- I love Jesus. I love my family. I love photography. I love books. I love thinking. Probably in that order. I have a wonderful husband, five beautiful daughters, a house, and a camera. I enjoy spending time talking to my husband, playing with my girls, redecorating my house and shooting things with my camera. In my spare time, I sleep.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
"From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning, plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality that the children could remember.(Taken from Dr. Mercola's Special Holiday Bonus.)
So there's your history lesson for today."
- The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ
- Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments
- Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love
- The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
- The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament
- The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation
- Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit
- The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes
- Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
- Self Control
- The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments
- The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples
- The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed
Monday, December 22, 2008
1)Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2)Select the 4th picture in the folder
3)Explain the picture
4)Tag 4 people to do the same
Well, I obviously didn't take this picture. This is a photo of my aunt & my mom on my aunt's birthday in 1964. My mom is the one with the beautifully dated glasses! I have spent a lot of time scanning my family's old photos into digital format so that I could have useable priceless pieces of family history like this gem.
Now it's your turn! Mom, Jill, Phaedra, Shay, Amy, Anyone who thinks this sounds fun.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
1. Link the person who tagged you.Here are seven random or weird facts about myself:
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share seven random or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven others and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each of the other people know by commenting on their blogs.
1) I don't like tomatoes.
2) I like the letter 'K' better than the letter 'C'.
3) I dislike the color orange, except in sunsets.
4) I was a history minor in college but can't remember squat about history.
5) I eat my meals one entree at a time, saving the best for last.
6) I wish I could have taken gymnastics or dance as a child.
7) I have a wart inside my nose.
8 TV Shows I watch:
1) The Cosby Show
2) Everybody Loves Raymond
3) The Simpsons
4) Scrubs (Thanks to Jordan introducing me to them last weekend)
5) ....I don't have television so I only watch Dvds.
8 Favorite Restaurants:
1) Olive Garden
3) PF Changs
4) The Outback
5) Beau Jo's
6) Ruby Tuesday
7) Jamba Juice (does that count as a restaurant?)
8) The Emporium
8 Things that happened today:
1) Jasmine threw a temper tantrum in Kmart.
2) Eden had dance class.
3) I ate at Quiznos.
4) I saw a huge, weird bird in the field by our house and tried to take a picture of it. (It may have been a goose.)
5) I got 3 Christmas cards in the mail.
6) I put away some clean laundry.
7) I ignored 2 phone calls from FFFF.
8) The thermostat in our van reported an outdoor temperature of 10 degrees.
8 things I look forward to:
1) Christmas Eve.
2) Finishing my Christmas video.
3) My photography lighting class.
4) Seeing my best friend pregnant.
5) My next meal.
6) Remodeling my house.
8) The rapture.
8 things on my wishlist:
1) A Speedlite flash for my Canon Rebel.
2) A slide scanner.
3) A dining room.
4) To find my original wedding ring.
5) Storage space.
6) A trip to someplace tropical.
7) To see our nation turn back to God.
8) To see my savior face to face.
8 people I tag today:
I am not going to tag anyone today...if you feel like answering the call of the tag then consider yourself tagged but I'm not going to drag anyone into this. (This time, anyway!)
Monday, December 15, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
1. Have you ever not thought about the possibility of suicide?
This question is asked really weird. I have never thought about the possibility of suicide. However there was one day (ONLY ONE Day in my entire life) when I was truly depressed and got a brief glimpse into what the world must be like for those without hope in Christ who suffer with depression on a daily basis. I thank God for that glimpse because it gave me a greater understanding of the world's need for Jesus. Suicide is not the answer--but to a world without Jesus I now see why it is unfortunetly such a problem.
2. How many dogs have you owned in your life? What kind? What were their names?
I personally have never owned a dog. I am not really an animal person. My parents had a few dogs when I was growing up on the farm. Most of them were bought under the guise of being my brother's dog but the first one they owned I sort of claimed as my dog. I don't know if they got her before I was born or when I was a baby but I am the first born in my family and the dog was around for as long as I was so she was "my" dog more than any other dog has been. Her name was Cindy & she was a good dog. Died long before I left home. As far as I know, she is one of the few dogs we owned that didn't get run over or shot for eating chickens.
3. In one word, what do most people describe you as?
It's hard to say...probably most people who don't know me well would describe me as 'shy'. Those who do know me well...maybe 'creative'. Although I feel as though neither of those words really describe me accurately.
4. Do you watch HouseMD? Why not?
Wow...this question certainly assumes an answer. I don't, however, watch HouseMD on a regular basis because I don't have television so I don't watch anything unless it's on DVD. I have, however, watched HouseMD a couple of times at my in-laws house and found it to be a rather fascinating program. My mom says she's never watched it because it looks 'disturbing'.
