Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Below are a few photo updates of my latest projects. I am pretty much finished with my t-shirt blanket. I sewed in a thin layer of padding and it is O So Comfy! I have a problem though...I can't get my cute hot pink edging on correctly. I don't know what is wrong. It got all crooked and messed up when I tried to sew it on. I love blankets with this edging. My favorite "blankie" as a kid has this kind of really soft edging and when I saw this hot pink stuff I had to have it. I may have to sew it on by hang but #1-it is a huge blanket and #2 it won't look as "professional." I put away the sewing machine because I was pretty frustrated. Not sure when I'll try again.

I finished the pillows for our living room as you can see below. I did four of the flowery pattern and two of the kind behind it. I think they look so good! They are by all means not perfect, but thhey are sooo much better than the others. I had a hard time sewing them together with the edging in between. A little uneven, but pretty nonetheless. :)
I made two of the brownish colored one below. They are rectangular. I really loved the fabric on this one. I found the red pillow fabric in some leftover stuff I had so I used the rest of it for the smaller pillows. I love the pop that it adds to the room. Much better than the old bland pillows that I had. The photo below shows my project on Monday! I cleared out this flower bed. This is in our front lawn. It was a long day of hard work, but so worth it. The bush type things in the middle are flowering white and they smell yummy! I love spring. There was a ton of ground cover taking everything over so I cleaned all of that out. I'm not sure what we'll add in here to add some color, but we'll see. I'm sore and sunburned, but it was so nice to be outside all day.

And finally...the growth of our garden!


We've got a couple of banana peppers growing...

And the herbs in the big blue pot are taking on. The geraniums just bloomed and they're gorgeous!
I'm proud of all of the stuff I've gotten accomplished this month. It is so fun to watch all of my plants grow. It gives me hope for my own life that God will take nothing in me and make it something beautiful and alive.
Yesterday Cliff and I worked outside most of the day. It gave me an opportunity to meet my neighbor Barbara. I'd met her husband who is retired when we first moved in but never her. She was so sweet. She took me back in to her backyard and showed me her beautiful secret garden. There are plants everywhere! I learned that the spider wart plants in our front bed were given from her. They are such pretty plants with purple and white blooms. Apparently they multiply so I'll have more year after year. And they have a small garden in the alleyway so we plan to swap some produce as the summer goes on. I am so thankful to have finally talked with them. I can't remember his name: maybe Bob. I feel like I could run over there for help if I ever needed to. Also, we have some sweet neighbors on the other side of us, Arthur and Esther. He's a fireman so I feel pretty safe. He always stops and talks when we pass outside.
I'm heading to Georgia with Mom on Thursday. I'll be driving to Arlington early Thursday morning, then we fly out that afternoon. Emily Koen is getting married. Wow! So many memories have flooded me this week. I had such a charmed childhood with some amazing friends. It'll be awesome to hang with Murph and Emily and all of our Moms. I even hear I will get to see Laura Fillingim! Awesome!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Going with the Flow

I had high hopes yesterday that Cliff and I would go camping at Palo Duro with all of our gear.  I had been looking forward to this for weeks!---sleeping in a tent with my husband, being out in the God's creation, hiking, cooking camp out food and just being away from real life stuff.  No TV and no phones, sounds heavenly to me.  I worked Friday and we were going to head out when I got off.  Well, Mr. Amarillo news man predicted rain and shower Friday night and through the whole weekend.  After much disappointment and tears on my part we abandoned our camping plans.  Our first adventure into the camping unknown did not need to include thunderstorms and such.  As our luck would have it, it has been a magnificently beautiful past 24 hours and we missed our chance!  

So...here's me trying to go with the flow and enjoy the outdoors!

I'm catching some rays in order to have some color for Emily's wedding next weekend.  It is absolutely gorgeous out here.  The birds are chirping and I'm jamming to some country music on the lap top.  

Last night we went to dinner with Hannah and Joe.  We got home late and I went to bed and slept a really long time!  I made Cliff some blueberry muffins and we hit the town.  We went to Mardel's to buy a birthday gift for our niece.  I can't wait to finish it and give it to her. I'll let everyone know after they open it.  I think it'll be pretty special.  Dakota will be 1 year old on June 5th. Wow!  

We also stopped by two pet stores. I'm on the hunt for a bunny rabbit. Anyone have one available??  After a year of talking about getting one, I think I've about got Cliff convinced. This was the farthest I've gotten him in actually looking for one.  However, much to my dismay...the pet stores don't carry them.  What is up with that?!  They did have some adorable kittens though.  O well...the hunt continues!

