Saturday, July 31, 2010

I can't stop singing it -

good times NEVER seemed SOO GOOOOOD,

If my Mom hasn't fainted yet because I just posted that on my blog (she hasn't...yet) and no one has fallen out of their seat in shock, and if you can still hear out of your ears, clearly you have not been in my house in the past 3 hours, because I've been singing it NONSTOP since I started listening to it, at about ... 3 hours ago. AND I CAN'T STOP.

It is a highly addicting song. If you don't know what it is, clearly then you do not have a dream of being in Fenway Park at the bottom of the 8th inning when EVERYONE in the stands cheers, claps their hands and sings along to "Sweet Caroline", because, hey, it's been tradition since 2002, and that's why the Boston Red Sox WIN.

Or that's what the Boston Red Soxs think.

The point is, is that I want to do that .... it's a dream of mine. How amazing is it to get to sing and have all this fun with all those people while cheering on the Boston Red Sox? Dude.

*Fun fact: My mom, our dear friend: L., and I drove past Fenway Park THREE TIMES in downtown Boston, and it was amazing ... still makes me laugh, those memories. :D*

**If you have no idea what "Sweet Caroline" is, ask your parents. It's their generation. If they don't know, then you have A. Really young parents B. Never heard of Neil Diamond C. Are probably homeschooled and your parents don't like that song. (I can mention C. because I fall under half that category), SO ... just insert "Take me out to the ball game" and you pretty much come up with the same sort of situation that I am in. **

Oh, and I may or may not be available tomorrow, if perhaps sometime between tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon my parents donate me to a local ballpark because I won't stop singing that song.

So anyways.

I think that all the "Sweet Caroline" singing was really brought up because earlier today I thought about baseball, because I had lunch from a hot-dog stand at Lowe's, (ohhh yeah!), and I really only get hot-dogs like that when I'm at the concession stands at a baseball game. I giggled and laughed and skipped back to the car and sang ... no ... not "Sweet Caroline", it was another song ... which I will not post because I don't like some of the lyrics, but it made me think of Gabe. :) *laugh* Figure that out.

Off topic. It's 11:42pm. So yes, the hot-dog was delicious and so was my root beer.

Back to "Sweet Caroline". So I went on my g-mail, and put up those lyrics above in my little status-y-box-thing (you know what it is) and of course, several people instantly popped up, and were laughing at me, which was rather ... the point, (ARE YOU STILL READING THIS?), and Becca was one of them ... we very much enjoy chatting online, since we would drive our families CRAZY if we talked on the phone. True story, people.

Yes, she noticed that I had a song stuck in my head, and she laughed, let it slide and let me sing ... she usually feeds my at-the-top-of-my-lungs-singing by giving me more and more songs to listen to. So I thought about Becs. And I thought about Sweet Caroline.

And then I thought about this expedition we had, and since it is a Saturday night...perfect for my "Whatever I want" Editing, I went at it. I'm so glad I did. Because somewhere between the 3rd picture, the 37th replay of "Sweet Caroline" and a whole lot of Black and White, and lots of giggling because I remember how fun that day was, and how we almost died from the heat ...
I found the joy to blog. :D HAHa hahahahaa hahaha!!

So there we were. In Winter Park. After Panera Bread Lunch. Hiking up the VLPRIHH: Very Long Parking Ramp In Hideous Heat. You would not believe how hot and wimpy we all were. Ok, I suppose I should mention that I was hot and wimpy. Everyone else was just hot. And Mom was like ... eons ahead of me, us being the only fun two with the car on the TOP level. *pitiful look*

SEE? Case in point.


We went to Leu Gardens, and I took pictures. And then I decided to do a whole post in Black and White, because I LOVE Black and White and everything looks better and less HOT.

... and because Bec's Converse look better in Black and White, and so does the cypress. :)


Doesn't this look just glorious and romantic? *oh sigh* Change that to *oh faint*, because it was about 98 degrees outside (no joke) and that's without the humidity factored in. Even in Black and White, I can still feel the searing heat that made the roses look painted some lovely moist colored hue because the humidity was cloaking us like a wet blanket.

... and I'm not exaggerating about that. The heat OR the roses ... haha.

More Case in Point of Heat.

