Monday, October 31, 2016

Finishing California

You can be glad that I'm finally done with this CA trip, although three posts of it is not that bad. Anyway, if you're not happy, I am!!

Day 6. We went over to Josiah and Cindy's in the morning and took a LOT of pictures mainly of Johanna. Then we went to Golden Gate Park and walked around there before going to Gang Nam Chicken for Korean food. We walked down the street to Bambu for some weird stuff and Hawaiian ice cream. We finished the day with amazing chocolate cake and Christmas presents! Bye to my kin!
Dad's picture of the Princess at her home. (All picture credits for this day go to Dad.)
 Can anyone deny that she is adorable!?
Josiah and his girl at the park. 
If I'm not a proud aunt, than I don't know what I am!

From this picture you would think they were a perfect family. Pictures can be deceiving!

I did hold her, but not for long, and we had to keep her busy!

The next day we flew back to The U.S.--I mean, North Carolina!
I'm glad to be back, but I wish I could see them more. Anyway, it is what it is! 

God bless you all!

California Continued

I got through day 3, so I'll begin with day 4.

Day 4. In the early morning, Gabriel, Hannah, and Priscilla left for Minnesota. The rest of us had breakfast at our hotel and Josiah came to eat with us. He stayed and we talked for a while. We didn't do much that day. We went to the airport to get a new vehicle (a Kia), walked by a creek, and went to Gyro Town with Josiah and Johanna (Cindy wasn't feeling well).
We saw a rainbow on the way the the airport.

Eucalyptus trees on the creek pathway. 

There were a lot of egrets at the creek.

Gyro (pronounced yir' oh)Town was amazing. 

The fries were great. 

Johanna looks blankly from her car seat. 

Day 5. On Monday we went to Lobos Point with Jesse and his girlfriend, Annaliese. We did a lot of walking around the point and watching the huge waves and wave splashes. We finished the day with Taqueria Los Gallos for some Mexican delicious. Jesse ordered a burrito. He didn't know how huge it would be: probably 10" long and 4" thick! It was a real log! Sadly, I didn't get a picture to prove it.
A wave crashes against the rocks. This picture might be from Dad.
Have you ever seen the inside of a kelp stem? We saw a ton (probably literally tons) of the stuff. 
This is Bethany doing a pretty cool jump in my opinion. My jumps are anything but epic!

This is the old whalers's cabin. That tree on the corner was huge: it even grew into the cabin!
This picture doesn't show just how big that splash was, but Lydia is running away, so that might be a clue. 

I'll end the day with this picture that Dad took of Annaliese and Jesse. 

God's beautiful creation and majesty were certainly obvious wherever we were in California. It really is a beautiful state. 


Monday, October 24, 2016

Going to California

On October 13th my family and I started the day in NC and ended it in CA. We had all the children and Mom and Dad together for the first time in almost two years. I am so thankful to God for the good times we had together and the memories that I certainly made.
I 'll try not to wrote too much and just give you basics of what we did each day.

Day 1.  We sat in the airport half the day because of plane trouble but got to California safely.
Lydia waiting drowsily in the airport.

Day 2. We sat at the hotel talking to Gabriel and Hannah for a while, then went out to eat at Hong Kong Lounge for some Dim Sum (a Chinese way of eating). Later we went to a coffee shop and saw Gabriel's friend from MN.
Mom, Lydia, and Gabriel in Hong Kong Lounge. 
The Coffee shop. How do you like those wild boar heads on the wall! 

Day 3. On Saturday we piled into the 15-passenger that we rented and went to Yosemite National Park. Josiah, Cindy, and Johanna were going to drive separately, but they got out a little late and we never even saw them at the park! We only had a short time there, but we got to hike some. Gabriel was the only one who made it to the end of the Vernal Falls trail.
Looking down at the creek. 

Gabriel always has to do something risky (not that this is that bad, but...). 

The sun shining over the huge cliffs. 

Vernal Falls (I didn't reach the top). 

This was the only day we got altogether as a family. Photo credits to Dad for the next two.
Sometimes we're a little strange. 

Back row left to right: Bethany (17), Dad (58), Mom (55 almost 56), Priscilla (21), Jesse (29), Jesse girlfriend Annaliese, Hannah (23)
Front row left to right: Me (19), Gabriel (24), Lydia (11), Cindy with Johanna (8 mo.), and Josiah (28). 
How much have we changed since nearly 2 years ago (the last time we got a family picture)?

The next days will come later!

Don't forget to get out a little and enjoy God's beautiful creation and autumn glory today!

