Daniel’s growing up! – 4-8-13 {Flashback Friday}

These were taken the day after his “halfy birthday”, the day our family celebrates turning {your age} and a half 😉 He’s 7 1/2! Only six months until he’s 8!


A Trim?

Before 2

As you can see in the above picture my hair was in need of a trim due to the damage on the ends. I went in hoping for a small trim since I’m trying to grow it out…

Before 1

I’ll tell the truth: I was not happy with the way it turned out. A lot more was taken off then I had been planning on. Did I not communicate well with the hair dresser? or was my hair really that damaged? Thankfully I have loving family and friends that set me straight and a God that calls me beautiful, as long as I strive to reflect the image of his Son!

AFter 1 after 2 After 3


Thank you Bethany for taking these wonderful pictures!


Right now everyone in my family is at a HUGE book festival while I sit at home feeling under the weather. And that feeling is getting old. I’ve been in this state for a week slowly getting better. And that process for me includes a lot of time in bed, which means I’ve spent a lot of time reading! So since my family is going to come home all excited about books I thought I would excite myself and you with what I’ve been reading this week. Sound good?


Help Meet

Preparing to be a Help Meet

by Debi Pearl

This was a great book with fun stories, wonderful words of wisdom, and new angles. Of all the relationship books I’ve read this one is the best. It gave me something to do now and in the future. This book encouraged me to strengthen my prayer life and look at where I am here and now as an amazing training ground that will prepare me for my future, wherever it may be.


Borders of the Heart

Borders of the Heart

by Chris Fabry

I only set this book down about four times! The story line was incredible and the writing was terrific (and the Author’s just plain amazing, I know him!)!  I do have to say that it was pretty creepy to read about crazy people running around with guns in scenes that took place in Tucson around buildings and streets I know. This book contained many surprises and was definitely hard to put down.


PassionA Passion for the Impossible

by Miriam Huffman Rockness

(Still in process of reading this one)

The life of Lilias Trotter has intrigued me so far. She’s a very gifted artist who tosses away fortune and fame to spend a life with the lost and unsaved. And that’s pretty much all I know… so far…

My Gramma and Papa Newhouse gave this book to me for my birthday and I can’t wait to read it through! In many ways this lady’s life is very similar to mine and I’m excited to watch and learn from her life.

You might notice the word passion in the title. This book was part of the reason I chose that word as my word of the year. I’ll hopefully have more to share after I finish the book!


ChristmasA Wild Goose Chase Christmas

by Jennifer AlLee

Part mystery, part romance, with a few spins that make you laugh and cry at the same time. I really enjoyed this book (which was given to me by Chris Fabry!). The back cover didn’t get me too excited to read the book so I was all the more surprised by the great story line and intriguing characters.


No Greater Love

No Greater Love

by Levi Benkert

This story started in America but quickly uprooted to the heart of Ethiopia, Africa. It followed the calling God placed on the Benkert family and how they started the ministry Bring Love In. I could see the children’s faces as I read and it definitely pulled at my heart strings!

I encourage you to take a look at the website for Bring Love In and learn more about this unique ministry…

Stack2 Stack3

EDIT: I’m linking up to the March of Books over at Kindred Grace!

American Heritage Festival – 11/23-26/12 {Flashback Friday}

2012’s American Heritage Festival was amazing and thanks to the Paulsen family I got to participate all three days! My family came up on Sunday and brought my camera, so for the first time I got the chance to capture scenes from years ago…

Enjoy! (all pictures are taken by me unless I’m in them ;))

Red Coats Playing cards

Cellphone pictures from the first two days… We got a breathtaking sunset Saturday night. I was amazed I caught it so well with the iPhone!


Me & girl Mom and me

Lining up for the morning parade…

Redcoats Parade Parade 2 Parade 3 Parade 4 Parade 5 Parade 6 Confederate cry! Parade back Parade back 2 Family Line up

I could not get enough of these guys in their red coats. The details and color of this era are so fun to capture!

Redcoat British flag Shadows A man with his gun Drills Lined up Line up Forward! March! Shadows Taking a blow

In between battles there was lots of time for books, cards, writing and hanging out with friends!

Books Cards Learning Friends

Taking pics Serious

Union photo bomb


Union photo-bomb ^ (click to view larger)

Boot Boots

My favorite battle was when the confederate army set up camp not knowing their enemy was planning an attack by surrounding them!

Confederate "camp" Quite camp Attack Confederate camp Union Union fire Fall

It was an incredible, fun, and tiring weekend. Let’s just say it was good to have my own bed back with no loud trains passing through multiple times in the night!


In Tucson? Yes! The most snow my family has seen falling in our neighborhood…

Blizzard! Okay... not really...

Blizzard! Okay… not really…

The boys had lots of fun in it…


A little colder then your used to? He didn't take the time to grab a good jacket not knowing how long it would stick around

A little colder then you’re used to? He didn’t take the time to grab a good jacket not knowing how long it would stick around.

The chickens were pretty scared and didn't want to venture out into the snow. Poor Sausage was pulled out for some pictures, but she wouldn't hold still :roll:

The chickens were pretty scared and didn’t want to venture out into the snow. Poor Sausage was pulled out for some pictures, but she wouldn’t hold still 🙄


Out of the whole family I spent the most time out in the snow. It was so beautiful. I could not get enough of it!

These boots kept my toes warm in the beginning, but I soon forgot I had any!

These boots kept my toes warm in the beginning, but I soon forgot I had any!

Snowy peach

Melting peach


Can you see the snowflake designs?

