Sunday, January 30, 2011

Family time in Flagstaff

   Dear Readers,
 We have just gotten home from a marvelous trip to Flagstaff! Even though Dad had to work, we still had a great time just being together. And Mom planned some pretty fun activities for us to do during the day!
   Cate has been DYING to see snow. So, Dad has been planning for some time to take her up to Flagstaff on one of his numerous trips to take care of the kids up there.  When we got there, the snow was a little 'harder' than we had expected...
 But we had fun nonetheless!

The Lowell Observatory was really very fascinating.
The Lowell telescope was housed inside a dome, both of which were hundreds of years old. The dome was wooden and built by two men who owned a bicycle shop. They made it flat on top!
Also - you see the wheels there on the wall? Well, they thought they could put salt water underneath them, so that when the groundkeeper pulled the dome open, it would be less tiring. This worked great - for the first couple of days! After that, well, I'll just show a picture.

Those are some serious water stains!!
When Lowell died, he let his wife determine how to use his money. She decided to spend 40,000 dollars on a grave marker for him. Hmm, his telescope was only 20,000 dollars!
The grave...

  The first time we went to Flagstaff, I fell in love with this adorable church. Mom was kind enough to stop the car, let me get out, and take pictures. So of course I had to share!  I'm so grateful for a mother who understands such things... 
 We  had to bring just a FEW books with us. Really, they were each a necessity for our one full day -two night trip. We may or may not be guilty of stopping at a Barnes and Noble  while in Flag,too...

One of my favorite things was watching the scenery change. Though it is VERY hard to take pictures in a moving vehicle, as I suppose I learned the hard way, I kept trying  to capture the change from desert to forest. Oh, I love living in Arizona! God is so creative.

We went to eat at a little mexican restaurant called Casa Bonita, and it was SO good. But, more than the food, I think we will all remember that restaurant with fond memories because of the laughs we shared there. We had such a great time together - I'm really blessed to be a part of this amazing family!
Cate loved drawing in the frost - a treat you can't enjoy in Phoenix!

Well, my Readers, I hope you enjoyed seeing my pictures and hearing of the fun we had in Flagstaff!
 Your Blogger,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

ASL news

  Dear Readers,
   The Shrader family has the crud. This cold thing attacked Dad, then Cate, now Mom and Benjamin.
     But I'm not here to blog about the crud. I'm here to blog about an amazing girl who took an inspiration and ran with it. I just saw a news report about Allyson Townsend. She is a young girl who grew up with a friend who was Deaf.  This friend asked her all these questions about what it was like to listen to music, and how do you know how long to hold the words out, etc. So Allyson interpreted a song into American Sign Language (ASL). Her friend loved it. And soon, Allyson had tons of videos out on YouTube. Along with many,many followers. Most of whom are Deaf.
  Now, Allyson is a teacher for Deaf second graders and has a major in Deaf Education. She continues to share the gift of music with others who can't hear it.
  A news story featuring her as ABC's 'Person of the Week', caught my eye in the video bar of Yahoo. I soon found the story on ABC, which you can go to here.  The video they show is filled with so much passion and expression. I felt like I should take notes!
  Really, I'm blogging about this because all year I've struggled with becoming the person God wants me to be, and how to do the things God wants me to do. I know I have a passion for animals, music, and sign language. My question is - how do I use that to further God's Kingdom?
  Although this news report certainly didn't answer my question, it encouraged me. Allyson started out a lot like me and now is helping Deaf people worldwide. What a great ministry!
The amazing Interpreters on the Disney Cruise and I
  I hope it encouraged all of you, too. And I hope you're having a great (crud-free) Saturday!                                                     
 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” - Matthew 7:7-8
 I've asked God to lead me where HE wants me to go and I encourage you to do the same! He won't let you down.              Your Blogger,


Monday, January 17, 2011

The Little Moments and Mississippi Melts

      Dear Readers,
 Yesterday was a lazy Sunday for the Shraders. We woke up to Mom making waffles, so of course everyone was in a good mood! After breakfast I attempted to write my most inspirational post yet. However, after trying to find that perfect excerpt from my 'Sister Freaks' devotional, I wrote a long post that after a quick run through, I promptly deleted. So, if you scroll down, you will see a small entry about Jesus, with an excerpt from the Bible, which was really the devotion book I needed yesterday.

