Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Saying Goodbye to Blogspot

Dear friends,
My new blog has been in the making for the last couple of weeks, and it is time to switch over to Wordpress! I am still figuring out the Typeface coding and the Flickr pictures feed, but I hope to have a better grasp of it in the next month or so. One of my professors is a master website/blog HTML guy, so he should be able to help me. =)

Anyways, please visit www.emilyjacob.wordpress.com when you can. I will be using this blog between now and January as a place for Africa updates and pictures. The new blog is called T.U.L.I.P. And if you are wondering what the acronym is for, the explanation is in the "About" section.

Thanks for making a note of it! If you have any ideas/helpful tips for the new blog, please let me know!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Summer Food

Italian Caprese Salad; Stuffed Green Peppers with Walnuts, Italian Rice, Fresh Swiss Chard, Majoram, and Basil, and Ground Turkey; Italian Bread Salad with Corn and Tomatoes; veggie stir fry, dakon radish, spicy sauteed shrimp with peanuts, grilled pineapple; homemade pizza (Trader Joe's Crust!!) with a variety of cheeses, spinach and pesto-basil sauce (Costco!!); me with our homegrown zucchini; blueberry walnut breakfast bread; zucchini poppeyseed bread with curry.
Summer cooking is my favorite because you can incorporate so many fresh ingredients into dishes, and all the while, they are simple to make and delicious to eat!

I didn't get around to making homemade bread, but perhaps I'll save that for the fall, as my Grandma just loaned me her breadmaker for a while.

However, I did enjoy piecing together these various breakfast, lunch and dinner courses. Try cooking without a recipe sometime--or dramatically altering it---it really is a blast.

Friday, August 17, 2007

We Beat the Hot Weather

Del Mar Beach, San Diego, CA
Shank Home: Mom, Travis and Nora enjoying Swordfish kabobs and green rice
shopping in Target.
Camelback Spa, Phoenix, AZ
Mom at The Greene House Restaraunt, Scottsdale, AZ
Sipping a Margherita at Z-Tejas Restaraunt on our first night together
Gelato after Pedicures
Pacific Beach, CA
On one of our last evenings
Mom and I at Camelback Spa, Phoenix, AZ

Well, back home! The intense, August sun of Phoenix, Arizona beat down upon mother and daughters for multiple days, but kindred spirits never let the weather win. As Kathy Bates says in the movie, "Fried Green Tomatoes," TAA-WANN-DAA. So we did say to the 107 degree days. Ohh, yes. Mom, Nora and I had a wonderful time talking, eating, shopping, exercising, lounging by the pool and spa, taking a road-trip to San Diego for 3 days, visiting with dear friends and family, and most of all, laughing at each other. That is truly the best part. Like when Mom got confused with her Spanish accent and tried to pronounce "El Rancho" road, "El Ronn-cho" or "El Rawwwnnchoo." I'm not sure which spelling does it justice, but it was pretty hysterical; like when I get hyper over shopping, to the point of Mom and Nora needing to look me in the eye and say, "It's definitely TIME to go!"; or, like when Nora took on this cutesy, fake accent when she gave her "Super Foods" lecture to a group of Diabetics at the hospital where she works. Aww, she sounded so sweet---but where in the world did that come from??? And where do her strange pronunciations come from?

Besides making fun of each other, we also experienced wonderful fellowship. It truly is a blessing to be so united in our spirits and hearts, despite such different seasons of life---a mom whose primary years of child-raising are over, a young, married wife not quite ready to start her own family, and a Senior in college who has yet to jump into the full swing of love and marriage...we don't have much in common by way of To-Do's, but certainly, our Savior equally reigns over our hearts, lives and homes and is continually drawing us closer to Himself every day. And just like Elizabeth Prentiss penned her famous words, each one of us strive in our way to give, "More Love to Thee, O Christ."