Can you see the snowflake designs?

The mountains were gorgeous, but the clouds soon covered them up. I can't wait to get good pictures tomorrow!

The mountains were breathtaking, but the clouds soon covered them up. I can’t wait to get good pictures tomorrow!

The snow stopped after a couple hours, but surprised us with another dose in the evening! My family had a hard time, yet again, pulling me inside.


Thank you God for the perspective you have given us desert rats on snow!

Bug Festival – 9/15/12 {Flashback Friday}

A big room full of bugs and insects and beetles, oh my! Who wouldn’t want to go?


Rhino bug

The picture makes it look like I was nervous. I wasn't. I'm fine with almost all bugs as long as I know where they are ;)

The picture makes it look like I was nervous. I wasn’t. I LOVE bugs! (as long as I know where they are) 😉


After the bug festival my eyes were opened to all the amazing insects and spiders God has created. I was excited to find and capture (on camera) as many as I could!

After the bug festival my eyes were opened to all the amazing insects and spiders God has created. I was excited to find and capture (on camera) as many as I could!

Big Spider



The Past 4 Months in Pictures – part 2

Here’s our July trip to Mt. Lemmon in Pictures:

I hope you enjoyed the pictures (even though they were a bit late 😛 )!


11 years ago…

On Monday Shannon was just a college student; on Tuesday her life was changed forever.

It was 10:15am as she was walking out of her classroom checking her cell phone messages. The first one was from her mom checking in on her. When will she stop checking in on me? Shannon thought. The last message started out with a huge bang and continued on with loud background noises while a man spoke anxiously, “Hey, Reilly, it’s your brother Arsenio. I know you haven’t heard from me in a long time, but, well, things have changed. I forgive you and I am sorry for not doing this sooner, I truly am. I am afraid this will be me last contact with you.” There was a pause as the man searched for his last words, “Reilly, I love you!” There was another aggravating pause before she heard an explosion and the message was over. Shannon was confused; her name wasn’t Reilly, and she had no brothers. Surely this man had the wrong number, but Shannon couldn’t just delete the message. Someone named Reilly was out there needing to hear these words from her brother.

“Shannon!” Her best friend Jamie was yelling in a quavering voice. She ran up to Shannon and held both her arms, shaking. “Have… have you heard…” She broke down into sobs.

“What’s wrong Jamie? Tell me,” Shannon held Jamie close to her.

“Come back to your dorm room with me.”

“Jamie, this can’t take too long, I have a class to get to.”

“You will forget about your class after you see.”

“When I see what? Jamie stop playing games. What is the matter?” Shannon was getting frustrated.

“Turn on the TV,” Jamie said as she reached for the door to the dorm rooms. Together they raced up the stairs and Shannon quickly unlocked her room. Jamie ran over and turned the TV on, sat down on the couch and hid her head in her hands. What flashed before Shannon’s eyes came fast and unreal; the New York twin towers had been hit by airplanes and were now crumbling to the ground. She barely heard what the reporter had to say as the twin tower scene switched to the pentagon crash. She felt numb, the college was right outside New York City. Am I safe? Is our country under attack? Are we in danger? Questions started spinning around in her head when her cell phone rang. She automatically answered it not really wanting to talk to anyone.

“Hi,” she said quietly.

“Shannon, Honey, are you okay?”

“Yes mom, I’m fine,” as soon as Shannon answered she burst into tears, “who would dare do such a thing?” she yelled into the phone. “Who would dare?”

When she was done talking to her Mom she remembered the phone call she had missed and suddenly something dawned on her, this man might have been in one of the twin towers. She quickly looked at her phone to see what area code he had called from; New York City.

The next week was a whirlwind. Shannon spent all her spare time in New York City trying to track down any news about Arsenio or his sister Reilly. It felt like she was trying to do the impossible. Until, she saw his name exactly a week after 9/11. She was walking by the same intimidating wall of thousands of faces she had walked by everyday that week. The amount of missing loved ones was staggering. Then she saw it, Arsenio’s name. It was the first time she saw his picture and it crushed her heart to finally put his name to the face of a real person. Under the picture it said: Missing if found please call (123) 112-2334. Shannon instantly pulled out her cell phone and dialed. What was she going to say?

A female answered, “Hello you’ve reached real estate agent Reilly Hall. How can I help you?”

“Hi,” Shannon weakly said, “My name is Shannon and I have some information about your brother Arsenio I think you should know.”

“How do you know my brother?” Reilly quickly responded.

“Well I don’t know him very well, but it’s a long story. Are you in New York?”

“Yes I am, until this Saturday.”

“Can we meet at Penny Park?”

“Sure, sounds like a plan. Can you be there in 20 minutes?”

“Okay, see you then.”


What am I going to say to her? What do I say to a grieving sister? Shannon quickly made her way to the Park taking Arsenio’s picture with her. She got to the park 2 minutes late and immediately a middle-aged woman rushed up to her recognizing the picture in her hand.

“Shannon, are you Shannon?”

“Yes, you must be Reilly.”

“What is it? What do you have to tell me?”

“I have a phone message that was meant for you. Here listen.” Reilly was about to question Shannon more, but took the phone from Shannon’s hand and listened quietly. Her jaw dropped open. When the message ended she collapsed onto the ground Shannon sat beside her and rapped her arms around her. Reilly never understood why Shannon got the message, but Shannon knew God makes no mistakes and brought the two together for a reason.

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*Story and Pictures are by Riahjoy. Please do not take without permission. Thank you.