Monday, February 27, 2012

Action and Words. Words and Action.

Last Thursday was a VERY BUSY day for William and I. Many appointments made us run here and there and everywhere. On top of that, mentally/emotionally I have been a bit off balance. I know a lot of it is adjusting to William being home. This reintegration thing feels like it's kicking my hiney! Thankfully William and I do have a great marriage. Communication is the key to a great marriage. It's not the ONLY thing, but it definitely is a big one. I truly believe this as it's been proven time and again in our own marriage.

While at Mariah's horse lesson on Thursday morning, I learned or should I say seen a whole new lesson in a much bigger way: Words in action and action with words mean a whole lot more.

Before Mariah's horse lesson, we helped clean stalls and give feed to the horses. There is something so very therapeutic about being around horses AND cleaning their stalls! Seriously!

After this, it was time for Mariah to saddle up. Let me tell you something:

She makes it look SO EASY!!

Well, William told Mariah's horse instructor, Carol, "When are you going to get her [referring to me] up on a horse?" Umm ... yeah. Here's total honesty: I have this voice in my head that says 1. You're not thin enough to ride a horse and you'll break their back and 2. You're not ready. Here's reality: 1. I'm not too big to ride a horse. I am roughly "average" in weight now (weird to say that). 2. All horses are not created equal, just like we are not created equal. We all do different jobs; so do horses. And 3. I'll never be ready to get on a horse because I have this fear of being trampled on. What better way to conquer that fear than to JUST DO IT!

Carol said that I could cool down Leo (the horse) after Mariah was finished with her lesson. Let me just say that I seriously thought she would forget and/or wouldn't have me get on the horse. WRONG-O! Mariah finished her lesson and Carol said something like "Your turn. He needs a cool down." Freak-out mode went into affect as soon as I got up on Leo's back. It's a whole new world atop a horse!! Here's a secret: I absolutely LOVED it, besides the fact of feeling like the saddle was going to twist around the horse and I was going to fall off (no, the saddle really didn't feel like that -- it was in my imagination). Leo is an amazing horse! He use to be a cattle horse -- so to speak -- working with the cowboy to rope/round up cattle.

Have I told you how EASY Mariah makes it look to be up on a horse?? Mariah makes it look SO EASY to be atop a horse. She has amazing leg strength to get the horse to turn whichever way she wants the horse to go, something some riders don't know how to do so they use the reigns more often than using their legs. By the way, the upper thigh muscles on my legs are hurting today. What a GREAT workout!!

Anyway, the reason behind this whole blog post: Words are important. Actions are important. Sometimes it is harder to put the two together and make them mend intricately into one another. It takes time; however, BOTH are necessary for one another to be complete. We have all heard things like "Saying you love someone is one thing. SHOWING you love them is another." Looking at something and seeing how easy it is and hearing about it and talking about it is one thing. Doing it is completely different.

Take this Scripture passage for example:

James 2:14-26 (ESV)

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

With this ring ...

Happy 14th Anniversary to the love of my life. My best friend. My soul mate. 

We were young. I was 17 (2.5 months shy of 18) and you were 19. We thought we had it all figured out. We were in love and wanted to be together. I was under age and needed my parents' permission. You were leaving to join the military. You asked me to marry you on Valentine's Day 1998.

One of the most memorable parts of standing before the judge, besides looking into your eyes, exchanging rings and marrying you, was me trying to repeat our vows. I was giddy with excitement and nervousness.

Two weeks and two days later you "officially" proposed -- "With this ring, I thee wed" -- FOREVER!

 "From this day forward. For better, for worse. In sickness and in health. To love and to cherish. 'Til death do us part." I DO!!

We bought our rings. We could not afford much and that did not matter. My ring cost $20. Yours $30. We have never had to replace our rings because they have gotten lost or misplaced. They have been through everything with us.

Fourteen years is an amazing accomplishment!! We have been through the valleys. We have had to climb many mountains. We have literally gone through for better or for worse. I cannot even imagine my life with anyone else. 

YOU complete me!

Thank you, Honey, for asking me to marry you 14 years ago! I am looking forward to the rest of our lives together!! I love you ~ always and forever!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

February Photo Challenge: Day 14

Day 14: Heart

This is my yummy, "skinny" white chocolate mocha from Starbucks. Starbucks is always the best accompaniment (besides family and friends) for a roadtrip! This is also my favorite (disposable) cup from Starbucks. I think they should have this cup out ALL. YEAR. LONG. More people need to be reminded about love.
While reading the little sayings, it made me smile because the only thing that I could really thing about is the LOVE that my sweetness and I share! *smiling with a twinkle in my eye*
He is my heart.
 **Only two more days and we'll celebrate 14 years of marriage!!**

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February Photo Challenge: Days 10, 11, and 13

I'm breaking the rules. I'm skipping day 9: Front door and day 12: inside your closet. *gasp* It's okay. There's plenty more days to show you. You'll be okay. I promise. I'll even be okay. I mean it! :)

I'm going to give you THREE more days of this photo challenge. All better now? I hope so. :)

Day 10: Self-portrait
I'm not sure what it is, but I REALLY DO like this photo of me. Very bazaar since I'm not a fan of photos of myself.

