Thursday, August 28, 2008

So, I made our special "Texas Tortillas" the other day (my first time without Tiff) and Melissa and I were rolling them out for what seemed like forever. :-) When we did get them done we made Enchiladas one night and then some Steak Quesadillas the next. (I'm really getting into this whole cooking thing!!!)

The only thing I could think of while we ate the Quesadillas was the time that I was staying with the Habegger family in Texas and we had a contest of who could eat the most Quesadillas. (lol) I think Josh ate 10 or something, Isaiah was close behind and Esther and I ate around 6 or so (I know, call me crazy...let me tell you, I wouldn't do it now, that's for sure! Lol!). I told my Mom and she said, "WHY were you and Esther having an eating contest with boys?!" Of course, my excuse was, "Mom, I was 13." That seemed to settle it. (j/k) :-D

Also, I finally took Elissa's advice and watched "Call Me Madam". What can I say? It was delightful, through and through! The dancing, the singing, the acting...*dreamy sigh* :-D
Donald O' Connor and Vera-Ellen are great together! They do a dance reminiscent of "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" which was positively spectacular! I have to agree with Lis though, the two main characters didn't interest me half as much as Donald and Vera did. And they didn't sing as well either. Not that I'm biased. ;-)
Anyway, I heartily recommend it to all musical lovers, especially. But really, I think it's an enjoyable film for everyone.
And an interesting fact about Donald O'Connor...apparently he was supposed to play Danny Kaye's part in "White Christmas" but had to drop out at the last minute on account of Pneumonia. Too bad...I would've liked to see him in that as I was never a Danny Kaye fan. Ah well. :-)
Oh, and if anyone has any other musical recommendations please let me know as I'm on the lookout for some good ones!

Here's a song that I really enjoyed from "Call Me Madam". Oh, and check out those *charming* red-rimmed glasses! LOL! (Elissa also has a video up on her blog that is another of my favorites!):

I also watched a version of "The Alamo" last night. Despite a few things, I enjoyed the movie. Davy Crockett and Sam Houston were my favorites. :-) It was sooo refreshing to watch a movie about my home state! One of my favorite scenes is which it portrays Davy Crockett's brave death after the Alamo has fallen to the Mexicans (Crockett was the lone survivor after the battle.). I would tell you what he says, but, I think I'll let y'all watch it for yourselves. :-)
Following is the battle of San Jacinto in which the army of Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna's army in 18 minutes. It was an incredible act of God.
"The Alamo" is really about the sacrifice and courage of those 200 men who stood up to thousands of Santa Anna's soldiers so that they could have the right to be called Texans. They were ordinary men, but they went down as heroes.

Other than that...what's going on? Hmmm...well,
Tiff comes home on Saturday!! We're all very excited as it seems like forever since we've seen her! She's such an amazing older sister...always keeping things running, encouraging all of us, and just being there for us. We miss you, Tiff! <3

Ooo! And I found this adorable photo of a "Highland Coo". It's from somewhere in Scotland...not sure where exactly:

Isn't it adorable? I do so love cows! :-)
(sorry, I just had to share it with y'all)

Sooo...Moosh and I made Cheesecake last night! It was quite a fun dessert to make!! (As you can see I'm really getting into this cooking thing! *grin*) And it didn't smell to bad either. :-) Here's a few photos that Mel took during the process (and some other random ones that we've taken while Tiff has been gone):

"Turtle Cheescake Des Amis" (from our New Orleans Cookbook. *Yum*)

The Evaporated milk/Caramel Mixture

Oreos, anyone? :-)

Melted Caramel...*dreamy sigh* :-D

I look sooo tired in this photo. LOL. But hey, it was a ridiculous time of night. :-D

The finished product...with chocoalte and caramel on top.

Completely done! Personally, I'm going to have a hard time waiting 'till Sunday. :-D

Caleb...and his trained hands. :-D
J/K. That's just Mom, cutting his hair. :-D

William...either the Conquerer or the Cute. I'm still trying to decide. :-D

The little girls with their new haircuts!! And I think William wanted one too. :-D

Grace and Abby with their new haircuts! From behind, you can't tell them apart! :-D

Caleb's way to stop passers-by. :-D

Melissa's art. :-)



Grace and Abby 'pickin' chicken' :-)

Grace wasn't too impressed with the limp peice of celery leaf that she found. :-D
(I thought it was a worm, myself.)

Well, I suppose I should let y'all go now, as you're probably officialy bored now. :-) God bless your week exceedingly!!!!

In Christ Alone,


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm getting married...

Okay, so I'm not really getting married. :-D But I did have this conversation with William last week that I thought y'all might enjoy on that subject. :-D

William- I'm going to marry you!

Me (smiling) - Oh! Is that a proposal?

