Aug 21, 2015

Whimsy Away!

I'm sneaking this in under the wire...posting later then expected but I'm still in vacation mode, so the day moved by at a laid back pace!  Yes, we went, we enjoyed, and we returned, from our first vacation away in almost a decade!

And where did we venture to?? Well, we headed south...southern Ontario that is! To beautiful St. Jacobs!  Where we stayed two nights and three days, taking in loads of shopping, the local Mennonite culture, gorgeous sights and delicious food!!

Our Besties moved into our house, to take care of the kids and it while we were away.  Aren't they amazing?!  As someone remarked, "You found someone to take care of four kids for you?? Hang on to them!" (oh...I think we will! lol!!)   And so, with the kiddos in good hands we headed off early Tuesday morning.  We had a smooth ride all the way there and arrived in time to tour Canada's largest Farmer's market (well, we toured some of it), checked into our hotel and then caught a horse drawn trolley ride through a sugar bush, on a seventh generation Mennonite farm.


The area is home to a very large Mennonite community!  And it was really interesting to see the range from the Old order to what is accepted by the younger generations today.  Out of respect, I didn't take any picture of the Mennonite people, many of whom do not believe it is right to have pictures or images of people, but there were plenty of buggies to capture on film!

The country side was unbelievably pretty!! Ontario is a wonderfully diverse province, rolling hills, expanses of farmland, lush forests, mountain ranges, it's has it all and this little part had a nice mix-match of everything!!

On our second day we toured an AMAZING Antique market, which was suuuper fun and followed that with our scenic country drive, more shopping, an early supper and then a stop at Ontario's last covered bridge.  

Also known as the Kissing Bridge!



We enjoyed late night ice cream, scads of walking, shopping after supper, long quite chats, sleeping in, cable tv, meeting new people and all in all, just being alone together!!  The weather was perfect, the scenery amazing and the company fantastic!!  We arrived home after supper on Thursday and were very happy to see the kids again and very thankful to our friends for taking care and loving them for us while we were away!!  

It went by fast...and even now, only 24 hours after arriving home, it almost seems unreal...did we actually get away for two whole nights??? lol!!!  I will cherish our little get away and will look forward to when we can do it again....

And so, the final, (for now) Whimsy Wednesday challenge prompt was fitting, both for the end of this short photo challenge and for our sweet mini vacation!  I was sad to see the time away end but I smile at all the fun we had!!

(oh and I'd had hoped to capture a great leaving shot from our vacation for this photo challenge and how nice it would be, to be able to say that was the sunset when we got home - except Noooo!! The drive home was horrible!! Seriously, bumper to bumper traffic for two hours through Toronto and then once we cleared that, torrential rain for the last three hours of the trip! Sheesh! It was I smile that at least that part of the trip is over! hahahahah!!)

Thanks again to all who enjoyed this challenge!  I may incorporate more words and photos together...I really did enjoy it and liked how most of my images worked out.  But as for now, committing to once a week is too much...and summer is almost I'm going to soak up these fleeting summer days and I'll see you all when I do!


Aug 14, 2015

Exploring Christian Theology Volume Two :: Review

I can't say I'm a huge fan of reading theology books but this one was quite good!  This is the second volume, in a three volume set, and it focuses on the theology for creation, the fall and salvation.

The book is useful in many ways and for many people!  It could be used for the new believer, to give a nice over-view of the various doctrines that the church stands on and how they differ from denomination to denomination.  For the seasoned believer it offers insight into the history behind the doctrines, which is an area I found very fascinating, as well as practical and scripture filled ways to implement the various principles.  And for the scholar, this book would make an excellent resource to add to their library!

I greatly enjoyed the format of the text, in that, the book was broken into two sections and those sections broken into many smaller sections.  It helped me focus on the different areas of each, (creation, fall and salvation) and pick up on key ideas, themes, principles, past concepts and where we stand today.

So over-all, if you are looking for a basic but in depth theology book, I highly recommend this one and I think I might even see about adding the other to volumes to our own collection!

I received this book, from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.  


Aug 12, 2015

Whimsy Wednesday :: If We Wait Until We're Ready


There are times in life where preparation, counting the cost and planning ahead are necessary...but there, I believe, are more times when we should just go for it!  Be it my, (and my hubby's) personality, this is just how I see things.

Often, I think, people use the excuse of, "When I'm ready..."  but as our quote from a couple of weeks back encouraged, this "readiness" may be more fear then need for preparation!  Much in life comes at us unexpectedly and what isn't unexpected, we often have little control about!  

So why wait?  Why wait when your heart is calling?

Yes, I'm sure there can be reasons, as I first stated, but I think we hide behind our excuses too much.  Take my hubby and I, for example.  I think back...and I have realized that it has been over 9 years since we were away alone together!  Nine.Years!  Yes, we did send the kids out of the house, to stay with people, for one night to celebrate our tenth anniversary, but as for going away's been far, far to long!! 

