We really loved our time in Boise. What a great/fun town! A small town, yet has just about anything you would like to do, including an uptown with restaurants, entertainment, arts, lots of parks and so much more! We left Casey and Tony in Boise to wait for their furniture, and Brian and I headed for the Oregon coast. In my years of traveling throughout the US I have been in every state west of the Mississippi (and almost all of those to the east!) but for some reason I kept missing Oregon! So that was on my “list”…and since Boise is soooo close, it became my priority for this trip!
Brian and I took a short three day trip – our destination was Newport, Oregon. We found a great motel on the beach – Hallmark Resort, for an awesome price, since it was not yet the “busy season”. We were fortunate to have great accommodations right on the beach front, including an amazing view, a great restaurant and a very friendly staff!
Of course, I am all about getting pictures, but Brian’s fun came from visiting micro breweries (actually, very interesting!), having a fabulous crab dinner on the beach, and driving up and down the coast. Besides taking (lots of) photos, I enjoyed visiting the cute little shops…especially the jewelry shops. Gosh we had fun, and could have stayed for days and days!
One of my main goals was to capture a beautiful sunset on the beach, and God generously blessed us with one of the best! For some reason being by the ocean makes me feel the power of God so much more vividly. The gorgeous trees and the mountains and beautiful valleys are a fantastic vision of God’s glory and power, but for some reason it is the ocean that moves me most and blesses me as I revel in the creative genius of God.
This Oregon trip was a blessing beyond what I imagined…and we really thank our beautiful daughter and amazing son-in-law for the opportunity. We miss Casey and Tony like crazy, but hope to plan many more trips out west.
Driving through the Cascades, on the way to the coast…
The forests are so thick that sunshine is hard to find! The moss that grows is absolutely beautiful!
A sweet little town we drove through up in the mountains…
LOVED this tree…though I’m still trying to find out what kind it is!
Our first stop by the ocean…somewhere near Florence, Oregon. So beautiful!
It was a cool day, but the seals enjoyed climbing up onto the rocks and doing a little sun bathing!
This was a gorgeous little bay…along Highway 101, heading north.
We weren’t expecting to see whales…but we did!!!
This guy wasn’t catching much, but he was enjoying it anyway! We enjoyed it too! So beautiful.
Dinnertime, in Newport, Oregon. Just a little restaurant along a fishing pier. Great food!
My first encounter with “rock fish”. Amazingly delicious!
This little fishing town is right in Newport. We crossed the bridge (background) each time we would go from our motel along the beach to town.
And finally to our motel…Hallmark Resorts. We were right on the beach…a beautiful long stretch of beach looking out on the Pacific Ocean. It was gorgeous, gorgeous!
You have to see people down there to get an idea of how vast the beach is!
We met a cute, young couple who were at our same motel on their honeymoon. They stopped us and asked if we would take their picture. Oh, they were so cute! Anyway, then they asked if we would like them to take our picture as well. Um….ok!
Our hotel, looking at it from the beach. Yes…it is a BIG hotel!
The sun beginning to set. This is what I was waiting for all day…
We aren’t ones to “high road” so to speak. We’re more of a “go the extra mile” kind of folk, and that’s what we did on our way to the Oregon cost from Boise! No highways for us! Back roads, mountain passes all the way for us!
We like it like that. It’s quiet. It’s scenic. And you definitely run in to some quirky little scenes.
Like this little town.
Which actually isn’t really a town at all!
It is all just a “front” for a little fenced in area where “someone” keeps their animals! There were some goats, and peacocks and I don’t know what else…
What I had fun doing was looking the cute little set up that “looked” like a town, but was really just a 2 dimensional front!
Nothing I LOVE MORE than a person with a sense of humor, and really going out of their way to let other’s enjoy it!
Oh…now that I think of it…it’s really the best mountain top livin’ on the OTHER side of the Rockies!!!
The Capitol Building in Boise is absolutely beautiful! The construction began in 1903 and was completed in 1920. The builders used four different kinds of marble; red marble from Georgia, gray marble from Alaska, green marble from Vermont and black marble from Italy. The cost of this building was $2,098,455. in the early 1900’s…can you imagine what it would cost today?
