Seven, No Scratch That, Eight Marvelous Things!

Alright, the "M" post is finally here! Before I start I want to say how hard it was not to just think of things I like and put the word "my" in front of them. I was laying in bed thinking "Muh, muh, My dogs! No. Muh, muh, my country! No . . .". I'm telling you, "M" is a hard letter! But here it goes . . . Seven Marvelous Things That Start With "M"!

Marriage - I am definitley enjoying being married! My husband is pretty wonderful, and it's pretty amazing when the Lord gives you someone who will love you and stick by you through all life's troubles. It's also really freeing to be married - you can do all kinds of things together that you couldn't do alone! I think marriage is certainly a gift from God, and it's way up there on my marvelous list. I think those of you who are married will agree.


Image taken by my aunt; she did our wedding photography.

Microbiology - Yes, I am a science nerd! And I'm not ashamed to admit it. I had so much fun in my college microbiology class that I signed up to be a teaching assistant for the class the next semester! My professor thought I was a genius, and I had oodles of fun looking at little organisms through the microscope, and performing experiments on unknown bacteria to try to identify them! Ah, just thinking about it makes me feel happy.
One reason I love microbiology so much is because after looking at these amazing little single-celled organisms through the microscope, you realize just how awesome our God is. How can something so tiny, and so delicate be so amazingly complex and perfectly designed? Our God's imagination and power just amazes me, and studying science, and especially microbiology, has always reminded me of that. So yes, if you didn't know before, I am one of those science geeks!


A photomicrograph of a protozoa. Image from Biologyreference.com.

Musicals - Now who doesn't like a good musical? I love My Fair Lady, and I often have songs from the movie running through my head ("Wouldn't it be loverly!"). And then there are such classics as Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, and The King and I! I recall waking up my middle school campers when I was a camp counselor with the song "Oh, what a Beautiful Morning!" I think they liked it - not because I'm any good at singing, but because it was amusing to see their counselor bouncing around the cabin and flinging her arms wide as she sand the last line "Oh, what a beautiful daaaay!" Ah, good times.


From My Fair Lady. Image from HollywoodYesterday.com.

Mangos - I'm very fond of mangos and tropical fruit in general. Not sure why, it's just a fact.


Mangos! Image from Livinginperu.com.

Morning Glories - One of my favorite flowers. Once upon a time I bought a packet of morning glory seeds so I could try to grow some, but they never quite got planted. But I do love this flower, expecially the blue and yellow variety.


Morning Glories. Image from Wintertreegraphics.com.

Cafe Mocha's at Starbucks - Chocolate and coffee together! Enough said. I especially like them iced.


Iced Cafe Mocha. Image from Starbucks.com.


Manicotti - Mmm, Mmm! I like Italian food in general, and manicotti is one of my favorites (along with my mom's lasagna). I had this realy good chicken manicotti in alfredo sauce with Derek one time when we went to The Olive Garden. It was to celebrate buying our house, if I remember correctly. Anyway, manicotti is good stuff!


Manicotti at The Olive Garden. Image from Olivegarden.com.

Mountains - I've been a mountain girl since birth. It's in my blood - my dad has lived in our small mountain town for most of his life, and my dad's side of the family is practically famous here, because they've lived in the mountains so long. My mom didn't grow up in the mountains, but she moved here in high school, and she was hooked.
I think the Rocky Mountains are one of the most beautiful places to live - everywhere you look is like a picture. And oh, the smell of the mountains! There is nothing like the crisp mountain air in the winter, or the warmed-up wood smell in the summer, or the spicy scent of dying leaves in the fall. I love that Derek and I are able to live where we do, and I think if we ever moved I would want to be near some sort of mountain range, if not actually back in the hills. What structure on this earth better reflects the majesty of God than the mountains? Even the ocean doesn't move me in the same way.


Rocky Mountians. Image from Destination360.com.


There they are, my Seven Marvelous Things! If any of you want to do a letter post (they're so popular right now), just let me know, and I'll tag you with a really hard letter . . .

Wordless Wednesday

"M" Is Coming!

The letter "M" is coming. That's right, soon I'll be doing one of those lovely letter posts on "M", and I've been trying to think of some good stuff that starts with "M" all weekend. Unfortunately I'll be gone for the next three days. Today and Tuesday I have a temporary job until seven at night both days, and so I'll be spending the night at my Grandma's house because the job is rather far from my house. Then on Wednesday it's off to my regular job, so neither my husband nor this blog will see much of me until Thursday.
I have lots of good ideas for blog posts though, so I'll just spend the next few days brainstorming, and missing my husband - I hate that I'll hardly be seeing him at all for the first part of this week. But we're thankful for the work.
So goodbye for now, and I'll see you all on Thursday!

