September 10, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Hello world. ¬†This is my attempt to try and start blogging again ūüôā ¬†I know there are some broken links and such, but tech support Billy is working on it.


Things are going great! ¬†We just started another school year. ¬†Carrington is at a governor’s school focusing on ballet, and Ellie, Finn, and Deacon are at home with me. ¬†That means we have an eleventh grader, fourth grader, second grader, and a kindergartner! ¬†So far everyone has declared this their favorite school year yet, save for Carrington who feels done with high school and ready to move on to college. ¬†(WHAT?!)

I’ll try and fill you in on what’s been happening over the last year. ¬†Baby steps!!


Love, Jen


March 29, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

I know it has been a long time since I’ve posted. ¬†My last post was written the night before Billy and I left for Port-au-Prince, Haiti. ¬†We went to visit one of our church’s mission partners, Haiti Outreach Ministries. ¬†We met some seriously great people. ¬†People in Haiti are really no different than people here, we’re just in drastically different circumstances. ¬†What’s most amazing is their¬†joy, in the midst of complete poverty. ¬†I feel like if I were to be the one living in those conditions, there would be a whole lot of complaining going on. ¬†And anger. ¬†There would probably be lots and lots of anger.



We brought our cameras down with us, not sure what all we would be able to capture. ¬†We had heard that Haitians have gotten downright ticked off at people coming in with their big ol’ cameras and junk, then sort of making a spectacle of them. ¬†Surprisingly, everyone was very welcoming. ¬†Our camera (a Panasonic GH3) is a DSLR that is designed to take video, so it isn’t very intimidating. ¬†The kids in the villages LOVED seeing their images on my screen! ¬†When we got back, we were asked to lead a team down in the summer, and we said yes ūüôā ¬†We’ll be there for a week, hanging out with the Haitians, doing some VBS for the kids, helping them out with some construction projects, and staffing a clinic (medical care is desperately needed there). ¬†Billy took the footage that we captured (not knowing at the time what we would use it for) and made it into a video that we used to give people some history on Haiti and encourage people to come.

I took a bunch of pictures too, you can see them on the facebook page we made for the trip:

Here are a few picture I chose not to post, because they’re just a little harder to see. ¬†Cite Soleil is the poorest slum, in the poorest city, in the poorest country, in the entire western hemisphere. ¬†There is not much water, and quite frankly, not much else. ¬†Mothers make and sell these mud cookies. ¬†It’s kind of a joke to call them that, because there is nothing in them except mud. ¬†This is what the children eat. ¬†Just so they have something in their bellies.



Children run around, some clothed, some not.  Such sweet, sweet faces.  They all crowded around, holding our hands, following us.



We’re excited to be going back. ¬†We love Haiti Outreach Ministries. ¬†They’re a Haitian organization working right in Port-au-Prince, so of course they’re part of the community, seeing the needs first-hand. ¬†(Instead of, say, an outsider marching in and trying to help in ways that actually undermine what the Haitians are trying to get going for themselves.)

There are so many stories waiting to be told in Haiti, and we want the world to be able to hear them. ¬†I’ll do my best to keep this blog updated on all of our trip preparations.

Love, Jen

Haiti from Martin Pictures on Vimeo.

leaving on a jetplane

October 25, 2013 | Uncategorized | Permalink

And we’re off in the morning. ¬†To Haiti. ¬†Exciting stuff. ¬†Billy and I are going to miss the kids like crazy, we love them so much.

Just thought I’d post some pictures from the last month or so. ¬†I’ve been shooting in black and white a lot, which is fun and different.










September 1, 2013 | Uncategorized | Permalink

September?! ¬†Sheesh. ¬†We are starting school on Tuesday, along with the public schools around here. ¬†I’m very excited about the year, and the kids are too, especially Deacon. ¬†We went to the beach in early August with my side of the family. ¬†When we got back we had a bunch of video footage, so Billy threw it into a video ūüôā

Myrtle 2013 from Martin Pictures on Vimeo.

soaking up summer

August 3, 2013 | Uncategorized | Permalink

We’ve really been enjoying our summer days. ¬†The kids play long and hard, knees are scraped and kissed and made better, tired bodies fall into heavy sleep at night.