The most spectacular feature of the capitol building is the dome. Yes, it is amazing!
From this picture you can see that the building has 4 floors. The columns are amazing, but they are not solid marble!
From the top we could look down the street and see (way in the background) are the foothills. They are really beautiful. The building at the end of this street (look closely!) is the Boise Depot. I will post about that later!
It was a “blue bird” kind of day!
One of the things I enjoyed about Boise was the very “artsy” downtown area! There were street vendors, musicians, open-door businesses and lots and lots of little coffee shops! It felt much like the West Coast.
Since Casey and Tony now live in Boise, I am pretty sure we will go back. And I’m excited about that, because there is so much to do!
Thanks for a fun time, Boise! (BTW, that’s pronounced “Boy-cee” NOT “Boy-zee”. I got corrected quite a few times!)
Brian and I really haven’t been anywhere since we went with Carly and Mike to Kansas City last year (http://augustblogger.typepad.com/my_weblograndom8654/2011/04/index.html), so we were excited to help Casey and Tony move to Boise. We spent 4 days driving to Idaho…through the Badlands, Yellowstone, Tetons and finally to Boise. Tony and Casey are master travel agents and they had everything planned out to a “t”! We still had the opportunity to veer off the path a bit and each night managed to end up at a nice motel, have a great meal, and get a well needed good night’s sleep!
The first day we were in Boise we went to the capitol building. Let me tell you, it was pretty impressive. We spent some time downtown as well, and it didn’t take long to get the feel of this very colorful, artsy, and super friendly town! Here are a few captures from the day:
(DO NOT read this if you are NOT a carbles player!)
1. Being “sent home” isn’t always a “bad” thing! Especially if you’re lucky enough to have a start card and a “4”!
Sometimes in life those giant steps BACKWARD seem daunting. But going back (failing) is not always a bad thing. It gives us a fresh start. Helps us to look at things differently. And often times leads us on a different path that, in the end, brings us to a much better place!
2. “7’s” are great! You can divide and conquer with a “7”! Seven is God’s perfect number! From the Seven Days of Genesis to the Seven Seals of Revelation, Scripture is saturated with the number 7. God laid the foundation of its meaning when He introduced this number in the context of His finished work of Creation. (See Genesis 2:2)
3. Do you ever wish you could switch places with someone? Sometimes another persons life (position, home, finances) look so much more appealing than your own. BUT, be aware! “Switching” is not always the best move. Having a “jack” is very exciting, but sometimes it’s just better to take the 11 steps. Remember the saying, “slow and steady wins the race”? Be careful. Jumping ahead too quickly can be dangerous!
4. A “king” will give you 13 moves! That’s the highest number possible in carbles! But, it CAN be detrimental; it may cause you to have to move beyond your “safe zone”. Are you moving too far too fast? Sometimes, in life, we need to slow down and take smaller steps!
5. A partner is great! In this game you sometimes have to forfeit a great move so that your partner may benefit. How much are you willing to give up to make another's life better?
6. For me, in carbles, the more players the merrier! In life too! I love hanging out with lots of people. I love being with those who are “like minded”. I am so blessed and happy to be able to share life with many people. My church is my main social network and is an incredible blessing to have these amazing people (partners) in my life!
7. An “ace” is worth only one point in carbles. But, it has a lot of power to get you started! You are never too small or insignificant to God! Your power comes from Him!
8. Likewise, a “king” is the largest number in carbles, but can still accomplish the same as the “powerful” ace! In the Bible it says, “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first”. Don’t let your position in life determine your “power”. ALL of your power comes from God, not a “lucky draw of the cards” or “roll of the dice”.
9. Winning isn’t everything, but it sure is fun! Carbles is a game of luck (the cards you get) and skill (your ability to strategize). Life is NOT about luck or strategy. Life is about obedience…letting God determine your move. You don’t have to be a “good player” to be successful in life. You only have to be obedient. God promises to show us the way, to provide everything we need and to bring us to a place where we can live joyfully forever and ever. The only thing we need to do is to be obedient to his call and share the knowledge of Him with others! In carbles you either either win or lose. In life with the Lord you ALWAYS win!
