I know you’ve been on pins and needles waiting for this post… ;-)

Hi my friends!  Happy 4th of July!!!  I’ve been missing you.  I had no intention on taking a blog break, but each day ended before its list was completed.  I know you can relate.  I feel like I’ve said it a million times on the blog this year, but more than ever before, time is flying by.  It’s already July, but in my heart, it feels like it should only be April.  I’ve had all kinds of things I wanted to share… and now that I’m sitting down at the computer… I’ve drawn a blank.  Haha.  I’m blaming it on the intense summer heat.  Man oh man… between the heat outside and the hot flashes on the inside, it’s one H.O.T. summer. 🙂

I know you’ve just been sitting on pins and needles wondering what in the world we’ve been up to. (Yeah.  Right.)  So for my own journaling’s sake, I’m emptying the pictures from my phone in this post, and you’re welcome to read along (that is… if you’re sitting around with absolutely nothing more interesting to do today…haha).    May you and your family enjoy this Independence Day, and may we continue to pray for this nation and our Independence from the enemy’s oppression and our Dependance upon the One who Truly Makes us Free. 

Much love to you all ~ Now let the “fun” begin. 😉

This is beautiful Oregon.  I had the joy of spending some time serving the ladies of the Redmond area in late April, and they took me on my first “hiking” experience.  The view was breathtaking!

Look at that beauty!

I’m so NOT an outdoor-girl, and although true mountain hikers would scoff at the hike, I was quite proud of my accomplishment… That is… until I stumbled and fell face forward into a tree (which kept me from falling over the edge!)  It felt like a slow motion “I Love Lucy” moment.  I got up close and personal with a ____ tree.  Oregon girls ~ I forgot what type of tree it was.  Please help!

Then we came to an area with this sign posted. I thought it was a sad joke, at first…


Then I looked over the side of the cliff.   No wonder dogs needed to stay in the car!

My friend, Marci, took me to a REAL ranch… with real cowboys. This two-seater outhouse was original to the land, and I couldn’t resist taking a seat and making Marci sit with me. I guess even back then, girls didn’t like to go alone. 😉

The next weekend was Mother’s Day.  It was hot, and the sun was in our eyes, but the kids sweetly posed for the annual Mother’s Day picture.  (Don’t know why some pictures are small and some large… Oh well.  But hey…check out my hair.  It’s surely not small.  I was trying to grow it out, and it just got big.   Big and curly.  I really liked it for a while – it was fun and care-free.  But then last week, I awoke desperately needing my short hair back again. I prayed, made the appointment, and by bedtime, was back to my old self.  Whew!)




And then, like magic, the school year was over.  This is Nathan and Abigail on their last day of school.  We had a “last day lunch” at Cleveland’s “Airport Grocery.”

The next week I had the wonderful joy of keeping my nephew, Crawford.  I could eat him up!  My children were gone here and there, and he was happy to stay right by my side and cuddle with his “Coco”.  I love it when my arms are full of a cuddly little one!  I’m truly in need of another baby or a dog!

We went to our town’s Train Museum – which is amazing!  It takes several men every day to run and maneuver the trains.  They run at 1pm daily.

Then we went to the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, where my little one didn’t quite make friends with Delta State University’s “Fighting Okra.”  Bless his heart!

Bible School followed, then Cleveland had a first annual “Old Fashioned Day – with old fashioned games, dress up booths, and RCs and Moon Pies.

The next weekend, James and I had the privilege of spending an afternoon with John and Heidi, and their oldest son.  This family (four children 10 and under) will be soon going to East Asia to serve our Lord overseas.  Heidi and I became blog friends years ago and we’ve been able to fellowship in person (as bloggers say, IRL – In real life) three times in the past year.  Please keep them in your prayers as you think of those who serve the Lord outside of the comforts of this country.  They are an amazing family.  I’m always challenged and inspired from my time with Heidi.

The next day,  James and I headed to New Orleans for the Southern Baptist Convention.  We met up with lots of friends from the past 20 years of ministry and fellowshipped in the Lord through the gatherings, the meals, and the window shopping.

The messages were all wonderful and spoke to exactly what we needed to hear.  My favorite ones were the ones geared for the minister’s wives.  Tim Tebow’s mom spoke to the wives on Monday and I’ve already put into practice some of what she shared.  I’ll share that with you in the near future.  Then on Tuesday, Mary Kassian spoke to us, and I’ve looked at my notes every few days since.  The convention elected its first African American president, and he happened to be from New Orleans.  After the election, nearly everywhere we went in New Orleans, the people thanked us. The whole city seems to love him, and we did too.

New Orleans is still rebuilding, but the downtown is beautiful.  The French Quarter area was cleaner than I’ve ever seen it.  We walked, rode the trolly, and rode with one of those poor souls with strong legs who peddle bicycles with seats behind them.  It was fun, but I sure felt sorry for the driver!  We also took a horse/carriage tour and learned SO much about the city.  Of course, we ate, and ate, and ate, too.

This tiny pic is of my friend, Melanie and me.  We have a long standing history of meeting up at any conference we can and visiting, laughing, sharing, eating, and shopping, and laughing some more.  We’ve been friends for over 20 years.  She is the one who actually introduced James and me.  We had a super time with her, her husband, her almost-grown children, and her parents!

