Saturday, August 29, 2009


Like many others, this week was the start of a new school year for us. It has been a bit challenging at times, as we all try to settle into a new routine. But, I think this year is going to be one of the best we’ve had. I’m looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us. Our son is in 1st grade this year, and is expected to do more work than he did last year, so I’m not too sure he has the same positive thoughts as me. LOL. But, we are working on having a cheerful attitude, even about the things we don’t really want to do.

The verse we have chosen for our school theme is:

Ps 113:3 - From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the LORD is to be praised. (NAS)

You may already know this about me, but I am absolutely in awe of sunsets. There are several reasons for this. One is the obvious - their beauty is magnificent! Who can deny that a sunset is very pleasing to the eyes (if you really take the time to notice it, of course).

Another reason is the fact that God’s paintings of the evening sky remind me He is still there, watching over me, and holding my right hand. It reminds me to continue praising him, no matter what kind of day I’ve had.

It is my prayer that my family and I will praise the Lord in all things, even in the trials that come our way. I hope this is your prayer as well.

(Note: I took the above sunset picture when I was a teenager, visiting a Christian camp in Minnesota. This is where my love of sunsets was first realized.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Deer Park at Grant's Farm

Our vacation is over, and I’m finally getting a chance to post another entry on my blog...

Our vacation was made up of visiting with both sides of our family, celebrating 3 birthdays, doing some fun activities in Springfield (IL), swimming in various pools, and going to Grant’s Farm in St. Louis, MO. It was a full week and a half, but it was fun, and even educational on some occasions.

One of the most memorable events for me and my family was the tram ride at Grant’s Farm. As we rode through the deer park, the animals came so close to the tram that we could almost reach out and touch them. It was really neat to be so close to them in such a wide, open area.

As my husband and I discussed this later, he brought up a good thought... If there were no sin in the world, and we had been able to stay in the Garden of Eden, life could have been like that for us. We would be walking with and touching the animals on a daily basis. They would not be afraid of us, and we would not be afraid of them. We may have even been able to feed them from our own hands.

Unfortunately, sin did enter the world, and we don’t have many chances to safely commune with wildlife anymore. So, I’m glad my family and I had the chance to at least get a glimpse of what it could have been like for us in the Garden. And, I look forward to the future, after the Lord returns, when I know the animals will be a special part of our environment.

Isaiah 11:6-9 "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea." (NKJV)

If you ever get a chance to make it to Grant’s Farm, I recommend it. But, be sure to get there EARLY! The parking lot fills up fast!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Illinios Symbols

My family and I were on a little vacation get-away this past weekend. We spent some time visiting with family, and also did some fun things in Springfield, IL. One of the interesting things we did was visit the Illinois State Museum. The picture you see is a metal statue of a white-tailed deer, standing near the Visitor’s Center. At first, I wondered, “Why is there a statue of a deer here? What significance does it have?” I later found out the official animal symbol of IL is the white-tailed deer. Aha! Then, I also found out several other interesting facts about IL. Let’s see how many you know...

State Flower: Violet (chosen in 1907)
State Tree: White Oak
State Bird: Cardinal (chosen in 1928)
State Insect: Monarch Butterfly
State Fish: Bluegill
State Fossil: Tully Monster (a soft-bodied marine animal)
State Mineral: Fluorite
State Snack: Popcorn
State Dance: Square Dance
State Amphibian: Eastern Tiger Salamander (chosen in 2005)
State Prairie Grass: Big Bluestem
State Song: “Illinois, Illinois” written by C.H. Chamberlain & Archibald Johnston