5. What irritates you most about your neighbors?
I suppose it's that they have such nice lawns and make ours stand out as the sore thumb of the neighborhood! Yeah...they are the best neighbors though. (Even though they make us look bad lawn-wise. ;)
6. Have you ever called someone in for some sort of abuse or neglect on humans, animals or property?
7. What color is the sky in your world?
Well, being the practical sort--my sky is pretty much blue when it's sunny and gray when it's not. Sometimes though when the sun is setting...Wow!!
8. Did you see those 2 planets that everyone is talking about this week?
I beleive I did. I didn't know everyone was talking about them. All I know is that my husband pointed out these two bright "stars" and I said "I'll bet those are planets because I don't remember those being there before" and he said "could be" and so I'd have to say yes, I think I did see them. Which planets were they?
9. Would you like to submit your own question for future Thursday Thunks?
I don't care.
10. Do you have a skin condition? Are you gonna tell us what it is?
I little personal perhaps? I just recently have noticed weird skin happenings...pretty much since I had strep throat. I haven't had it medically diagnosed but my suspision is that it is mild case of psoriosis.
11. Have you ever had an STD?
No. (Now we're getting really personal!)
12. Do you do any crafts?
I'm not sure what qualifies as 'crafts' but I used to do all kinds of crafty, fine artsy things when I was younger (beading, crocheting, wheat weaving) but recently I haven't really been doing much of that kind of stuff. I stick mostly with computer or photo related creative outlets. (Scrapbooks, collages, videos, etc.) I wouldn't mind getting back into some type of craft but young children running amuck makes it more difficult.
13. Peanut Butter & Jelly - what flavor is the jelly?
Always grape. (I'm not sure I've ever even had a PB&J with a flavor other than grape.)
14. Stripes or polka-dots?
Uh...here's where my practical side comes out again. It depends on the stripes; it depends on the polka-dots; it depends on the objects for which they're meant. Perhaps I'll go with my instincts here and declare that I prefer neither.
15. What accent drives you crazy? Is it a good crazy or a bad crazy?
Well, most accents drive me crazy in a good way. My hubby has a talent for mimicking different accents and I find it quite appealing! My favorite is probably Latino. I love the way Spanish-speaking people sound when they speak English! It certainly drives me crazy in a very good way.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
But even in those brief moments of thankfulness I wonder how many people are choosing to acknowledge the One from whom all blessings flow. Where are they directing their gratitude? Is our thankfulness for our blessings a vague whimsical idea that floats out into the nothingness of the universe or we thankful to someOne for allowing us the blessing of life.
The history of Thanksgiving takes us back to the Pilgrims who were celebrating the opportunity to live away from religious persecution. Although most of their number had died in the time proceeding that first celebration they did not lose sight of their goal which was to be able to freely worship their Lord & Savior in this new land. It was not simply about the harvest; it was not simply about bridging cultural gaps; No! Their celebration was about acknowledging the abundant grace of the One True God and the finished work of Jesus.
I, myself, find it difficult to quiet myself amongst all the turkey & family & traveling, long enough to sincerely have a moment with my eternal Best Friend to thank him for all He means to my life. To acknowledge that my family, my home, my food, my health, my talents, my friends, my salvation, & much more are all blessings from Him.
I pray that I can find that moment within myself today & everyday. And I pray that you, too, pause before that first bite of pie to say "thanks" to Him.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Perhaps my husband & I aren't really the best people to judge. We often joke with each other about having OCD, or here lately CDO (it's like OCD only the letters are in alphabetical order like they should be. *wink*) and we share a love of all things symmetrical. This new Chili's is like a big saber poking us in our symmetry loving eyes! Perhaps a less conventional person would be able to look at the new Chili's and appreciate the art in its non-traditional look but for me...every time I drive by I ponder the idiocy of the person who came up with the idea to design it that way and the apparent blindness of every person who had a hand in approving that decision.
Let me describe it's ridiculousness the best I can with mere words. It looks like they came up with two acceptable designs for the exterior of the building and then couldn't decide which they liked better, got in a huge fight and decided to compromise by doing one half in the one design and the other half in the other design. The west side of the building is painted green with multi-colored arched cloth awnings over each individual window. While the east side is dark red on top, yellow on the bottom with a strait square metal awning that spans the length of all the windows. Seriously what were they thinking!!?? I was having enough of a conniption when I found out that they were going to leave the sides two different colors but now that they put different awnings on each side I am even more annoyed. From now on I'm going to have to look away whenever I'm driving east-west on Hwy 26 or may have a design fit and cause a mishap on the road. The new Chili's reminds me of Two-Face from Batman Forever. And it's just as awful.