Someone. Somewhere. Was getting a huge kick out of the sign that said: "No splashing or playing in the fountains.", but as the workers tooled by in the golf carts, I am pretty sure they weren't laughing. They wanted to dunk their heads in as much as I did. Or lay down in it, like I wanted to. I broke the rules and only stuck my arms in up to my elbows and splashed a little. It was sooo sooo tempting .... I really don't like breaking the rules. *looks innocent*


*Swoon* We found a guy. I know he looks a little rough and dark and well, rugged ... but that's how Becs and I roll. We have a thing for farmers, cowboys, ruggedness, big trucks, tractors, boots, and jean overalls. Not to mention he was holding oranges. We might have kissed him on the cheeks. We'll never tell. And Becs? You are soo pretty sittin' next to 'im. LOVE!

Seriously! We might have liked him ... a lot. What is there NOT to like?


... and then we trudged as gracefully as we could back towards La Maison. Forget the French, we trudged back towards the Leu Plantation Home. It's huge and I love it. And my Mama is SOOO adorable because look ... she's holding my purse and it dwarfs her. hahahaa!! :D


Thanks for lovin' me, Becs. "SAWEEEET CAROLIIIIINE!!!!!" :D Love you.


I blame "Sweet Caroline" for that.

I love you, sweet sweet people ....
and don't take these fun and precious times or "little things" for granted ...
Thanks for readin' ... ya'll come back now, if ya'll aren't ready to throw a
snowcone on my head because you can't get the chorus out of your head like me ....

~ Jean Marie ~

On second thought ... bring on the snowcone war. It's really hot here.

** I, by no means endorse the lyrics to the song, just that the song is FUN** ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Give me lemons -

Hello! :)

Okay, so do you remember THIS post from back in May? Mmhmm, well, it generated a lot of really sweet comments and attention, and as I realized how great it was to talk about things I loved, I also realized how little sometimes you all (who read my blog) do not know what I ... well ... what I LOVE.

Obviously, these things are things that just plain make life ... better.

Like the color YELLOW. In fact, dearest-sweet-friend-Becca made me a yellow card for my birthday, and it didn't even kick in that it was YELLOW and WHY it was yellow until ... hours later. I do have a brain, but I was distracted by the jar of bubbles she gave me. *cough*

... that and the M&M covered pretzels. be envious. be very envious. or not. :D

Anyways, back to the color yellow. If you are a chocolate lover, please buckle yourself in for a rude bump in the flight ... *bing! please fasten your seatbelts. thank you.*, because the next line might shake you up a bit.

I would rather have a lemon-y dessert than a chocolate one.

Is everyone still there? Did no one swoon? Or run into a wall? Are we still good? ok.

I just LOVE lemon and all things lemon, and I'd rather have that than chocolate.

Now don't get me wrong I LOVE chocolate. Hahahah ... my-darling-Filipino-girlie-Paulina kept up with tradition from years and years of birthdays and gave me a whole slew of 5 different candy bars, and there is one left. ONE. mmmhmm. But if I see desserts at the restaurant, I will choose the lemon ones. *happy sigh*

I think this blog post is going nowhere. Haha. :) Oh yeah! The picture!


B. It is Lemon Curd (and we all know how good that is)
C. It is "Grant's of Scotland" (product of SCOTLAND *shriek*)
D. It is made out of lemons, butter and other things.
E. It is thick and perfect and tangy and rich.

This is not my jar of Lemon Curd ... but I do have a jar of Lemon Curd, from our dearest Sadie Beth that lives across the pond ... I just had some of this Lemon Curd (in above picture) yesterday, and as I put it on my tongue ... mmm. I started talking Scottish right in the middle of this conversation. It was most distracting.

Especially since I can't pull off a Scot accent.

No matter!! :) I just had to rave about it.

Summer + Lemons + Sunshine = Yellow, and Yellow = love.
(I'm so good at math)

Your sunny friend ... most of the time, :)
~ Jean Marie ~

"Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear, It is not night if Thou be near,
O may no earthborn cloud arise, to hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes."
~ by John Keble (1820)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lights Overhead -

"Over My Head" photo challenge!

