Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why I love Spring: newborn things

These three were born on one of the coldest nights this month, and they have a bad mommy, so they were in our house in a big box for 4 or 5 days. I don't think they realize they are goats ;) They think they're puppies. 

These three were also in the house for a while... until they started hopping out and running all over the place. There's never an end the excitement here. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Like a Mustard Seed

I need more faith. Not because more faith would make more things happen in my life, mainly because more faith would make life easier.

I tend to worry, and wonder and complain, instead of resting, and trusting while being content. It’s funny how faith is more for us, and not for God. The strength of our faith doesn’t affect the outcome, remember all we have to have is a mustard seed, and that’s not much at all. I remember one time at church Mr. Gillson said, “The outcome of a situation doesn’t rest in how much faith you have, but it rests in how reliable the source of your faith is.”

If I decide to step onto a thin sheet of ice, despite how much I believe that the ice will hold me… it probably won’t. But if I choose to step out, trusting in God, He will always hold me.
Our God never fails us, no matter how much faith we have.

He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you. {Luke 17:6}

{Originally written for the Red Ink Challenge over at Paper and Ink Spots}

Monday, March 28, 2011

Amy's Life

My sister Amy is a high school senior this year, and she's also in her second year of post-secondary. The other day she asked me to take a picture of her "life" right now. Of course I couldn't stop at one image, and made a little series out of it :-)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Sharing: Photography By Ruth Ann

Ruth Ann is another IPSite. [You make good friends there, just sayin]

She does some beautiful photography, and I always enjoy her blog, but this post is about something new.

This girly is starting to pursue a dream she's always had of having a stationary business with her photography. Right now she's offering five gorgeous designs which you can see here.  She also wrote a beautiful blog post on God, and dreams, and you should read it :) 

Dreams are beautiful things, and you shouldn't be afraid dream! Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. I'd  love to hear what dreams are floating in your head, or which ones the Lord is working right now, or even your forgotten dreams... email me

Anywho... she's going to give away a set of five notecards to one lucky reader... but you have to enter: 

1. leave a comment saying which is your favorite design
(and you *could* mention one of your dreams...)
2. Facebook/Tweet/Blog the link to this  post or the link to her Zenfolio account

{You may leave two separate comments for each}  

Give away ends next Saturday, April 2nd.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why I love Spring: Sudden Snow Storms

Well, technically I don't really love this about spring. It's almost a little cruel... but if it happen we can change it so... take pictures! And maybe go skiing... or sledding. Too bad there wasn't a sudden ice rink ;)

[I was inspired by this guy: and decided to try some blurry pictures. I kind of like the mood this gives you, but what is your opinion? Diss it or Love it?]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Brain Coral and Sand Dollars

{I originally wrote this for my Red Ink challenge - our assignment was travel writing, and I had a hard time decided which trip to write about. :) I know I already post about my Bahamas in pictures, but sometimes words are fun too. If you want to see the pictures from our time at Rose Island they're here }

I went to the Bahamas to visit my friend Susan, who married a Bahamian. Yes, a Minnesotan married a Bahamian. Anyways, because we stayed with his family the whole time, for the first five/six days we didn’t do typical “tourist stuff”. Those days, for me, were the best part of the trip, although that could be because my sister and brother were there too….

We went camping on another island, Rose, for three days. Really roughed it, and it was a blast, long nights, lizards, no toilets and all! 

We were on a boat, skipping over calm water. The wind whipped my hair and I could taste the salt spray from the bright blue water. The sun shone, and in places the water appeared darker. We didn’t talk much on the short ride out from the island to the reef.

Brett killed the engine and we drifted a short ways while Susan pulled out the rope and threw over the anchor. I helped her feed the rope until it hit bottom. Everyone passed around masks and snorkels, found flippers that fit and talked all the while.

