Friday, August 29, 2014

Great Adventures!

Recently we have had some great adventures together as a family. Here's some pictures for you to enjoy:)

We were graciously blessed to be able to have pictures taken by a friend of ours recently. 
She got some very nice pictures of Evan and Mom and I.                 
It was a beautiful day for photos.                                             
My favorite photo of my Mother that day

My favorite photo of Evan that day. 

Another beautiful photo of my mother. 
Some of me:) 

I actually really liked this one, even though it looks like I'm hugging a tree;)
Some great photos of Evan:)

Looking handsome!

Best Freinds:) 
Sometimes you just never know where Evan will appear:)                                    
I'm SO thankful for such a wonderful Mother:) 
 And just in case you thought we were serious all the time:)                               
Final pose of the day:)
Earlier this summer, we were blessed to be able to go sailing with some freinds. It was a beautiful day, and a great experience. 

Evan made himself right at home:) 
We saw a bald eagle very close up.
                         Evan was brave to stay on the front of the boat for most of the trip. 

The water was just calm enough to not make us seasick, and just rough enough to put a little wind in our sails. 
We stopped for dinner on a dock, and took the time to take some photos while we watched a sailboat race.
I Love the sky in this photo!

     One of my favorite photos ever of Dad and I.                                                 
Mom really enjoyed the sailboat:)
Siblings and best friends:)                                                                                          
                              Another great shot of Evan;)                                          
 Here's the boat from the side.                                              
Evan Taking a nap;)
Enjoying the boat:)
I think I could really enjoy being on a sailboat for a while:) 
We had a great time together. 
Evan felt right at home on the boat:)
Our friends that own the sailboat brought their dog along. I was amazed at how well she did with the waves.                                   
I just loved this photo of Evan. He looks SO classic. 
And I couldn't help but notice how much he looked like my Dad in this picture when he was younger.                                                   

A picture of a picture:) 

O.k. so if I had a sailboat, I'd have one like this!

Overall it was a very good day, and we all enjoyed sailing together. The Lord is SO good to give us so many ways to enjoy His marvelous creation!

"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah." Psalm 46:10-11

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Want To Make Much of You!

What does it take for me to be truly satisfied? A nice house? people that love me? a promising future?  lots of money? animals? a nice car? the latest clothing? special passions? loving husband? marriage? children? a perfect family? .........will anything on earth ever be enough? Why do I keep looking for my fulfillment and satisfaction outside of God? 

I've been pondering this topic for several days now, and noticing how I keep looking to things on earth to satisfy me, and what I'm really saying is I don't think God is enough. I know He's powerful and the creator of everything, but somehow my future doesn't seem "safe" in His hands. Somehow I must need to do something to make sure everything's going to be o.k. Right? .....wrong! 

The only thing that is truly going to satisfy my heart is a greater love of Christ! A little more knowledge of His goodness, a little more passion for His kingdom. A little more trust in His strength. A little more gratefulness for His Mercy. A little closer view of His face! 

 "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness. (Psalms 17:15 KJV)

I've included the words to one of my favorite songs.  It always points me back to the meaning of life, and I hope it encourages you to do the same! 

"Much Of You"

How could I stand here 
And watch the sun rise 
Follow the mountains 
Where they touch the sky 

Ponder the vastness 
And the depths of the sea 
And think for a moment 
The point of it all was to make much of me 

Cause I'm just a whisper 
And You are the thunder and... 


I want to make much of You, Jesus 
I want to make much of Your love 
I want to live today to give You the praise 
That You alone are so worthy of 

I want to make much of Your mercy 
I want to make much of Your cross 
I give You my life 
Take it and let it be used 
To make much of You 

And how can I kneel here 
And think of the cross 
The thorns and the whip 
and the nails and the spear 

The infinite cost 
To purchase my pardon 
And bear all my shame 
To think I have anything worth boasting in 
Except for Your name 

Cause I am a sinner 
And You are the Savior and... 

This is Your love, oh God 
Not to make much of me 
But to send Your own Son 
So that we could make much of You 
For all eternity 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lies Young Women Believe | Hope For the Anxious!

This post really encouraged me today, and I wanted to share it with you.

Leave me a comment if you feel blessed or encouraged after you read this post.

Lies Young Women Believe | Hope For the Anxious

"Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart." Psalm 73:1

© 2014 photo by Evan Smythe 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Sunflower Blog Award:)

I was recently nominated by my friend Bethany Carson for the Sunflower Blog Award.  The Sunflower Award is a way for bloggers to learn more about each other by asking 10 questions.  Here are my answers to Bethany's questions: Enjoy:) 

1.  If you could have an expenses-paid vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I would want to go to Alaska on a fishing trip, because I've heard it's beautiful up there, and I've always wanted to go fishing for Salmon. But I would be happy to go anywhere in the world, as long as I was with friends and family:) 

2.  What would you like to accomplish by the end of 2014?

By the end of 2014 I would like to have the satisfaction on knowing I have used every day well. I want to use every moment to make a difference for God's kingdom. 

3.  If you had a million dollars, how would you use it?

I don't know:) I'd probably ask God for wisdom and ask my parents for advice. I've never really thought about that before:) 

4.  What are your favorite foods?

Chocolate, Mango, Coffee, Blueberries, and pretty much any food that's healthy:) 

5.  What are your favorite Bible verses?

Oh my this is a hard one. There are SO many good verses. I guess some of my favorites are Ps 55:22, Col3:1-4, Job 13:15, Eph 4, Ruth 1:16-18, Is 43, Is55, Phil 4:6-8, Rom 8, Prov3:5-6.....and I think I'll stop there:) 

6.  What is the best advice on life you can give in up to 3 sentences?

Seek first God's kingdom and the things of life will fade in the light of eternity. Never, never, give up on the future, God is bigger than your biggest problem. Live each moment like it's your last, and make an impact on the people around you for God's glory. 