When I'm Old and Wrinkly . . .

This is one of those Fridays where I'm feeling rather fanciful. I've been thinking about when Derek and I retire - I know it's a long way off, and right now it's even seeming unattainable to be able to not have to work someday. But our "retirement" years to me are when our kids are grown and it's back to just me and Derek. Even if we still have to work, it'll seem like "retirement" because we're planning on doing all kinds of fun, crazy stuff in those later years when the children have left our nest! We'll just do it on the weekend if we have to.
So here are some of the things that Derek and I want to do in those beautiful years in the future, when we're old and wrinkly. . .

Geocaching - Basically high-tech treasure hunting! People place "caches" in various locations around the world and give you GPS coordinates, and you have to venture out into the wilderness to try to find the cache. Once you find it you can take something from the cache if you replace it with something else of equal value, and you write your name in the cache log. Some places are challenging o get to, so Derek and I may need to learn how to rock climb (well, Derek pretty much already knows, but I have to get alot better at it so neither of us is killed), or even learn to scuba dive for underwater locations. I think it would be super exciting!


The site of a cache in Pisgah forest. Image from the Universtiy of North Carolina website.


Hot Air Ballooning - Now, wouldn't it be fun to be able to fly your own hot air balloon? Derek and I could take the training and pass the exams to get our license, and we'd be on our way! We'd have to get a really cool balloon though - something really colorful, or maybe one of those shape balloons. I heard of one that was in the shape of a Noah's ark - that would be a fun one. Or we could just come up with something of our own. Then we could go to hot air balloon festivals around the country and show off our cool balloon, and maybe charge people to take rides in it. See it would be totally fun, and it could make us money!


Image from Wildnatureimages.com.

Travel - Of course we have to include travel here! We have a whole list of places we want to go to someday - and maybe we could even buy one of those "Thousand Places To See Before You Die" books, and that would give us even more ideas.


Seychelles - one of those places on our list. Image from Nationalgeographic.com.

And last but certainly not least . . .

Classic Cars - Buy old classic cars, fix 'em up, then take them to classic car shows! Anything from the 1930s to the 1950s would be the coolest! I LOVE old cars; I'm crazy about the 1940s and 50s, and classic cars would make me feel like I have a little part of my favorite time period for our own! The cars they had back then were so much more fun and colorful than the cars they make today - classic cars have character. You can also sell them for a nice profit if you fix them up, but I'm not sure if I would want to sell some of them - we'd have to keep a couple of the best ones for ourselves. But this would be a big thing on our retirement "to do" list - we both love the idea!


Image from Classicars.about.com.


Boy, those years when I'm old and wrinkly are going to be a blast!

Wordless Wednesday

The Estes Park Getaway!

We're back from our trip! We had a really fun time, and a beautiful Valentine's Day! I thought I'd post a few photos of our expedition to Estes Park!






At Estes Park!




We got a really good deal on the hotel, and we were able to get a suite! So our hotel room had two bathrooms and a living room and a little kitchenette along with the bedroom!




Derek bought me flowers and a teddy bear and candy hearts for Valentine's Day! We had a great day - we went out to a nice dinner and dessert, and we watched a movie and had sparkling cider - it was very romantic!






We also took an old time photo at a little shop on Main Street on Valentine's Day - don't we look good?!




We played a game of pool at our hotel too! Derek beat me! I'm pretty horrible at pool.




Some pretty scenery!




We also went to Celestial Seasonings on the way home, and we got about fifteen boxes of tea. I love that place!




My family babysat our dogs for us while we were gone, and when my mom brought them home I noticed she had trimmed the hair around their eyes (it took four people to hold them down and do it - so I have a good excuse for not being ale to get their eye-hair cut perfectly by myself). They just look so cute when you can see their eyes, so I couldn't resist posting a picture!

So those are some of our pictures from Estes Park; there are alot more, but these were some of the highlights! If you want to see the rest, you can see them in my Facebook Album. It was so nice to get away with Derek. We've been needing an escape for a while! It was a very romantic and fun adventure with my incredible husband!

The Love of God (Happy Valentine's Day!)