The sun glinted off the edge of the boat as I peered into the reef. Although eager to get in the gorgeous water, I didn’t want to be the first one in out here in the unknown. Hey, there could be sharks... Eventually everyone had gear, and one by one we sat on the side of the boat, sliding into the water backwards.

The cool water closed around me, as did the silence. Suddenly I felt alone. I looked around for the others, and started kicking. The reef was both intriguing and beautiful, and a little bit eerie. I could vaguely hear noises of people kicking their flipper clad feet, and the sound of my own breathing through the snorkel tube.

 I smiled at Ange, the best I could while still holding my teeth around my snorkel, and waved. Both of us popped our heads above the surface and pulled the snorkels out.

“Did you see this?”
“Look at that!”
“Woah, did you see that piece of coral?”
“This fish!”

The coral was gorgeous, and way more intricate than I had imagined. Brain coral, that looked like a maze carved out of rock, and pretty purple sea leaves covered the bottom of the ocean, interspersed with fire coral, that Brett told us we’d better not touch. Brightly colored fish swam in schools all around us.

Amy popped up to the surface and pointed to a large brain coral. “Woah! Did you see that thing down there… someone has been down there carving!” Needless to say, she still hasn’t lived that one down.

Sucking in a big breath I dove down towards the edge of the reef and the deeper water, getting a close up look. I ran out of air and pushed myself up towards the surface, blowing hard to get the water out of the snorkel. Amy and I posed for an underwater picture.

Back under the water Brett waved us over, pointing out a weird fish that looked almost like a sea cucumber swimming upright. Above water he explained it was a relative of a sea horse called a pipe fish.  I think we had a million and two questions for him, “What’s this? What’s that?” and “How does the coral survive? What kind of fish is that?” and the all-important one, “What sharks do you have here?”

Brett had two spears and shooters, but none of us tried. Being used to Minnesota I was a little scared that if I did end up miraculously spearing something it would be something out of season. Apparently everything is fair game in the Bahamas.  We watched him spear a blue jack and a crawfish, both of which we ended up eating for dinner. Pretty soon we started to tire out, and headed back to the boat. I sat soaking up the warm sun, enjoying how your muscles feel after a good swim.

“Derek, what did you find?” Kara says with her camera running.
“A butt! And Dory.”
“Ahh! He touched the butt!”

Mark pulled the crawfish out of a bucket by its long antenna and wiggled it in front of Kara. “Ahhhh!!  Get that away from me! That’s not on Nemo!”

After warming up we moved to a shallow, sandy part of the ocean. Four of us got back in the water to drag behind the boat, and look for sand dollars and conch shells (fyi, it’s really pronounced conk). I grabbed the yellow rope and held on next to Susan. The water rushed by as we gazed at the rippled sand.

Things didn’t go so well, although we found a lot of sand dollars we only found one conch, and it was just the shell. Every time Brett would get the boat moving one of us would see something and drop off, and then we’d have to start all over again. When the boat got moving faster, I would have a hard time keeping my mouth around my snorkel and it would fill up with water. I would come up choking, desperately trying to fix it without letting go. It didn’t work.

Finally, after too many times starting and stopping, starting and stopping, and a bucket full of sand dollars, Brett told us, “NO MORE sand dollars OR sunshine shells. You can eat conch… you can’t eat sand dollars.” (We ended up going hungry that night. Well actually, we ended up eating hot dogs instead.)

Susan was heartbroken over all those sunshine shells she was passing over. “I kept seeing gorgeous ones… and I couldn’t get them!”

Eventually we all ended up shivering and back in the boat, watching Brett wake board. And laughing at Susan’s driving.  We drove back to the island we were camping on for a long, cold, windy night. Haha, but that’s another rad story…..

{Photo Credit: Kara Groebner}

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Sister Lisa

I found these beautiful portraits that I'd never even edited this week while I was doing back-ups. My sister Lisa is growing up, and she's gorgeous :) 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday Sharing: Lady Greenleaf

This is Jennette

She's cool. She's an IPSite, and a writing instructor and a high school senior. 