So this week at I:heart:faces, the fun challenge is ... well, challenging! As I flipped through pictures to enter, I realized how few pictures I have of objects or things "over the heads" of the people I'm shooting! Either that, or their backs are turned ... :) This is what I LOVE about these challenges ... the next time I go out to shoot, I think "oooh!! let's try to put that in the picture!", and it's just so neat to go out with your "creative hat" all spiffed up in new ideas. :)

I got in the "photo entry mood" after I visited "A Corner Pillar" by Lauren, and saw her gorgeous sun-flare-sunshine-summer-filled picture entry .... whoooweee, Lauren!! Sweet!! Click on over and see what I mean .... now, isn't that most of our childhoods all wrapped up? At least our summer childhoods ... here in the South, water time is necessary and the best. :)

So I got in the mood .... and then I realized that I had one from just yesterday! It's not all "SUMMER!!" like Lauren's .... but there is something beautiful about it that I love. :)

Make that ... love - LOVE.


Yesterday, my Mumma and I hung out with sweet family friends of ours, and we were shopping in a Spice Store that was transformed out of an old building with gorgeous crown molding and high ceilings and lights hanging from chains like they did in the "old(er) times". :)

I gasped and pointed "Oh, Becca! Look at the lights! I love those!", and as she looked up, I pointed my camera to capture the light and her expression, and due to the way I pointed the camera, it treated the camera to a dark sensation of singling out only where the light hit!

Somehow when I gaze at this picture, I hear Glenn Miller playing "Moonlight Serenade", and imagine low lights and slow dancing on those 40's well-polished floors. Beautiful ballrooms and dressed up couples cherishing time on those Friday and Saturday nights, before the next challenging, work-filled and war time weeks would start back .... can you see that?'s no secret to most of you that I love Glenn Miller, I just thought I'd share. :) Since the lights are hanging over Becca's head ... and so are the dreams in both our heads, since we had just visited a wedding dress store and touched some lovely gowns,*giggle* :) ....
this is my photo entry.

Thank you for allowing me to share. And no, we are not engaged or getting married. *yet* ;) I hope that this is alright that I add this too ... but you all must positively listen to it .... click below to listen to "Moonlight Serenade" on the YouTube video.

Mmhmmmm .... that's what dreams are made of.

With love,
~ Jean Marie ~

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"I miss you, Baby" -

"This is not how it should be, this is not how it could be,
but this is how it is, and our God is in control." ~ Steven C. Chapman

We buried our sweet doggie this evening ... right next to our first doggie.

I miss her more than I thought possible, and even as I whispered, "It's okay, Baby.", my heart rends over another loss ... so dear ... so close ... I have truly lost a best friend to my heart.

As I wrote yesterday: "All day we (K. and I) did chores around the house, all sorts of jobs to take our minds off yesterday ... and yet, through all the prayer and hymns and work, everywhere we walked, it would hit us again and again ... our sweet doggie is not here, and won't be back, and it aches without her.
Christ is here, but so is the pain."

Indeed, Christ is here. He is strong and tender, He is so very close to our weeping hearts, He is the part of my dreams, and the whispers as I sing and as I pray. He is near.
Dearest Jesus .... stay close by my side. I will still praise You, I will still trust You.

Mopsie Moosen .... you brought JOY to our house and to all of us, for 8 years.
Precious, sweet Mopsie, we love you so so much.

I miss you baby.
~ Jean Marie ~

Please continue to pray for us!! We would so appreciate it. She is everywhere, and yet ... not. Thank you so SO MUCH for all your comments on here, and on FB, the phone calls and e-mails and hugs ... etc. It has meant so much. May God bless and keep you all close to Him always.

Taken June 15th, 2010.

June 15th, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"It's okay, Baby" -

Please keep our family in your prayers .... our dear, precious little doggie, Mopsie (10 yrs.) died in my arms this afternoon of CHF, hearing my sister and I's voices as we talked to her and loved on her. It was not an easy death to bear .... but we asked the Lord to save her from suffering ...
and He did.

I am brokenhearted in sorrow. I think we all are.

We love you Mopsie. "It's okay, baby, it's okay." We miss you already.
~ Jean Marie ~

Picture taken yesterday .... with no idea what tomorrow would bring.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hide away in His love -

Dearest friends ....
I'm not going to write right now ... I did a lot of writing last night, and I'm just not up for it, but I wanted to share with you the song that I've been listening to since I got up this morning. :)

I hope it encourages you as much as it does me. I dearly love this song .... this one, like "In the Valley", has encouraged and lifted me, when life seemingly falls into pieces and where rest is only found in the quiet streams where He leads us in His love and mercies.

