Saturday, April 28, 2012

Counting My Blessings

The spring weeks have gone by very quickly! I am enjoying the photographs I've been able to take. When I look around me, I admire God's handiwork. Don't you?

As many of you know, I love to read. On Tuesday, I received two books in the mail. Double whammy! I am excited to read these:)

My mom has been visiting a sweet sister in the hospital. They read the Bible together, pray and talk. I ask that each of you pray for her continued health and a stronger faith. I've gone to visit her twice and on those two occasions, I have seen many people who are hurting and dying. It makes me all the more thankful for the faith and salvation I have in Jesus and the health that his "stripes" have given me.
...and with his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

My sister and I were able to spend time with our grandmother. She even cooked up one of specialties for me. Spending the afternoon with grandma is always fun!

I have been helping my mother cook. We have made stuffed shells, rice and chicken... It is wonderful practice for when I will cook for a family of  my own. I am also enjoying the extra bonding time. I think bonding with our mothers is critical to our spiritual, physical and emotional growth. My mom is a great role model and someone who always encourages me. I thank God for her!

Who is an encouraging role model in your life? Who are you most thankful for? What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DIY: Paint Chip Wall Art

When I get creative, there is no telling how long I will take crafting. I get in a zone. One question before I share this tutorial: How many of you collect hoard paint chips? You know, the pretty papers Home Depot has in the paint department. Well, for the longest time I kept an impressive collection and decided to finally use them. But for what?

Here is what I did:

You will need:
*paint chips    *glue     *1 inch circle punch    *8.5 x 11 inch picture frame    *sheet of computer paper
pretty impressive stash, is it not?

punch out circles in your favorite colors

create a fish scale patterns and... 

a fashionable, chic frame to hang in your room

If you try this, have any questions, or have been crafty recently and would like to share, feel free to comment away.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Encourage One Another

A few days ago, Aili and I were chatting via Face Time. We talked for about an hour, but one thing that came up in our discussion was the topic of encouragement. I will admit that when I first began my blog, I was constantly checking back to see if people were leaving comments. When I saw that someone left a sweet note, it made me smile. I was glad that others were reading my blog and finding my posts edifying. 
Encouragement comes in many different forms. One way to encourage others is to show interest. Often times our thoughts are occupied with tasks we must complete and ways to excel in our own endeavours. Showing genuine interest is really showing that you care. We all need to be shown care.
You can also encourage someone by acknowledging whats important to them. When others speak to me, I want to look them in the eyes, pay attention and make what's important to my friend important to me.
We can biblically show encouragement by being appreciative  

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
being respectful
Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
James 3:18
pray and fellowship together
How good and pleasant it is when fellow believers live together in unity.
Psalm 133:1
have a forgiving heart
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:2-3

and being an accepting friend

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesian 4 29

We read in the Bible that we are to do onto others as we would have them do onto us. I like when others encourage me, so I will be willing to do the same for them. We thrive under encouragement from those who mean the most to us. God encourages me the most. In His Word, I read of so many beautiful words that were inspired to lift me up when I am down, give me hope when all seems lost and envelope me in His love.
I have purposed to encourage at least one person a day. I challenge you to do the same.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Luke 6:31

Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Review: The 13th Tribe

Their story didn’t start this year . . . or even this millennium. 

It began when Moses was on Mt. Sinai. Tired of waiting on the One True God, the twelve tribes of Israel began worshipping a golden calf through pagan revelry. Many received immediate death for their idolatry, but 40 were handed a far worse punishment—endless life on earth with no chance to see the face of God.

This group of immortals became the 13th Tribe, and they’ve been trying to earn their way into heaven ever since—by killing sinners. Though their logic is twisted, their brilliance is undeniable. Their wrath is unstoppable. And the technology they possess is beyond anything mere humans have ever seen.

Jagger Baird knows nothing about the Tribe when he’s hired as head of security for an archaeological dig on Mt. Sinai. The former Army Ranger is still reeling from an accident that claimed the life of his best friend, his arm, and his faith in God.

The Tribe is poised to execute their most ambitious attack ever and the lives of millions hang in the balance. When Jagger’s wife and son are caught in the crossfire, he’ll stop at nothing to save them. But how can one man stand against an entire tribe of immortals?