Ah, Valentine's Day! I must admit that I have always liked Valentine's Day; some single people can get somewhat bitter whenever anything related to Valentine's Day is mentioned, but that was never me. Even before I met Derek I enjoyed the flowers, hearts, candy, and general theme of love surrounding Valentine's Day. I will say that I did experience that little twinge of sadness at not having a special someone to share the holiday with, but I could enjoy the thought of the day anyway. Even though I used to wish for a boyfriend to bring me flowers and chocolate, the Lord knows better than me! I'm so glad that the first Valentine's Day I ever spent with a guy was with my then fiance, Derek, and now I wouldn't have it any other way.

My first Valentine's Day with someone ever was last year. Derek and I had just gotten engaged the December before, and I was still in dental hgyiene school. Derek showed up at my school and brought me flowers and a white teddy bear! My classmates were very impressed! He also bought me chocolate. Then we went out to a nice dinner and saw a movie. It was a great first Valentine's with Derek!

This year has the potential to be an even better Valentine's Day, because Derek and I have been saving our Christmas money and any extra money we could scrape up, and this weekend we're going on a trip to Estes Park! We got a great deal on the hotel; we're staying in a suite! I'm very excited to get away and spend a whole weekend with just Derek and me! We're planning on going to a nice restaurant on the 14th, and we'll see what else we'll end up doing. Estes Park has alot of cute little shops and restaurants, and we're planning on taking an Old Day picture too! And Derek also has next Monday off work, so I took it off as well, and we may stay clear through Monday or go somewhere else, but we'll be able to spend all of Monday together too. I'm super excited!

I would say that my definition of Valentine's Day has stayed the same even though my circumstances have now changed. I think the reason that I used to be able to enjoy Valentine's Day even without a guy was that I always thought of Valentine's Day as a day to focus on love in general. Not just romantic love, but also family love, friendship love, and most importantly, God's love for us. I had so much fun making Valentine's cards for all of my family members and friends, daydreaming about the day that I would get to spend a Valentine's Day with my future husband, and thinking about how Jesus died because He loves me. In reality God gave us romantic love, family love, and friendship love because He loves us! Since all forms of love spring form God's love for us, I wanted to post this hymn by Frederick M. Lehman to remind us of the expanse of that love! Let's remember to thank Him for it this Valentine's Day.

The Love of God


The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain:
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.


"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1A

To Please God

Last night Derek and I went to our church Bible study. We haven't been going as regularly as we'd like, but we decided to start trying to go every week. It was such a blessing to go spend time with fellow believers and study God's word! Last night we were studying 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22. Our church elder, Herb, who leads the Bible study called these "Admonitions On 'How To Live In Order To Please God'", and I thought they were really good things to work on in my own life. I thought I'd share this list here; you can also look up the Bible verse and read them for yourself!

Admonitions On How To Live In Order To Please God

1. Appreciate those who labor among you and have charge over you in the Lord; esteem them highly in love.

2. Live in peace with one another.

3. Admonish the unruly. (Other versions said the lazy or idle as well)

4. Encourage the fainthearted.

5. Help the weak.

6. Be patient with everyone.

7. See that no one repays evil for evil.

8. Seek after that which is good for each other and all people.

9. Rejoice always.

10. Pray without ceasing.

11. In everything give thanks.

12. Do not quench the Spirit. (I was a little confused on this one at first, but we read different Bible versions, and it was explained to me that this means not to ignore the Holy Spirit when He convicts you, or when He is leading you to do or say something. I usually pay attention when the Holy Spirit convicts me, but I don't always listen when He is calling me to some action - that is something I need to work on).

13. Do not despise prophetic utterances, but examine everything carefully. (Test everything against Scripture).

14. Hold fast to that which is good.

15. Abstain from every form of evil. (Or every appearance of evil; the Greek word there is eidos, which means "that which strikes the eye").


I thought these admonitions for living were really good, and I'm going to work on these personally; because what better goal is there than to live in order to please God?

I Was Tagged!

In addition to Wordless Wednesday, I've also been tagged to do a picture post! Here are the rules:
1. Go to your pics, choose the 6th folder and the 6th picture
2. Tell who and what
3. Pick 6 people to do the same.





This is me at the National Western Stock Show. At this point we had stopped walking around to take a rest, and we were sitting on a bench right in front of the Alpaca people. It was a realy fun day!

Okay, now I guess I need to find six other people to tag . . .

Wordless Wednesday

House, Work, and Housework

Today is a stay at home day. I'm very relieved that my temporary agency didn't call today, because I needed today off. They called me yesterday at six in the morning and told me I needed to be at the office by 7:15 AM! That may not seem like that big of a deal, but I was still sleeping when they called, so I had to get up and pull myself together as quickly as I could. My husband and I live in the mountains, so it takes me a little bit of time to get to town. I ended up getting there at 7:30, right when I was supposed to be starting my patient, and the receptionist tried to show me around. However, she works at the front desk, not with patients, so she didn't know the answers to half my questions, and the first few patients went really rough, becaue I didn't know where anything was!