I honestly hadn't thought about it until recently...and honestly, I just do not know where the time has gone!  We're 'so romantic' you'd think this would happen more often.  I mean, there are the date nights at home and we get away for the occasional afternoon or evening but away over night...not since having kids! Wow!!   Soooo, though, Hubby is out of work and in many cases we might not be 'ready' we are going to do it - we are getting away for two whole nights!!!

Are we excited!?!?! What do you think? *wink* lol!!

We could wait, we could count the cost, find a better time, be more "ready", but will more years slip away?? Life is short, I understand that more then I want to and so, before more time is gone - we will embark on our alone together road trip!

Details will remain nil until after the fact - you can all just wait! Muahahah! ;) I write this out, I realize I will be away next week, on said vacation, and will not be able to post for our Whimsy Wednesday challenge....and then, a week or so after that all the kiddos will be heading back to, I think I will post one last quote.  This wraps it up a little sooner then I anticipated but I feel the weeks ahead will be busy and with the over-all lack of participation, this might be the best time to bow out.

So I post our last quote...for now...maybe I will revive this challenge again at a later date - but I post our final quote and I will be back, on the FRIDAY with mine.  I sure had fun and grew some more in creativity and in photography skills!  And I want to thank you all who joined in, supported, encouraged and just enjoyed this challenge!!

Next week's quote:

Don't cry because it's over,
smile because it happened.
                                                    -Dr. Seuss


Aug 9, 2015

Patience and His Promises

What do you do, when you are unsure what to do??

That's the question that plagues us as of late...not just on the job front but in many areas of our lives right now.  Much uncertainty and unknowing about the days ahead.

So what do you do?

You hold to what you do know!

For us, we know;

God is good!  Psalm 136:1
God has plans for us.  Jeremiah 29:11
We can trust Him.  Isaiah 26:4
We can focus on today and not worry about tomorrow. Matthew 6:34
His promises are true.  2 Peter 1:4
He loves us!  John 3:16
He will care and provide for us.  Matthew 6:26

That is what each day looks like as of late....mostly! lol!! It's true, we are holding to His word and He is being good and kind to us.

My husband posted an ad online, offering friendly handyman work and has been busy everyday since!  Almost too busy! lol!! It may not last.... but see, there's my lack of trust creeping in! ugh!  For today, for now, it is what we need and that is all we need to focus on.

We are still being open to whatever God may have for us and that does cause some contemplation and thinking about the near-ish future...but again, we have to take everything one day at a time!  If there has been one thing that I am really learning, is that; taking things one day at a time!

It doesn't always come easy, one day at a time, it requires patience...something that God apparently thinks I need a tad bit of work on!   I'm learning patience, I am, some areas I do better then others!  In this, where we are today, it comes and goes.  I want to know what we are to do, where to spend our energy, time and money.  I want to see a glimpse of the future, receive an email with directions or even an audible voice would be nice!

But I know that's not how He works.  I know His promises are laid out in His word and that is where we go, to find comfort, rest, and His very real direction.

And though my patience is stretched, it is strengthened.  Do I always like it? Of course not! Do I complain and whine....too often!   But am I learning, yes, yes I am.  Am I trusting? Most of the time!  Am I grateful! Oh yes!!!

Grateful for His provision, for His care, for His comfort and daily strength!  I am grateful and I praise Him!  For His ways are higher then ours and He knows and holds the future in His hands...our future.

But an email would still be nice!



Aug 5, 2015

Whimsy Wednesday :: He Will Bring You Through it.

For this week's challenge, I ended up with two images...partly because the opportunity arose to capture two beautiful shots...and partly because I think I doubly needed this quote!!  After last week's not so wonderful news, this quote played constantly in my mind.  Isn't it amazing how God will place these personal touches in our lives??

Anyone else encouraged by these words this week?

Both shots came on the same evening.  A stormy one.  Dark, ominous clouds dominated the sky, like a bully, lumbering across in no particular hurry to be gone.  They offered up the occasional shower, soaking the earth and once again, watering my gardens for me.  I kept looking out, waiting to see if we would be able to watch our nightly show of painted sky and setting sun.  I almost gave up as I watch the swirling clouds moving across the valley, but as the sun made it's nightly decent, it escaped the darkness and bust forth in rays of golden joy!

And instantly this weeks challenge quote came to mind!  I grabbed the camera and headed out into the spattering of rain, looking North and waiting.  And there, before my eyes, the rainbow appeared.  I knew it would, the conditions were right, His conditions....His promises...always right...right there...if you wait.

Dave and I watched, together, as His bow arched across the sky.  We stood, silently, for sometime, taking in the beauty and majesty that was right in front of us and marvelling at His handy work!

Yes, God brings many challenges and trial into our paths but He will carry us through them, every step - all we have to do, is wait on Him, trust in Him and watch Him work for our's not always easy but, like the storm that rolled through the other night...the end is glorious!

Next week's text:

If we wait until we're ready,
we'll be waiting for 
the rest of our lives.
                                           -Leminy Snicket


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