I wonder if it would be considered vandalism to give it a new paint job while everyone is sleeping?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Memories of days gone by
smiling back at me.
Okay, now it's your turn. Write a haiku...it's easy and fun. Leave your haiku's in my comments! (And for those of you who can't remember or don't know what a haiku is--"a haiku is a poem of three lines. It doesn't need to rhyme. The first line has 5 syllables; second line has 7 syllables ; third line has 5 syllables.") There you go...haiku away.
Here's one of my favorite haiku's for inspiration. I don't know who wrote it but I like it. Props to them!
But sometimes they don't make sense,
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
...here are the terms & conditions...
Now---on to my award ceremony.
1. You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous blogs in a post.
2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.
3. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.
On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well. To add the award to your post, simply right-click, save image, then "add image" it in your post as a picture so your winners can save it as To add it to your sidebar, add the "picture" gadget. Also, don't forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by emailing them or leaving a comment on their blog.
I eagerly pass this award on to the following bloggers (should they choose to accept it):
1) Shay-There couldn't possibly be a more enthusiastic & dedicated blogger!
2) Jill-Although her posts are few and far between they are always fabulous reads!
3) Lianne- She always has such cute pictures of her kids and her exuberance about them is always quite apparent!
4) C. Beth- As a thank you for her fun writing prompts!
5) Meanma- Because reading her blog always makes me appreciate her more as a person & not just mi madre.
Okay and here is a list of five of my fabulous addictions (although I could give them up any time I wanted, I swear!)
1) Lipton unsweetened ice tea.
2) Checking into my cyber-social life via blogger, facebook & hotmail.
3) Photography (most of my nightmares involve not knowing where my camera is when something photo worthy is going on.)
4) Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm--or chapstick in general. (I'm half crazy when I can't locate one of my many sticks.)
5) Russ. Yep, I admit it...I'm addicted to my hubby! It's just that he's so darn wonderful!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Woods, Decisions, Water, Jobs, Snow, Beds
1. Have you ever pooped in the woods?
I suppose it depends how you define "woods" but I have in fact on several occasions did some business in the out-of-doors. 'When nature calls', as they say! (T.M.I....anyone?)
2. You are starving. You have not had anything to eat for days. In front of you is poison ivy, a live hissing cockroach, and a rotten stinky piece of some sort of mystery meat to eat. Which would you pick and why?
I think I'd rather starve to death than eat any of those things. Starvation seems like the merciful way to go. But I think the hissing cockroach would be my next choice. Poison Ivy would be painful...Putrid mystery meat would likely give a starving person an even worse case of food poisoning than a healthy person (and I'm guessing a healthy person is gonna get pretty sick eating something like that.) But although a cockroach (particularly a 'hissing' one) is kind of a turn off, I'm guessing it isn't really going to hurt you much and it may actually contain some nutrients for sustaining life. (People eat all kinds of bugs in other cultures, right?)
3. Bottled or Tap water?
Uh..it depends? Some tap water is better than others. Bottled water you always know what you're getting....foreign tap water that has been run through a make-shift purification system and is contaminated with plastic chemicals which have leached into the water during shipment & storage. (okay, so maybe it's not always foreign.) Tap water varies...some comes from wells through lead pipes and contain all the chemicals that we put on the ground, i.e. fertilizers & pesticides. Other tap water comes from public sources, such as "the city" which has been minimally purified to remove natural occurring poisons and then has several unnatural poisons added to it so you get the concoction of chemicals the city deems worthy for you to ingest. So...in answer to the question....I drink both. I like the portability of bottled water but I think it safer to drink my well water...especially after it has been run through our distiller. ;)
4. Your dream job, what would it be and why?
My dream job would be as a traveling creative photographer. I would love to be able to make money to just travel all over, taking photos of whatever I want to take photos of and then having big public art shows that people would clamor to attend so they could buy my work. I love to take pictures, I would love to travel, and to have your photographs looked at is what any sane photographer wants!
5. Do you have any snow globes?
No....wait I do have a small nativity snow globe in my Christmas stuff, i think.