And it was really embarrassing, because my third patient was in a rather grumpy mood; as he was leaving I moved the tray to the side so that he could get out of the chair, and it wasn't secured tightly. About ten of my instruments went flying all over the floor, and I was mortified, and I could tell he was thinking about how unprofessional I was! I hate it when my clumsy moments happen while I'm working.
Anyway, after a day like that yesterday, I'm so happy to have today off, especially since I start working at the office in Fairplay tomorrow! I'm pretty excited to have some regular work, even if it is only one day a week.

I was thinking about having a lazy day at home today, but on the other hand I had a whole list of things to do, so I've been working all morning. I cleaned the house from head to toe (if houses had heads and toes), and I must say, it was very satisfying! I also sprayed that pretty smelling Febreeze air freshener stuff, so it smells good too! In addition to cleaning the house, I worked out and took a nice bath and got all pretty just in case Derek comes home for lunch. And now I'm sitting and drinking a cup of coffee, and I'm pretty proud of everything I got accomplished this morning!

I decided to take some pictures of our house, because it occurred to me that alot of my friends haven't seen our house yet. So I'm going to post some of those here!








These pictures are of our kitchen! It was really ugly when we moved in, but my dad remodeled it for us as a wedding present!











These ones were of our lovely living room. The ceiling is vaulted, and I love it!




This is our wood stove, and we have really been using it to help heat our house this winter!




This is a picture of our room.

Well, there are some pictures of a good portion of our house, for those of you haven't come to visit us yet! Let me know if you ever want to drop by, because we'd love to have you!

A Question of Suffering

I recently stumbled across a website called Internet Cafe Devtions. This is a website that provides devotions for Christian women. They also have a weekly meme where a question is asked, and those who want to participate answer the question in a blog post. I thought I'd try it this week.

The question had to do with a story of a Missionary in the Congo who chose to stay and minister to the people there in a very dangerous time. She was attacked by a truckload of soldiers who did awful things to her, but she escaped with her life and was taken away from the Congo for her recovery. This is a quote from David Jeremiah regarding Helen's attitude about what happened to her.

"There was no bitterness within her, though Helen had experienced terrible, mindless evil. It would have been so easy to demand of God why He allowed these atrocities, when she had been so faithful to His service. But in her heart of hearts, she felt that God’s question would be, 'Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?'"


We're supposed to tell our thoughts about this question.

I think if something similar had happened to me my first response would be to ask God why He had let this happen to me when all I was trying to do was to serve Him. I would probably start out depressed and maybe a little angry. But I'm not the type to stay that way, and I think if I heard the above question I would be able to say yes, that I would trust my Lord that He had let this happen for a reason, even if I never knew why.

Not that my questions and anger would go away just like that. I'm sure I would struggle with the why questions for years to come, and there would certainly be occasional moments of anger or bitterness. But the Lord is in control of everything that happens, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) I would find comfort in that verse, that there has to be some purpose in my suffering, even though I may never know it.

It's easy to say how I think I would react now, when I'm in the safety and comfort of my living room. The real test comes when something bad really does happen to you. But I'm still confident that I would respond in a very similar way to what I described above. Though I may have twinges of anger at God, I couldn't stay angry at Him. Though my faith my be in danger for a brief time, I couldn't lose it entirely. Though I may cry out to God why He would let this happen, I couldn't turn my back on Him. Because without Jesus, what else do I have? I know that though I may react in a very negative and ungodly way at first, He would gently draw me back, hold me together in my time of weakness, remind me to just trust Him, and bring me out stronger in the end. I'm safely in the palm of His hand, and He would never let me go; the only way I could get through it would be to cling to Him. I have nothing, I am nothing without Him, and He suffered much worse for me.

The following is one of my much loved songs sung by Aaron Shust, and I think the section in bold would be my refrain through a time of suffering, and I think the thought would bring me much comfort.

"I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands one who is my Savior

I take Him at His word and deed
Christ died to save me; this I read
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my savior

That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

Chorus (2x's)
My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God: He was, my God; He is
My God is always gonna be

Yes, living, dying, let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring;
That He who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior


That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

Chorus (2x's)
My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God: He was, my God; He is
My God is always gonna be"

Feedback Requested!

