Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Summer... now gone.

But I just loved this picture too much not to share it with you.


"In repentance and rest is your salvation, 
in quietness and trust is your strength..." 
Isaiah 30:?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Asking the Audience...

Things to do. Places to be. People to enjoy.

How do you make it all happen?

Life is busy, right? But things still need to get done. How does one juggle everything? And yes, this is out for debate. I want you to comment and share your tips. I have decided I do far too much talking around here. So here is the question; 

What are some ways that help you not get distracted, but stay focused on what needs to be done?


How do you get a lot accomplished in a day?


maybe you're the type that doesn't get distracted. And if that's the truth...HOW?

I'm still workin' on it. 
Sooo...I want to hear from YOU!

But on a random and encouraging's a verse that should stop you in your tracks and have you praising God all the day long...

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, 
that we should be called the children of God." 1 John 3:1

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Me and the Boys

...that's my life around here these days. :)


My brothers continually make me laugh. All the time.
 Even when I really don't want to.

My sister also makes me laugh. But she's gone.
Sad, I know. But she will be coming back. :)

But I'm so crazy excited with all that she is learning, and what God is going to do through her surrendered life. God writes beautiful stories. And I get to have a front seat in this one.
{I would say "more on this later", but I don't want to make promises that I might not keep, nor get your hopes up of hearing the wonderful path that God is leading my I won't say anything.}

And in other completely off-the-wall news, my little brother's gerbil had babies. Two hairless little things the size of a two-year olds pinky. They are diligently learning how to be cute, but they aren't quite there yet. 

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, 
that we should be called the children of God!"
1 John 3:1

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


How about you transport yourself back several months. Like about four months. It was in May. A chilly, cloudy day in May when we found ourselves at the beach. On our way home the vote was unanimous--yes to the beach! So we backtracked 4 hours out of our way to camp on Assateague Islands.

Best. decision. ever.


Family all together. Waves crashing into the soft sand. Zipped up in a warm sleeping--I didn't think life could get better. But than again, I'm a sucker for the ocean/beach/water.


Granted it wasn't perfect beachy-swim weather. (I don't think we saw the sun once and it remained breezy and cloudy.) But when you live in the doesn't really matter, ya take what you can get. And we did. We pulled up a couple hours before dark, quickly set up our tents in the sand, slapped our swimsuit on and ran into the water.

Photobucket it literally whipped the breath right out of you. But it was the perfect thing to do after riding in the car most of the day. We soon retreated back to our campsite (yards from the water itself), once mom couldn't see good enough to count heads.  Our only issue was the sand. The air was a mix between rain and mist and the result was that it made everything sticky.


These are the guys that push me to do more than I ever thought possible. Strength, determination and discipline. Can't wait to see what God does with those qualities. Not to mention the splash of humor that keeps me laughing.


The morning started with a walk along the water with my hoodie on. With the waves crashing in I marveled at my God. The sheer creativity and strength and power. Indescribable. 

The next several hours after breakfast were spent riding the waves. Mom bought two boogie-like boards at a little shop nearby. Way fun. It took a bit, but we finally got the hang of paddling out and than riding the wave all the way back to shore. Ahhh...good times. Nobody wanted to leave. However we could only be in the water for about 30 min before we had to come back to shore and warm up. So pushups and burpees came into effect here and soon it was back to the waves.


God is good.

There. Now you can return to September. Thanks for going back in time with me!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Reason #3,794...

...why I absolutely love being surrounded by brothers. 

A random wednesday afternoon I was in my room sitting cleaning and in walks a tall brother. He states very simply "Anna, I'm going repelling with the little boys, wanna come?" My face displays my response, to which he smiles and says "Good. We're leaving soon so get ready fast."

Who cares if it's 100˚ outside. Who cares if my to-do list still has oodles of un-checked boxes. Who cares if I have to stop right in the middle of a project. Family/brothers are important. Memories are worth making.

So the next time your brother pops a random it. You won't regret it. I didn't.

{and I'm going to stop right now and give you an excuse for my lack of posting. Blogger. It's being dumb. Or maybe I should say that I'm being dumb and can't figure it out. But I've got plenty to share as soon as I can wrap my mind around the little issue!}

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gettysburg, PA

Gettysburg. A place where thousands died. And once again as we stepped out of the van onto that ground. the very same ground that fathers, brothers, uncles, sons were killed. I was overwhelmed by the sacrifice. Men died for what they believed in. And being a girl I put myself in the shoes of a southern girl...what it would have been like to send my brothers off knowing that the chances of them return were slim at best?