6. Do you like your bed? If not, what kind of bed do you want?
I love my bed. It is a California king with an oak frame & headboard with cubby shelves in the headboard and a double sided pillow top mattress. We got it as a "hand-me-down" from Russ' aunt after her husband died and she was moving to a smaller place. It was a wonderful gift! (Thanks Rox!) The only down side to it is that it is difficult to find California King sheets...but that is a minor detail.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
"So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord...... who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." (2 Timothy 1:8-10, NIV)I think that one of the greatest spiritual misunderstandings is placing too much emphasis on what we do. So many people, so many religions feel that they must somehow "earn" God's favor. And they look at the world and view the "condemned" vs. the "saved" based on some guideline of performance. And this reasoning works both ways. "I have done such & such...and that guy down the street has committed such & such a sin, therefore we are not acceptable to God." Or it could be, "I have done this good thing and that guy down the street is really nice and helps in that such & such a way, therefore we are good and God will save us." But neither way is accurate.
When it comes to our spiritual standing with God, what we do is not the issue, rather it is who we are. We are not unacceptable to God because of the specific sins we commit; we are unacceptable to God because we are born sinners. I have inherited my filthiness in the same way that I inherited fingers & a liver. It is programed into my genetic makeup and has been passed down since Adam. It is part of being human in this fallen world. Therefore I am not any more acceptable to God than Adolf Hitler. Our sin is spiritually equal because it is not about performance. It is who I am (clothed in my sinful nature) and not what I do (specific sins) that condemn me.
Since our condemnation is not based on our performance, neither then is our salvation. Since I cannot separate myself from my sinful nature there is no way for me to "perform" or "work" my way into being acceptable to God. Since I am incapable of earning it, my salvation is dependent entirely on God's grace (undeserved favor) and Christ's finished work. I can perform my socks off, feeding entire starving countries, never telling a lie, always sacrificing my comforts for others...etc, etc. (anything you can think of that is good) and it is all useless because I still am grody to God because I have failed to rid myself of the inherited sin. "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6, NIV) or as Chuck Missler translates it "are like used menstrual pads." to God. (How do you like that imagery?)
The only way to rid ourselves (spiritually speaking) of the condemnation that proceeds from our sinfulness is to accept that Jesus took our deserved condemnation upon His (undeserving) self and let his perfection replace our sinful nature in God's eyes. We are only acceptable to Him because/if we are covered in Christ. It is because of "who we are" (Christ's) and not because of anything we did.
There are many applications that could proceed from this line of thought. Some people out there may still be trying to "earn" salvation and need to accept what Christ has done on their behalf. Some of you may be saved but still feel as though there is something you must "do" in order to deserve it. (Sorry, none of us could ever possibly "deserve" God's favor.) Some may not see clearly their sinfulness and believe that they are "good enough" for heaven. Or perhaps there is a thought somewhere in your mind that your sin is "better" than someone else's sin. Some sinful acts may carry greater earthly consequences but spiritually there is no sin that is "cleaner" than any other. Your sin nature which caused your "white lie" is just as damning as someone else's sin nature that caused them to murder.
I have struggled with several of these at one time or another in my life and am learning more every day what it means to be saved by grace, "through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9, NKJV) I thank God every day that He saw our helpless filthy state and loved us enough to make a way for us to be with Him anyway. And I pray that I continue to learn that my works are meaningless if they are not His works by the Spirit.
"if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:13-17, NKJV)
and that I am a child of God!
Friday, November 7, 2008
For me, I think I'd probably pick Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon or Zooey Deschanel. I think they are all very interesting actresses who are about my age. Of course they are all way better looking than me but 'hey' that's one of the perks of picking movie stars! Natalie Portman I think could be a great Gina except for her brown eyes but perhaps colored contacts could rectify that problem. Reese is cute and very funny (maybe too funny to play me...I'm much more serious.) Perhaps Zooey would be a good choice. (Did you know we are only a week apart in age?) She is edgy, funny, and unique but probably way too tall. (I wonder how tall she is, anyway.) Anyone have any other ideas for actresses to play me?
For Russ, I was thinking maybe Colin Ferrell or I'd also considered Jake Gyllenhaal but I don't think either one of them is attractive enough to play Russ. And a problem with Colin is that he has very dark eyes and Russ' are bright blue so I'm not sure that would work. I also thought of Hugh Jackman. Russ & I both enjoy his acting but he's kind of too old. Hmmm...maybe Jared Leto. I thought he was so hot back in high school and he has the blue eyes & dark hair in is favor. (Too bad he's kind of a freak in real life.)
I always thought that Julia Stiles or Katherine Heigl would be appropriate to play my best friend, Connie. And Jill would want Amanda Bynes to play her and I can't argue with that choice much. I also have ideas for a few other people but I think it better not to give too much away. ;)
Anyway, Now it's your turn, my readers...if your life was made into a movie and you could cast any actor/actress to play you, who would you choose? Leave your answers in the comments, please. I can't wait to hear your casting choices!
