Sunday, March 27, 2011


My sister, Kristy, has gone to Isreal and we are praising God for her safe return. She is so loving and giving....her gifts to her sisters were these beautiful pashmina wraps,also called a pashmina stoles, shawls, or scarves. She thought of us as she traveled, wishing we too could be wrapped in this place....warm, cared for, loved.

Pashmina refers to a type of fine cashmere wool and the textiles made from it. The name comes from Pashmineh (پشمینه), made from Urdu and Persian pashm ("wool"). The wool comes from changthangi or pashmina goat, which is a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas in Nepal, Pakistan and northern India. Pashmina shawls are hand spun, woven and embroidered in Kashmir, and made from fine cashmere fibre.

Kristy came home bearing gifts for all. She came home with stories and love for people she met along her journey. She came home with Jesus, closer now to her heart. She talked of the Garden, of walking the streets Jesus walked carrying the cross. She talked of Calvary, and the tomb where he was laid. She was baptized in the Jordan River.

She saw remains of a prehistoric buildings that have been discovered in the modern city of Tel Aviv. The three room structure is about 8,000 years old and was built in the Neolithic period when most humans moved from a nomadic existence into permanent settlements. Years and years of erosion, earthquakes and abandonment deemed these structures lost and irretrievable, yet, now, she saw workers, painstakingly taking out bits of these structures, piece by piece, and reassembling them, again piece by piece, "like a puzzle", to recreate pieces of history...a newfound need and desire to see what Jesus saw.

"And leaving the city Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capharnaum on the sea coast …" (Matthew 4:13).

From Mount of Precipice on the southern outskirts of Nazareth to Capernaum, my sister visited
the same places and saw the same landscapes that Jesus visited and saw.

It seems like a dream to me that she has been there. It probably seems like a dream to her as well, but she has gifts and trinkets and stories and pictures and memories. And now, more than before, she carries Jesus in her heart. She was able to walk where he walked. I am so proud of her and happy for her that she was able to make this journey. She now can be the vessel to share these stories with us.

Praise God with me for her safe return, and, while you are praying, please pray for her big beautiful family. They are having some major family concerns, and she covets your prayers to bring this family back together, whole, healthy and well. Join with me in praying that her newfound closeness to Jesus will be a step in the right direction! She has just returned from walking where Jesus walked and now, I know He is right beside her, holding her hand. How amazing is that?

Sunday, March 20, 2011


There are things that we don't want to happen,
But we have to accept them;
Things we don't want to know,
But have to learn;
And people we don't want to live without,
But have to let them go. -Author unknown

This precious little girl, Makayla, has won the battle and earned her heavenly reward.

Prayers have been uttered around the nation for this little girl, for her pink, girly, "Makayla Miracle"! We can not understand why the answer to our prayers sometimes comes in death instead of renewed health.

Why can we not keep those we love with us on this earth?
Why does a family have to go through such suffering?
What lessons could possible be learned from this?

Her mama, Krista is a beautiful, loving young lady and she worked and worked, and tried everything to save her baby. When the answer became very evident to them, she shared with the world on Caring Bridge, how peaceful it was and how mom and dad told her how much they loved her and that if she was ready to go, it was ok.....They held her as she took her last breaths. They are teaching us....this is exactly the way to do things. They loved her enough to let her go.

Mama Krista, you are so beautiful. I have not seen you much over the past years, but I love you! Look at those smiles! Remember this picture when your heart becomes too heavy to bear.

I have learned so much from this young, beauty, caring, giving, strength, courage...

In their loss, they are thanking us for our prayers for peace and comfort, and asking us to continue to pray for their 2 other children as they learn what life is like without their big sister.

Even now, they asked for no flowers, nothing for themselves. Instead, they ask us to use the donation for a toy for the Children's Care Hospital. They had donated many of their childrens' toys there at Christmas. Makayla said, "It's okay Mom, I have lots..." I know Makayla would love this, and it will help to pass on her smile to so many more kids."
They are teaching us to give. Tables and tables loaded with toys were collected at the celebration and will give so much joy and many, many smiles to children in honor of Makayla. Her smile will live on.
Makayla is still teaching me through her parents' selfless actions.... Give, share, love. A friend wrote that the celebration of life was fun and beautiful. How does one do that??? The saddest time of their lives I am sure, but they worked to make it a celebration geared towards happiness and fun. This friend said that usually funerals are so sad, but she left the celebration with smiles and remembrances of happy times. I was unable to be there that day, but I can not erase the vision of pink balloons from my mind.

I have NO IDEA how one survives the loss of a beautiful child, but I have been watching the story unfold, and I am sure I will continue to marvel at the strength of this family. Please continue to pray for this young family, that they can continue to remember happy times, times of love and sharing and laughter before Makayla became ill, that they know that they know that they know that they did everything humanly possible for this child, that the decision was in God's hand, and that they know that God holds their hands and walks this journey with them. Makayla no longer walks this earth beside you, but she will forever be in your heart.

-photo by Jaci Moser

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Looking UP!

I received this in an email from a friend, Mary Jane. I do not know who is responsible for writing it , so I can not give proper credit. I thought it was some pretty outstanding material for all of us to share, oh, and I decided to give you a beautiful taste of spring which is right around the corner. I took all of these pictures last spring, but can't wait to get out there and take some more....if spring would just hurry up!!! Things always seem to be "looking up" in the spring! Enjoy!!!

1. Wake Up !! Decide to have a good day.
"Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" Psalms 118:24

2. Dress Up !! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart."
I Samuel 16:7

3 . Shut Up!! Say nice things and learn to listen.. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking. "He who guards his lips guards his soul." Proverbs 13:3

4. Stand Up!!..... For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything.. "Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as w e have opportunity, let us do good..." Galatians 6:9-10

5. Look Up !!... To the Lord.
"I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

6. Reach Up !!... For something higher. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path."
Proverbs 3:5-6

7. Lift Up !!... Your Prayers.
"Do not worry about anything;
Philippians 4:6

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Going to the Mardi Gras!

Photo taken by Danielle Bolerjack, a student in my photography class.

A little glitter, a few feathers....

A little paint, some sequins, some trim...

Some harlequin wrapping paper...

Some cardboard....lots and lots of cardboard....

Some imagination....

Lots and lots of beads....and, of course, the fleur de li....

This is the Mardi Gras....

The terms "Mardi Gras" (pronounced /ˈmɑrdiɡrɑː/), "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday", referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Related popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the season of Lent. Popular practices include wearing masks and beads and costumes, many celebrations, dancing, sports competitions, parades, etc.

I guess you HAVE to have some jazz players!

Paint and feathers and glitter are a must!

Many hands make light work!!!

Again, the magic of cardboard...

Beginning stages of a black and white mural-

Somewhere in the middle-

Finished!!! This is supposed to be Bourbon Street!!!

Through researching to find some of the pictures and traditions I need to create my cardboard magic, I have been taking a little trip to the Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street and the French Quarter without ever leaving NW Iowa. Our Juniors and Seniors will enjoy "A Night at the French Quarter" during Prom this year. It involves so many students, teachers, business sponsors, fund raising, decorating, planning, committees of students, and committees of parents, shopping, shopping and more shopping! You have to have the right dress, jewelry, shoes for prom, after prom clothes and shoes, the right car, makeup and hair styles. This year, I have been made more aware than usual that the date HAS to match perfectly, right down to the vest, tie and flowers!!!

Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another. ~Author Unknown

More than anything, I hope the kids enjoy a night they will never forget, that they appreciate all the hard work and expense it took to get them to the "Mardi Gras", and that they are safe and sound, back in their beds in the morning!

Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. ~Dave Barry