Locked Doors, Car Chases, Bad Roads….

My excitement for the day started when I bundled up and drove into town this morning. It's been snowing for the past 24 hrs and theres a good 8-12 inches of snow, but it's hard to tell exactly how much there is, because it's drifted very deep in places. 

I went into town to teach some of my art students, then afterwards I almost went to Walmart, but didn't at the last moment. What I needed could wait. There had been a car wreck just down the road from Walmart, and a police car and ambulance passed me, enroute to the accident. Just after I decide not to go to Walmart, after I was about a 1/2 mile down the road from the store, 3 more police cars whizzed by - nearly forcing me off the snow-covered road - and they turned into the Walmart parking lot, instead of going to the wreck.  

I proceeded slowly on my way to the postoffice, where I had three packages to mail. I hopped out of the car, grabbed the packages, credit card and my id - but accidentally dropped my car keys on the carseat as I was getting out of the car. I didn't realize it until I was locked out, standing in the cold and snow. :( 

Normally I have a spare key, hidden somewhere under the car, but somewhere along the road it had fallen off - because I could not find it… No telling where it is. I blame the insane amount of snow we have. The roads are icy & covered in deep snow.

I went back into the post office to borrow their phone, to call my mom, so she could call the locksmith/police department —  that was like 5 blocks down the road from where I was stranded. 

My mom is a saint. She was able to call the locksmith, call my dad, & call me back with instructions… 

It took the locksmith about 30 min to get to me (which was ridiculous, I could have ran there in back 5 minutes) - and once she was there, she had the car unlocked in about 27 seconds (I know, because I counted!) and $75 dollars later. (Rip off!!!!!) 

….While I was waiting at the postoffice about 10 police cars flew by on the main road of our little town - sirens blaring, lights flashing, tires flinging snow into the air! Then another ambulance went by too. Then a couple moments later, 2 or 3 police cars when by, going the opposite direction, then like 2 more came, going the direction the main bunch was headed. 

Then a few moments later, a regular truck flew by - probably going 60mph, on really bad roads -  in a 25mph zone. It sped through the stop signs, nearly causing 2 crashes! Then it slid around the corner and was out of sight. 

Then ALL the police cars came whizzing by - in hot pursuit of the speeding truck. And a huge S.W.A.T (or black batman-ish) looking-police-force vehicle drove by too. 

As it turns out, the driver of the speeding truck was a fugitive - that and been involved in an incident on Saturday, and had evaded arrest by stealing a car Saturday night and escaping.  (today is Monday, btw.)

There were originally two suspects Saturday, and they were spotted in the Walmart parking lot today - (at about the time I was thinking of going there!)  In the parking lot they open fired at an officer - thankfully no one was hurt. One of the guys was arrested there, the other man escaped -  and eluded capture after leading officers on a chase in the stolen pickup truck that reached speeds up to 85 mph in and around the downtown area. 

The man led police on a chase for about 30 minutes before the truck he was driving spun off the road. He was then placed into an ambulance and taken away. 

When I locked myself out of the car, I was realllllly annoyed and mad at myself. I'd never done that before! I was mad because it was a stupid thing to do, and it cost me more then I would've liked. But now, looking back, I'm actually really thankful I was locked out of my car  -  because I would have been driving home on the same road they crazy idiot took when running from the police. He was speeding so fast, and with as many cars as he forced off the road and drove by, it's really a miracle he didn't kill anyone. 

God works in strange and wondrous ways! Just thinking about when I for no real reason, decided not to go to Walmart, there was a shooting! It's really interesting to think about - all the times He's protected us when we don't even know it. He's always there, looking out for us. Sometimes He allows bad things to happen, but He always has a good reason for letting it happen. He is always sanctifying us and teaching us through the good and bad. He is always working things to bring glory to His name. 

The End. :0 


LIFE … is a Privilege

Recently I went to a Pro-Life march downtown. Around 500 people gathered to support the cause of life, to prayerfully protest & help raise awareness of the bloodshed that is in our very midst; the babies that are being murdered on a daily basis. 

"A person's a person, no matter how small."  - Dr. Seuss

Did you know that approximately 2,996 people lost their lives as a result of the destruction of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11? Now every single day, more than 3,000 American babies are killed by abortion. That is over 56 million abortions performed in the United States since Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973. 

That is a repulsively horrible number - 56 million human lives lost, murdered in plain sight! Do you think about the unborn babies in this country? When you are an unborn child, each day is a battle for life. A bloody battle fought in what should be one of the safest places on earth - inside a mother's womb. Our nation is literally soaked in the blood of children. 

The millions of human beings that have been murdered in America's Holocaust; the greatest evil & abomination of our time - This genocide has been done "legally", sanctioned by our political leaders, who have been put into power by the American people. Please, never give your vote to any politician who advocates the murder of a child in the womb. 

