Wednesday, July 30, 2014

the church

stained glass

After our London adventures, we headed North to Birmingham. So much fun was had there with our friends! After a walk downtown to visit one of the coolest libraries around, we went inside an old church. So much character (I mean the church, not the crazies in the photos). It was the perfect opportunity for a photo shoot.

big pipes





preach it!

Monday, July 28, 2014

london’s natural history museum


natural history museum

I’ve nearly been back from my travels for a month, and I still haven’t finished posting all of our England fun. I have a goal this week to wrap that up starting with London’s Natural History Museum. London has some killer FREE museums, and this one is no exception. Starting with the huge dinosaur in the entry, I loved the way you walk through and learn all about the dinosaurs. Totally interactive, totally fun.

admiring dinos

walking dino

Next up was the human body. I have to say the section on reproduction was the most graphic I’ve ever seen. We told our kids to read up so they were educated about the birds and the bees. Just kidding. They were mortified and skipped to the next section as quickly as they could.

arm in motion


gem hall

sequoia tree

The dinosaurs, the human body, the insects, gems, and piece of giant sequoia tree were all incredible, but I think, above all, I loved the building itself. It was old. It was cool. It was full of character. If you’re ever in London, be sure to put the Natural History Museum on your list of things to do! It's free! And fun!

Friday, July 25, 2014

in the studio :: studiojru week

Welcome to In The Studio, a place to show off your studio and meet some great artists! July is flying by. It's already the last Friday of the month! That means a special treat in this space. We get to see what Studio JRU is creating in her studio!

i have been having lots of fun in my studio lately! painting messy fun!

i have been going back to where my 'art heart' is... layers and patterns. i have used pattern paper in my art in the past because i love the variety of colors and patterns. but i have always wanted to make it all my own... if you know what i mean. i wanted to create the entire piece myself with paint. so i have been playing and experimenting and trying to make these multi-pattern/multi-color designs all from paint.


so these are the two pieces i have finished so far. as you can tell... i do like blues. :) all these new pieces are planned for an art show i signed up for next month! it has been a long time since i have done a show, but wanted to give this one a try.

i am still working on more pieces... that won't be all blue... i will share them next time!


looking forward to visiting all of you to see what kind of creative goodness you have been up to lately! and make sure to share the 'in the studio' link up party with all of your creative friends!

Thank you, Jennifer! We hope your art show goes well! Your pieces are certainly beautiful!

Now it's your turn! Remember your "studio" can be anywhere. Let's celebrate each other's creativity by linking up and visiting as many as the other studios as you can. Check out the about post for more info and don't forget to grab the In The Studio button!

Monday, July 21, 2014

kruger sightings

Last weekend we went to Kruger. The highlight was definitely the baby hyena sleeping on the road. As I looked back on my photos, I loved seeing some of the detail that I missed in the moment. Like the shadows surrounding the hyena, the rhino birds sitting atop Mama and baby, and what looked like a smile on the elephant as he munched on leaves. Always a highlight to see the African wildlife in their natural habitat.



baby hyena






impala crossing


Friday, July 18, 2014

in the studio :: my favorite wall

Welcome to In The Studio, a place to show off your studio and meet some great artists! I hope you all have had a lovely week. Thankfully, my cooking pace has not slowed from last week. It's amazing how much a little planning really does help. I'm also enjoying experimenting with more and more vegetarian meals. So fun!

But enough about food, because today's post is not even close to being about what goes in our mouths. Today's post is about my absolute favorite wall in my whole house. I really can't take too much credit for it. Jeremy mentioned the idea and even implemented it. I merely told him that I wanted some white and blue boards in the mix. He's not too sure about the blue, but I love it.

living room

My eye has drifted more and more to cool color palettes, so I had in my head that I wanted gray walls in my living room. I know it sounds a little drab, but I love how they turned out, especially with that accent wall. It also helps keep the TV sound to a minimum during the many sleepovers that seem to happen at our house.

As for the accents on the wall, I love my vintage New York City map and map of Africa (both from and sorry the Africa one is crooked...forgot to straighten before taking the photo) and my hand carved wooden kudu head. Isn't it fab?

favorite wall

I can't wait to see what creativity you have been up to this week!

Now it's your turn! Remember your "studio" can be anywhere. Let's celebrate each other's creativity by linking up and visiting as many as the other studios as you can. Check out the about post for more info and don't forget to grab the In The Studio button!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

outsmarted by a toddler

mama love

I'm sharing my absolute favorite, now funny, story from this parenting journey I'm on over at Tommy Nelson. It's about the time I was outsmarted by my toddler. Join me, and share your own funny stories over there!

