Thursday, July 26, 2012

Welcome home, Jo!!!

{ I borrowed this photo from your Twitter account. I hope you don't mind. :) }

I was supposed to write another guest post today about something that has blessed me. I've decided to change that something to a certain special someone . . .

Jo, 

First of all, bienvenido a casa!!! (Did I say that right? ;)) I love your wonderful sense of humor, your kindness, and most of all, your heart for the Lord. I can see His hand in your life, and I know He is going to use you in wonderful ways for His Kingdom. It is a priviledge to call you a dear real life friend as well as a blogging friend. It was a pleasure babysitting Scraps while you were gone, and I can't wait to hear about your trip! :D

Love you!

— Elizabeth Rose

Jo! I'm so glad you got home safely and I can't wait to hear all about your adventures. Just throwing it out there that I love your imagination, your bright and happy spirit, and your all-around sweetness. I think you're one amazing young lady. The Lord will--IS!--using you for His glory. =) Love ya!!

~Anna F.

Dear Jo,
Welcome back to the USA! I am so thankful to know you - you are so sweet and encouraging, and I love how we have to much in common. It's seriously crazy. :) Just wanted to drop by and say that you are my one of my best blogging friends, not to mention now a real-life one! Love ya girl, and praise the Lord for your safe travels!

{{hugs}}
~bree

From all of us guest posters . . .

Welcome home from Nicaragua, Jo!!! We've missed you! ♥

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Answered Prayers

Sometimes in life you get to hold in your arms the prayers of your heart.

It doesn't happen very often but when it does... you need to hold on tight and whisper prayers of thankfulness to God for giving you such a blessing.



This past weekend I had that privilege.



I held in my arms answered prayers.




Little special needs babes who have been rescued from orphanages and institutes in Ukra*ne and Rus*ia.



Little precious treasure who were destined to spend their lives laying in cribs in mental institutes.


But for God's grace and faithful families willing to cross the ocean to get them.

Now they are home.

I got to hold and kiss and love on the prayers of my heart.



Answered prayers.

Beautiful examples of God's faithfulness!



That, my dear sweet friend, is what I count today as something for which I am deeply grateful.



Answered prayers in my arms.

My blog is www.covenantbuilders.blogspot.com for those who want to come over and meet our own precious treasure (the king in the crown below) and help be a voice for the little lost loves across the ocean!!  There are plenty more where these came from!  We could use all the shouting and prayers we can get!!

Julia Nalle




Wednesday, July 18, 2012

sunsets//a guest post by bree

ah, sunsets. so vivid and bright. the sun burns like fire against the hazy, darkening sky. perhaps an occasional cloud blocks your view of the sun, and glows pink around the clear-cut edges. 






the birds fly past, tweeting loudly and flapping their wings which appear to be glowing. 

sunsets inspire me in so many ways. inspire me to write about the beauty. to attempt to capture it in a photograph or a painting, though i know it won't exactly do it justice. 

and sunsets inspire me to love. the peace and beauty of a peachy, setting sun is perfect proof of a living God. a God who loves beauty, and a God who is the greatest Artist there ever was. and why does He create these masterpieces? because He loves us. 

doesn't that inspire you?

hello there! this is bree. i blog at tea & bree, and i graphic design at bree holloway//blog designs. i love God, dance, music, photography, writing, fashion, chocolate, coffee, tea, and all things pink. ;) come on over and visit me some time, and i'll serve you some homemade treat i found on pinterest, along with a cup of tea. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

That which cannot be put into words.


{all photos in this post are via pinterest}
Piano



“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.”  ― Victor Hugo
You may think this a strange post coming from a girl who has never learned to play an instrument and could not sing well if her life depended on it. But this fact has never removed the unimaginable joy that I find in the thing known to all as  m u s i c .

It may seem a simple matter, even something you could live without. But if you are prepared to make such a claim, first sit and ponder that thought . . . no music to hum while folding the laundry; no tune that you hear driving down the road that gives you the irresistable itch to tap your fingers on the steering wheel; no soaring melody that makes you want to dance until you collapse with weariness. In the words of Mrs. Elton, "Life would be a blank." And for once, I am forced to agree with her.


