Friday, July 22, 2011

5 Places I Love

South Africa

A team from the high school group recently went to Malawi and it reminded me of how much I love South Africa.

Right below is one of the main reasons. The Archer's live there!

And here are some other reasons:


We actually got to PET this little guy.
Beauty! We were able to spend part of our time at a place callled Hope Valley in the middle of some sugar cane fields.

And fun times with friends and sisters. :)

(And here's a couple more animal shots that got out of order.)

Monterey, CA

I don't even know quite what it is about Monterey, but I love it. I think I was in 6th grade the first time my family went on Spring vacation. I think it was a mix of the fresh, crisp air, the pletheora of cute, fuzzy otters and the quaint old-time feel of Cannery Row. I remember sitting on a rock overlooking the ocean somewhere off the 17-mile drive and just being amazed over God and His beautiful creation! I especially liked walking along the streets of Cannery Row at twilight. The streetlamps would come on, sounds of fog horns came off the water and I just felt so relaxed. Let me just say that it also didn't hurt that a Ghirardelli's is located along this street. Yum!

It was once the destination of one of Megs, Mel and my road trips. :) We are at Ghirardelli's in the picture below.

(There is just one thing I DON'T like about Monterey. And that would be the underground wax museum. There is an added creepiness of a wax museum being near the ocean. Yuck. I get shivers just thinking about it.)

Monterey does have a fabulous Aquarium. If you haven't been, what are you waiting for??

Ephraim, Wisconsin

My great great grandparents moved here from Norway. They helped found the town. The pictures above and below are of Anderson dock. My relatives, the Anderson's, owned it and all the big ships that brought supplies to the town would dock here. It's really fun too because the building is now all covered with names. Kind of like an "Amanda was here" kind of thing. The sunsets there are beautiful. My relatives chose to move here because the peninsulas reminded them of the fjords in Norway. You can see in the picture below. Ephraim is now a touristy town and it is really fun to visit. We've gone kayaking, took hikes in the peninsulas, eaten delicious ice cream at Wilson's (they put a jelly bean at the bottom of the cone), and explored family history. The Anderson's also owned a store and one of their homes was turned into a gift shop.

(The sunset's there are AMAZING!)

New York City

I could never take a good picture of Times Square so here's a nice one from the web. When Em and I first saw Times Square in person, it was right after a show and it had been raining but the rain finally cleared up. I felt like the princess in Enchanted when she comes out of the pothole. I was overwhelmed!

There's nothing quite like the view from the top of a skyscraper!

The first time we went to New York, I tried to take a picture of this fountain and my camera died right as I started to shoot. So here it is in summer!

Downtown Bozeman, Montana

Beautiful mountains and wide open spaces. :)My mom went to MSU for her last two years of college. My family drove to Bozeman every summer to visit my grandparents who retired there. They fell in love with the town when they came to visit my mom. My mom used to take Emily and me to the college so that we could toss pieces of bread to the ducks in the little pond they had on campus. It's to the left in the picture below. I absolutely LOVED going there.

I could have added another five places, but this post would be too long. These are the top five now. I can't wait to see where else I get to travel to someday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Worth It

In the past week, I've thought a lot about motherhood and the relationship between a mom and her children. From the horrific details of the Casey Anthony case to the amazing account of Jacey Dugard told in her book, A Stolen Life, to a blog post I read here, one in a series of blog posts on how women balance motherhood and their careers.

"Choice" is a popular vocab term that pops up. I'd really like to do a study on this word as it appears in the Bible. I'm guessing you'd be hard pressed to find it in the context of "a woman's right to choose." Yet so many women feel this way and not just in regards to abortion, but also in whether or not they should have a career. I understand that financial hardships exist and that for a time a mother may have to work, possibly even outside of the home. But hopefully her heart lines up with Titus 2:5 and Proverbs 31 and this circumstance would exist for only a short period of time.

Too often believer's start listening to the movies or shows they watch and begin to adopt the world's view on this matter. (Just as we are prone to do on any issue.) I am obviously not a mother so some may say I have no right to speak on this or that I have no idea what I'm talking about. It's true that I may not know how hard it is to be a mom (although I have a small clue from babysitting and teaching Kindergarten.) But either way the Bible is always where we are to look for the true standard. A well known verse that's not always easy to follow is Proverbs 3:5-7, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowlege Him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil."

How comforting that no matter how hard it may it be, or how confusing it might seem, if we listen and obey God's Word, we can trust that He will lead us where He wants us to go. And He is always faithful to provide for His children.

And a short word on abortion. A common argument in favor of abortion is, "Well what if a woman gets raped? She didn't choose to get pregnant!" Well read Jaycee Dugard's opinion on the matter:

"Despite years of torment, Dugard, who was kidnapped in 1991 at age 11 near her home in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., insists she would suffer it all again for the priceless reward of her beautiful, loving girls." (You can read more here.)

Did you hear that??? She would endure 18 years of rape and other tortures all over again to have her kids!!!

This perspective can be anyone's if they trust in the love and sovereignty of God.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Em and the Nikon D3100

I'm not sure if I mentioned before that I got a new camera. A DSLR finally! And I'm loving it. But I still have A LOT to learn, especially with lighting. Em was kind enough to let me take pictures of her. Black eye and all! We went to Central Park in Saugus and hiked up the trail. It may surprise people just how many beautiful places you can find in the Santa Clarita Valley.

One of my Dad's best friends, Ron, was kind enough to GIVE me one of his telephoto lenses that he doesn't use anymore. Kind of as a birthday present.

It would also be nice to have a good editing program. Right now I'm just using the one that came with my camera. Although I'm kinda getting over the overprocessed look.

She's a looker! :) I can't understand why she hasn't gotten snatched up yet!


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