Maybe I like this photo because I'm in an element that I truly enjoy: the OUTDOORS (and it's GREEN)?? Maybe it's blueyness (Yes, I do know that is NOT a real word, but I like making up new words. Ask my husband.) in my eyes? Or the slight redness to my nose (it was pretty chilly when we started our way up to the higher portion of Mt. Zion.

Day 11: Makes you happy
It makes me happy that I have a husband who (in my eyes) is the greatest father to his children. One day I'll have a photo of him teaching the boys how to shave ... and that day, I'm afraid, is coming all too quickly.

Day 13: Blue
 Two of my FAVORITE (blue) photos are these two. These photos were taken one day on a drive from Indian Springs to Las Vegas, and only taken a couple SHORT days before my sweetness deployed. I was talking with the LORD in my heart and was simply telling Him that I could not, would not, nor would I want to go through this deployment without Him.

As I looked up (I was looking slightly to the right to hide a couple silent tears that streaked down my cheeks), this is what a saw.


The first photo is a cloud in the shape of the letter "L" with a heart next to it. Love. GOD IS LOVE.

The second photo is an outstretched arm and hand (the right cloud) holding onto a hand (the left cloud). This was God showing me that He was going to hold me (for as long it takes). That He would be with me. He wouldn't leave me, nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6). I love how the right cloud is MUCH bigger than the left cloud. AND I love how the right cloud looks like it has a very muscley (<--another made up word) forearm. *Even as I recall this moment while seeing these clouds and the love the LORD spoke into my heart, I tear up.*

February Photo Challenge: Day 8

Day 8: Sun

While driving to St. George on our three day getaway (from Las Vegas); which I really HAVE to remind you that this trip was an amazing welcomed break from the dry barren land that is called the desert. *Daydreaming of some day being in a place with REAL trees, LOTS of grass, horses, brick homes, homes with siding, snow, four seasons ..........*

I'm sorry ... where was I? Right. The sun photo picture that I took on the way to our lovely three day getaway to St. George. The way the sun casts it's glorious beam of light onto the mountains. The way the mountains casts its shadows -- still wanting some parts of it hidden and not ready to start the day. I LOVE that! One other thing that I love is the way the road (yes, the ROAD) looks when the sunshine hits the pavement!!

Just in case you didn't know: I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE-LOVE-LOVE roadtrips!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The More You Know ....

On Monday, William and I went shopping. "The more you know, the more you ..." Who knows what this phrase ends in?? Any takers?? Okay, if you said "Kohl's", you're right!! *applause*

The one thing you must know about my husband and I: We do not like spending lots of money on clothes; especially if the clothes are for our three growing children! 

Anyway, they were all in need of jeans and tops. So we went shopping ... and we got


We even got Andrew a shirt off the clearance rack for $1.40! We got a $65 Vans zip-up hoodie for Andrew for $13!!

We did buy a few things that weren't on the clearance racks, but still ... would you like to hear our savings?? *Sure you would!*

TOTAL SAVED: $596.32!!!

We had a 30% off discount coupon which saved us an additional $68.23. AND ...

We had a $10 coupon which we got in the mail just for being "loyal customers"!! :)

Our total? $172.07 WITH tax!!

That's 9 items for Andrew (he needed the most). 3 items for me. 6 items for Mariah. And 4 items for Corey. William didn't get anything because he couldn't find anything that he really liked. Corey didn't get much 1. because we couldn't find anything else on clearance and 2. he already has enough clothes. His favorite item is this shirt: I got a pair of khaki capris and khaki pants, and a shirt. I couldn't find anything else that was on clearance which I liked. Wait! I take that back. I found several items that I liked on the clearance racks, but when we checked the prices they weren't marked on clearance!! Boooo for that, too, because I did like all the items that I put back. Guilt would hang over my head so bad if I would've paid those "sale" prices. Seriously.

I rarely ever go into Kohl's without a discount coupon, preferrably 20% off or more, and ALWAYS shop the clearance racks and rarely ever pay even the sale price for items ... the majority of the time it's all clearance.

I know to some this isn't huge, but we really like Kohl's clothing, the quality of the material, Kohl's "guarantee", etc.

What deals have you gotten lately??

February Photo Challenge: Day 7

I'm back with another photo from February Photo Challenge.

Day 7: Button

I was pretty stumped by this photo of the day challenge. The only thing that came to mind is to show some of the buttons that I have for use while I scrapbook. I LOVE putting some sort of 3-dimentional object on my scrapbook pages. It adds that extra flare, uniqueness, and feel (literally) to a page.

February Photo Challenge: Day 5 & 6

Hello! I'm back, and still far behind on this February Photo Challenge, but hey, at least I'm still giving it much thought and WANTING to complete it (hopefully BEFORE March 1st). :)

Day 5: 10 a.m.