Music, as Hugo said, expresses that which cannot be put into words. Poetry is a beautiful thing in its own right, but nothing can compare to the sensation one gets when listening to a small, delicious strain of music. Just a few notes, and you are transported, spinning away in a wonderful dreamworld.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato
Music also has the power to bring back memories of times past. Hearing the beginning of an old Disney song automatically puts me in the mind of the child I was many years ago, playing the hours away with my sisters. Play an old song to which I once danced in a recital, and I will find it nearly impossible not to start doing the steps right then and there. Movie soundtracks, such as the scores of the Narnia films, The Patriot, North & South, or Little Women, all cause their respective stories to flood through my head in a moment. The soaring notes that begin the musical Les Misérables fill me with misery, happiness, and heartbreak: all at the same time. 

gorgeous.

Music tells a story. Music brings stories to life. We work hard to memorize the words of men and women we admire, but we rarely have to make an effort to remember a song we loved. In short, music can be both a blessing and a curse. It is a wonderful gift, but it is also a powerful one, making it imperative to choose well that which we feed our minds. Because whether you like it or not, it will affect you.


Elizabeth Rose is a Christian young lady seeking to live every day of her life in accordance with 1 Corinthians 10:31. She loves all sorts of books (the thicker the better), is convinced that Irish Breakfast tea is the closest thing in this world to heaven, dances until her feet ache (and loves every minute of it), stays up until all hours writing, wears pearls at every opportunity, and obsesses over Les Misérables and The Scarlet Pimpernel. You can find her on Literary Lane, most likely with The Count of Monte Cristo in hand and ink on her fingers.

Friday, July 6, 2012

last day

One hour and fifteen minutes from midnight - the end of my last full day in the States. The past week has contained my last swim practice ever (Thursday) - I'll be too old for our league next year, baby Zu's 3rd birthday (today), seven days of living out of bags and suitcases (due to the big storm and power outage) in other peoples' houses, rehearsals for Birdie, lots and lots of swimming and coaching, and shopping for the trip. I've been packing since 8:30pm, and it's almost 11 now. We have to get up and go at 4am.....I'm plumb worn out, and the adventure is just beginning!

And this dear little blog is going to be babysat by two lovely young ladies, with guest posts from several more - you all are in for a treat!

Thank you all in advance for your prayers as I head off to Nicaragua! I'll see you on the 26th :D

Sunday, July 1, 2012

plugged in

From the looks of my inbox, blogger feed, pinterest and twitter feeds, no one seems to have lost power like we did :P Just joking. But seriously. That storm on Friday night....*shakes head* NOT FUN. Our power went out promptly at 9:30pm, right as the winds started picking up. We got all the little ones down to the basement and we all watched an episode of Little House before coming upstairs to see what outside looked like. The wind was blowing like all get out, and we were commenting on the flying debris and tree limbs when Leia noticed the orange glow coming from the woods behind our house. NOT AGAIN. But yes. Forest fire. Hurrah. So that's when we decided to leave the house and head across the street to hang out with dear Ms. Brenda and her generator powered house. Do recall that it was past 10:30 by now. She was happy to host us, and we caught Simba (the kitten) and Elsie (the Pyr) and brought them with us. For two hours we hung out and chatted and drank chocolate milk and ginger ale....all the time listening to the raging wind and wondering if we still had a house. Praise the Lord we did. The fire went out around 12:30 or so, and by 1am we were all back home and in bed.

Our road, property and even in town were and are a huge mess - trees and branches and leaves and everything all OVER the place. Looks like a hurricane came through. Our house isn't damaged, just trees down by the driveway and lots in the backyard.

And now the power's still out, we've spent two nights at home with no AC and the heat's getting pretty bad. We're camping out in town tonight at our friends' where the power's back on - fridge, lights, outlets, internet. I'm plugged in again! *grin* A lot of our food went bad, but we've saved some. And now it's looking like we'll be getting our power back "by Friday". Oh, joy. At least we can practically live at the pool all day (like we did yesterday and today) and find a friends' house to crash at each night. It's just going to make packing for Nicaragua a little bit of a challenge, seeing as I'm leaving on Saturday. *gulp* SO.

Hope you all are well and safe! Reports are that this the worst power outage in our state's history, and that the winds on Friday night got up to 80mph in some places. Yikes.

Have a great week - stay cool and safe. I'll try to blog once more before I say adios to the US :)