About Me

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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, May 31, 2012

Repost: Snow White

I don't know why but it seems there has been a renewed interest in the story of "Snow White".  Just this year we've seen the media tell the story in the ABC Tv drama "Once Upon A Time", the lighthearted Julia Robert's film "Mirror, Mirror", and in theaters tomorrow, the action/drama "Snow White and the Huntsman".  As such, I thought it would be a good time to repost this post that I wrote in May of 2009. Enjoy...

Once upon a time....

There was a beautiful, innocent girl. Out of pride & jealousy, the evil queen tricked her into eating poisoned fruit. As a result the girl took on a form of death. She remained in this state until the son of the king came to her and through miraculous means restored her to proper life. He then took her as his bride to reside in his father's castle to live happily ever after while the evil queen was banished forever!

What a wonderful story...that most of you will recognize as a simplified version of Snow White. However, the reason I love this story (although I never really liked the Disney version much) is because it is not just a silly fairy tale. It is a true story. It is our story...it is God's love story and we are Snow White.

Because once upon a time (about 10 thousand years ago) God created everything and it was very good. But people were the pinnacle of his creation, his beloved. We were glorious & innocent. Satan was the most beautiful & glorious of all the angels and his heart was filled with pride and he hated humans because they were the most beloved of all God's creation. In his jealousy he purposed to destroy our beauty. He wanted us to die. He came in disguise to the people in the garden and tempted them into eating the fruit that would poison them & cause them to die a spiritual death (& eventually a physical death) One bite from that "forbidden" fruit and we were plunged into a separation from the existence of the True Life of which they had been a part. Satan thought he had won. He had taken our beauty & our life away. But this was not to be the end of the story. The son of the King, Jesus Christ, came to rescue us. Because of His love for us He "kissed the taste of death" (so to speak) right out of our mouth. He overcame death for us and redeemed us to life again. This is where we now exist in this story. But the rest of the story is foretold and it ends very similarly to the story of Snow White. One day...our Prince, Jesus Christ, will take us home with Him to his Father's Castle to be His "snow white" spotless bride. And the Father will banish Satan to the bottomless pit--to be eternally cast out of Life in the Father's Kingdom. And we all will live happily ever after with the King! Amen!

"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 1:9-10) NIV

"But God will redeem my life from the grave;
he will surely take me to himself." (Psalm 49:15) NIV

"When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:54-57) NIV

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Branson Vacation

Last week we were on vacation with my extended family staying in a vacation home in Branson, MO.  Then on the way home we spent a couple days in Omaha.  Here is a sample of photos from our trip.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day

Every year Mother's Day comes around and I take a moment to appreciate my mom and to revel in the love I have for my children.  This year the day holds a little extra significance.

May 13th, 2012 was my due date.

Until this week, I hadn't even realized that the due date of my heaven child fell on Mother's Day.  It's a bittersweet thought.  Losing that child changed me...but I can't say that I feel overly sad.  I know where that child rests and while I wish heaven wasn't our meeting place...I now anticipate the arrival of a new little life that could not have been if my fourth baby hadn't been taken to Jesus.

This Mother's Day, I will rejoice that I have been afforded the privilege of bearing children...something that many women would love to have but were not given.  I will celebrate the lives of my three girls and ruminate on the joys that their existence have brought to me.  I will honor the child that I did not meet and surrender that heartache to my Lord.  I will anticipate the birth of the one growing inside of me and trust to God his/her health and well-being.  I will thank my husband for walking this path with me and for making me a mother.  I will remember all that my mother invested in me and appreciate the sacrifices that she made so that I could become the woman I am today.

I will hug my children tighter;  I will tell them I love them; and I will commit to doing my best to raise them into people who honor the Lord and love others with fervor.

This Mother's Day, I may look back for a moment...but only so that I can look forward with more clarity and live & love in a way that will please the One who gave me the gift of motherhood.

For it is, indeed, a gift and I intend to cherish it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Our trip to the 'beach'...

Eden has been studying beaches for school and the curriculum encourages us to visit a beach.  Since Nebraska is no where near an ocean...we had to settle for a lake.  Yesterday we visited a local lake and the girls enjoyed playing, exploring, and getting their feet wet.  At least the older girls did.  Acacia did not like it and wanted to leave almost as soon as we arrived.  In spite of her trepidation, I did get some cute pictures of her as well.  :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pantry Challenge: Week One

This is how it started...

We got paid on Friday, and on Sunday I paid the bills and balanced our checkbook and realized that our funds were surprisingly low for having just got paid and since we are going on vacation Mid-May, we were not anxious to go digging into our savings and diminishing our vacation budget to pay for food for the next couple of weeks.  So, we decided to see if we could live out of our pantry for the next three weeks (as much as possible).  This became our challenge.

We had been talking a lot the last few months about our bad spending habits when it comes to food.  And during the early queasy months of pregnancy, I really got away from my menu planning and actual meal preparation and ended up reverting to fast food way too frequently.  So it was a good time to try to reestablish better meal planning. 

Before beginning I evaluated what we had in stock and made of list a possible dishes that could be made with what we had.  Then I made a quick trip to the store for some important missing essentials.  I ended up spending $30 on stuff like butter and milk.

Sunday night I had a long anticipated "comfort food" meal of minute steaks, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. 

Monday for lunch we ate leftovers and then I made sausage soup and dinner rolls for supper.

On Tuesday we had leftover soup for lunch and then in the afternoon I used some rhubarb that I had in the freezer from last summer and made a rhubarb crisp to have as a dessert.  For supper I finished off the head of cabbage I had by making a cabbage burger casserole.

On Wednesday, Russ was out of town and we girls had dance so lunch was a bit more rushed and eclectic.  I literally just ate pieces of bacon for lunch. (Not very healthy, perhaps, but 'yum, yum!')  The girls had sandwiches & chicken nuggets.  For supper we had more leftovers.

Thursday for lunch, Russ finished off the leftovers, Eden & I had bacon sandwiches, Jasmine had a salami & cheese sandwich, and Acacia had chicken nuggets.  Russ ended up spending $2.50 at Sonic during Happy Hour to bring us a couple of drinks in the afternoon.  For supper I finished off some opened pizza sauce from the fridge and we had a homemade pizza with our favorite homemade crust.

Yesterday we had a lazy lunch.  Russ had a late breakfast of eggs so didn't have lunch, I had a frozen french bread pizza, and the girls ate bowls of cereal so by supper we were all very hungry.  I made some zucchini bread using shredded zucchini from last summer that I had frozen and I made meatballs and scalloped corn.  Yum!

Today was the hardest day so far because I went out a couple times and driving by the restaurants and smelling their food made me really crave something fast and MSG laden.  But we stuck with the program and had boxed "Back to Nature" macaroni and cheese for lunch and I made bean enchiladas for supper.  I did spend $2.50 for fresh tortillas from the tortillarilla.

We've eaten better than we have in months and I'm pretty excited about how well we've done so far.   I realize that it is the next week that is really going to present the challenge as we begin to run out of items like juice & cereal and we begin to feel the pull of cravings a little harder.  I'm pretty sure that we may have to buy a few things again in a few days to help get us through but I'm hoping to keep this to an absolute minimum.

I decided to blog to help me remember this experience and to keep me more accountable for my actions.  The ultimate goal is to keep from stocking up on groceries until after we get home from vacation.  That means we still have two weeks of this before we leave town. 

Here's hoping!