A few years ago, when Russ & I were living in Colorado Springs, ( I believe it was Labor Day Weekend, September 2005) my parents & sister came to visit us. We went to the hot air balloon festivities and then walked up & down the streets of Manitou Springs visiting all the little shops & boutiques. In one of the shops I found a stacked glass cactus that I loved.
For background let me tell you that when Russ & I were dating, Russ, his friend Josiah, and I went to Phoenix, AZ for a conference. The conference was held at a really nice hotel and in the hotel gift shop were these stacked glass cactus that I fell in love with. However, I was a poor college student and decided not to buy the large cactus and spent the next several years kicking myself for not spending the lousy $25 it would have cost.
So fast forward to this shop in Manitou that had for purchase these very same cactus. Some of the stacked glass pieces were placed on glass bases while others were set on rock bases. I loved the rock ones. But I could only find one large cactus in the entire store that had a rock base and it had a small chip in it. I was a bit disappointed. I already had a small cactus from my Arizona trip at home, and I wasn't really satisfied with the glass based ones but yet why would I want to pay full price for a broken one? So I left the store. After making it a couple more blocks I decided that I had to buy one so I returned to the store alone while my family continued to shop down the street. I found the chipped one and took it to the man behind the counter. I asked him if he had any others perhaps in the back. I pointed out the chip and told him that he had plenty with glass bases but I really wanted the rock base but it was broken. He looked a bit and concluded that it was the only one of its kind in the store. I expressed disappointment and pondered what to do. He told me that he'd give me a discount since it was broken. I said okay, I'd take it and he proceeded to wrap it up and I told him my story about Arizona. When he had finished wrapping it and I had my money out and ready to go, he says to me, "Why don't you just keep it, it is broken." I was flabbergasted. "Are you sure?" He insisted that I keep it. So I put my money away, thanked him profusely and left the store in a state euphoria & shock!
I had my money ready...I was going to pay him. He willingly gave a total stranger an item from his store for free! That man did something so unusual and kind. Everytime I look at the small chip in my stacked glass cactus I remember him and his generosity to me. I hope the Lord blesses him for that because he sure blessed me that day. It challenges me to bless others in similarly unexpected and generous ways.
Friday, October 31, 2008
My family really isn't into Halloween. Being a holiday that glorifies evil and also promotes large consumptions of candy...it is kind of an irrelevant event for us. We don't dress up and go trick-or-treating, nor do we decorate or party for the occasion. However, we have carved pumpkins the past couple of years. It is a fun tradition that I have fond memories of from my childhood and it is seemingly harmless. This year we also attended the Spooktacular event at our local zoo. Anyway...just thought I'd post some pictures of the very minimal Campbell Halloween fun.
The girls cleaning out the pumpkin that we got from Grandma Veda. Although, it may be October...it was in the 70s outside and therefore shirts were not a necessity.
This next photo is a picture of Russ carving the pumpkin with his tool...kinda messy!
Esther Cohen had three very active boys. One summer evening she was playing cops and robbers in the back yard after dinner. One of the boys "shot" his mother and yelled, "Bang! You're dead."She slumped to the ground and when she didn't get up right away, a neighbor ran over to see if she had been hurt in the fall.
When the neighbor bent over, the overworked mother opened one eye and said, "Shhh. Don't give me away. It's the only chance I've had to rest all day".
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
When I had finished and we came back inside, I was quite frustrated and felt as if the "shoot" hadn't gone very well. I put my camera down and didn't even look at the pictures again until tonight when I finally had the chance to download them from my camera. I was quite surprised to see how well many of the pictures turned out! Even the photos Eden took of me were quite good (with a tad bit of editing by me) so I decided to once again share what I got with you. Enjoy!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Today, Eden & I rented the new "Tinkerbell" movie from Redbox. Although, not a particularly spectacular movie, I felt as though it had a rather nice message that I ran through a spiritual filter.
Tinkerbell is "born" into the fairy world and is supernaturally shown what her talent is. It is revealed that she is a "tinker" fairy who has a gift for building, fixing, & "tinkering." She quickly becomes disappointed with her lot in life when she sees & hears about all the "magical" talents that the other fairies have and learns that although they all get to travel to the mainland to help with the changing of the seasons, tinker fairies stay behind. Tinkerbell decides that she doesn't want the talent she has and attempts to "learn" a variety of new talents. Every time she attempts to be taught a different talent, it ends disastrously! Eventually, after destroying all preparations for spring, she uses her "tinkering" talents to save the day. She ends up rejoicing in and appreciating the talent she was given.