On the way to Phoenix, I said to Mom, "When did we grow up? I mean, we are doing a Mother-Daughter trip, and we are all adults!" It is so incredible to me how time flies, and even these trips can all be over in the blink of an eye. Perhaps that's why it is so important to make these trips a priority in the first place: it isn't the grand, snazzy opportunities we had to go to San Diego, eat at a bunch of delicious restaraunts, or receive free day passes to the Camelback Spa, that we so fondly remember in the end (well, maybe the food and drink), but rather returning to the preciousness of living daily life together--quietly sitting together on the couch having our devotional times, making fruit smoothies for breakfast, serving each other by doing dishes, running up to the grocery store, switching over the laundry from the washer to the dryer, pretending we were spies with Rhondi and Becca Lauterbach when going to see The Bourne Ultimatum, curl up in bed and watch an evening show, and being able to read together in silence and not even care that no one is talking. Ironically enough, THESE are things I miss when thinking about Nora continuing to live in Arizona and Mom and I in Maryland. That is why I give thanks to God for providing the finances for this bountifully rich trip to take place!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Off to Arizona and San Diego

In less than 24 hours, Mom and I will be in Phoenix to visit Nora. I can't wait to wake up, grab a large mug filled with steaming coffee, and take my Bible and journal outside to watch the gorgeous sunrises. What a blessing! We found this amazingly cheap flight, and 10 days of vacationing couldn't have come at a more opportune time. I have been working everyday in DC for the last 2 1/2 weeks, at Brodeur (the PR agency) and for Organize4hire. I have also been reading multiple Shakespeare plays on a weekly basis for my online summer course, and writing reports on characters like Henry V and Richard II. (yawn...) So, I am pretty much wiped out, and ready to relax and enjoy mother/daughter time. After we arrive on Wednesday, the three of us are taking a road-trip to San Diego, CA from Friday to Monday, where we will stay with our good friends, the Lauterbachs. Shopping, iced mochas, and beaches, here we come! Hopefully, we will catch a sunset like this one below...I can't wait for all the memories we will make over our ten-day trip!

Thank you to googleimages for these pictures. =)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

AFRICA Jan. 3-25, 2008

Today, at 4:45pm, I booked an airfare reservation that will take me to the unknown plains and hills of Uganda and Kenya, Africa in January, 2008. Lord willing, my prayer of three years is coming true! Through the initiative of my church’s singles ministry-- Covenant Life Church--I will be joining a team of 15-20 singles and married couples for 11 days to serve at a local orphanage in Kiburara, Uganda. Located right on the northern, upper edge of Lake Victoria, our team plans to connect with a church there who has developed relationships with Covenant Life’s sister church—ChristChurch—in Wales, UK. Led by one of our Singles Ministry pastors, Jim Winn, our team is looking forward to serving at an annual Christian conference in the local villages, as well as taking care of the orphans on campus.

From there, I will travel separately to join my Dad’s first cousins—Paul and Carolyn Koning—at Rift Valley Academy (RVA), a ministry of Africa Inland Mission International. RVA is a K–12 boarding school serving about 500 students whose families represent a wider range of mission organizations and nationalities. With the campus set in Kijabe, a small town about an hour’s drive northwest of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, it exists primarily to serve missionaries by providing a quality educational experience and a safe haven for their children. When I arrive, the Konings will have already been there for 5 months, so I will just jump into whatever they need me to do to serve! Hopefully, I will be using my experience in classical piano training to assist teachers from RVA’s music program. To learn about their mission trip, and where I will be staying, visit http://koningfamily.wordpress.com/.

Scriptures that keep coming to mind as I reflect on this exciting adventure:

1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

Matthew 19:14 “Jesus said, Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Please be praying that God will already begin working to provide us with safety, health, financial provision, wisdom, and sacrifical joy! More details to come.

Monday, July 09, 2007

In Memory of Alivia

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all...The Lord redeems the life of his servants"

--Psalm 34:18-19, 22

Our dear friends James and Emily Haughery have just lost their sweet, little girl this past weekend. Alivia had leukemia and put up quite a little battle against it, but the Lord took her home to be with Him! We are praying for them as they host the viewing today, and conduct the funeral tomorrow morning.