We just got done watching The Boy in Striped Pajamas. Sad movie, but good cuddling time. :)  We don't have any other plans for the weekend really.   Church tomorrow and tomorrow night so no camping possibility for Sunday night.  I guess we'll be getting stuff around here and pretty much just being lazy.  

I used to think I was a pretty easy going girl who didn't need much of a plan.  The older I'm getting though the more I need a plan. When that plan gets disrupted I am one unhappy chick.  I hate that I am like this.  It really makes my husband's life very difficult.  I'm working on it!  Life is so full of change each and every moment.  I recognize this and yet I still strive for structure and order.  I am so thankful for a patient and forgiving God who has given my husband those same characteristics.  

As you can see from the picture above I am enjoying this afternoon!!  

Happy long weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

125 Hours to Go

I am a month away from completing 500 internship hours at Catholic Family Service. Since January I have spent every Tuesday and Thursay working in their foster/adopt program. I have had so many opportunities to see every side of the agency. The numerous issues involved are dynamic and complexing. Each child's case is so different.

I have been able to complete a placement in our infant adoption program. A birth mother that I had worked with delivered a beautiful baby girl. The adoptive parents drove from South Texas that day to meet their new baby girl. In that hospital room I saw such dignity in the immense sadness of this mother who was giving her baby a better life. And on the other end I saw such pure excitement at this couple becoming parents for the first time. I will forever remember those moments mourning with those who mourn and rejoicing with those who rejoice.

I have counseled with a birth mother who already has a one year old son and will deliver another son in less than a month. This young mother knows that she cannot care for her next child with no support from a husband and no financial means either. Living on government assistance she has chosen to place her baby in the arms of another family.

I have the opportunity to sit with foster parents who care day in and day out with children wounded emotionally and physically by the ones who are supposed to take care of them. The foster parent patiently love them through a myriad of hard to handle behaviors and love them back in to the homes that they were removed from even when they know that they'll return to the system again in to another home of strangers. I have gained so much respect for these foster parents. I have an even deeper respect for these children who adjust as best they can to their situations.

As a social worker my role is to educate and walk through these difficul situations with my clients whether they are the birth parents, adoptive parents, children or foster parents. My job is to make the "best" decisions when there is no "good" decision.

I am ready to get to my 500 hour mark, but it will be sad to leave at the same time. I do not know what my future holds. I do not know what will happen in December, but I hope to one day be a part of this work again in the future in some capacity. God only knows at this point and I am ok with that. So many people are asking me what happens after graduation. God only knows what tomorrow holds at this point. One more month of internship and I'll be back to the desk at church full time. I'll be thankful for the paycheck, but those will be long weeks! I've enjoyed having my days at the desk broken up by stuff that really matters.

Two more classes, a huge paper and a little time separate me from my December 5th graduation date.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Morning

It is a beautiful morning here in Amarillo. Slightly cool this morning and then it will be a glorious 85 degrees by this afternoon! I am so thankful for the warm weather.

I didn't get to go to the Canyon on Saturday. It rained all day and threatened storms, but I enjoyed a productive day at home and Cliff got home around 7:30.

I finished my pillows for the living room. They look great! I'll take a picture this week to post. Also, I can't wait to post pictures of my garden! It is really growing so well. There are a few spots where my seeds have germinated, but I'm not quite sure what is what in those areas. I guess I should have drawn a diagram. Ha! :) The garden was planted in total Jessica style...kinda haphazard no thinking about needing to know what is what. The plants that I planted I stuck the little plastic markers next to them so that I'd know what those were. That's a start right?!

Cliff and I were asked to keep our friends 1 year old on Saturday night. I have kept Zoe several times over the past year an I was excited to get a few hours with her again. She was sooo sweet and made me miss my prescious neices even more! We played, had dinner and then settled down to snuggle around 8:30. She cuddled calmly for about 30 minutes then fell asleep. Babies are such special gifts from God. I also go to hold Kenley last night at dinner with all of the staff. She is about a month old and still in that always sleeping stage.

One of the highlights of my weekend was getting to skype with Aaron, Trish and Dakota. Thanks guys for making time for it!!

The week ahead should be a good one. I've got a quick 3 hour seminar tonight for some internship hours. Cliff is in the last couple weeks of his semester and will be doing school work most evenings.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Weekend Plans

I'm trying not to have a pity party right now. I'm sitting at my receptionist job with a long day ahead. Cliff left for the second weekend in a row to go hunting at the Land. He has been gone since yesterday morning and will be back tomorrow night sometime. I'm so glad he gets to go see family and relax for a while. He has been running ragged with church and school work.