HERE is the link to listen to it on Youtube, I suggest you let it load, play it, and then read the words as you hear the music, that's what I did. :) Like 18 times. Or something.

"Hide Away in the Love of Jesus"
by Steve and Vikki Cook

"Come, weary saints, though tired and weak,
Hide away in the love of Jesus.
Your strength will return by His quiet streams,
Hide away in the love of Jesus.

Come, wandering souls, and find your home,
Hide away in the love of Jesus,
He offers the rest that you yearn to know,
Hide away in the love of Jesus.

Hear Him calling your name,
see the depths of His love
in the wounds of His grace ...
Hide away ...

Come, guilty ones, weighed down with sin,
Hide away in the love of Jesus,
the freedom you long for is found in Him,
Hide away in the love of Jesus.

Come, hopeless hearts, do not despair,
Hide away in the love of Jesus,
For ten thousand joys await you there,
Hide away in the love of Jesus."

come weary saints.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sono Harris -

"To be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord."

How precious that promise. Last night, among celebrations of Independence Day of America, there was another on a shore not yet reached by those living here, at a Mansion we dream of, in a place we cannot fathom, the celebration of a saint stepping into Heaven -
Sono Sato Harris.

Please join me in praying for the entire Harris family, as they grieve and rejoice ....

And one of my favorite songs, taken from the Valley of Vision (lower sidebar), sung by Shannon Harris, (Josh's wife, and daughter in law to Sono Harris) on Sovereign Grace Music.
The link is HERE. I don't think I can tell you how much and how long I have listened to this song, how many tears and weeping and longing have been poured out as I have sung this song over the years .... how deeply the words resound through life.

Please listen.
Please pray.

His life in my death, His joy in my sorrow, His wealth in my need ...
my need for Thee, oh my precious Jesus,
~ Jean Marie ~

"When You lead me to the valley of vision,
I can see You in the heights,
and though my humbling wouldn't be my decision,
It's here Your glory shines so bright.
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown,
to be low is to be high,
that the valley's where You make me more like Christ.

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death,
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow,
Your wealth in my need,
That You're near with every breath ...
in the valley.

In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
but they only shine at night,
and the deeper that I go into darkness,
the more I see their radiant light,
so let me learn that my losses are my gain,
to be broken is to heal,
that the valley's where Your power is revealed. "

2006 Sovereign Grace Music

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Land that I love -

Independence Day 2010
July 2010 Independence Day ~ The Foster Mansion

I can't stop listening to different versions of "America the Beautiful" on YouTube .... but I keep going back to Ray Charles singing it .... ohh, it gives me chills. I mean, who didn't grow up with listening to Ray Charles singing that? *sigh*

When Independence Day rolls around ... I go into full-patriotism-mode. No one can stop me .... no one can hold me back. Listen, I went to a rodeo with Paulina, and I just about starting sobbing halfway through the National Anthem. Patriotism and love of my country flows so deeply through my veins .... nothing can remove it. If you don't love America, then move. (I put that in small print so Mom can't read it and tell me to be nice) Ahem.

America - I love you. Land that I live in, and thrive and sing of. You hold my pride.

So since I'm getting dangerously close to losing it emotionally after listening to too many patriotic songs and taps ... yeah, what was I thinking ... haha, I'm going to send you back a year on my blog. I have several reasons for not writing a huge post about everything I love about America: A. I don't have time, and I'm tired B. I wrote a post last year that I don't think I can beat with something I would write now. :) I'm sure you don't mind ... right?

1. HERE is the link for last year's Independence Day post.

2. HERE is the link for the photos and joy of my July 4th celebration with the dear Foster family, that we will resume our celebration from last year tomorrow!

Freedom, oh, freedom!!! America, America, God has shed His grace upon thee! 234 years .... God has truly blessed and sustained His children here, in our land. Our Country.

I leave you with an excerpt from a letter John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, that although he was off by two days of what he thought would be the declaring of our new country, his words would ring true and hold fast .... to the Country he wrote of. Amen!!

Philadelphia - July 3rd, 1776 -
"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews (shows), Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. -- I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not."

Happy Independence Day!!!!
With love, pride and honor for my Country,
~ Jean Marie ~