Wednesday, November 17, 2010

God's promise: rainbows, anyone?

Dear Readers,
 Recently we were in the store Kirkland's, when I overheard a lady talking to her daughter. She was reading a decoration for sale that said something like 'It is good to have a family. It is great to have a home. Having both is a blessing." She then turned to her daughter and said, "Hmmhmm...a blessing indeed. Some people have neither." (or something like that...I was 'eavesdropping' and didn't hear it all)
  This lady reminded me to be thankful as Thanksgiving dwells upon us. I am so blessed to have a great family, home, and all of you, my sweet Readers! Thank you for reading my long blog posts and for your encouraging comments.
  When we went on a mission trip last year to Mexico, we built a house for a family that was not  big. It was not fancy.
All it was was four small walls and a cement floor. Their restroom was a deep hole next to the house with a piece of ply wood thrown over it. Yet these people were so grateful for the gift  of a home, they thought it was the greatest thing in the world.
    I hope all of us are grateful for our homes and families, but sometimes it isn't very easy to show contentment. Thoughts of  'I wish I had this' and 'wouldn't it be great if I had that'  tend to invade our thoughts.
 God put us in our situations for a reason! And whether we are standing in the sunshine or pouring down rain, we need to be grateful for the gifts God has blessed us with. There is always a rainbow after the rain, so look for it today!
 If you are very blessed and feel pressed by God to share His love today, here are a few links. Help someone else find a Rainbow in their life!
 Maria's Big House of Hope is a home for orphans with special needs  in honor of Maria Chapman. Sadly, many orphans with special needs never get adopted. Check out this site and see that these kids are truly special.  I know my mom would love to bring one of these babies home-will you?

 World Vision helps children all over the world by providing them with Bibles, nutritious food, healthcare,  clean drinking water, and child sponsorships.

One Mission is the ministry our church uses when going on mission trips to Mexico.  See pictures of the poverty - be inspired to go on a mission trip. They're amazing!

 Compassion International is the organization we use to sponsor a little boy named Moris. The impact mere letters can make on a child's life is amazing. The letters you recieve will give you a heart of gratitude.
      I hope you look at  these websites and donate your prayers to the recipients of these ministries.  The children at Maria's Big House of Hope, people of Mexico and sponsor recievers  need your prayers and love most of all. Being able to help another one of God's children will be counted as one of your blessings this Thanksgiving, I'm sure.                Your Blogger,

Me and Yamulet, a sweet friend from Mexico
Carolina and I work in front of our family's old home
Two Familias

Monday, November 8, 2010

Saddle up your horses...


     Dear Readers,
 I was so blessed to be able to go to Wild West Days this weekend. Mom and I had talked about going, but then Cate got sick and I didn't even think about it being a possibility. But last night when we got home from Uncle Len's birthday dinner, Ms.Barb (Benjamin's physical therapist) had called and offered to take me with her and another girl, Alyssa, to the event. It was amazing!!

One of the sweet horses we met - doesn't he resemble Marki?
  We got to watch Mike Stacy's clinic first, where he showed people how to train their horses various things (that I didn't know and so enjoyed learning!) and answered the audience's questions. Ms.Barb explained the things I didn't understand and explained how to do a flying lead change, which I have always wanted to learn to do! (I will refrain from giving you all the family said it's another language!) 
   After the clinic, we all walked around and Ms.Barb introduced me to several horses and their people. (I was feeding them all apples, as you can see in first the picture.)
I'm in love with Mr.Big!
   Alyssa volunteers at Luv Shack, an organization that takes in abandoned and abused horses. It is a no-kill shelter and put on the training challenge event we attended next.
  Another animal rescue group was there with some of their animals.

For a three dollar donation, you could go in the animal pen and pet them. I really loved this llama in the pen, and thought I would donate and give 'Emma' some lovin'.

so sweet...