While window shopping, we tried on all kinds of hats, boas, and Mardi Gras Masks.  In the end, Melanie, her daughter Emily, and I purchased these:

The three of us took the carriage tour and this was one of the houses on the tour.   If you squint just right, you’ll see it’s absolutely beautiful!  Such rich history in that town.  I love to imagine the lives of those who originally lived in this and the other old homes.  One evening, James and I ate in the one of the oldest restaurants in the French Quarter – originally built in 1723.  Amazing!

No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a few classic stops.  We had the best Cajun meal at Mulates, and more than the meal, I enjoyed watching the couples dance.  These were just regular people – not professional entertainers.  So since we are just regular people too, I begged James to dance with me.  No matter how hard I tried, his answer was consistently “no.”  I thought I was doomed to stay in my seat all night… BUT…

… Then the band played “The Chicken Dance.”  Now that dance, I could do!  Since James wouldn’t act like a fool in public, I begged my friend, Joy, to get up and do it with me.  She was a trouper, and we joined the old and young in the Cajun version of The Chicken Dance!  We were quite good at looking foolish, if I do say so myself. 😉

Part of the joy of New Orleans was the Bread Pudding and Cafe du Monde beignets.  Y.U.M.!  I can still taste them in my mind.









It was so much  fun to get away with my sweet husband.  This holiday week, he will be busily writing papers for his first class of his doctoral studies.  I’m so proud for him.  One of these years, he’ll be “Dr. James Walker.” 🙂

Nathan is driving… I can’t believe it…

Abigail just turned 14… Again, I can’t believe it… (She has celebrated at a Mexican restaurant each year for as long as I can remember.  She loves the singing and the whipped cream in the face!)

On this past Saturday, we had a fun women’s event on Saturday called  “Mugs and Muffins.”  The fellowship was sweet, and the coffee bar, muffins and fruit were yummy.  We learned how to make flowers from coffee filters and were reminded that God take us and makes beautiful creations otu of our lives – the good and easy, as well as the sad and difficult.  (I’ll blog about that later, too.)


We also had the weekend privilege of having the Worship group “Mosaic” in our church and our home.  They are the most precious young couples and their love of Jesus is contagious.  God is using them mightily, and every time I think of them, I smile.  Both couples will be having babies soon, and they are patiently waiting upon the Lord for His direction for their futures.  They are a true picture of trust in the Lord on a daily basis.  And their music reflects it.  If you want Scripture-based music that will make God’s Word stick in your head, check out MosaicWorship.com.

So… That’s why I haven’t been sitting at the computer lately.   I’ve missed blogging, and look forward to getting back to it and to your blogs too.  If you read this far, you’re a gem.  Thanks for joining in my journal. 🙂

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com


  1. I enjoyed your pictures and the descriptions, too! I like that big, curly hair!!!

  2. Love getting to catch with you! Loved the pics…such pretty places and pretty faces. : ) You can rock the big hair, sister…they both suit you. So glad to hear how things are going! Hugs! : )

  3. I knew from the news that the convention was going well. It was nice to read some good articles about the SBC. You’ve done an excellent job of catching us up and I’m so glad you shared the photos. It’s given me some good ideas, and memories of our trip to New Orleans decades ago. Looking forward to reading blogs based on your notes. Will keep John and Heidi on my prayer list for a while as they start out. Does she blog? I’ve met some missionaries in the blogsphere that have been a huge blessing for me.

    • Grammy Blick~ Heidi does/and doesn’t have a blog. She can no longer use her blog she originally had because they will be “undercover” so to speak. One of these days, I’ll post a link to my “friend” who has an anonymous name, and that will be her. Thank you for keeping them in your prayers!

      Much love~

  4. Debbie, I would LOVE to come to Arizona & meet you one of these days. As for the hikes… We will have to take “baby” ones, haha.

    Much love to you! I’m heading to HeartChoices.com as soon as I can. Blessings to you & Greg today & always…


  5. Jennifer, I loved catching up with you. Our family has had several vacations in both Oregon and Washington and think it’s just about the most beautiful area in the U.S. But, the PEOPLE in the South are the most beautiful in the U.S., right? I can say that because I am a transplant from the Midwest.

    Love you,

    p.s. I am so glad to see from your pictures that you are appropriately covered :=)

    • “Well… you’re just as sweet as sugar, Karen” – said in my deepest southern accent. 😉 Haha. And I do have to agree with you about both the beauty of the west and the people of the south.

      🙂 Jennifer

  6. My Jennifer, you have been busy! But sometimes you need to step back from the computer and live life. I wish I could have been at the convention. It would have been fun to meet in person. And New Orleans is certainly an interesting place. I’ve not been back since the devastation after the hurricane. But I’ve visited prior to that time. Greg actually lived there for several years before we got married as he was doing a long term consulting job for Charity Hospital back in the 70’s. He has taken me on a tour of many of the beautiful places and wonderful restaurants. We both love spicy food. I’m glad to hear it is now cleaner.

    I loved catching up on what’s going on in your life. And hiking can be such fun. If you come to AZ, I have a few hikes for you.

    Blessings and love,

  7. Loved catching up on you! Happy 4th! Thanks for sharing dear!