Friday, July 26, 2013


outside my window . . . it is hot, but experience tells me it's not nearly so hot as it'll be in, say, September.

I am listening to . . . Dallas Willard's series of lectures on the Divine Conspiracy. I highly, highly recommend this 12-part series, particularly this last bit on prayer.

I am wearing . . . workout clothes, because I just finished letting Jillian kick my butt. Again. Some more.

I am so grateful for . . . health insurance. Seriously.

I am reading . . . Tales of the Resistance, to the kids. Highly, highly recommended. The prose is sometimes a little of-its-era, but the stories are so good.

I am creating . . . hexipuffs!

around the house . . . there are many, many drying towels and swimsuits. The kids all just finished a few weeks of swim lessons. Loved seeing my eldest get stronger in her swimming, and the little ones enthusiastically tackle the scary skills of floating all by themselves and putting their heads completely under the water. :)

from the kitchen . . . so many tomatoes. So. Many.

real education in our home . . . we're reading, we're sewing, we're writing. We're, um, playing many, many video-games . . .

the church year in our home . . . it's Ordinary Time, that good, green, growing season. We're growing. We're putting in time helping out at church, getting better at tasks that are still new to all of us in our eight-month-old congregation. It's good.

picture thought . . . so, up at the lake, we saw these things swimming around, and thought, "Wow, those are really weird fish":
And then we said, "Hey, it looks like they have legs."

And then we said, "I don't think those are fish."

And then we caught one:

Turns out bullfrog tadpoles are really, really big. As tadpoles go.

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Knitted Finished Object: the Shapely Boyfriend Sweater

When I first finished this and tried it on, I immediately felt hot and itchy and just HAD to take it off again.

Of course, that was on a sweltering, sweaty, hot Los Angeles day.

Happily, I later had the chance to wear this sweater up in the cool, pristine, shady Sequoia National Forest, and you can see how happy I am about it:

Once I was somewhere cold, it was perfect.

I love this sweater. It's my favorite color, and it fits me perfectly - oh the joy of handmade clothes!

(And yes, the sleeves are meant to be that long: I can pull them over my fingers when my hands are chilly, and they fold up into neat cuffs when unneeded.)

The pattern, The Shapely Boyfriend, is available for free on  And here are my project notes on Rav, for any interested fellow knitters. I think my only major modification was to shorten the hem and the sleeves, because I am not so very tall. :)

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Monday, July 15, 2013

Links! - Tiaras, Screen Rules, Reality TV, and Jane Austen's prayer

A Tiara a Day - fun fashion (tiara fashion!) blog with cool historical details about each piece.

"Screen Rules" - my kids aren't quite old enough to need social media rules, but they're old enough I'm beginning to ponder the subject. This post by Elizabeth Foss seems like a great jumping-off point for making our own house rules for screen time.

"What It's Like To Be on Reality TV":
Their day usually begins around 5 or 6am, when they chug down a yogurt smoothie from the hotel fridge and stumble down to the lobby to get on board a chilly van to head to the set for a day that alternates between excruciating boredom (ie, waiting 4 hours in a holding area in forced silence before filming begins) and intense stress (cooking challenges, then more waiting for hours, regretting mistakes and choices from the challenge). Then an elimination. Which, despite what you might think from the editing, is very depressing and deeply unsettling for EVERYONE. But it’s not over. More waiting, and then 2 hours worth of interviewing about everything that happened that day. And it’s not a “Tell me how you feel” interview. It’s an invasive interview with questions drafted by a psychologist who watches your every move all day on camera, delivered by an expert story producer to raise within you the same emotions you’ve been experiencing all day.

"A Prayer for Sunday (Jane Austen)":
We thank thee with all our hearts for every gracious dispensation, for all the blessings that have attended our lives, for every hour of safety, health and peace, of domestic comfort and innocent enjoyment. We feel that we have been blessed far beyond any thing that we have deserved; and though we cannot but pray for a continuance of all these mercies, we acknowledge our unworthiness of them and implore thee to pardon the presumption of our desires.

Monday, July 1, 2013

a summer fit for a child

The last of the June gloom is hanging around on this, the first of July, and I'm grateful. I know it's going to disappear soon.

And I'm facing the beginning of summer, with all four kids home, and I've been thinking about what will make our summer days together good.

I came up with three categories of Good Things:
1) stuff that's Good For the Kids
2) stuff that's Good For Me.
3) stuff that's Good For Our Home.

We need all three to have good summer days at home, days that flow, days that nourish, days that are full of activity and peace. (Activity AND peace! I think it took having kids to make me realize how necessary those things are to each other!)

Here are the first few thoughts I have on those three categories - I'd love to hear what you'd add!

Stuff that's good for the kids:
-outside, active time. Preferably during the cooler parts of the day!
-quiet reading time.
-out-loud reads with me.
-Bible memorization (Grandma's providing some incentives for this for them this summer - so cool!)
-a "fun" activity a day: I'm thinking baking together, art projects, science experiments, etc.

Stuff that's good for me:
-devotions. Including prayer and Bible memorization.
-working out. Because it's just good.
-writing time. Which means the kids get some TV and video game time every day. Which is good for them . . . because that uninterrupted writing time is good for me, and it's in their best interests to have a happy mom! :)

Stuff that's good for the house:
-a regular morning sweep of chores - at least a few minutes per room.
-starting dinner prep in the morning
-regular Picking Up of the Toys by the kids - preferably just before transitions to official Fun Stuff or meals - those being the carrot to urge them towards cleanliness and godliness.

Given those pieces, I've together a skeleton of a schedule - a basic How To Have A Good Summer Day plan. It'll shift day-to-day, as we have errands or visits or appointments . . . but I like having a starting point.

I'd love to hear what works for you - what you'd add to the list in your home. I'm sure I'm missing something - but that's the good thing about this sort of plan: it's always up for revision. :)

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell