Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 aftermath

Libbey smiles and ponders this great event

Delaney helps me focus the camera (and does a little goofing off)

Faith and her Mrs. Potato Head glasses

Told you I danced in the rain

Barefoot too!!  (Did you do that, Emilie?)

HAPPY 12/12/12!!!!!!!!!

It's here.

It's a wonderful day today!!  Also a sad one--this is the last triple-repeating date until 2101--so we need to celebrate (cheers)!  I'll bet there are a lot of weddings happening today...and some lucky babies being born too.  It would be cool to say, "I was born on the last triple-repeating date of the century."

When you're done reading this, please note that I posted this at 12:12 pm.  On 12/12/12.  I'm so number happy today! :D

Today I am celebrating with music, school, work and normal daily life as I know it.  It's also raining (I laugh, Emilie will understand).  Tonight we might go to a logic class with some of the other families in our church, and if we do that than we should do something special during or after it...

Also, I danced in the rain in my front honor of my dancing-in-the-rain friends (Maddie and Emilie). <3

May you all enjoy this special day to the fullest!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Top 10 best books I read this year (Part 1)

 Canon Eos Rebel T2i/550D Digital Field Guide by Charlotte K. Lowrie
I don’t usually read manuals or directions when it comes to using something…I just like to figure it out.  But when I got my new camera, I eventually realized that my own “intelligence” wasn’t going to cut it when it came to all the manual settings, ins-and-outs and little features of my camera.  My friend Holly got this for my birthday this last summer, and boy, have I put it into use!  I have MUCH more to learn, but this guide has got it all.  From finding the “On-Off” button, to learning the A-DEP mode, to histograms, exposures and lighting, and getting good angles with portraits and landscapes, this book has been a lifesaver for my photography experience.  If you have a Canon Rebel T2i, this is a great book to have alongside it!

Song of the Nightingale by Helen Berhane, with Emma Newrick
This true story about the fight for faith amid persecution was a poignant reminder to me that Christian persecution is a very real thing for millions of people.  Helen Berhane was in prison for over two years in horrifying conditions and suffered brutal torture, all because she refused to deny Christ.  She was a zealous woman on a mission to help others to Jesus, and not even prison would stop her.  I was inspired to share my faith with others through her testimony, and her boldness made me ashamed of my timidity at ministry opportunities.  This nightingale has a truly beautiful life story that changed my view about living a life totally given to the Father.  This piece of literature is a real challenge for the Western Church.

“’Why,’ one of the guards asked, ‘are you just writing what is written in your Bible?  Why don’t you use a common language, rather than these complicated words?’  He ordered me to stop writing letters to other prisoners.  I said, ‘I was arrested because I preached and spread the Gospel, and even now I will not stop.  I will continue to write and speak about my faith.’  So they put me in solitary confinement.”  ~Helen Berhane 

Unveiling Islam by Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner
When I saw this book in a VOM magazine, it really intrigued me (not to mention that the lady’s eyes are incredible!!).  When I got to read it, I found it very interesting that the authors included strategies on how to have productive dialogue with Muslims and how to have a respectful friendship with them…which would make it easier to witness to them.  This book also sheds light on Muslim beliefs, the differences between the Bible and the Qur’an, and speaks of the history of Islam.  I thought it was an interesting read by and large, as well as educational and absorbing.  I would imagine that this would be a valuable resource to have for Christians in close contact with Muslims, and also missionaries serving in Islamic countries.  

Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter
I was so excited when I found this 1881 copy at the local “junk sale” for $4.  I’m always fascinated with European history, and Scotland was a particular favorite.  This was, of course, a very long read—652 pages—and it did begin to drag for me by the 400th page or so, but the plot was very good and the storyline was enthrallingly depicted.  I especially love that it was a factual story.  This would probably be ranked at least a high school level book, with a 19th-century text and long sentences that demand total concentration.  Any book lover would be pleased to own this classic book!!

“The men had seen their leader fall; they doubted not the words of his brother; and with a shout, exclaiming, ‘Wither you lead, we follow?’ all at once turned towards him.  ‘Seize the traitor’s artillery!’  At this command they mounted the hill; and the archers, little expecting an assault from their countrymen, were either instantly cut down, or hurried away prisoners by Athol and Buchan; who, now, at the head of the whole division of the Cummins, galloped towards the Southrons; and with loud cries of ‘Long live King Edward!’ threw themselves en masse into their arms.”  ~Scottish Chiefs

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
One of the most fascinating women in history not only overcame her deaf-blindness, but she went on to write books, including her autobiography.  I read this after I saw “The Miracle Worker”, and found it to be extremely well written and informative.  Helen Keller describes her life as a deaf-blind woman in a way that was intriguing and moving.  I felt as if I experienced her struggles, breakthroughs and joys with her.  As I read her book, I quickly forgot about her disability, especially since she wrote of the world in such detail that it sounded as if a seeing, hearing person was expressing it.  Over all, I would highly recommend “The Story of My Life” for all age.  It made me very thankful for the gift of all five senses, as well as the gift of life itself.

“My Teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her.  How much of my delight in all beautiful things is innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell.  I feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the footsteps of my life are in hers.  All the best of me belongs to her—there is not a talent, or an inspiration or a joy in me that has not awakened by her loving touch.”  ~Helen Keller

Part 2 coming soon!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mirrored Eyes

These pictures were taken a few weeks ago...Delaney took the first and I took the second.  We didn't really notice the reflections at first, as we were just going for the coloring.  What do y'all think? ~Click here for the photos~

Thursday, November 8, 2012

~Pictures~ (can't think of a better title currently)

Being in a haphazard mood, I am posting a smattering of haphazard pictures, some of the more recent ones.  Soon I'll be posting a stay in the blogosphere!

A gorgeous sunset out of our living room window

Experimenting with macro

Wednesday night family activities include changing tires (photo taken by Mrs. Becker)

For the love of books and Willow Trees

"Music is life"

The last day of summer

Sunset sisters hair

My first apple pie

(Photo credit goes to Justus Shaw)

My wonderful home

Faith, the laziest, sweetest cat ever

Video post coming soon!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Excerpt from "Poor Richard's Almanac" written by Benjamin Franklin

A man in a passion rides a wild horse.

Be always ashamed to catch thyself idle.

Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.

Deny self for self's sake.

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

Fond pride of dress is sure an empty curse; e'er fancy you consult, consult your purse.

God heals, and the doctor takes the fees.

Haste makes waste.

It is ill-manners to silence a fool, and cruelty to let him go on.

Keep flax from fire, youth from gaming.

Let every new year find you a better man.

Much virtue in herbs, little in men.

Ne'er take a wife till thou hast a house to put her in.

Observe all men; thyself most.

Philosophy as well as foppery often changes fashion.

Quarrels never could last long, if on one side only lay the wrong.

Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man.

Sorrow is good for nothing but sin.

Teach your child to hold his tongue, he'll learn fast enough to speak.

Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.

Vain-glory flowereth, but beareth no fruit.

Weighty questions ask for deliberate answers.

You will be careful, if you are wise; how you touch men's religion, or credit, or eyes.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The last half of our trip in pictures

We are now home from Maui.  It is bittersweet, for sure!  We had a marvelous time, but it's always nice to be back home.  Here is the final group of photos that tell the story...

Maui again!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Living the dream

We are in Maui, Hawaii (a.k.a. one of the most beautiful places on earth)!  We've been here since Sunday, and it's been amazingly, wonderfully wonderful.  I love this place!!  We've experienced a lot, relaxed a lot, and I could share so much but I shall refrain for now.  The photos speak for themselves a lot.  Yes, I have photos, as you can see below.  If you'd like to see more, click the obvious link at the end of the post.  For those who like lots of photos, you'll be pleasantly surprised, I hope!  Aloha!

The view from our lanai (veranda)

A pretty flower (anyone know the name?)

Wailea beach


Friday, August 17, 2012

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Haley who said, "Daddy, when I'm 16, I want to go to Hawaii and snorkel with you."

That was 8-9 years ago, and that little girl did not forget what she said.  Neither did her Daddy.  And now, 8-9 years later, here we are.  On August 26th, my family and I will hop on a 767 in San Jose and fly to Maui for a 10-day vacation!!!!!  Little girl's wishes do come true, you know.

I'm really, really, REALLY looking forward to this vacation for several reasons...Our family will be spending lots of quality time together in a beautiful place, with lots of new adventures and things to do...I will get to test my macro photography skills with my brand-new macro lens (which was a birthday gift from my Aunt)!!!!!...And we won't be bringing our instruments.  (Not that I don't like playing 2+ hours a day, but a break will be nice!)