7.  If you could live in any time period, which would you choose?
The present. God has put me where He wants me for this specific time in history. I'm grateful for the chance to share His love each day. 

8.  What is your dream car and your dream home?

My dream car is a Chrysler 300 or a Mini Cooper, or a Ford F350 truck. My dream home would be any home in the country with enough acerage for a few animals, and space for friends to come and stay the night. But, once again, I'm grateful for what God has given me. We have two cars that are very nice and work very well, and we have a beautiful rental house that God has allowed us to live in for 17 years, and treat like our own. I thank God for His great mercy, and for giving us just what we need for our present happiness. 

9.  What languages can you speak?


10.  Do you have a current occupation; if not, what would your dream job be?

I'm a musician, writer, homemaker, and entrepreneur. I sell on eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist, and I'm always looking for new ways to make an income:) 

11. What cause(s) are you most opinionated about?

The cause of Christ, and furthering His kingdom. I have a passion for being a legacy maker, and living each day in light of eternity. I desire to help others see God's love and mercy on their behalf, and make my life count for God's kingdom. 

12.  Is there any quality you think the Lord is growing in you right now (e.g., patience, love, trust)?

This is a challenging question. I think the thing I'm learning right now is to trust God no matter what happens. No matter what the past, present, and future look like from our perspective, He has everything in His control, and will work all things out for good. I've also been convicted about my heart attitude of love for God and other people as expressed through my actions. I've realized that I usually am focused on myself, and not the needs of other people. God has also been convicting me about my use of time, my focus, and my relationship with my parents. It seems like I always have something more to learn just when I think life is going well. God is SO good to protect me, and prune me with His loving hands. I'd rather be pruned today, and grow stronger in Christ, than grow in my own ways, and bring occasion for others to blaspheme the name of Christ. 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." Isaiah 55:8-13

Monday, July 28, 2014

And the Winner is........

After some delays in choosing the winner due to technical difficulties from Rafflecopter, I'm pleased to announce the winner of the 2014-2015 My Blog Planner is Colleen P. Congratulations Colleen!!!!! I hope you enjoy your planner. HEDUA will be shipping your prize to you shortly.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in this giveaway, and especially to HEDUA for their generous support of my blog, and this giveaway! 

Fashion Contest!

So this past week I entered the Fabulous Feminine Fashion Show hosted by the Shashaguay sisters on their blog Calico Sisters, and I need your help. Please go to their blog and vote on your favorite outfit, (It doesn't have to be me;) and maybe give them a follow if you like their blog.
Be on the lookout for some new blog posts this coming week, and an announcement of the winner of the My Blog Planner book from last week. 

May God richly bless you all, and help you to seek His face continually.

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." Psalm 68:19

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Don't Forget......

To enter the My Blog Planner Giveaway. The giveaway ends tomorrow, so you have one more day to up your chances of winning. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Birthday to........

My dear friend Eden Strang:)

Amazing singer, ballerina, friend, encourager, and sister in Christ. I love you SO music and I wish you all the best in your coming year as you seek to make Christ preeminent in your life. You are SO special to me, and I thank God for the many years of sweet friendship we have had, and look forward to forever and into eternity ahead of us. 

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

Lots of love, 

And to all my followers, please take a moment to wish Eden a very happy birthday by commenting on her blog Eden's Evaluations

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Exciting Review and Giveaway!

Introducing the My Blog Planner
Review and Giveaway. 

I'm very excited to announce my second review and giveaway on this blog. This time the giveaway will be for another one of the Home Educating Family Assscoiation's products, that I think is going to be very exciting for whoever wins it.

"Whether you're a seasoned blogger or brand new to the blogging world, you'll want My Blog Plan to help you stay motivated and on track. Packed full of insider tips and practical articles from experts, My Blog Plan will help you focus on your personal goals, stay on schedule, and provide inspiration to bring your blogging to another level. With the same distinctive look you're used to from our entire line of Well Planned Day Planners, a special bonus of 6 months is included for an 18-month planner—runs from July 2014-December 2015." 

Starting off with the review.  

What I liked about the planner! 

1. The Style. I love the flowers and colorful prints on each page.

2. The tips from fellow bloggers for each month. Very practical and encouraging tips to easily apply.


3. The my blog goals section. This would be very helpful for planning out the blog year. 

4. The product reviews and giveaways section. Such a great way to keep your plans organized!

5. The daily to do's pages. I love how they are so neatly organized and provide plenty of space.

6. The monthly evaluations. What a great way to measure blog progress, and statistics.

7. The end of the year blog evaluation. I really like the questions that help you put your blog in perspective. 

The only thing I didn't particulary like about the planner was that the advice to bloggers was written for Wordpress users. I'm sure the ideas could be easily adapted for users, and this would be also be a blessing for many people's blogs who use Wordpress.

Now for my rating. I give the planner a great rating of usable, practical, efficient, convenient, and organized. I wish I had a planner to use myself. I love the concept of keeping your blog planned and organized. I would highly recccomend that you check out the My Blog Planner and purchase one for your blog. You won't be disappointed, and I think you'll find it an easy to use resource that will make your blog planning very simple. 

And for those of you that might be interested in learning more about blog planning, be sure to check out this free 12 week course from HEUDA on how to work your blog. 

I would like to thank Jenny Herman & Heather Nieman of the Home Educating Family Association for graciously providing the planner for me to review and giveaway, and for their kind help with my questions. Thank you!

* What a great surprise and blessing! I just found out that the Blog Planner I reviewed is mine to keep, and the winner will receive a new Blog Planner directly from HEUDA. I'm SO excited!*

And now for the giveaway:) please enter and pass this on to your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:1-4