William (very matter-of-factly and as "manly" as he could)- Yes.

I smile and continue folding laundry.

William (annoyed)- Hey! I thought we were getting married!

Me- I have to wait for you to grow up first!

William (a bit exasperated)- But I'm already (spreads his arms out) THIS big! Like-like Robin Hood! He marries Maid Marian.

Me- So I'm Maid Marian?

William- Yes! And I shoot the bad guys with my gun. Then we get married.

Tiff- Robin Hood doesn't shoot guns.

Will- Then I'm not Robin Hood. I'm-I'm-I'm...John Wayne!

Me- But I won't marry John Wayne.

Will (his face drops)- But-but-but you marry me? (hopefully)

Me- Not if you're John Wayne.

Will- Then I'm Roy Rogers!

Me- Okay.

(a minute or two later)

Will- Knock! Knock!

Me- Who's there?

Will- No! You're supposed to say (he raise his voice so that it's high-pitched) 'Hello'.

Me (laughing at this point)- Okay. Let's start over then!

Will- Knock! Knock!

Me (high pitched of course)- Hello?

Will (grunting and trying to speak with a deep voice)- Hey.


LOL! Little brothers! What would the world be like without them? :-D

God bless!

In Christ Alone, Jessica

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So, Tiff’s gone to Alabama. Life carries on…I suppose. :-) Thankfully, depression has not yet set in *grin* (though we do miss you dreadfully, Tiff!).

We enjoyed a delicious Crab Spinach Bisque for dinner last night. It’s been soooo long since I’ve eaten that stuff…bisque that is. The “seafood” bit is new to me, as I’m used to just shrimp (this one had crab. Yum!).

ANYWAY…so what does life consist of at the moment?

Jesus… My Savior and the ultimate goal we’re pressing towards! How I strive to serve Him modre fully!

Church…I miss y’all!!! Next Sunday sure is slow in coming!

Family…keeps one on one’s toes, I assure you. But absolutely worth the trouble!

Sisters…for they know all about you and still love you.

Brothers…as Jane Austen so wisely put it, “What strange creatures brothers are!” But I still love them fiercely!

Children…Who couldn’t like them?! Speaking of which, a story about William is soon to follow (in another post)!!

Books…An amazing book by Martha Peace, “Damsels in Distress,” (which our ladies group at church is reading/studying together). And of course, stacks of books I’ve ordered from the library to fill in the gap of “Classic Literature” that I haven’t yet read…too many to name. :-)

Movies…”Robin Hood” is always fun to watch...and as Allen would say, "Not being funny, but..." :-) (I know, Lily, I know! *laughs*)

School…*cough* Math never ceases to annoy me. History never ceases to fascinate me. Worldview never ceases to interest me. Science never ceases to bore me. But, really, I do try. :-)

Friends…I keep thinking of how I miss y’all so much…all y’all that don’t live near, and even those of you who do. How truly thankful I am for y’all! A person is truly blessed, who has friends!

Laughter…for it is music to the soul.

Music…for 'it is what feelings sound like.'

God bless your week exceedingly!

In Christ Alone,

Jessica Nicole

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This has been such an exciting...and yet busy week for my family! Where shall I start?

Last week my parents and Emma headed over to California for my grandfather's funeral. While they were gone, the Ryken family stayed with us and we had a delightful time with them!

The day after Mom and Dad arrived home we left for Nebraska for the wedding of Jared's brother! Tiff and I were honored to be able to do the photography for the event and though it was a bit on the stressful side *smile* it was a wonderful experience!!

Now this afternoon Tiff leaves on a plane to visit the Chancey's in Alabama! She'll be gone for 10 days so we're attempting to brace ourselves for the next week... :-D

I know I've been dreadful about posting as of late. I'm very sorry about that! Another post will definitely be coming next week (where you'll read about something very interesting. *smile*)

Until then, I figured I'd post a video. This is my favorite song from the musical "Les Miserables".

God bless each of you!!!

In Christ Alone,


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pictures, anyone? :-)

Hello Y'all!!

So I thought I'd share a few photos that we got yesterday with the Ryken's. Tiff wanted to get some pictures of Jesi and I with our violins at Pekin Park so...that's where we went and what we did. :-) It was very interesting. :-) And the looks we got were priceless! :-D Enjoy!
(A longer post is hopefully coming soon, FYI.)

In Christ Alone,


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My dear friend Elissa (on her and her mother's "Delightful Hands" blog) awarded me the "Brilliante Weblog" award. Thank you so much, my dear friend! I love you!

