Saturday Snippets


    Glad to see a little theological integrity from this college ministry

    How to unlock your iPhone the old way

    A sweet read aloud barbershop

    Convicting, practical parenting wisdom

    A chart of Harry Potter spells to lighten the mood…

    We read Scripture because life is not a drill

    Eyeing big artwork for our next home, and I am in love with this canvas

    Can’t wait to try these simple oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

    A Pinterest guide for businesses

    Sometimes Instagram ads lead you to gorgeous rings like these

    My gold watch exploded in my luggage, but I like this watch as a replacement….




    Kiefer Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman, a lower-level Cabinet member who suddenly becomes president of the United States, in the ABC series Designated Survivor, which premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.

    I can’t stop.

    Reading political articles, that is.

    All day, every day, I devour articles about this crazy election.

    As more and more information unfolds about the creepy people that are Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump, I cannot consume others’ opinions fast enough. It’s not so much that I care what the candidates said or did. Nothing surprises me about either of them. I could have predicted this election debacle months ago. I mean, did you watch the primary debates?

    I read and read in utter bewilderment, not so much because of the political circus taking place right now (not sure if Shakespeare would label it as a comedy or a tragedy), but because I am dumbfounded by the American people at large and love reading the perspectives of those few out there who seems to have common sense and integrity.

    I currently have 44 tabs open on my phone. So for the sake of my phone memory and future internet browsing needs, I will now pass some of the most interesting articles off to you. Close the tabs, Jen.

    Okay, that’s it for now. I’m sure I’ll read a 100 more articles before this publishes. But every once in a while, when the reading gets too dismal, I flip over to my Bible and read passages like Psalm 16: “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.” Best thing I’ve read all week.


    A Party by the Sea

    Zianne turned three and we celebrated with sandy feet, cupcakes, and cardigan sweaters.

    Since we moved to the beach a week before Zianne’s birthday, we planned to have her party outside by the ocean. 1) We would have lots of room for kids to run around. 2) We could avoid cramming people in our tiny beach house. 3) September is the best month at the beach – typically sunny with warm water temps.

    beach birthday party


    {Invitation found here}

    But wouldn’t you know it… the day of her birthday happened to be the ONLY cold day we’ve had since moving to Newport. I checked the weather report a few days before her party and it showed increasing temperatures all week, with a gloriously sunny 84 degrees on the Sunday of her birthday party. “Perfect,” I thought, and I didn’t bother to check the weather again.

    beach birthday partyThe day of her party started out gloomy, but morning clouds that fade into afternoon sunshine are not uncommon on the ocean. We went to church inland and the sun was shining, but when we came back, clouds were still covering the beach. We put the girls down for a nap, and I frosted cupcakes while the skies remained gray. I began decorating a picnic table down below our house, and I could not stop the table cloth from blowing like crazy in the chilly wind. By the time the party started at 4pm, the temperature had dropped even more.

    beach birthday party

    So many sweet people came from miles around to celebrate our Zianne Eileen. The funny thing about moving is that you don’t have an established posse nearby to celebrate life’s milestones with. Instead, I desperately reached out to any friends that live within 60 miles of us, hoping a few familiar faces would show up to celebrate my girl. And show up they did! We had dear friends drive all the way from San Diego and San Bernardino counties to party with us. We are so thankful for those that love us so well.

    beach birthday party

    The kids played on the beach for 30 minutes or so. Of course, a few brave toddler souls splashed in the water, but the highlight for most of the kids was a giant hole that had been dug in the sand by previous beach-goers. The kids climbed in and out of the pit, and I joked that I saw “giant sand hole” as a party idea on Pinterest.

    Pizza arrived at 5pm, so we huddled around a picnic table snacking together. The temperature was dropping, and we ended up pulling a bunch of sweatshirts and cardigans out of my closet for moms to throw on over their dresses and tank tops. Please note: It was over 100 degrees inland that day. Everywhere else in Southern California was incredibly hot and sunny, but for some reason the beach, and the beach only, was freezing and our guests were understandably unprepared.

    beach birthday party

    beach birthday party

    beach birthday party

    The biggest challenge of the day was getting Zianne’s candles lit. Her cupcakes had all her favorite TV sea creatures on them – Octonauts cupcake wrappers, Jake and the Neverland Pirates decorations on top, and Bubble Guppies candles – a chaotic array to make a three year old’s dreams come true. It took me a good 3-4 minutes to get one lone candle lit in the wind, with lots of shielding and assistance from other adults. Zianne blew it out, and the kids devoured 31 cupcakes soon after.

    beach birthday party

    beach birthday party

    I love fancy birthday parties with pretty décor, but more and more, I am drawn to keeping our celebrations as simple as can be. As long as there are five large pizzas for our guests to devour, even wind and clouds can’t stop us from having a good time.