I've been "parenting" for the past couple of days. My Sunday school teachers left to go to the beaches in Mexico for a few days. I've been staying at their house with two teenagers and a 3rd grader since Wednesday night. I really didn't have to do much since they are so self sufficient. They get themselves to school by way of a bike or their normal ride schedule. I ended up having to work late yesterday and they all got themselves home from school too. The oldest fixed us dinner last night and we pretty much just hung out. I took the youngest out for ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. The middle girl had dance two nights in a row until 11 and 10! Poor thing is so tired getting up to go to school today. Their grandma is coming in today so I'll have the weekend to myself.

Mom, Leigh anad the girls are heading to Houston today for Caitlin's graduation. Another reason for a possible pity party! I wish I could be with them. Leigh found out yesterday that she is going to have another baby GIRL!

I plan to clean my house and sew tonight. It is supposed to storm all afternoon and evening so I'll just be staying in. Tomorrow I have a baby shower at 10 and then I had hoped to go hike out at the Canyon. There is a 6 mile trail out to the Lighthouse that I'd like to go, but I've had some opposition from my husband and Mom. It makes me mad that they don't want me to go out by myself! I guess I understand but really...I've been wanting to go out there for weeks and I was excited about my plans! I finally have a full day to go but they think it is too dangerous. Something about boogie men waiting to pounce! I'm conflicted. I guess I should "obey my husband" and "honor my mother." Would it be wrong to go?? I have no fear about it and truly it would be such a refreshing time with me and the Lord. I have no friends here to call up and go with me. Hannah is out of town!

I'm thinking I'll still go...weighing the options! How can I be 25, have a weekend to myself and still allow others to control my actions.

I'm going to make the most of my day here in the office and enjoy the quiet night alone. I'm looking forward to knocking out some more pillows. I'll post some pics later!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wedding, Family and GAs

Last weekend Cliff and I went to Allen, TX by way of my parent's house. Cliff was in Jay Miller's wedding. Jay sang in our wedding and now he's married too! I didn't get any photos of the wedding. I'll have to snag some off of facebook when they post some. :)

We drove in to Arlington on Thursday night and spent the morning with some of my family. We played and played with our girls. They sure are growing!! Lerin in 3 1/2, Robbyn is almost 2 and Dakota is one in June! Wow! Time flies. Below are pictures of the girls. Aren't they cute! We have one more baby on the way too. Leigh will be having number three in October. Can't wait to find out if it will be a girl or a boy!

This Wednesday we took my 4th and 5th GA group to the High Plains Food Bank. These are the girls I hang out with every Wednesday night. They are so much fun! They worked hard that night sorting and boxing snacks.

What a busy, busy week it has been! You should see my house...it's a mess! We worked everyday and then here is a breakdown of our evenings...

Monday...Jess had class til 10
Tuesday...work out, school work and home
Wednesday...church till 9
Thursday...Cliff had VBS associational training. we were at church till 9:30
Friday...picked up Joel Gregory's luggage at the airport then went to dinner with our associate pastor and his family. Cliff and I went and got coffee after since we hadn't really talked all week!

Friday was Debbie's birthday too! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!

And today has been just as crazy. The morning was relatively slow, but then we had a luncheon at the church. The Acteens put together a luncheon for some less fortunate in our community. We were there to chat and help the guests feel comfortable. Our news anchor Andy Justus spoke...I got to meet him...he's a celebrity in our town. Ha! Cliff was making fun of me for being excited about meeting him. We hit up Sam's afterwards and stocked up on some things. We made a trip to bet Cliff's bow fixed. He'll be gone the next two weekends to go to the land to hunt. I'm bummed I can't go...such is life at this point. Cliff spent the afternoon with 6th graders at a bowling party while I took a much needed nap.

And finally....THE GARDEN! Check it out. :) Cliff built the 8X4 raised garden. I filled it with an organic mix of three kinds of stuff. As you can see it is a mix of alot of random vegetables. We've got cucumbers, squash, tomatos, peppers, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, green beans, okra, etc. The seeds have yet to pop through. We saw one start comig up, but it has been kinda cool here the last couple of days and I think it retreated. I ran out of room for some of the seeds so I just three them in another area where I planted the azalea bush.
These are the herbs I planted in my big blue pot. I love this because it is so pretty! I can't wait to use them once they get established and grow some more.

And here is the azalea bush. It was really cheap and since we didn't get the rose garden going, I put this in a corner where we don't have much grass growing. I cleared out the area. It is semi shade so we didn't put any roses here. It looks like it is doing well so far so we'll see how it grows!