10. I’ve played countless of games of carbles. I can’t remember the number of games I’ve won or lost. I only remember one thing: I had so much fun playing! My life has been a series of peaks and valleys; difficult at times, smooth sailing at others; incredibly joyful, and painfully sad; good, bad. I’ve loved, and lost. I’ve conquered and failed. I’ve been on top of the world, and at the bottom of the pit. But always, always, always I’ve known Jesus to be my Savior. He ALWAYS lifts me out, pulls me up and sets my feet on a straight path. He is my protector. My advisor. My great physician. My Teacher. My Truth. My Joy. My Everything.
Enjoy a game of carbles today! More importantly, enjoy your life!
I was reading the news online this morning and I found an article about a 25 year old guy from Clear Lake that was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the death of his girlfriend’s 16 month old son. I was outraged! How could someone smother an innocent little baby? How could a grown man be brought to such depravity to bring death to a baby…someone completely dependent on the one caring for him, completely innocent, totally defenseless. What “kind” of man does that? What “kind” of monster is he?
And then I saw his name: Dennis James Angell. Yes, monster has a name.
And then his picture popped up:
I saw what looked to me like sadness in his eyes. I imagined him as a young child, perhaps a time when those big brown eyes sparkled with laughter and joy. I thought about his parents, especially his mother. Where was she? What influence did/does she have on his life? And where is his father? Does he have a father in his life?
And I suddenly felt Jesus’ gentle tug on my heart. I heard Him declare: “This too is my son. I love him. My heart grieves for the poor choices he’s made. My desire is for him to ‘turn from his wicked ways’ and come unto me.”
My outrage turned to compassion. I realized that no matter what this man has done and how “undeserving” he is of eternity in heaven, I, too, am unworthy to receive the gift of salvation that God has offered to me. Although I have accepted that gift, I am no more “entitled” to it than this man who has just murdered an innocent child.
Immediately the Holy Spirit “checked” me and showed me the judgment I had made on this young man. I repent. I ask for forgiveness. My heart swells with love for this “man” who I now see as a sad little boy. Hurt. Scared. Perhaps regretful? A love that brings me to my knees and asks the Lord for a way for this “child” to find his way to Him. For intervention. For a godly person to come in to his life and lead him to Jesus. The cross. The “already paid sentence for his crime”. Not because he deserves it, but because God desires it.
Does he “deserve” to go to prison? Yes. I do believe that our justice system serves a purpose. I do believe we must pay restitution for crimes committed. Does he “deserve” to die without an opportunity to spend eternity with the Lord? No. Because that crime has already been PAID IN FULL.
And now I think of three, young, mothers who have lost their sons.
One son a baby.
One son just barely out of his teens.
And one Son a young man in his early 30’s.
Each mother grieving. Each mother feeling the weight of “unfairness” on her young son’s life. Each feeling the tremendous pain of loss.
But only one Mother who has sacrificed her pain for you and I. And Dennis James Angell.
Dear Lord. I thank you for how you’ve moved in my heart today. Thank you for reminding me of how you love us. ALL of us. Thank you placing in me a burning desire to pray for the lost. Thank you for the opportunity to repent for my judgment. Thank you Lord, not just for what you do, but more importantly for who you are. I love you and I praise you, Lord.
Here I am again…staying up way too late knowing that in the morning I will be so tired. I keep doing the same thing over and over. I believe some have coined that as “insanity”. Yep, that’s it alright!
It was quite a successful unraveling day! I feel very accomplished in all that I did today! (Cleaning, cooking and creating!) It’s great to think about how much I got done. The only part of that is, that I had to take a day off of work to get everything finished! I wish I had this much time everyday, to work on and complete the many things like I did today, but that just doesn’t happen. Some of you are so good at accomplishing so many different things in one day, but me? I need two weekends per week to get the things done that I need doing! (Oh…two weekends per week…isn’t that a lovely thought?)