We meandered through the museum, some spending more time than others reading the plaques. I do like history, but I can only read and look at so much...and some of our group took their dear sweet time reading. haha. but it was good. However, there was one section that especially caught my attention. Off by itself in a corner were glass cases containing hand written notes; it was entitled "Letters Home."

I poured over the letters. Some were so worn that they couldn't be deciphered. Others were written with such a beautiful script that I couldn't make it out. Thankfully, beside the original copy there were printed copies. Notes from fathers to their little boys, asking them to be strong and carry on. Men writing home to their sweethearts, urging them not to worry. Women keeping their husbands updated on the status of their homes. It was so real and so unhistory-bookish. Forbidden tears slipped down my cheeks as I read a letter written by girl to her special man; her hero, who she would never see again. 

The subject of a tour guide was debated and after a quick discussion, my mother's vote won out. He was hired. And a better decision was never made. We picked him up and he hopped into the drivers seat and proceeded to give us a 2 1/2 hour tour all over the grounds and battlefields. He would point out the different regiment monuments by name all along the way--we were highly impressed.

Frequent stops were made to get a closer view of a monument or particular field. And he would always point out where exactly we were to get us re-oriented. History came alive from this man as he recounted tales and stories from both the North and South. He knew the little details about the general/soldiers lives that made them seem like real men, not just statues and people you read about.

Monument for the 20th Maine--lead by Laurence Chamberlain

We strode along the same path that Chamberlain and his men stood and took their stand. We walked up Pickett's charge. The very route that such brave men ran across. And our tour guide {and I can't remember his name} continued to give us details that made it so real. The amount of food, horses, gunsmoke, ammunition...etc.

Each of the three days that were fought at Gettysburg were carefully laid out in detail for us to hear, see and remember. By the end of the day my head was swimming with so much information. And I felt fully versed in the intricacies of that battle. 

My father has always been passionate about the Civil War, and Gettysburg in particular and so to finally come here with the family fulfilled a long-time dream of his.

The boys!

We were in the fields/museum from when they opened at 9am to when they closed at 10pm. So torwards the end some of us got a little 

"The LORD is my light and my salvation-- 
whom shall I fear? 
The LORD is the stronghold of my life--
 of whom shall I be afraid?"
Psalm 27:1

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bloom Bunch

Hamburgers. Fresh lettuce from the garden. A beautiful summer evening. Volleyball.

What else could you want/need?

I've been trying to get these people {The Bloom's} to move to NE. It would be so much easier to stay connected and in touch if they weren't half the nation away.

Gotta love the facial expressions in volleyball.


Sometimes when you meet a person there is an instant connection and you just know that you'll become good friends...right away. That's what happened with Kristina and I. We worked one day together and found that we had so much in common. I was anxious to have her meet my sister and hoped that they would get along well!

When I was living out in VA I spent some time with her family. Her little brothers made me laugh and reminded me so much of my own. And I'm not sure if they helped or made missing my family worse. :)

But we had a fabulous evening of fellowship...and would love to return the favor here in NE *hint, hint*

Thank you so much, Blooms, for the wonderful evening!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Warrior Dash

It was hot. It was tough. It was muddy. It was fun.

This picture was taken before the race...

...this was taken after the race.

Yes, I do realize that my bro here looks "clean" compared to me. But you do have to understand that he came through the finish line a substantial time before me...and he dumped water on himself {l'il stinker}.

Emile and I were running partners! Doing something with a friend makes the fun that much better:) She stuck with me, even though I think I slowed her down a bit.

The Warrior Dash is a mud/obsticle run. So in addition to running a 5k you also climb over old cars, step/run your way through tires, climb ropes/rope ladders, crawl under barbed wire...and my personal favorite...jump over fire and swim through a mud pit. :P It was crazy and fun. The only thing was that our wave was at 3:30 in the afternoon, right in the the dead heat. But instead of making excuses I'll just leave you to imagine what it would have been like.

And just to brag on my brothers real quick I will add that they placed 1st and 2nd in our wave of 500 people. And Phillip got 5th overall, and 3rd in his age group, there were 7,700 people that participated. Yeah, my bros are amazing that way! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Afternoon

Texting. Hmm. Interesting technology. It has it's ups and downs. But here's a definate up...
sending random messages to unsuspecting friends:)
{granted most my friends are probably not "unsuspecting" anymore ;)}

So right now I thought I'd let ya'll in on some good 'ole Sunday afternoon randomness.  

There are two things that I want to learn how to do;
a handspring.
raise one eyebrow.