When I began reading this book, I thought t myself, "Kianna, why did you do this to yourself again?" By again I meant choosing another sci-fi, thriller, dangerous bad guy v.s. vulnerable good guy book. By again I meant choosing a book like Alienation A C.H.A.O.S Novel. I misjudged both books when I read the first few pages, but as I neared their endings, I was pleased to have them as a part of my library. 

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I have yet to read a historical fiction book that dated back to the days of Moses, the Israelites and the happenings on Mount Sinai. Robert's retelling of Israel's sin in making a golden calf as an idol is unique. Unique is a trait that makes any reading experience enjoyable. According to Liparulo, those who offered sacrifices to the golden calf and tasted the blood weren't killed but were cursed with immortality.

When I began this book I was a bit lost. I couldn't keep up with the multiple minor and major characters and their lives. As I continued reading,  I was able to put the pieces together and figure it all out.

The plot of this story was well written. I enjoyed the suspense this book gave me. Another plus for my reading experiences is when I think I know what is going to happen and as I read on, figure out that my predictions were wrong. Robert achieved this and more. My jaw dropped several times while reading this book.

The characters and their emotions were all very realistic. I enjoyed the emphasis on "saved by grace." The Tribe members sinned and tried  to save themselves by doing "good" works. They felt as though they needed to "eliminate" every sinner in order to win God's favor. One of their captives tries to share that because of Jesus' sacrifice, they didn't have to continue offering "human sacrifices". Jagger was bitter, as one would expect from a person who's life took terrible turns for the worst. Through all of his trials, he reaffirmed their faith in God.

One thing that I disliked was the violence. Murders and dangerous chases were vividly painted. I like my books to be as family friendly as possible.

I received this book from Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dream Girls


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future
Jeremiah 29:11

Have you ever thought about your future? Have you dreamed of becoming a teacher, or an artist or a doctor? Have you considered becoming a missionary and ministering in the jungles of Ecuador? Have you thought about one day getting married and having children? I have! 

Sometimes, our minds can get so preoccupied with thoughts of the future. Doing so is of no use to us because we cannot control the future. The Lord is in complete control. The ideas we have, may have been put in our hearts by God. The only way to find out is by asking Him.

Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you.
Matthew 7:7

God is so faithful. He answers us when we ask.

We should make goals and take steps to accomplish them. If they are according to God's plans, He will guide us. If those plans aren't His plans, He will reveal the truth to us. When God says "No" He knows what trials and tribulations we will be spared from in the future. 

We even read that God knew us first and has our lives recorded in complete detail.

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:16

In the Bible we read of a man who had a dream, but God said, "No." Read 2 Samuel 7 to read of King David's dream. Even though David wanted to please God, he had to change his plans to obey God.

It's okay to dream... but we must always surrender our dreams to God. We should always consult Him in every aspect of out lives, especially in decision  making.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Counting My Blessings: I'm Back

You may have noticed that I have stopped Counting My Blessings. I won't dare say that God hasn't done wonderful things in my life, because He has! I guess you could say that I always liked to see God in the fire, the earthquake, you know, the big things. I've had time to think and appreciate that God is just as powerful in the small things as He is in the big ones.

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
1 Kings 19:11-13

Look at these photographs. They capture simple things, but in person, these simple object take our breath away. I want to let God's simple blessings (for lack of a better word) take my breath away. I challenge you to do the same.

do you see the moon?

All of these photos are unedited.

Friday, April 6, 2012

An Interview With Friends~ Kelsey ~LOVINHUGGIN~

Kelsey is such a good blogger friend. We have kept in touch via email and she has even shared a delicious brownie recipe with me. I have enjoyed reading her blog, meeting her families newest addition, Kyle, and getting to talk to another godly young lady. With out further ado, here is the interview I had with Kelsey over at ~LOVINHUGGIN~

Can you tell us a little bit about your self?
Sure, my name is Kelsey. I am 12 years old soon to be 13!! God is my everything. He is my reason for living:-) My goal is to become more and more like a Proverbs 31 lady every day that goes by. 2nd I love my family, they are my everything:-) I have 5 brothers (I know a lot, right?*smile*) and the most wonderful parents in the world. I have been home schooled my whole life, and I am so grateful that God has blessed me in that way. I really enjoy it:-) I enjoy hanging out with my family, reading Gods word, praying, baking/cooking, memorizing scripture, learning, taking pictures, texting, shopping, painting nails, putting outfits together, preparing to be a homemaker, serving,and helping out wherever I can:-)

When did you begin blogging?
August 2008{I think}

What are the 3 blogs you read most often?
hmm...hard question...Well of course I love yours , and then Maria Loves... , and also I like Maid For More.