In Unravelling we’re talking about reflections. Who we see ourselves as, who others see us as, who we WISH ourselves and others saw us as, and who we like the best! I happen to like who I see, for the most part, but there are definitely things I wish I could change/add. So that’s what it’s all about, and I suppose each of you have the same sort of thought about yourself. I’ve never met anybody who actually LOVED (noticed that’s highlighted AND underlined!) everything about themselves, but I have met a few people who pretty much disliked everything about themselves. Most of those people just needed a little encouragement and some “see that glass half full” talk and they pulled themselves out of their funk!
We talked about mirrors and shiny things that cause us to see “ourselves” and it is fun to see different interpretations of the assignment to “capture your reflection” photographically. Mirrors are just the most obvious thing we might think of, but there are many, many ways to see your reflection. Think about it!
I am mostly thankful today. I would not be glorifying God if I did not love my life…what He has done and continues to do. I even love that I can say “I love my life”!
Since it is after midnight, it is technically June 14th. I am keenly aware of the date because it is the anniversary of the day my mom died. Thirty-five years ago today. It was a Monday. Sunny and warm with a bright blue sky and big white puffy clouds. I will never forget that day. A day that started out as an almost “perfect” summer day, but quickly turned into a sad and sorrowful one. It took me many years to be joyful in spite of not having my parents…especially those “big” days like my wedding day, the birth of my children, then their weddings, etc. But when you truly understand that this world is just a small part of our existence, and that passing through it is just a split second of time comparatively, then it is easy to be joyful knowing that THIS is NOT all that we are given. While I’ve wished over and over again that my mom and dad were still here, I know there is a much bigger picture and that there are many people who have passed through my life that I will see once again. And that’s an exciting thought to me.
In this life I just want to be the person God created me to be. I don’t believe you can simply “live your life” passively from day to day, and achieve what God desires of us! I believe that God wants us to seek out that which He has planned for us and that it is a lifetime of living “on purpose” that finally brings us to that place. I’m excited! I’m looking! I’m seeking! I’m studying the Word!
And for now I’m unraveling. Just to try to sort things out!
So, I just finished my second week “Unravelling” and already I’m behind. This week’s photo project was to take “reflections” of yourself…mirrors, glass windows, shiny bumpers, water, car mirrors, where ever you could get a reflection. It sounded simple enough, but I’ve struggled with it all week! I did not think it would be that difficult.
The purpose is to pay attention to yourself, and to see what others see when they look at you. And maybe that’s my problem? I don’t want others to see me! I don’t like taking pictures of myself, or have others take them of me, and there are very few pictures of myself that exist in this whole world! And even fewer that I like!
Anyway, I am becoming more and more aware of the areas of my life that I need to pay some attention to, and my “reflection” is one of them.
It isn’t the physical reflection so much, as how do I see myself? Do I see myself as others see me? Is the person I see in my reflection the same person as you see when you look at me? Those are thoughts that I’m working on this week, and perhaps trying to make some (positive) changes in my thinking.
Taken awhile ago…but this will have to do since I have not taken my “reflection” pictures yet. I’ll be working on it this weekend!
There is something about photographing an old farm that I just love. The worn wood, the fun bright reds and the exposed gray, weathered wood. Throw in a couple animals and a piece of machinery and I’m just in hog heaven! (No pun intended!)
I don’t remember where this (below) farm is, and if Brian were not already up in bed I would ask him…he remembers all of these things! But we went by it again a couple days ago, and he reminded me that we had been there once before, stopped, and was invited in by one of the ladies who lived there. They have a small flower garden in back of their property where they hold small weddings. It is quite lovely and I did remember being there a couple years ago. We didn’t go back to the little “wedding garden” this time, but I did snap a few pictures of the farm.
Maybe I was supposed to live on a farm and I missed my calling?
My first week of unravelling is coming to an end! It’s been a great week for me; one that has helped me to remember to appreciate all the little things I might otherwise take for granted. Some of these things are:
1. A visit from a friend of more than 20 years. “Sara” was just a little girl (2 years) when she and her dad moved in to our neighborhood. She became friends with my (then) little girls and even though she moved 100 miles from here when she was just 15 we are still in touch with each other and love it when we get to visit! Sometimes we go to visit with her…like several months ago when my daughter and I attended Sara’s baby shower! And sometimes she comes here to visit, like last week when she came to her brother’s high school graduation. She spent the night here with her two children and it made me happy to think about how close we still are and how wonderful her life has become!