I think a lot of times we as people, and we as Christians are disappointed with the talents and gifts we are given by God. We look at what we do and assign it little value and we look at what others can do and the gifts and talents that God gave them and we decide that we want those gifts instead. And oftentimes, like Tinkerbell, we try to fight against how we were made and against the spiritual tasks we were divinely chosen to perform and we try to "learn" another talent and we try to squeeze our mercy-gifted selves into a prophesy-gifted mold with disastrous results. It seems to me that many churches/Christians push certain talents/gifts/jobs over others and as a result there are many talented & gifted stewards of God working aimlessly at spiritual jobs that they were not purposed for. If God made me a "tinker fairy" and not a "water fairy" than it is most likely a waste for me to spend a majority of my time trying to put dew drops on a spiderweb. (If you catch my drift.)
In this mixed-up world we live in, it seems like we often concentrate a majority of our time trying to become adequate in the areas we are weakest when it would probably be more profitable for us to work at becoming proficient in the areas in which we show aptitude. While I think that it is often important to be semi well-rounded in our knowledge & abilities so as to be able to function well in society...I believe that to carry this idea over where our spiritual purposes are concerned is a serious mistake. God has given us all our own unique set of inherent talents when we are born and similarly, He gives us all our own unique set of spiritual gifts when we are born-again. We were not all given the same specific purposes and we were not all given the same specific talents & gift. However, just like in Tinkerbell's world, certain talents & gifts are often societally assigned more value or less value based on the outward appearance of it, but in the "Greater Picture" everyone's purpose has great value, and every job no matter how big & important or small & insignificant it seems, is very significant to the One who designed us for the task.
What I learned from Tinkerbell is that my God-given talents & gifts are a glorious thing and that if I use those talents & gifts for the purposes for which they were created, then there is no reason for me to try to be someone & something I am not.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Today is my parent's 30th anniversary. They got married at noon, October 21st, 1978. In honor of this occasion, my brother, sister & I had a little cake party for them on Sunday and gave them our gift, treating them to their annual overnight anniversary trip to Rapid City. We got them a hotel gift card, a Olive garden gift card, and movie theater gift certificates. We didn't do anything special for their 25th so we felt it was a good time to honor their marriage and all that they have meant to us. Happy anniversary, Dad & Mom. We love you very much!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Oh, And as a side note...if you ever want to check out my photo site with many many more of my photos all you have to do is click on my face and it will take you there. Or the address is www.jzeena.smugmug.com
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
You Are Jasmine!
Independent and adventurous. You don't want much; just to break out of the guilded cage society has put you in and experience life to the fullest. Following orders isn't really one of your strong points, and you would rather live a life of poverty than being forced into something that you hate.
Which Disney Princess Are You?
Monday, October 13, 2008
The other side effect of this sucky bout with strep is that I find it unpleasant to speak much louder than a whisper. It is fairly difficult for me to maintain my silence. My two children seem to insist upon hearing my voice raised and when Russ is home I have so many things I want to tell him that I have a hard time giving my vocal cords the needed rest in his presence.
And to top it all off, I'm not suppose to kiss my hubby or my babies for 36-48 hours. And while I certainly do not want this pain passed on to any of them...their sweet faces just beg to be smooched!
Anyway, just looking for some sympathy, I guess, from my dear blog readers. Hope all of you are blessed with health. Ciao!
Friday, October 10, 2008
I thought this one was appropriate for an intro to their music. Because I don't want to waste your time with music you don't need. But I think you'll need more OTR.
This is a fun song: Trouble.
This next song is the one that I sung all last Christmas season. Their Christmas Album (Snow Angels) is unlike any Christmas album you've ever heard before. Awesome.
Okay, I can't resist putting one more on here. I don't really care for the "video" that someone put with this but this song is one of my favorites. Probably because it was one of the first songs of theirs that I heard and enjoyed.
Okay so if you have anymore interest in them check out their website. It's awesome.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
If I had to sum up in just a few words why I will NOT be voting for Obama, I would say this: He supports WAY too much government control.
A quote I found on the Sarah Palin page on Wikipedia:
"Palin has described the Republican Party platform as "the right agenda for America" because of its "respect for equality and respect for life and an acknowledgment that it is individual Americans and American families who can make better decisions for ourselves than government can ever make for us," and has stated that "individual freedom and independence is extremely important to me and that's why I'm a Republican.""
I wouldn't say that this is necessarily a universally true statement about the Republican party but it pretty much sums up how I decide my vote. I vote for the candidates who will keep the government's involvement in personal matters to a minimum and will leave me with the most freedom & independence.
I prefer to maintain some shred of independence and individual freedom. I see it slowly slipping from our hands and based on what I've heard from Obama so far in this election (in spite of his pretty politically-correct rhetoric), if he has his way the little bits we have left will quickly be confiscated by the government under the guise of improving life for the "middle class." but with all due respect to Obama and his supporters, I don't think that this is the help I need. This is not a welcomed "change."