"All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with a certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty & the pursuit of Happiness." - Declaration of Independence 

Abortion results in the death of an innocent human being.  It is immoral & unjust when evaluated in the light of the law of the land (our founding documents) & the 6th commandment that forbids taking the life of an innocent human being (Exodus 20:13).

So what is considered life? Imagine that you are a scientist, & think about this: If a single bacteria cell was discovered on Mars, it would be considered life, right? (Not to mention a revolutionary discovery - a living organism on another planet!) — But why, why, why is a heartbeat not considered life on earth? The tiny hearts of unborn children are so often looked over & ignored. When your heart stops beating, you are considered to be dead, right? Then why isn't it considered life when the heart starts beating — pumping blood throughout the tiny body of an unborn baby? I believe life truly beings at conception; before the mother is even aware that she is pregnant, a distinct, unique life has begun his or her existence inside her.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully & wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16 
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male & female he created them." -Genesis 1:27
We need to protect & honor that image. We need to stand up & be the voice for the unborn. The entire argument that what is growing & being formed in the womb is "just a clump of cells" is completely absurd! It makes me mad to think about people who pretend that a fetus isn't a human! Everyone knows that it is a baby. We were all created with consciences;  a knowledge of evil & good. Murder is murder, in the womb or in the world - & these people know this! A person is a person no matter how small they are, or where they live, or what they need to survive! The fetus that is being formed in the womb is an intricate individual in every respect. If you want scientific proof, test the DNA. It is a new person, a separate unique being, a miracle!
"Hands that shed innocent blood. Just as abominable as pride & lying are the hands that shed innocent blood. While condemning abortion & murder, Christians ought to be careful to condemn all other abominations as well. As a nation & as a family, we have much over which we ought to repent in tears & confession before God." - Kevin Swanson 

I pray for my country, that our leaders' hard hearts would be broken, that their eyes be opened, & that they would repent. I pray for the church, that she would step up & fight this battle, minister to the women & rescue lost souls. I pray that God would judge us not unto destruction, but to repentance. I pray for forgiveness for myself - I am part of this country, so I share its guilt. All too often, I forget about this raging battle, I don't do enough. I need to repent - I am guilty of so much & need to remember that I am just as sinful as those who murder & sacrifice their children to the gods of convince & self.
"No human being… Is ever conceived outside God's will or conceived outside of God's image. Life is a gift from God created in His image." - John Macarthur 
You & I need to be prayer warriors, praying for repentance as individuals, & as a nation. We need to be fighting for the unborn children. It is spiritual warfare. We need to constantly be praying for the abortionists, the mothers, boyfriends & fathers - that their eyes would be opened & that they would truly see what they are doing. Did you know that rape is the most common thing used to "justify" abortion? But statistics show that rape victims are the 1% that usually chose to keep their children. The child becomes the only redemptive thing out of the original horrific act of violence. Often mothers, in case of rape, are made to believe that the child inside them is not theirs. But it is their child, not the rapists. Why should the child die, because of something the father did? The mothers that realize this are brave - These mothers carry the child through what must be a hard pregnancy, & then they often chose the loving option: adoption.  Adoption is ALWAYS the best option for any child that is unwanted, regardless of how the child was conceived. That's what I love about the picture I took - the sign the man is holding says, "Adoption the loving option". 

I, myself, have a younger brother who was adopted. He is one of the very best things that ever happened to our family. My brother's mother chose life, chose adoption. Turn to scriptures, the greatest adoption story of all time, is that of Jesus! Joseph (Mary's betrothed husband), chose life & adopted Jesus. Jesus died for us, so that we might live. Jesus died, rose form the grave & defeated death. Now by the richness of his grace, He adopts us & calls us His children. He loves us. He cares for us & wants whats best for us. We should want the best for the least among us. We are all people. We all have the privilege of life; not only just "life", but we have been invited to partake in eternal life, because of Jesus' death. He calls us to come forward, to walk in light, to seek & trust him - through the good & bad. 
"Why do bad things happen to good people? That only happened once, & He volunteered." - R. C. Sproul, Jr. 
Think about that. None of us are any good, so its fair that bad things happen. Jesus was completely good, & He allowed Himself to be murdered for me, for you. God has always had a plan. He died to forgive our worst sins, our murderous ways, our hard-heartedness. His death takes away our pain & guilt, He washes us clean. He forgives us, loves us dearly & wants us to run to into His open arms like little children. 
"In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." Ephesians 1:5-10                                                                                                                            


Favorite pastime: SKIING

The snow is around 4 feet deep here.

Winters in Montana can be rather long, windy, cold, dark, & did I mention windy? The roads have stayed covered in a sheet of ice. This winter it has snowed often, almost weekly, with a nearly ever-present gale force wind blowing across the valley… The tempature has dropped down to negative 32 degrees. & there was a spell that lasted for nearly three weeks, when the temperature never rose above 20 degrees. Brrrr.

