouse, a cabin in Pine Mountain, GA. It was very nice. All their cabins had red heart shaped jacuzzi tubs and were decorated with fun antiques.

Our A frame cabin was surprisingly large inside.

Our neighbors were a little creepy.

We had a picnic at FD Roosevelt State Park.

The kids decided that the amphitheater was a great place for a sword fight.

Then on the trail they found even bigger sticks to play with.

All together now.

The park map was not to scale. After hiking for what seemed hours according to the map we were still only half way around the 3 mile loop. We got a little lost and decided that it was time to consult the map.

Found this beautiful view of the lake.. then discovered we were only about a block from Ranae’s van.. just in the other direction. Yay! a place to sit.
For dinner that night Scott grilled out for all of us tired hikers. The food and fellowship were great!

New Year’s Eve and Princess J’s B-day

Our friends from Birmingham came down and the kids spent the night the night before New Years Eve.

Little A helped us make Princess J’s b-day cake.

H brought some cool video games.

They were all pretty tired after staying up so late the night before.

We made Princess J a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cake.

We got the idea while eating our traditional peanut butter balls for Christmas.

The cake was delicious.  Maybe the best I ever made. 

After praying in the New Year at church a big bunch of us went to IHOP.

This is my friend Hilga and her daughter.

And her husband, John.

Princess J and some friends.

The one on the right is our drummer .. he’s only 14 and great at the drums.

Some of our pastor’s grand kids.

The Joneses.

Friends with camera phones.

The boys.

After IHOP, the youth had a lock in at the church.

They had a great time.

By the time we finished with IHOP it was 2 AM… I was tempted to stay 4 more hours for the lock-in but was glad I got my sleep.

The kids slept for days after.  
Here’s how to make the cake.  
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cake
1 chocolate cake mix
Heat oven to directions on box. Prepare cake as directed. Cool completely.
Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
In a large mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the powdered sugar and peanut butter and mix until smooth.
To frost the cake, place one layer on a serving plate. Spread 1/4 of the frosting over the top. Place the second layer on top. Spread the remaining frosting over top and sides of the cake.

Happy Birthday to Me

Moving this past year caused me to discover all kinds of stuff about myself.. for instance when I looked back at my FL house and saw all the different colors I used to paint it I realized that I am a very colorful person.
Once we settled in a little, I started worrying that I was going to have a very lonely birthday.  I was turning 40 and had to choose between keeping it a secret so that I wouldn’t have to share it with well meaning strangers and arranging something so I could celebrate it big with people I know and love.. who lived very far away.
My birthday is in mid-September.. and although I think it’s the perfect time of year and love that I was born on my Dad’s birthday, it’s turned out to be a bad time of year for celebrating…  
In Mike’s field of work, fiscal close out is Oct. 1 which often means from mid-September on he is working long hours trying to spend millions of dollars so that his budget doesn’t get cut the following year.  He is usually not a lot of fun during that time of year .  
The very first year he was able to work it out to take me for a date on my birthday was the year the twin towers were hit by terrorist.. ever since then the week of my birthday has been a national week of mourning the anniversary of 9/11.  
So this year when Mike agreed to take me to see the cherry blossoms for his birthday I decided that I needed more time than just a night or a weekend to celebrate my birthday and that I would celebrate all year.  So every trip we took, every time we went on a date, in my heart we were celebrating my birthday.
One night, in July, we drove the kids to a concert near Birmingham and went into Birmingham for dinner.  I shared with Mike my silly idea of celebrating my birthday all year.  And guess what was waiting for me in the bushes out side the restaurant?  This birthday balloon.  I took it as a sign that my Heavenly Father was celebrating with me. 

I will have to keep it in a scrapbook to remind me of His tender love for me.  

My generous mom and mil sent me money for my birthday and I bought myself these candle pillars to light when it’s too warm to light the fire place.  We enjoy the atmosphere.  I looked all over town and on line for candle pillars and couldn’t find any… until I heard the Lord tell me to wait one more week and found that the next week Hobby Lobby had hundreds of candle pillars on sale 50% off.  

They turned out even more beautiful than I imagined.  
I found this leather jacket at Kohl’s.  It was a little more money than I wanted to spend so Mike took me all over town to see if we could find a better deal.  None of them were as nice as this one.  I waited to see if it would be cheeper on Black Friday.. it wasn’t and they had run out of my size.  I looked for it on line on the following Monday and discovered they were having 15% off everything Cyber Monday.  I forgot all about Cyber Monday.

I also got to buy several winter tops on sale.  I didn’t have many after all those years in FL.  I bought three for less than $10 with tax at one sale.
God planned a birthday surprise for me on my actual birthday weekend.  A friend from Huntsville invited me to go on a field trip with her.  We got to go on a tour of the Capital building with a man that was a member of Martin Luther King’s church and actually marched in the Bloody Sunday march from Selma to Montgomery.  He is considered the AL Historian and has his masters in history.  He was fascinating to listen to.  

We got to look at some beautiful art.  I love art.

Here is my friend Lee Ann and her son with our docent, Aroine Irby.

Here our our kids hanging outside the governors mansion.

Isn’t this charming?

And I love this arrangement with the angel.

This is a prayer garden in the back yard of the mansion.  It’s cool to know that they have a place to pray.
This is a sculpture of Jesus that was donated to the Department of Archives and History.  I love it.  It looks very much like my visions of Jesus.  
So the other thing that I learned about myself is that I am big on birthdays and think that they should be celebrated big.  I was so blessed by all the trips I got to take this year to celebrate my birthday, for the great sales I found, and for the time I got to spend with my friend Lee Ann and her son.  
J

Late? We’re Just Getting Started!

Looking a little too comfortable.

How about a game of Gestures?

The Chagoya girls were the true pros.

The guys tried their best.

I got to go for along for the ride.

We’re too cool to play.

One more game before bed.

This isn’t all that hard.  
Thanks for the great day!
Jenny
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