Alright, I need to go for now.  I'll be posting pictures of the trip at some point, so keep looking for updates starting August 25th.  Have a great day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friendship and milestones

“A man of many companions may come to a ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”
~Proverbs 18:24

August 2011

“Let us not forget the dreams we share,
Forever like sisters we care.
You’ll always be a friend to me,
And that’s the way it’s meant to be.”

July 2012

“Its so hard to find the perfect breeze,
One blowing none too hard nor soft,
Carrying a scent of wild flowers,
And moving clouds about aloft.

Yet no perfection’s so hard to find
As that which you extend
And none I’ll ever treasure more,
Than to simply be your friend.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Taste of summer

I made this smoothie this morning for breakfast and decided to put the recipe on here...even though you all probably already know how to make a peach smoothie (who doesn't?).  But here I am.

Peach Smoothie

1 ripe peach, pitted
1 cup ice cubes
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup orange juice, with pulp
1 t. raw honey

Blend all ingredients together in blender until smooth and thick.  Serve at once.

Here is a picture I took of my breakfast.  A smoothie in a Starbucks tumbler...I love it!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July Celebration

I love the 4th of July!  For me, it's not really summer until the 4th.  It is so wonderful to live in a country that celebrates it's freedom.

Yesterday, our family had a nice morning swimming in the pool and eating hot dogs, baked beans and watermelon.  At about 2:00, we all headed over to the Beckers house for a 4th of July party.  Most of our church family was there, along with some new friends, and we had a blast!  We watched a film called "A Nation Adrift", which really opened our eyes to the changes going on in our country since it's founding.  There was an egg-on-spoon relay, a sack relay, games of Ollie-Ollie-Over, a slip-n'-slide and a parade with decorated "floats" (wheelbarrows).  Everyone had so much fun!

After dinner and a dessert of flag cakes, a few of us went to Mono Rock early to secure a good space to sit.  (For anyone who doesn't know what Mono Rock is, it's a large rock above Bass Lake that provides a perfect view of the fireworks over the lake.)  All the locals are either on the lake or on the Rock to see the fireworks.  It's pretty awesome!  We got a very nice area on the Rock for our whole group and more, and then we waited for everyone to show up.

The fireworks officially began at around 9:30.  I had set up my camera on Delaney's tripod and set it up manually to get what I thought would be good shots of the fireworks.  What do you know?  It worked!!  I was so excited.  MANY thanks to Mr. Becker for letting me use his remote!!!!!!!!  I was quite pleased with how they turned out.  The best part was when the full moon rose over the mountain and was in full view for the finale!

When the firework show was over, we all hiked back up the winding trail to our cars.  There were lots of poison oak sightings and we all tried to keep from touching it when it lined the trail.  I hope no one gets it!

Here's an album of pictures from yesterday.  For some reason, a few of the slip-n-slide pictures made it to the very end of the album, but oh well.

I hope you all had an equally great Independence Day!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Celebrating Father's Day!!

Even though Father's Day was yesterday, we celebrated it on Friday and Sunday!  Friday night we attended the showing of "Courageous" movie at the Oakhurst Community Center, a night especially to encourage fathers in Godliness and leadership.  It was very successful and fun!  With door prizes, essays, the movie, popcorn and candy, and good fellowship, it made a very enjoyable evening.  Dad even gave a brief testimony!

Friday night

Yesterday, after our typical Sunday fellowship gathering, we headed over to a Lutheran church to participate in a concert that evening.  Delaney and I, along with Holly and Macy Shaw, performed "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God".  It was a lot of fun, and since we went near the beginning, we could sit back and relax for the rest of the concert!

"A Mighty Fortress"

Fathers are a huge blessing in our lives.  They are to be leaders, protectors, providers, helpers, friends and many other things.  Dads are an essential part of life.  I thank the Lord for giving me such a great Father!!

I love you Dad!!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

OCSO concert pictures...

The OCSO concerts were So much fun!!  We performed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at three different churches.  The program went really well and we all played our best.

Our conductor Tim Johnson.

 The first violins.

 We got standing ovations all three nights!

Fun performance...happy girls.

Me expressing my fatigue.

~Many thanks to Chase Shaw for taking these pictures~

Braces off!

I've had braces for just over two years, and this last Tuesday I got them off!  We had two very long days in Fresno to get everything done, and our OCSO concerts have also been going on for the past couple nights (pictures of that in the next post).  In all the business, I managed to get some before, during and after braces pictures to put up.  Here they are:

Before braces...2009 

 My first day with braces...2010


Having a "checkup"...2012

Braces off!!