Monday, July 14, 2014

a non-typical day

Live In A Foreign Land

Living in a country other than your own has its challenges and its beautiful moments. I'm over at Petit Elefant sharing six things that could happen in any non-typical day in my world.

Friday, July 11, 2014

in the studio :: home

Welcome to In The Studio, a place to show off your studio and meet some great artists! You guys, I have to totally apologize to those of you who came to this space last week only to discover there was no link-up to be found. Truth be told, I flat out forgot. We landed back in S. Africa last Wednesday, and even though I didn't return to work mode until this week, my brain was in a fog and not working properly. Part way into Friday, I realized I had no In The Studio post. Ugh! Terrible! I hope you'll forgive me.

Just finished our 3rd walk today in the brisk England air.

My studio has been rather dry this week if you think of it in the traditional creative sense. Don't get me wrong. I'm itching to get my hands on starting to sew my very first quilt, finishing up those final touches in my scullery and kitchen, re-doing my daughter's room, and putting artwork on those living room walls that I finished painting just before we left. However, after 2+ months of travel, all I've wanted to do is nest and catch up with friends I haven't seen.

{Nest} Besides unpacking the eight bags we hauled back, I've loved being back in the kitchen again. I haven't always been able to say that, but long periods of travel and lots of catching up over restaurant dinners will do that to you. I've gotten all crazy with sweet potato, lentil, quinoa burgers and Thai green curries. It's fabulous, and I'm loving it.

So that's been my fridge, my stove. My family thought I went bonkers last weekend. By the time they woke up, I had juiced a jug of orange juice and cooked and canned applesauce. It just feels so good to be home.

I'm super excited to see what you guys have been up to this week!

Now it's your turn! Remember your "studio" can be anywhere. Let's celebrate each other's creativity by linking up and visiting as many as the other studios as you can. Check out the about post for more info and don't forget to grab the In The Studio button!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

coming home


My kids have learned over the years that home is simply where you lay your head. When you travel for a couple of months at a time, it just makes it easier. Still, there is something so refreshing about returning to the place where your bed belongs to none other than you.

We returned home last Wednesday, but we didn’t just return to our own beds. We came back to family. As I opened my car door, they were there. Lots of them. These people that have no blood relation but carry the bonds of family from a place deep within. As the entourage followed us into our house, I couldn’t believe what greeted me…a beautiful bouquet of flowers perfectly centered on the kitchen table, food in the fridge, chocolate on the beds, and merlot and dark chocolate with sea salt? How did they know the latter two were our favorites? Oh, and did I mention that the house was clean, too? If it weren’t for my travel weary, sleep deprived, foggy brain that could barely will the power to utter complete sentences, I would have burst into tears. How could they know how much this meant to me?

After everyone unloaded our many bags, Jeremy pulled out his new guitar, the one he got for Father’s Day, the one that two very excited children suggested to the grandparents thinking he might like. I watched that same entourage excitedly gather around as he strummed a few notes, and my heart leapt. These non-blood “relatives” were just as happy for him. Their smiles were evidence of that. Perhaps the African cultural voices were also thinking, “Yes! We got a guitar!”

Yes, we did get a guitar, but we, Jeremy, Jen, Joshua, and Emma Grace, we have so much more. We have these beautiful people that enrich our lives.

We have family.

Monday, June 30, 2014

geocaching in london

So we've been quite the boring tourists here in England. Truth be told, I was exhausted when I arrived on UK soil. Two months of galavanting all over the place with your kids might sound glamorous and fun, but it's taken a heavy toll on me this time, and I wasn't expecting it. I've been perfectly happy to stay back with the kids while Jeremy does his connecting-for-Ten-Thousand-Homes-thing.

signing the cache

found it!

We saw several London sights last time we were here, so my list of things to-do has been rather small anyway. Our first "real" day out, we visited Hamley's, so Joshua could spend the £20 he got for his birthday. I also decided it was time to introduce the kids to geocaching. I'd heard of it, but we had never done it. My kids loved it. What's not to love about the biggest hide-and-go-seek game around?


riding a bike

handmade bike from india

After finding our first ever cache, we stumbled upon a new pop-up shop selling handmade bikes from India. Jeremy took a stroll on one. They're so cool. Would have loved to been able to transport one to Africa!

We are SA bound tomorrow! Looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. :)

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