Obama's plans for health care essentially would (as Kevin Gabriel put it) "move us toward complete government control of the health care industry and remove the individual from the decision making process." I cannot even express how much that scares me! I am quite wary of the health care industry as it stands right now but put it in the government's hands and I downright shudder at the thought of what that would look like. I appreciate being able to make choices about me & my family's health care for myself. I do not want someone with different values than me making those decisions for me.
When it comes to Obama's energy policies involving "bigger government role in fostering the development of technologies to reduce emissions and alternatives to fossil fuels", I have to say that I agree with McCain's view that "unintended consequences" can result from improper interference in the marketplace.
Obama's opinions on education are also quite different than mine in this respect. He seems to believe that it is the government's right to educate our children and it is their prerogative to decide what our children should and should not be taught and at what age they should and should not be taught these things. While I do think that every child has a right to a quality education, I believe it is the parent's prerogative (not the government's) to decide what qualifies as a quality education and therefore should make the decision as to how and/or where their child is educated.
There are certainly a lot of specific issues in which Obama & I diverge drastically (Like abortion, marriage, environmental issues) but I would say that this issue of the role of government is the overriding issue. His character, religion, values (and other things that I find relevant for running for such an important office) are questionable but the fact is, when it comes to politics you can't take anything anyone says at face value.
McCain supporters try to smear Obama's reputation and Obama supporters try to paint an ugly picture of McCain. Obama lies, panders, embellishes & omits and so does McCain. The media is no help, they lie, too. What the truth is, only God knows. But from my perspective choosing the so-called lesser of two evils, makes the McCain/Palin ticket the obvious choice. And that is (in a very small nutshell) why I plan on voting for McCain November 4th.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
1) My 2nd toe is longer than my big toe.
2) In high school, I really wanted to be a foriegn exchange student to Denmark...but it never happened.
3) I don't like lotions.
4) I fantasize about having a 2nd wedding--marrying Russ in a ceremony on a beach, my hair down, light dress, outdoor reception at dusk.
5) I sometimes miss college.
6) I love hats but hate the way I look in them.
7) I would travel all the time if I could afford it.
Okay, now it's my turn to tag some people---Mom, Jill, Taylor, Amy, Anna & Lianne---Tag, you're it!
I wish I had a before picture but I couldn't find a single pic of the room before...except of me painting it last year. This pic doesn't really show off the colors much either but it's what I got so take it or leave it, I say.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
"If you think you're free, there's no escape possible." ~Ram Dass
"You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep."
"Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?"
"Skin is a covering for our immortality."
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
It was fantastic! I LOVED that we were being spontaneous. We had just thrown some things in a bag and got in the van. No real plans just to see about catching the end of the conference. We stopped once to fuel up the van and once to fuel up ourselves. We made it to the outskirts of Denver by 2:15. I knew that the conference was being held at a church that it had been held at in previous years so we made our way to the Calvary Chapel in Lakewood. We got there to discover an empty parking lot. Russ got mad that we went to the wrong church...I thought it was hilarious! It is one of the prices that you pay for spontaneity...we hadn't taken the time to double check the location! So, we called Russ' mom to have her look up the venue. Luckily we weren't too far away. And found the correct church within a half hour. We made it in time for the start of the 3:30 speaker. When his time was up, it was the dinner break, so we left to go get some food and arrange for accomodations. We first headed strait up Colorado Blvd to the nearby Jamba Juice. (Have to have that Jamba!) Russ & I each got one and we purchased Eden her first Jamba Juice. She loved it! We got back in the van and Russ got out his lap top and we went driving in search of a wireless network we could connect to. Finally parking in a McDonald's parking lot where we killed several birds with just the one stone. We found a network, we returned our Redbox dvd and we used the restroom. Once on the internet I got on Hotwire and booked a room for a very reasonable rate. Ended up being a Sheraton hotel..very nice. After knowing we had a place to sleep we drove down to Chick-Fil-A and got us some drive thru fair. Yum!
We got back to the church in time for the worship leader. I thought his music was beautiful but I was very disappointed because I was hoping that he was going to lead us in song and instead he mostly just sang his own songs which none of us knew. Then we settled ourselves in the "crying room" to listen to the final two speakers. (The "crying room" is where parents can take their children behind sound proof glass but they can still see and hear what is going on in the sancuary.) The first speaker was a woman who was born in Egypt, raised Muslim in Gaza. She now lives in the US and has become a Christian. She was very interesting. Spoke about what it is like in the Islamic world and how there is nothing peaceful about their religion. She said that their religion is centered around their hatred for non-muslims. The last speaker of the night was Chuck Missler, who we always enjoy, speaking on China.