Why does getting covered in mud sometimes seem just the perfect thing to do?

New favorite quote of the month;
"Wow! That guy in those skinny jeans looks super manly." says no one ever

If only there was something that could squish and widden the hips at any given moment...depending on the skirt that I wish to fit into...just sayin'

I think faster than my phone. It's another reason why my want for an iPhone has now become a need.

Sometimes I wish I was a fish. Sometimes I wish I was a bird. But in the end I'm so glad I'm human!

Have a lovely rest of your Sunday!

Oh, the picture up there? With my brother.  It's just one that makes me smile. For no given reason. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Love a beautiful thing.

It was a beautiful day.

Two became one.

It was a memorable day.

Lots of pictures were taken.

It was a happy day.

I have a new sister.

It was a day to cherish and remember. forever.

Arlington Cemetary

 A place of valor. A place of honor. A place of rememberance.

 Words can't describe what went on in my heart as I stepped through the entrance to these sacred hills, where thousands of hero's rest. And this wouldn't be the last time I experienced emotion like this. Some of the very reasons we planned this trip were to visit Arlington, Gettysburg and other historical grounds. It was sobering, but very good.

We also just "happened" to be in the cemetary on it's 150th birthday. To honor that special day they had 100 buglers stationed admidst the grounds, and when the clock struck twelve the hills sang with the mornful call of Taps. It was a reflective moment.



With no time commitments, places to be or schedules to follow it was quite refreshing to wander throughout the grounds and enjoy each others company. This was our first stop in DC and we spent the majority of our morning here. And let me tell ya folks, nothing can replace time/talks spent with family.

{Joe was not able to make this trip east...and his presence was sorely missed. And in lieu of the busy schedule that we planned for the weekend Bethany [and of course Arianna] opted to sit out on DC so she could enjoy other sites not so frequently visited.}


To those who gave...thank you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spontaneous Trip to VA

I love spontaneity! There is just something about doing the unexpected. Packing up for an adventure. Not really knowing what the next few days are going to hold. Loading a van full of stuff and kids for a 22 hour drive straight through.Trying to form plan, yet keeping a loose schedule. Yes, folks, that's my kinda life.

Dad and Mom have been wanting to take a family trip to visit the much loved and missed Dan and Bethany {and of course l'il Arianna just hyped up the anticipation} for quite some time. But the time slot to make said visit was getting smaller. D&B weren't going to be in VA for much longer and the calendar was rapidly filling with graduations and weddings...not to mention the other "things" that take up our time. It had been life-long dream of my father to visit Gettysburg with his sons. Most of us kids had never been that far east or been to DC. So the calendar was scoured, schedules rearranged and dates were set. Only one lonnnggg weekend was even open to make such a trip work and so we booked it. 

Once the date was set {and it wasn't that long before-hand} things kicked into full gear. Excitement reached an all-time high. Chatter and talk about the expected time was the topic of conversation at every dinner. Bags were pulled out, the house was in utter chaos packing began, and the debate of whether or not to tack on the 4-hour trip further east to see the ocean insued.

::Grandpa and Grandma get their first look at Arianna::

Words can't describe how exactly we made it safely without any broken bones mishap to VA. 
Just imagine;
One van, 8 people, 22 hours through the night, 5 boys, luggage enough for a week, cramped legs...etc. 
"Others First" was our trip motto. During the wee hours of the morning it would tend to back-fire into manipulation of some sort. 
It was not uncommon to hear this exchange:
boy: "please, may I have the bench to sleep in?"
other boy: "I am already sleeping."
boy: "'others first'. you should be more than willing to get up and give me your bench."
other boy: "you should be practicing what you preach."
boy: "I am simply giving you the opportunity to get a reward in heaven and honor your parents. so I am actually being quite sacrificial."
...and that is where I'll end this little dialouge. *smile*

A short hike up to Raven's Rock was needed enjoyed to work off some cramped legs.

It was just so wonderful to have the family be together! We got in Friday evening and Caleb was due to arrive via plane the next morning. Joe was the only one who couldn't make it. 

This was our 2nd hike of the day. We had stopped enroute at Haper's Ferry to climb Maryland Heights--a gorgeous overlook where the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers meet. Josh, Phillip and I headed off to a steeper trail that lead up to a stone wall that was built by the Union soldiers. As we sweated up the steep trail we talked and read the signs on what it would have been like to be a soldier. They lugged 100lb cannon balls up the edge of the hill, not to mention water and supplies. Our cotton t-shirts that once seemed so sticky and warm suddenly didn't seem so bad afterall. We looped around and walked along the same ground that those brave men fought and died on. So much sacrifice. This whole trip made me so grateful. After tromping around a bit up top we ran back down the trail to catch up with the family at the overlook.