This is Sara’s daughter, Tilly.
2. I am so blessed by my church…which also happens to be my place of employment. (A double blessing!) This week our youth ministry opened their new jr. high youth building. I am so proud when I think of the effort and prayer and thought that went in to the development of this building and ministry. There are so many young students that find Breakthrough Ministries a safe and welcoming place in an otherwise harsh and mixed up world. Amazing!
Breakthrough West – ROL Jr. High Ministry
3. I love trying new things, being creative, finding new ways to bring excitement to my life! And when those things actually “turn out” it is even more fun! I’ve been thinking about these “cake pops” ever since I had one at Starbucks one day, and was truly delighted to find a recipe. So I gave it a try (after pondering it for weeks and weeks!) and I was delighted at the outcome! I wish I had not been quite so unsure of myself (fear of failure), or I would have made them weeks ago!
4. Some mornings I wake up early (for no apparent reason!) and while it is usually difficult for me to get up (I am NOT an early morning riser), this morning I got up anyway. The first thing I did was look out my bedroom window, and noticed the orange sky. I grabbed my camera, hopped in the car and tried to capture that morning’s sunrise. Another success for me. It was so beautiful.
5. This week my husband and I took a little day trip scouring the country side, just looking for an opportunity to see something “new”. While we both grew up in this area (Central Minnesota) we both still enjoy and appreciate the beauty that this “land of 10,000 lakes” has to offer. I am thankful that I never tire of it’s beauty, and in spite of it’s long, cold winters, Minnesota truly is a wonderful place to live.
Well, that was my week. Unravelling is helping to make me more intentional about everything I do. Not just to appreciate the things I have, but to really consider what my life would be like without all of those things. And then, my intention is to give what I can, and help others enjoy everything about their own lives.
I’m beginning my “unraveling” (*Susanna C.) journey today. It is an attempt to (learn) to see my self in a different way. Not an effort to “change” myself, rather to discover the real me. (And I do mean REAL)!
I (sadly) spend a lot of time thinking about “what” I should be, and “how” I should act, instead of focusing on (and accepting?) who I really am; what I really react to; what I sincerely think about a person or situation, instead of what I think I “should” be thinking. It’s a little complicated when I try to analyze it all, but I’ve recently discovered that if I can just be honest and open then maybe it really isn’t that difficult at all? We’ll see.
I love photography. Most of you already know that! I suppose part of the reason I love it so much, is because I can do one of two things (depending on my “mood”). 1. I can take a snapshot of something completely and amazingly beautiful and share it with the world. I can make life look as though it is a never-ending “walk in the park”. That is what you’ll see in most of my photos. That gives me the power to express to you how truly beautiful the world I see is. My love for creation is a testimony to God, its creator.
2. The second thing I can do is to take something “not so beautiful” and turn it into something that might still make you smile, or become inquisitive about or change your mind about. I’m good at that. From a yard filled with broken down boats, to a rusty old truck, to a dilapidated building. That gives me a certain “power”…knowing that I can change your mind about something you otherwise would not give a second glance.
Ha! I’m beginning to “unravel” now. I find myself being a bit manipulative. Is my photography manipulative? I don’t want it to be.
I want it to be inspiring.
And thought provoking.
But at the same time I want it to be a representation of my real being (or of me being real.)
Being a (ever trying to become) Christian I truly and honestly can find joy in just about everything. So don’t get me wrong about that. But being completely honest with my thoughts and feelings? Not so much.
I need unraveling.
So, come back and visit if you’d like. And maybe at some point I will be someone you have not previously known! And my wish is that it will be someone you will want to get to know!
This morning I routinely made my morning coffee in my favorite green coffee cup and headed out to my favorite spot on my screen porch to begin my day. And then it hit me…SHAKE IT UP A BIT! If I’m trying to “unravel” the tightly bound ME, I’m going to have to make some changes. So…
I went back to my kitchen, pulled out a (fun) coffee cup (given to me by a friend with a great sense of humor…actually, it’s a whole set!) and re-made my morning coffee. A small change, but a step in the right direction for me. If I can make myself aware of the little ways that I can make some changes, then I can eventually make bigger and bigger changes!