This photo capture has had me stumped for over a week. I simply wanted to capture 10a.m. on a clock; nothing that I do at 10a.m. because honestly, I don't have a routine or anything of that sorts at 10a.m.

Well 10 a.m., you have eluded  me for the last time! Bwahahahahaha!!!
I sat in my Journey for 5 minutes waiting for 10 a.m. to roll around.
My time was occupied by listening to 90.1, a Christian talk radio station,
typically hosting a teaching or sermon from 9:30-10:00!
Day 6: Dinner

While on vacation in St. George, we had DINNER at Cracker Barrel -- one of my favorite family restaurants to eat at! YUMMY!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rewrite Your Tale

        Google Image Search
While watching Dolphin Tale this morning, an illustration came to me: What if we took our eyes off of our own situations, life-happenings, struggles, highs and lows, and put our eyes on those around us? Can you imagine how the world around us and the relationships we are in would change? The possibilities are endless!!

So what if the cashier at the grocery story or department store wasn't the most polite person in your day.

So what if the guy down the street has his music cranked so loud that it makes your ears bleed.
So what if that person cut you off in traffic or raced by you.

So what if you had plans to be somewhere at 9:00 a.m. and you walked out of the house 10-15 minutes later than usual.

So what if a parent at your child's school gives you an attitude.

Maybe that cashier is trying to figure out how her income from that job is going to continue to put food on the table, a roof over her kids' head, children in child care (so she can have THAT job). Maybe that (annoying) guy cranks his music to drown out his life's struggles and that's how he escapes it. Maybe your plans to be somewhere at a certain time weren't in line with God's plans; maybe He kept you from being in an accident that you could have possibly been in while traveling to that place you wanted to be at soooo badly. Maybe that parent with the attitude has had her last straw drawn, by people who have taken advantage of her politeness.

The 11 year old boy in Dolphin Tale had his own struggles. And just like that young man, we have all (at least I think so) thrown our own pity parties. I'm guilt as charged. Sometimes my own boo-hoos get in the way of me seeing those who are struggling worse than I am.

This boy (in Dolphin Tale) finds something that takes the focus off of him and puts the focus on something else. A dolphin named Winter. When his cousin comes back from war, pierced with the remnants of what war is, the boy can actually see how he was at one point, or that's how I see that portion played out in the movie.

Maybe life isn't about how sad we are. Maybe life is about helping those who may be hurting worse than us. Who may be struggling harder than us.

Maybe life is about moving past ourselves and moving closer or towards those who need us most. Sometimes in life we have to try a tad-bit harder to see past the hurts that we are afflicted by.


Take a look around.

I bet you find someone to smile at. Say "Hello" to. Ask "How are you doing, today?" What I bet you find in return is someone who is willing to smile back and to open a portion of their heart to you ... just to have someone to listen to THEM.

Song is from the ending of Dolphin Tale.

Your turn. Start over today. Don't wait until tomorrow. What will your TALE be this week? This month? This year?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thirsty Thursday

"Enter through the narrow gate. 
For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, 
and many enter through it. 
14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, 
and only a few find it." 
Matthew 7: 13-14 NIV
Bridge over the Virgin River heading to Grafton, Utah (ghost town)

Monday, February 13, 2012

February Photo Challenge: Day 3 & 4

Please forgive my absence from the February Photo Challenge. I will catch up by posting a couple photos or so per day until I am caught up.  
We went on a 3 day getaway last week to St. George, Utah.
 We completely enjoyed ourselves! There will be several photos from our trip that will be in this month's photo challenge. 

February Photo Challenge continued ....

Day 3: Hands
Our kiddos' hands. Red: Andrew. Maroon: Corey. Purple: Mariah
I can remember holding these hands when they were teeny-tiny! They grow so quickly!

Day 4: A Stranger
Stranger Ranger -- Photo taken by me. Feb. 2012.
This stranger,
a U.S. Park Ranger, 
was spotted at the Zion National Park ... 
somewhere near the Arch. :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February photo challenge: day 1 & 2

I am going to embark on my first monthly photo challenge. A sweet friend posted the link (in the photo you see below) on Facebook (not her photo a day challenge creation). I looked up the blog and here is where you can go to the gal's blog page (that did create the photo challenge. <--- this gal is not my sweet friend that I speak about.

I'm not a photographer, by any means, but I LOVE to take photos!! :) I hope you enjoy each day's view from my eye.

DAY 1: Your View Today

Connect 4 Launchers with dad!! :) I love hearing the kids play
games with dad! Our daughter was doing schoolwork;
hence, why she's not in the picture.
I'm not very good at this game, just so ya know! ;)
DAY 2: Words

These are the first words that came to mind ...
so I wrote them out and now they hang nicely
 next to the computer desk! :)

Thirsty Thursday

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
   for his name's sake.
4 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.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
Photo taken by me.