The girls did Peter Pan and Wendy, a girl turned eight, a baby boy turned four, family came to town, we left town, more family came to town, and we¬†camped. ¬†And we loved every minute of it all. ¬†I’m feeling so happy that August is here.

the cookie

May 24, 2013 | Uncategorized | Permalink

The Cookie from Martin Pictures on Vimeo.

Billy and I filmed this little video for a contest. ¬†It had to be under two minutes, the theme was “stand-off”. ¬†We lost. ¬†At least it makes us all laugh when we see it ūüôā ¬†And we sort of like this making movies thing.

these days

May 2, 2013 | Uncategorized | Permalink

I have lots of updating to do on this ol’ blog, but I just wanted to throw these pictures up. ¬†Because I really, really want to remember these days. ¬†When my little guys are so, well, little. ¬†I want to remember them zipping themselves together into jackets. ¬†I want to remember the sound of their footsteps trampling down the stairs and flying through the house and the back door slamming. ¬†I want to remember every little fort and leaf pile and contraption they build in the back yard. ¬†I want to remember waking up and seeing their faces at my bedside. ¬†I want to remember reading books to them at night. ¬†I want to remember sitting out in the driveway while they ride their bikes. ¬†I want to remember their excitement for everything. ¬†I want to remember brushing their teeth. ¬†I want to remember what it feels like to hold them. ¬†



I love my people.


March 7, 2013 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Reading Radical by David Platt.  Convicted on so many levels.  Where to go from here??

It’s a snow day here. ¬†The kids played outside for a little while, but snow in March is a little less exciting than snow in December! ¬†Then they painted while I made banana pudding (which tasted fantastic). ¬†We’ve been working on memorizing Psalm 23 at dinner. ¬†Reminds me of this sermon every time! ¬†Love it.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
¬†¬†¬†¬†for his¬†name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

new york, new york

March 1, 2013 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Spontaneity is alive and well here.  Through a series of coincidental events, Monday morning found us flying out of Richmond and into NYC.

If I hadn’t taken pictures, I would have woken up yesterday morning and seriously wondered if the trip had even happened at all. ¬†It was a complete whirlwind.

(Learning never stops.  Especially with a reading three year old!)

This picture was taken right before I smacked into a scaffolding pole while walking very briskly:

It was extremely painful, in case you were wondering.

New York pizza = so good.

Real macarons = so good.

Traveling together as a family = so good.

Even these parts:

The kids loved the fact that we took off in rain, flew through the rain clouds, and up into the sunny sky.

It was such a great trip. ¬†Even if I’m now in need of a vacation to relax.







hard at work

February 17, 2013 | Uncategorized | Permalink

We’ve been working really hard in 2013. ¬†Of course, there has been some serious kitchen-table work:

And some serious not-at-the-kitchen-table work:

Last week Ellie and Finn were suddenly fascinated with dinosaurs, so of course we hit up the library first, but we also went up to the Natural History Museum to see the dinosaur exhibit. ¬†It’s funny, we always cruise through the same dino exhibit whenever we go, but this time they really saw everything.

It was snowing all day here on and off, but nothing stuck to the ground. ¬†Spring is definitely on the horizon, but I wouldn’t mind being snowed in one last time. ¬†I am noticing such a shift in our days, as Deacon becomes more and more interested in what we’re working on. ¬†Unbelievably, he is reading. ¬†Mostly short words, with short-vowel letter sounds. ¬†And of course all droids, like R2-D2 and C-3PO, ha! ¬†What it is with boys and Star Wars, I will never know.

Have a lovely weekend!