Go to http://www.aliviarachelhaughery32005.blogspot.com/ for more information...

I will be wearing my "Live Strong"-like bracelet today in memory of her. A bunch of us had bought them last year as a fundraiser for her!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

funny stories from Michigan

Mr. and Mrs. Brad and Jayne Jansen! (and my 2nd-cousin Payton tagging along)

we found this plaque in the Dutch store and thought it to be quite appropriate for me

the re-proposal at Grand Haven pier

Grand Haven

returning to my roots: a cute little Dutch store where old folks sit and drink coffee together and talk in their native tongue. =)

the jansen brothers: dennis, brian, and bruce

me water-skiing: it was awesome!

the sand dunes out on the lakes are gorgeous, as you can see

at the wedding

just got home from vacationing in Grand Rapids, Michigan with my parents and Brett. we drove up on Wednesday, and just got home tonight...so long drives on the 2 days, but definitely worth it! My cousin Brad got married on Friday night, so it was fun to see all my Jansen cousins, second-cousins, and uncles/aunts. We also visited my Dad's old college roomate from 30 years ago along with his wife and two younger girls, so that was pretty cool, too. we came home having experienced beautiful 75 degree weather, awesome landscapes, sore shoulders and legs from wakeboarding/water-skiing, and some pretty funny memories along the way.

Funny Memory #1:
scene: driving to MI. i am driving. brett and dad are in the back-seat.
action: brett yelps and jumps, making my parents think that i am a horrible driver and that i was about to hit another car. however, he promptly cries out, "There's a bug crawling up my pants!" We all start laughing and asking him what type of creature it is. A few moments later, he replies, "Oh, it was a raisin." Yes, that is correct. A raisin. We had had some carrot/apple/raisin muffins earlier that morning for breakfast, and one had slipped into the leather seat. =) So, throughout the rest of our trip, we would randomly cry out, "There's a raisin up my pants!"

Funny Memory #2:
Scene: early morning. i had just woken up, and desired a hot cup of Starbucks from the store that was just a few steps away from our Marriott Comfort Inn. My Mom had just gotten some a few minutes earlier, and so I assumed that it was open and she had no problem getting in.
Action: I walk over, pass the other stores' front doors on my right, and look for the Starbucks entrance. The only door I see is for a T-Mobile Wireless. Hmmm...definitely not it. I think to myself, 'I guess I'll just have to walk through the drive-through.' Yes, without a car. I march over to the drive-through, and stand at the little spot where you are supposed to talk into the speaker. I loudly say, "Hello?" No reply. So I walk around the corner to the pick-up window, where I see two cars ahead of me waiting for their drinks. Once they get them, I walk up to the lady at the drive-through window, with a car now behind me in line. She looks a bit puzzled. I am still tired and dazed and confused. I say, "Hi, mame...I wanted to know if I could get a cup of coffee, but I couldn't find your front-door so I thought that only your drive-through was open." She slowly grins, and politely says, "The front door is right around the corner, miss. Take a left, and then another left through the first door on your left. You can pick up your coffee there."
After-thought: Am I an idiot or what? Really, there is no defending myself for this one. My family got a huge kick out of it and I must say, I deserved their teasing and ridicule.

Funny Memory #3:
Scene: Grand Haven Public Beach and Pier.
Action: My Uncle Bruce and Aunt Barb got engaged out on this huge pier by Lake Michigan many years ago. They wanted (rather, HE wanted) to re-enact the scene of their engagement on Saturday by re-proposing to her. So, trudging along multiple family members and relatives, we all walked down to the end of the pier, and set up the scene. The funniest part about the whole situation is that Aunt Barb began to actually get a bit nervous. All of these people were watching, too =) But, it was very cute and we took pictures and everyone had a good time.

Don't vacations always have a way of bringing out the best and the worst of us?! =)