What are your 3 favorite books?
Lets see, Before You Meat Prince Charming (By Sarah Mally), A Love That Multiples (The Duggar's) Kisses From Katie (Katie Davis.) They are all great books. I highly recommend them:-)

What genre(s) of books do you prefer?
Books about other peoples lives. Those are really interesting to me.

What are your 2 favorite movies?
Courageous, Love Comes Softly

Which Bible character is your favorite?
Of course Jesus..and then Moses and Ruth

What's your favorite Bible citation?
1 Corinthians 13
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Who do you most admire in your family?
Hard question..I think I admire them all for different reasons.

What is it like being the only girl (sister) in the midst of so many boys (brothers)?
I really enjoy it. If I think about it, there will always be 6 (including my dad) guys in the family to look after me and to stick up for me, so I would say I love having 5 brothers!
Over the years, what have you learned about having so many brothers?
That it is not really as hard as everybody thinks it is....It is truly a blessing

Since you all have k names, do you ever mix up the names, calling one brother the name of another?
Yes, all the time:-)

What are a few things that no one knows about you?
Let me think......well I don't think many people know that I love olives*grin*

What is your favorite thing to do on rainy mornings?
Sit down with a cup of tea and either blog or read my Bible

In three words, how would you describe yourself?
Feminine, God lover, Girly

How would you describe you fashion style?
Modest, girly, ruffles, Really anything that has pink ruffles and is modest.

I know that you like to cook and bake. what are a few of your favorite foods an sweets to prepare?
I really enjoy making chicken spaghetti, and also I have a really fun brownie recipe that I enjoy making!

What is your absolute favorite color? 
Definitely  PINK!

What are some of your hobbies, or things to do in your spare time?
Lets see... read, shop, talk, skype, blog, email, Bible time, hang out with the family and bake,:-) Nothing too interesting*smile*

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A New Endeavor

If you have read my profile lately, you may have noticed that I included a new hobby of mine, writing. I love to read and I want to put my passion for books to good use and hopefully write a novel of my own... someday. In preparation for such an accomplishment, I've joined Kathryn in her writing adventure. We have begun writing short stories together along with two other contributors. I have enjoyed reading their stories and exercising what I feel is my God-given talent.

I have written a portion of our next story, "Hiding From Royalty" I'd love for you to read my piece and tell me what you think of it.

Visit Breathings of Your Heart and stay awhile. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Recipes: No-Bake Energy Bites

I love quick, easy recipes. If your like me (you don't have time to bake all day or prepare snacks) then you'll love this recipe. Even if you do have time to devote to baking (or snack making) then you too will love this recipe... trust me.

Today's recipe is No-Bake Energy Bites. Here's the ingredients: (thanks Maggie):

1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything in a medium bowl until every delicious component is thoroughly incorporated. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy! Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Wasn't that super easy! When you try this recipe, because I know you will, let me know how they came out and how much you like them.

mom says these look like little soldiers preparing to march into her tummy:)


Monday, April 2, 2012

A Final Good-Bye To Winter

Every winter, there is something I look forward to: ice skating, but for the last three years, I haven't had time. I was ecstatic when my mom told me that we were going skating, especially because the skating season ended April first. I must admit, my skating skills need a bit, a lot of work, but I enjoyed trying to relearn. Since Wollman rink is in Central Park, I was able to snap a few photos of beautiful New York City

I've always wanted to ride in one of these

transportation in the big city

central park

I was admiring his horse and he hollered asking if I wanted a ride. ($50.00 per ride!)

across the street from central park

city scape

these are cool

horse and carriage

a peek into the rink

putting on my hockey skates

having fun

Fall seven times, stand up eight. ~Japanese Proverb
me and some friends falling... again

another successful lap

the trick is to bend your knees and have your arms out

steady... steady...

Ali and I skating... our skirts are all wet from falling many times

by this time, I got much better:)

love the sun in this one

the rink is surrounded by sky scrapers

little sister skating with my uncle

little sister's skates

more city scape

can you guess... more buildings.

tired, sore and ready to go home.

And with that, one final good-bye to winter.
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