And she shoots guns. Which makes her even more cool.

I met her in Portland last summer, and I've been following her blog.

We've been doing a writing challenge together on facebook called The Red Inkers and between that and reading her blog, I've decide that I really like her writing.

Basically this is my way of saying that you should check out her writing. 

Her main blog:

Her Red Ink Blog: 


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why I love Spring: Rubber Boots

I'm happy to say this is officially the start of a new series... We're beginning to see spring! Yay!

So the first thing I love about spring: Splashing in puddles with cute rubber boots.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Lake

There’s something about Lake Superior that draws me, much like the ocean. It makes me imagine stories of ships and sailors, of ship wrecks and people living along the lake. It makes me stand and think of the God that created it, and how huge He really is.

Visiting during the warmer weather we watch ships coming and going; some large Great Lakes ships, some smaller ones for the ocean. Some are leaving full of iron ore, low in the water, others are coming in empty, riding high.

This weekend I visited the lake with friends, and at this time things are covered in ice. The ice chunks had blown up against the mountain of ice along the shore, created by the breaking waves all winter. Large blocks floated and rolled with the waves, while the smaller ones piled up on each other. The wind was blowing the breaking ice out of the harbor and through the canal. The walls of the lighthouse on the pier were covered with strange designs of ice and the stairs were lost under the ice.  Sheets of it covered the walls of the canal.

During the night the wind blew the ice slabs out and all that was left was the mountain created by the waves. Far out you could vaguely see them on the horizon, along with a thin film of ice that had formed in places. Instead of big rolling waves, like the day before, the water was choppy.  

Even though it’s much, much smaller than the ocean, you can’t tell when you’re standing at the shore. It makes you feel small, and insignificant, and makes you think wild thoughts.  Nothing controls the lake, except for the shoreline. And occasionally that’s not enough to governor it.

It’s wild, but at the same time soothing. It’s both predictable, with the waves coming in one after another, and unpredictable, like when it storms. It’s always cold, the temperature changes just 3 degrees over the season, and I think that adds the wild feeling. I sit in awe of the wild and awesome side of the God I serve.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why aren't we?

"There are so many bad things that we see down here, and we ask God why He doesn't change them... I can't help but wonder if He's asking us the same thing..." [To Save A Life]

I, just like everybody else, have wondered why there is so much pain, suffering and hurt here on earth. At one point, I kind of came to the conclusion that we'll never fully understand, that there are some things that we won't be able to comprehend.

Although there are things that we might not understand, in a way, that conclusion made me a little apathetic. Yes, there are some things that we can't change, like my friends dad who has a brain tumor, and that I don't understand, but not understanding shouldn't make me dispirited or unconcerned. It wasn't as if I “could care less, but yet deep down I figured there are some things that wouldn't change.

Last night I watched this movie, [To Save A Life] for the second time, and that quote stood out to me. Really, why aren't we doing? Instead we're just asking, someone else to do something. * Don't the scriptures promise that we can do all things with Christ? [Philippians 4:13]  But yet we, the Christians in America, as a whole, have become completely passive, when we should be the movers! As Shane Claiborne wrote, “Where are the true Christians? We are surrounded by passive believers and unbelieving activists." [The Irresistible Revolution]

Yes, there are some things we can't change, but there are just as many or more, we could change. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort. And sometimes, it doesn't take much. Sometimes little things go a long way.

I think we're asking the wrong question, instead maybe it should be what am I doing to change this world? To change my world? To change my neighbor's world?


*I'm not saying we shouldn't ask God for things, or we shouldn't pray, that's not the point here.

Both a great movie and a great book, I highly recommend both!

I don't like the fact that my Reflections posts have been missing pictures, as much as I like words, I like photographs more. I've been busy and sick, but I'm making a resolution to shoot more! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011