God is good. And I was continually reminded of this!

This little baby stole my heart. I love her so much!

This is just one of many posts of out trip to VA. It is a little long time in coming, but hopefully I'll get the rest up before too long.

"I remain confident of this; 
I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 
Wait for the LORD, be strong and take heart 
and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:13-14

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Latest News

 ...these adorable people are getting married. soon. like Saturday soon.

It has been so special to watch the Lord draw Joe and Rachel together. And as the excitement builds for the special day it makes me look forward to what God has for them in the future. Thier personalities are so fun-loving and genuine. To watch them interact makes me smile. Rachel has truly been a joy to get to know and I can't wait to make our friendship even deeper! 

This whole week Joe has just been all grins...oh the joys of having a brother in love ;)

May the Lord be magnified on this special day!

--Photos by Abby Martin--
{head over to her blog -AbbyNoelle- to see more. I absolutely love her style.
She is photographing the wedding watch her blog for pictures} 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Life is busy. 
Life is crazy.
 Life never seems to stop. 
June is so jam-packed full.
  {and for the sake of time I won't give you my new-found speal about relishing each busy moment, and enjoying every crammed-full day} 

But yet in the midst of a full and hectic life the command remains the same;

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God..."

Chew on that for a couple minutes. hours. days.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy...for like ever.

Hello little blogging world! I know my posts have not been super frequent, but sometimes I'm too busy keeping up on enjoying life to stop over to share some of it with you. BUT if you were at my house on May 8th here is what you'd have seen...

White pennents hung from our tall ceilings. Balloons in the colors of white, blue, apricot and yellow floated in the air. A pennent banner stating "happy for like ever" livened up the plain white wall. Excitement permeated the room. 

...a pretty jar of pre-measured ribbons would have attracted your eye with their vibrant colors. Guessing the length would prove to be challenging to most of the guests...

...but this lovely lady showed the crowd that she'd spent many a day in the craft room. The correct length was 1,083. Amanda guessed 1,027. 
{three cheers for Amanda...the average guess was aroud 500}

...a wide-spread aray of yummy and delicious fruits and sweets lined the table. Cheesecake squares, brownie/strawberry trifle, fruit trifle, sugar cookies, brownie bites, lemon bars, oranges, pineapples and every kind of berry... 

...He Says...She Says {aka. how well do you think you know Joe and Rachel} turned out to be a pretty fun game. The challenge was to guess who said which 'quote' and circle the appropriate silhouette.

Here's a sample of some of the quotes;
{the bolded he/she reveals the speaker}
"I think he/she would be pretty easy to live with." 
"He/she looks so cute on the court."
"One of the first things that really impressed me was in New Testament class.
We had to do posts online and his/her knowlege of the Bible really impressed me.
I loved reading his posts."
"Her/his competetive nature is very appealing."
"My favorite date was when he/she took me to to Central Park and grilled out in the rain."
"He/she hates chocolate." would have had a choice between three different drinks. Very Berry, Lemon Lime or Grapefruit.  {I think Grapefruit was the favorite}

...A gorgeous blond with the bride-to-be glow, by the name of Rachel Schnell, was the special girl of the night...

 ...Rows and rows of amazing supportive friends lined the floor.

...random drawings would decide who got to share a "helpful tip" or "pick-a-prize". When we finally opened up the floor for marriage advice the ladies were quick to jump in. I think a best-seller could have been written with all the wonderful marriage hints that were given. 

A sample of some of the tips;
"Marriage defined is...two sinners living together trying to teach younger sinners not to sin." -Amanda
"I will forgive you/will you forgive me are the most important words." -Abi
"Always give your husband the best. Don't let your helpfulness/busyness to others take away from giving him 100%." -Marge
"Feed him well." -Leah
"Your husband is vastly {at least most likely is} different than your dad. Keep that in mind."-Dianne
 "Have fun. There are times to be serious, yes, but learn to'll get you through a lot."-Amanda
"Years down the road...remember the little things that made you fall in love with him." - ?!? 

...a sizeable table boasted presents large and small. People are so generous.

...did I mention yummy food.

Don't ya wish you could have come?!? 
{And in case you're still wondering Rachel S. is going to be my new a very short amount of time. Like June 23rd to be exact. And I get to be a bridesmaid...yes, that was beside the point...but way too exciting not to mention.}

{photo credits; Anna Rehm}