Friday, October 7, 2016


It is good to reflect on what God has done in the past. You will be reminded of His faithfulness and encouraged for what He will do in the future.
"But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him."
Psalm 89:24

When we reflect, we remember that if God was with us then, He will be with us now. He will never leave us.
"For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Hebrews 13:5

Take some time today to ponder God's mercies to you.
"They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness."
Psalm 145:7

Life gets a little crazy and we don't slow down enough. There is joy in the Lord in resting in Him.
"Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope."
Acts 2:26

Enjoy some resting and pondering this weekend!
God bless you all!


God's Gracious Gift

Karise. A beautiful young lady in her early 30s when God took her to His eternal, heavenly kingdom. A bright smiler almost all the time. A persevering woman who continued to write faithfully to her pen-pals even in severe sickness and weakness. She was my pen-pal, she was my friend.
Meet Karise Gina. 
Karise (on the right in the blue) with her family several years ago.

I met her when I was very young, but was never very close to her. I knew she had some kind of sickness but didn't really know what. In early 2011 I heard that she was going through a particularly hard time so I sent her a letter. That was the beginning of about 4 years of writing back and forth. 
I learned a lot about type 1 diabetes during those years. You see, when Karise was younger (I believe at age 11), she was diagnosed with the disease and as she got older, she got sicker. 

Karise was one of my most faithful pen-pals, and I loved to get her letters in the mail.  Through writing to her, I learned much about Karise. She loved to dance, although, she had become so weak from her sickness that she couldn't dance as she got sicker. She also loved the color green, the mountains, the beach, butterflies, and cooking. 

Last year on this day, October 7th, Jesus took Karise home to be with Him. This day is also my half Birthday. I like to think that God did that for me. I was sad and still am because I miss my friend, but I am glad that I will see her again. I am mostly glad for her because she is well along with her grandmother, Princess Ruby, and my brother, Micah, and so many more. 
Karise and Princess Ruby, another good friend of mine. 

I am so thankful that I knew Karise. I will never forget my dear friend.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Matter of the Heart

A lot of people call themselves Christians, (or Muslims, Hindus, atheists, Buddhists, or others for that matter), yet they do not really believe what they say they believe. I can tell you I am Christian yet not have a love for the Bible and God Himself. I can go to church yet not pray or live for Jesus. I can go on mission trips yet do it just for a cultural experience. I can say one thing yet be another.

This morning in my Bible time, I came across a verse I had underlined. It is one of my favorites.

"But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
Romans 2:29 (added emphasis)

This verse speaks of a heart issue. In the early days of Christianity, many of the believing Jews thought it was necessary for believing Gentiles to be circumcised, but here, Paul clearly points out that it is a heart change. Salvation is love for God, not the praises of men. Truly saved people do not hope for people to look at us and point out our good deeds, but rather to see what we do and look to Jesus themselves. 

Salvation has to be in the heart, not just the head. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

All the Credit to God

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). 
Every praise should ultimately go to God. He is our hope, our salvation, our guidance, and much more. He gives us all that we need, and we need Him most. 
God never changes, He never fails, never stops moving and working for His glory. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

"Official" Senior Portraits

Who needs "senior portraits"? It is such a vein thing to do, anyway. It's all about ME! Me, me, me! Well, I'm afraid that, even with my convictions on the matter,  I have also fallen prey to this self-centered practice. However, senior portraits are unique in our family. .  .
Our family doesn't normally hire a photographer for senior portraits, and we are home schooled, so when you put the two together, you do "senior portraits" a little differently than most people. (This is more true for us girls.) You see, once we start getting to the age of graduating, we start thinking about those pictures, and just about any time Dad has his camera, we'll say things like, "Oh, this would be a great place for senior pictures!" Therefore, we end up with, not one senior photo shoot, but several!
Below are a few of my random senior pictures from various places and times.

Dad took this one at the Lower Cascades at Hanging Rock an NC. 

When we were in CA in March this year, there were great opportunities for senior pictures. I believe Lydia, my 11 year-old sister, took this. 

This wasn't exactly a senior picture, but every year on my Birthday since I was probably 13, I have my picture taken at this azalea bush. Lydia took this one this year. 

I know there have been other ones, but I cannot find them on this computer. Anyway, you get the point, senior pictures might be in the process for a year or so before the actual graduation. I finally did graduate, and when we went to the mountains on Labor Day, Dad took what I would say were my official senior pictures. Below is a sample of my Dad's photography skills. 

A little messy...

Of course the location does a lot to make the picture good, and I can tell you, South Mountain was beautiful!

Maybe my favorite!

The eye-catcher might be the creek in this one, not me!

Well, there was a lot of me in this post. I will have to do posts without me at all for a while to get the taste out of your mouth!
However, I will say that when you go to the mountains, you really feel close to God and have opportune time to give glory to Him for His amazing beauty that shouts out in creation. 

Have a good Sunday!