When it was over we left to find our hotel. Eden kept asking where our house was. Russ eventually told her that we couldn't find it so we were going to stay at this hotel. When we were getting out of the van, Eden turns to Jasmine and says, "Jasmine, we can't find our house so we're going to stay at this hotel." And then when we got inside she picked up the phone (which Russ had unplugged) and said, "Hi, Jeni, we can't find our house so we're just gonna stay at this hotel. okay, bye." So cute! The girls had so much fun running around the hotel room. They had been pretty good all day in the car & at church but they hadn't hardly napped at all but they didn't act in the least bit tired. They ran & laughed and crawled on the bed & crawled off the bed and laughed, and talked on the phone, hid in the closet, got crumbs on the floor. It was so fun watching them.
Sunday morning, we slept in until almost nine. (well, Jasmine didn't but we stayed in bed that long) It was fantastic. Snuggling in a warm comfy bed in the morning with my hubby was nice...hardly ever get to do that at home. After we got up and got around we left the hotel and went to Krispy Kreme and watched the doughnuts being made...and then ate some. That was a pretty neat experience for Eden. We also loaded up on Jamba Juice again before leaving town. I had a serious sugar rush, sugar headache, & sugar crash from all that sugar in the morning. Between the smoothie & the doughnuts that was way more sugar than I'm accustomed to having in one sitting. It was tasty but I'm not sure it was worth feeling miserable all afternooon.
We stopped at Aunt Roxie's for an hour or so on our way out of town. It was good to see her and the girls enjoyed playing with her pillows & her cat. Then we stopped again in Loveland to see a family that Russ worked for before meeting me and who Russ & I lived with for a couple weeks when we were first married. We visited with them for a couple hours. It took Eden a little while to warm up but by the time we were ready to go, she and their 6 year old were having a lot of fun together and she didn't want to leave. Jasmine ate a bunch of watermelon and had to be changed into one of Eden's shirts because she completely soaked her outfit.
We left their house at 4:30 and went to Ft. Collins to eat supper at Fazoli's. After a yummy meal there, we finally headed home. Got home at about 8:30. I told Russ that we should be spontaneous more often. We had a really nice time and it was the lack of planning that made it extra exciting.
Friday, September 12, 2008
The child's role in the relationship, in a lot of ways, is dependence. This role of dependence at first results in the child feeling secure and looking to his/her mother with admiration and awe. As the child gets older...he/she starts resenting this dependence and starts rebelling against the mother that loves him/her so much. When the child is old enough, he/she leaves home and starts living a life that is separate from his/her parents. The child is no longer dependent on the mother and therefore the mother's role is changed and the selflessness that she has dedicated her life to is no longer needed in the same capacity. It is because of this that it appears as if the children do not love their mother as much as she loves them but I don't think that it is the amount of love that is the issue.
Children adore their mothers and as they get older, it is true that they no longer see the same perfection in her that they saw when they were babies and it's true that opinions begin to diverge from 'what Mommy thinks' but to some extent the selfless sacrifices made and the love poured out for us have not gone unheeded.
To my mom, I must tell you that we, your children, care more about what you think than we typically ever want to admit and that the reason that you think that we are irritated by you and whatnot is because we hurt when you see flaws in us. We hurt when you challenge our decisions. We hurt when you don't take pride in the things that we care about. Our lives and our viewpoints may never match yours again...and we often will not make different choices because you want us to...but please NEVER think that this reflects in ANY WAY the depth of our love for you. I dare to challenge the statement that started this blog. Your children DO love you...perhaps not more than you love us...but we LOVE YOU IMMENSELY! ANd when you say otherwise, you cut us to the core. Our lives would be devestated if something happened to you tomorrow. I know with all my heart that I speak for Jordan & Jill too. A child's love for his/her parents may have a different face than the love that a mother has for her child but to say that the amount of love is less cannot be so.
Signing 4 Baby
Thursday, September 11, 2008
On the other hand...there are perks that come with being a mom and here are a few of the ones I came up with: 1) I can act ridiculously silly whenever I want to. 2) I have an excuse for getting out of unpopular events & places early. 3) I get to buy twice as many shoes! 4) I can get away with bringing snacks to church & the movies. 5) I get to stay home all day. 6) No one thinks it is strange when I have sticky fingerprint stains on my chest. 7) I have cute stories to tell when friends come over. 8) There is an endless supply of photo ops. 9) Bodily fluids begin to lose their impact on my gag reflex. 10)There is physical evidence that my husband & I are the smartest, most attractive couple in the world!