…But I really don't mind too much - because I LOVE skiing! (If I didn't ski, I'm sure I'd have a bad case of cabin fever or something.)  I try to ski on a weekly basis, while the ski season lasts. (It starts late November & goes through early April.) I love skiing because it is really, really fun; it's challenging & exhilarating - a fantastic way to get out-of-doors during the winter time. It's something nearly all ages can do - from little kiddos to grandparents - everyone can at least hang out in the lodge & fellowship together.

Red Lodge Mountain is a delightful ski resort - in their own words "Red Lodge Mountain is Montana skiing, pure and simple. No lift lines, no attitude, no big prices. Just great snow, great people and an authentic experience in Montana’s Rocky Mountains."  - That is 100% accurate & why I love skiing here. There's a great range of terrain too - There's 65 ski runs & a vertical drop of 2400 feet, based on the highest & lowest points of the skiable terrain. Everything from beginner runs to expert - there's a trail for you! 

I like skiing with people; friends, co-workers, folks I meet just for the day - Skiing is a surprisingly social activity. I also greatly enjoy skiing solo. When I ski alone, I ski hard - double black diamonds & moguls nearly all day, with maybe a quick 20 minute break for lunch - then I ski till the lifts close.

I love the feeling of speeding down the mountain, the rush of air, the sent of pine, the sight of the earth's horizon stretching far into the distance…When I ski alone it is quite. Time spent alone, time spent reflecting, time spent pondering, & sometimes just absent-mindedly skiing downhill. When I ski, I feel truly alive - with my heart pounding, legs burning, lungs gulping in the fresh air… Excited feelings mixed with adrenaline & joy.  I always find each day far too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the places I want to go, all the books I want to read, all the friends I want to see. My week is usually busy & full; skiing is the break I'm always looking forward to. I love skiing. I could ski 7 days a week if I could. *winks*

The mountain views are breathtaking; I always feel very small when standing on top of the mountain. The world is a big place, I'm truly blessed to live where I do, in the heart of Big Sky County, next to a beautiful range of the Rockie Mountains.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you. Because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." -R.Dahl 
             Here's some recent pics that I've taken while skiing up at Red Lodge. 

Sluice Box ♦♦ double black -
Looking down on the Palisades - 
Somewhere down in Drainage ♦♦
A Red-breasted Nuthatch -
Freezing on a lift in a cloud, in the snow. 
If you liked these pictures, check out these skiing pictures from last season, that I took with my T1i.


Teaching art: The Spectrum of Color —

Here is an overview of what I've been teaching my students recently. 
A full class of 27 students! Kindergarten - 2nd grade. 

Sunlight, or the light from an electric light bulb, seems colorless. We call it "white light." But, it truly contains the full range, or spectrum of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, turquoise & purples. When these colors pass from air into water or glass, they are slowed down & refracted by different amounts. 

A band of colors, as seen in a rainbow, is produced by the separation of the components of light by their different degrees of refraction according to wavelength.

Normally, when white light passes through the air, all its colors are bent back by the same amount so that they join together to make white again. However, if the rays are reflected while still inside the water or glass, they leave by different paths from those by which they entered. In this case, the colors are separated and can be seen as a spectrum with many colors bouncing around. 

The easiest way to produce a spectrum is with a block of glass called a prism. This has three flat faces running in one direction & triangular-shaped ends. However, if conditions are right, white light can also be split apart by other arrangements of glass & by water. 
A rainbow, for example, is caused by reflections & refractions of sunlight inside raindrops. It's so amazing!  

 Primary colors, secondary colors & tertiary colors.  

So then, how do we see color? 

The colors reflected by an object are those which give it its color. Something that appears white reflects all colors of light. An object that looks red reflects only red light & absorbs all the other colors. Something that appears black absorbs every color & reflects none. 

Three of the colors – red, yellow, & blue – are the Primary Colors, because they can be combined in different ways to produce every other color. A combination of two primary colors gives a secondary color.  
After talking about color, I had students paint/draw their own color wheels, using the primary colors. It was loads of fun! (See the pic above ^)  We were using acrylic paints. - not the craft kind - but the real kind. 

I used styrofoam plates for palettes, had plenty of paper towels on-hand, & used recycled greek yogurt containers for the water. Students painted with care, & used fine brushes sized anywhere from 3-5. 

I put old newspapers over the tables to keep them clean. I talked about how important it was to keep everything neat - only paint on the brush, palette & paper! Ultimate EVERYONE made a fantastic color wheel, had loads of fun, stayed relatively paint-free & learned some good stuff.  :) 

Here is a link to my Pinterest board: Teaching Art, where I have saved several printable work templates & homework sheets that involve the color wheel.