As a result, I am to tag 7 other people for the "Brilliant Blogger" award as well! So *deep breath* here goes! :-)

Elissa Pickle- Proverbs 31 Maiden; Elissa has shown me how beautiful friendship can be. She is kind, sweet, funny, godly and lovely (on the inside and out!). I am so honored to be able to call her my friend! Her blog is full of humorous antidotes, beautifully written posts and pictures (what blog is complete without pictures? *grin*)!! Her blog shows forth her amazing personality and her love for her Savior!

The Davis Family- Lazy D Ranch; I met the Davis family this May and I am so grateful for the time we shared together! I wouldn't have missed it for the world! Mrs. Davis' insightful posts have encouraged me so often. I always come away from their blog feeling so incredibly blessed. The Davis' have been through so much hardship, but have stood fast through it all, holding tightly to the Lord! What an example of godliness!! I am so humbled and honored to be able to call them friends!

Laura Bradshaw- Reformed TN Girl;
Claire Bradshaw- Fiddling Claire;
I met Laura and Claire in May at the CPC's yearly Presbytery Meeting and am so glad that I did! Laura and Claire's blogs never cease to make me smile! They're two wonderfully sweet young women and so full of the joy of the Lord! Their blogs are so much fun to read and I love to see what they've been up to in the beautiful land of Tennessee!!

Jesi Ryken- My Point of View; Jesi's blog is a delight to read! She's always putting up so many superb pictures, movie reviews, thought provoking posts and even a few quizzes (y'all know how much I love those)! I'm so glad the Lord saw fit to bring her into my life. Jesi is a wonderful friend and is a beautiful example of a young women after God's own heart!!

Josh Habegger - Cheese Headed Bean Boy; I've known Josh and his family long to count! :) For as long as I can remember, we've always been great friends, sharing both good and bad times together...we've goofed off at ridiculous hours, laughed, talked and have shared so many incredible memories with the Habeggers. Josh's blog is always there to make me laugh...even the old posts I've read several times! He's an amazing writer and it comes out in his blog! Whenever I need a laugh, Josh's blog is the first place on my list.

And I really can't think of anyone else. So I hope that 6 is enough. :-)
God bless your week!

Love In Christ,


Monday, August 04, 2008

Looking Back...

Time does indeed fly.

As the years bring new challenges and blessings, as the children grow (whether they're siblings or your own), and as you look back at photos, you think to yourself, "Where has the time gone?" I’m sure you’ve experienced this too.

My life has changed drastically in the past few years. Things that I never imagined would occur have happened; and though I tend to dislike change, I can see how God has used each event to His glory and turned them into blessings for me.

I honestly did not want to move from Texas—the state where I was born—the home I held dear. I recall thinking at the time: This is where my friends and family live—those I love dearly. I grew up in this house! We have relatives who are growing older—we’ll barely ever be able to see them...the list goes on. But, while I struggled with being content about moving, a thought popped unbidden into my head. What if God is doing all this for my good?

And really and truly, all has turned out for the good. Though I still miss those I left behind in the wonderful state of Texas, I have made new friends here in IL...friends and a church family that I love dearly. I have come to love our home on the lake, our church, the weather, even the glowing cornfields that sweep the land. Though I may never actually love the state of Illinois, I will always love what this state holds...and that is my friends, my family, and my home.

God is so good. And truly, joy has come in the morning!

In Christ Alone,


P.S. Here are some photos from past years that I thought I'd share:

The McDonald Kids (except James) in Alabama in the year 2003 (I think).

Emma and Grace at the Weiss' house in Virginia in 2004.

James and Nathan celebrated their birthdays at the same time. I think this was in 2005...

The McDonald kids in Jamestown for the first time in 2001.

Kelsey B, Micah V, Nathan and Brandon H, Ben S and Christa, Tiff and I dancing in the backyard!

Our last Christmas in Texas!

I think they were arguing about what to play. :-) This is the fourth of July...back when we had Church at our house, I believe. Or at least the meal afterwards. 2004?

Playing "Four on A Couch" in our driveway. :-)

Singing around the piano after Church. AND CHECK OUT WHO'S IN THIS PICTURE! PJ and Elissa Pickle!!! :-D

Dancing at our Caroling party with some very dear friends.

William at the hotel we lived in in Peoria for a few months. Look how little and "baby-ish" he was!! *sigh*

Tiff, Melissa and William on the Evans swing. I think that might've been the first time we went to their house...

Our first Christmas in Illinois. William didn't like the camera flash me'thinks. :-)

Our second time in Jamestown...this time without James or Christa.

(this was while we were living at the hotel)

Lenna, Sierra and I at Thanksgiving.

Riding in the car on a nice day. I think this was some time last year.

Dad and Mom chopping pumpkins last year.

I was blessed to spend the last night I was 16 with two wonderful friends (and their dear families!)!

(there's less of us every year it seems...)

The McDonald Family- July 2008