Moving on:   In case you don't already know, Mississippi Melts are a cookie recipe my sister and I made up. Filled with pecans and white chocolately goodness, we decided to make them last night.

Cate is the amazing pecan chopper. Here are her little hands hard at work. As we baked, she turned to me and said " I love doing this. Making cookies with my sister." Aww... I love you, Cate!
The rest of the day Mom and I went a little blog crazy. She redid her blog, and did a gorgeous job. The Blessing Counter's new header is designed by her! So is mine...
 I must confess, though - my new background is called the Christmas Quilt. It has nothing really CHRISTMAS-y about it, though, so I thought it looked perfect for winter. I got the 'be a deer (yes - deEr!) leave a comment' blinky, too. I hope y'all enjoy! Well, I'm sorry if that was a bit boring, I just had a need to share our  do - nothing yesterday.  After all, it's the little moments that are special, right?
Your Blogger,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Penny for your thoughts?


         "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!"
  1 John 3:1

 Dear Readers,
 I've just spent   two forevers flipping through my devotion, Sister Freaks, starting to write down one story, and changing my mind. I started to write another, and changed my mind. Trust me, though - this is a good book. I've read about a Deaf missionary, a young girl who escaped the religion of Islam to come to Christianity, and Joan of Arc.
  All the stories are truly inspiring, but I've decided to take a little break from it, and to study the most influential person in all history. So, here is a little excerpt from the Bible about Jesus.
                "This is the Testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God   so  that you may know that you have eternal life." 1 John 5:11-13

I would love it if each of y'all commented with the most influential and/or inspiring person in your life! Also, if you don't have an account, you can comment as anonymous.  Your Blogger,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Photo Booth

   Here are some pictures - it's taken forever to download, but here they are! The above photo was taken in a photo booth at our old favorite movie theatre. Such fun!

 The Famous Maroon Band 
Go bulldogs!!
We had so much fun at the FCA breakfast!

My touchdown!

Our groovy van- complete with bright lights, blinds,
a magazine holder, and our own little sofa!

We rode over to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter-
it was very realistic.

Cate loved the ride 'Flight of the Hypogriff. It was  a lot of fun, and the hypogriff was adorable!
I hope you enjoyed this little corner of our vacation! We had a great time, and I really loved sharing this with you! Your Blogger,


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ringing in the new year!!

Dear Readers,
  We recently came home from Florida. It was so amazing to see all the MAROON!
  The bulldogs won the game, too! Actually - we schmooshed Michigan! There was a point, though, when we had clearly gotten a touchdown and the referee was challenging it. I took a picture that proved we were in the inzone, and would have gladly shown it to the referee if necessary. He, however, came to his senses and found the truth of the matter. I felt like it was MY touchdown!

   We had an amazing time in Jacksonville. We met with sweet friends, watched that amazing game, and reminsced about the 3 months we lived there. We met with our Sunday school teacher, Mr.Gary , who made our day by coming and visiting at Panera. And then we drove away in our huge accessible van with it's runway lights to visit Harry Potter. We had a great time at Universal as well. No, it's not Disney, but Dad and I laughed and laughed on the 'One fish, two fish' ride. (We're not too good at following instructions and ended up soaked!)  And we marveled at the thrilling Harry Potter ride and VERY realistic Hogwarts Castle.
   It was all so realistic - from the butterbeer and pumpkin juice to the storefronts and owl post.

  I  also  loved  the rustic and old fashioned feel of the place. Later,we ate at Bubba Gump and Tchoup Chop,  which were both delicious. But for me, the best part wasn't winning the game, ( though that helped!)  or riding rides (still a ton of fun!), but that we had several days just to be a family.   Your blessed blogger,
 Please read: this trip was so much fun, I felt that words can't do it justice. And, they really didn't. That's why I made it short - in order to include loads of pictures worth 1,000 words. Blogger, however, isn't working properly  and I have to post this without photos. But never fear - I'll   post again with all 880 pictures I took!