So cheers to each of you! I’ve made a (small) change today!
(Today was a GREAT morning coffee day!!!)
(P.S. Do you know why most coffee cups are round? It’s because it’s very tricky drinking out of a cup with “straight” sides!!! Hahaha! Oh, life is so funny!!!)
Today was one of the most beautiful days ever! Definitely the BEST day of 2011! I was still not completely convinced that spring was REALLY here (to stay!) so, on my way to shop for some things we needed at the office lunch, I took a trip to Munsinger Gardens, and realized I’ve just been looking for spring in all the wrong places!
Spring is DEFINETELY here! Take a look, and enjoy!
If you need a little pick me up go to the Gardens!!! It will definitely brighten your day!!!
Ava was so excited to see the Easter Bunny! Carly was able to look online and find a mall where the Bunny would be. I had almost forgotten how much fun it was to watch kids interact with these fictional real and large characters. Some kids are afraid…not Ava. She was excited as ever to meet and greet Mr. Bunny!
We stopped for lunch and found the HAPPIEST happy meal I’ve ever seen! Fun for Ava!
We spent several hours at River Market, a wonderful outdoor market in Kansas City. All of the produce and flowers and everything was so fresh and beautiful…and cheap!
It was a blast! The best part was being out in the warm sunshine!
NOT an anchovie fan…
Olives anyone? Lots and lots of olives!
Yum…everything here! YUM!
This guy was quite talented on the flute. It was fun because I could hear him the whole time I was in the market!
Don’t you just want to fill up a shopping cart?
Ava loved the bounce house! I’m not sure how long she stayed in there, but she had so much fun!
This guy was giving train rides to the kids. I think there were 10 “cars” that belonged to this train! I’m pretty sure the “engineer” was having as much fun (or more) driving the train as the kids had riding it! Ava loved it! At the end of the ride she was the last to get off. What a fun “toy”!
It was a great day at River Market. I so enjoyed being outside and breathing fresh, warm air! Come on, Minnesota. Catch up!
Mike found a great park right outside of Kansas City. We spent a good part of the afternoon there. The sun was shining bright and it was nice and warm. This was a really big park with lots to do from walking trails and bridges, a playground, a fishing pond, a wonderful little “city” with kid’s sized buildings and several different pavilions with picnic tables and grills. So much fun!
The best part? Actually FEELING like it was spring!!!!!
After months and months of drab, dreary, cold and snowy weather, it was fun to head a little south for Easter…where spring is REAL! Our first morning there it was drizzling, but the temperature was warm and the rain made everything smell fresh and clean! Yep…it was a beautiful sight!
While I had a great desire to find some color and warmer weather, my greatest delight was getting to spend the weekend with Ava. Carly and Mike had decided to go to Kansas City to see Ava for Easter and asked us to go with them. We were really excited to go see her. I’ve missed her so much.
Ava and Carly
So, what does a daddy love doing the most when he’s with his little girl?
Anything that lets him snuggle close to her and just spend time together. This is REAL daddy love…
Ava loves “operating” anything with buttons…cell phones, cameras, ipods, remotes, radios, etc. As she was sitting on daddy’s lap she took my camera and shot this picture. Not a bad shot for a three year old who is barely big enough to lift and shoot a big camera like mine! What a great shot!
As our first day Kansas City continued, the rain cleared away, the weather got warmer and we enjoyed a lovely day together.
I grew up in the Catholic church, but not until now have I become intrigued with the architecture, style and history of the churches in our area. (Catholic). As I travel around our small community I have been taking snaps of the different church and it’s been fun looking up their history. My next adventure is getting inside these churches and taking more pictures!
I hope I got the church and location correct as I label the following shots. If I’ve made a mistake and you know about it, let me know!!! I need to find a better way to keep track of each one!
Springhill or maybe Lake Henry??? (Help me if you can!!!)