Lately I've been thinking of doing some theme posts for certain days of the week. I've seen a few bloggers that do these weekly posts, and I kind of think it's a good idea. I'm hoping having a weekly theme to think something up for will help inspire me, and it will definitley make my posting somewhat regular (though I have been trying to post something new at least once a week). So here are a few of my brainstorm ideas of what I could do. Tell me what you think - I want feedback!

Memory Monday - I am one of the lucky ones who has alot of good childhood memories, and reminiscing tends to make me want to remember everything that happens to me now so that I'll have more good memories. So this might be fun.

Marriage Monday - A time to tell something I'm learning about marriage, or a good quote out of a marriage book, etc.

Nothing for Tuesdays - any suggestions?

Wordless Wednesday - I've seen a few blogs do this, they just post a cool picture and nothing else - this may be good for me if I decide to do something on Wednesdays, because that is the day that I am going to be working every week, starting next Wednesday. It doesn't take too much time to post a picture.

Thankful Thursday - Tell something i'm thankful for, something the Lord has done for me, etc.

Frugal Friday - Good deals or ways we're attempting to save money.

Fitness Friday - I'm going to try to get back in shape (I've been rather lazy lately), so this may be good just to keep me motiviated. Today would be a good day to post one of these - I just got a new workout video, and it was HARD! I was exhausted at the end.

Fanciful Friday - I've been feeling very fanciful lately, and I've been thinking alot of fanciful thoughts. This could contain anything from something I'd love to do someday, what-if statements, or just my rather artsy creative thoughts (I do have those sometimes).

As you may have noticed, there are some days where I have more than one idea listed, so I'm not going to be able to do those every day. I'm trying to pick and choose on all of these, or decide whether to alternate on some of them, or something. Not sure what I'll decide to do yet, but I'd love to hear some ideas! Tell me what you think.

I Don't Do Forwards . . . But This Isn't Really A Forward, Is It?

I usually don't like forwards. I get somewhat annoyed when a person never seems to have time to send me an actual e-mail, but I still get a steady stream of forwards from them. It's just so impersonal.
However, recently I have recieved a few forwards from my mom. These forwards do not bother me, because my mom only sends them to me if she gets one that she thinks I will find interesting, and she also writes a nice little note to me at the top of the forward. Aren't moms great?
Any of you who I e-mail occasionally should rest assured, I will not send you forwards unless I think they are important, and I will always send a nice little note at the top along with them!
Here are some of the forwards I have recieved recently. I am only sharing them because I thought they were kind of neat, so here they are!

1. Amazing Inauguration Photo!
Link: http://gigapan.org/viewGigapanFullsc...648c2b4b06233c .
This actually is pretty cool! I don't particularly care for President Obama, but the picture is pretty cool, and I'm told that if you look closely you can see snipers hiding on rooftops! If you use the cool little zoom in feature it makes whatever portion you zoomed in on really clear, almost like a whole new picture. that camera must have been really expensive!


2. Second Ammendment (Quick) Poll
Link: http://www.usatoday.com/news/quickquestion/2007/november/popup5895.htm .
This is really important guys. USA Today is doing a poll on whether the Second Ammendment does indeed grant individuals the right to bear arms. I think the Second Ammendment is pretty clear - I am rather shocked that this is even in question! The right to bear arms is very important - it would be a sad and scary day if the goverment was ever able to take that away. We need to support our constitution and defend our rights as Americans - if they take away our right to bear arms, what will be next? Here's your chance to make your statement.


3. Interesting Ice Cream Analogy
I did find this rather interesting, and unfortunately it is all too true.

From a teacher in the Nashville area


We are worried about "the cow" when it is all about the "Ice Cream."

The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade this year. The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president. We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote.

To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members. We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have. We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot.

The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids. I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia's mother.

The day arrived when they were to make their speeches, Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best. Every one applauded. He sat down and Olivia came to the podium.

Her speech was concise. She said, "If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream." She sat down. The class went wild. "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream."

She surely would say more. She did not have to. A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn't sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it. She didn't know. The class really didn't care. All they were thinking about was ice cream.

Jamie was forgotten. Olivia won by a land slide.

Every time Barack Obama opened his mouth he offered ice cream and fifty-two percent of the people reacted like nine year olds. They want ice cream. The other forty-eight percent know they're going to have to feed the cow and clean up the mess.



4. A Mother is a Mother
This was just really cute and amusing! If I knew who took the pictures I would mention them here, but that kind of info tends to get lost in forwards. This is a mother squirrel as she saves her baby.



















As I said, I usually don't do forwards, but these were kind of good ones, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to pass them on . . . and to all who may be reading, consider this the personal note at the top! Hope your day is blessed!
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