 Emma apparently did not like humans at all. She was so sweet for me,though, and let me wrap my arms around her and rub her back. Isn't she precious??
 And look at those teeth!
 Bless her heart, she needs braces...   The next portion was the Trainers' Challenge. Luv Shack gave these trainers ninety days to train these mostly unridden horses. Well, Mr.Big only had 5 days, and another horse named Sweet Caroline had only THREE days, and she was parading around the whole time with two little kids riding on her back.

I know it's blurry, but I thought it captured Mr.Big perfectly!

Do you see the shadow?

Rodeo, anyone?

If you look closely, you'll see Mr.Big's trainer is balancing upside
down on top of him - about to somersault down!

So, I had  a really great day. All the horses were so great, and I learned a ton! I missed out on a day of doing laundry, too...! 

Your horse-crazy blogger,

Friday, November 5, 2010

Who let the dogs out?!

Go Bulldogs!

 Dear Readers,
 So much has happened this October...But, of course, we've had tests to study for and a myriad of other things to do - so you don't yet know about them! Fall is my favorite season, so I will (I promise) eventually blog about pumpkin patches,  signing at the fair, Halloween and all those wonderful things.
   But right now my heart is really bursting. We have just returned from Mississippi State, and packed into this last weekend was so many wonderful things and people  that I feel nearly choked up thinking about it.

We started the trip out by eating at Little Dooey's with good friends. Uncle Len had never been and
hence found it to be heaven! After that we toured the Cobb Institute of  Archaeology for Mason.
 He is planning to major in Archaeology and later go to seminary and become a missionary.
 (I wish I had it all planned out that neatly!)  The Cobb Institute was truly  amazing. We got to touch shards of pots used in Bible times, and examined artifacts from Israel. Mom wants to changs her major!
   After that one of Dad's Fraternity brothers, Pete, led us through the communications department for Mom and Benjamin. Mom  was a Communications Major, ans so she enjoyed seeing some of her old professors.
She says it looks nothing like it did when she was there,though. Macs instead of typewriters. A computer room instead of a dark room. I wonder how much State will have changed when I've graduated and take my kids there...
  We went to the Lodge, and saw so much maroon! It's nice to go someplace decked out in MSU clothes and not have people say "Are you for Michigan?"
 After that we went to eat at Harvey's (the restaurant Mom and Dad went to after he proposed) with
 our dear friends Miss.Trish, her brother Mr.Butch ,and his wife Mrs.Susan.
Here's half the table! Dad, Cate , Miss.Trish, Mr.Butch, and Mrs.Susan are all on this side!
We truly had a great time! Miss. Trish is Mom's friend and mentor, and with her we have gone to Disneyland,  and she has come to see us in almost every part of the country we've lived. We count our time with all of  them as precious!
Dad and I at Oby's - the best!

 Saturday was game day!
 Grammie drove to our hotel in Columbus to see us, and with her she brought some delecious blueberry doughnuts! (My mouth is still watering...) We were all so happy to see her- and took her out to eat at
 our favorite, Oby's, for the occasion! We had some delecious sweet tea and sandwhiches, and had a lot of hugs as well! (I promise this post will not all be about food!) I rode in the car with her on the way, and by the time we got there my mouth was dry from all the talking! I'm pretty sure her ears were numb from all the listening! 
Grammie with her kiddos!
 Now, back to game day. It was amazing! The atmosphere at Mississippi State is so great. We got to see a ton of sweet people, and by the time the ball game rolled around we had seen everyone on campus and hugged their necks, I'm sure! Mrs. Susan was so amazing and got us side line passes.
We were mere feet away as the players warmed up, and even got to pet Bully! (All I had wanted the whole time was to hold a bulldog's chubby head. I was so lucky - I got to hold Champ's!)   To end our perfect trip the bulldogs won the game!  Following are a few photos from our memory-filled trip.   Your Blogger,

Don't we NEED a bulldog?

The Shraders, Champ, and his handler (I want that job!!)


Mom made this beautiful reminder to-