Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Baby Animals

Because find me one baby animal that isn't cute. Go on, do it. I dare you.

baby platapye... platapuses...? 


Ghost Bat Pup - Perth Zoo3 
baby ghost bat 

0.1 Large Flying Fox Vixen © D. LeBlanc, Lubee Bat Conservancy 
flying fox bat (STELLALUNA!!!!)

Badger Girl at 9-10 weeks
baby honey badger is unfazed by... everything

Baby dik dik chester zoo 2
baby dik-dik, the world's smallest species of deer

Dhole Pup at Minnesota Zoo Plays with Mom 1b 
Baby Dhole - endangered dog species

Baby echinda (like Knuckles!)

Baby Giant Anteater Face Roger Williams Park Zoo 3 
baby anteater

baby bearcat

baby elephant

baby monkey


baby harp seal

baby panda



May your head now explode from cuteness. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Book Envy

The Easton Press's 100 Greatest Books Collection

     There's nothing that moves me so much as the sight of a beautiful book. They can literally bring tears to my eyes. All I actually want in my life is to own a set of classics that are bound beautifully, like the ones pictured above (genuine leather, 22k gold accents, gilded pages). However, books like this are incredibly expensive. I believe that the whole sum for these sits at about $4500.00. Give or take a couple hundred (is it worth it? I think so). But, just imagine what it would feel like having a bookshelf that looked like this:
I fully intend to find out one day. Until then I shall probably come back to look at this picture quite often. You can find a list of all the books here. They make incredibly beautiful books. Look:

Product Pic
A beautiful illustrated Bible
Hans Christian Anderson
Classical Mythology
Peter Pan, The Princess and the Goblin, The Enchanted Castle, & Water Babies.
Scarlet Pimpernel - love
Oxford Dictionary of World Religions
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Easton Press The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written)
Alice in Wonderland
The Count of Monte Cristo 
The Faerie Queen 
Paradise Lost

The envy is consuming me............... When I grow up and have money, this is the first thing I'm investing in :< 
     On a slightly more affordable note, I've traveled for the first time to Half Price Books. That too is a glorious place with books much more in my price range. There are some pretty lovely books there as well, but I couldn't afford them today, even at half their original price. I actually may prefer it to Barnes and Nobel. It's like a treasure hunt. You shouldn't go in with something in mind, because you may not find it, but if you go in just to look you may walk out with a hidden treasure (actually, it's a lot like Goodwill, but for books). I enjoyed it, and the super cheap collection of Norse Mythology (hardbound) that I picked up. Anyways, it's been a grey rainy day and there really is no better time to talk of books than that, so there you have it. Let the book envy continue.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Theological Musings

Well... this sounds dangerous.......

      I was thinking this morning (another dangerous thing) about Romans 6:23 and I realized that I couldn't remember if it was "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord", or the "For the wages of sin is death; but the FREE gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". well, as it turns out there are about 32 versions of the English Bible and 13 of them read FREE gift of God, some of which are perfectly respectable translations of the Bible (ESV, NASB, NLV). Well, people might wonder, "What does it matter if it says free gift or not?" That is an excellent question! Perhaps nothing.

     When I was thinking about this there was just something that bothered me about the phrase "Free Gift". What is a free gift that makes it different from a regular gift? Is it free in that it cost the giver nothing? Well we know that isn't the case. Christ paid the ultimate price for the gift of salvation: Philippians 2:6-8. Is it free in that it costs the one who receives it nothing? Here a lot of people might be tempted to say yes, but I would disagree. Christ calls his followers to sacrifice everything: Their possessions (Mark 10:17-25)*, Their friends and families (Matthew 10:37-39), and even their lives (Matthew 10:39). Followers of Christ are called to radical and intense sacrifice and change (albeit it's a good change and sacrifice). We "put off the old man" and "Put on Christ" (Colossians 3:5-10). What I believe it refers to is that salvation is free to the believer in the sense that we have done nothing to earn it prior t our salvation (and we can't even earn it after our salvation either).

     So, in this sense I think that the phrase "free gift" can be misleading. Man's salvation is not a free process, but it is an unearned one. I believe that when different translators were working on this verse they wanted to highlight that unearned nature of the gift of salvation, but I think that they chose the wrong adjective with which to do it. The phrase "free gift" has a connotation that makes it sound cheap. Either it cost nothing or it costs the receiver nothing which, as has been shown is not the nature of salvation at all. Of course, when a Christian reads this verse that's not what they think of, they understand the meaning. In our lives we work for sin, receiving a wage of death. God, however, has granted us salvation, despite the fact that we have spent all our lives working against His kingdom. The reward of salvation comes to us unearned.

     The word used in this verse for gift is Charisma. It means: A favor which one receives without any merit of his own. That word is also very similar to the word used for grace - charis (that which affords joy; goodwill, loving-kindness, favor). So, I'm not sure what adjective you can use in front of gift to convey that meaning. Maybe free is the best word to use, or maybe the word gift is fine by itself. In the end I think we should be humbled by this verse. God has taken those who worked against Him, who hated Him, and has, not only pardoned them, but has made them joint heirs with His son (Romans 8:17). It's always important to remember that "It is by grace (Charis) [we] have been saved, through faith - and that not of ourselves - ... so that no man may boast" it is "the [free] gift of God" "For... while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; Romans 5:10). 

*It may be noted that this demand was meant for demonstrative purposes.
** It may also be noted that these are merely my random theological musings. They are not (necessarily) the doctrinal teachings of the Christian church, unless, of course, they are. Nothing I say should be taken as authoritative, because, as a fallible human being, I may be way off the mark. I do think, however, (I would) that my logic is sound and my musings, even if they don't mean much, are fit for human consumption.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Family Growth

Exciting news! We've added a new member to out family. Meet the newest fuzzy person to join our ranks: Yazzie!

She's a sweet little girl, although she is a pretty shy right now. She's a chiweenie (1/2 Chihuahua and 1/2 Dachshund) and it's pretty cute because she has one Chihuahua ear and one Dachshund ear. She's been passed around a lot recently so right now we're trying to convince her to open up. She started a little bit last night, but today she mostly slept. Still, we all love her lots and look forward to looking back this time next year to see how much she's grown.

Our cat, on the other hand, keeps coming over to look at her, hoping she'll be gone the next time he makes his rounds... oh well. That's really all that I had to say right now! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Around the World in 80 Days Questionnaire

Hayden over at Story Girl is hosting a blog party themed around Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days. Check it out, and here are my answers to her questions! :)

1. Have you ever read Around the World in 80 Days, or any other books by Jules Verne? If not, do you plan to?
I have, and I do plan to read more. I bought one of those really pretty Barnes and Nobel Leatherbound copies of his works and plan to read all of it :) 

  Jules Verne: Seven Novels (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics) 
It's one of the prettiest books that I own :]

2. It's your turn to travel around the world! But you can only visit one country on each continent (excluding Antartica). Which do you choose?
ASIA: Japan. This might be one of the funnest countries for an American to visit. In America we've adopted a lot of Japanese culture and they've adopted a lot of ours so it'd be fun to visit a country that's just as obsessed with my country as I am with theirs :)
EUROPE: Romania because I don't know that much about eastern Europe and it sounds mysterious.
NORTH AMERICA: U.S.A!!!1! This counts as a different country since I'm from Texas ;)
SOUTH AMERICA: Peru. Dude... the Incans were awesome. Did you know..... *runs off into a long tangent about Peru*
AUSTRALIA:.... New Zealand. I'm pretty sure that, even though Australia is its own continent NZ counts as part of that too. Plus, I want to play with sheep and visit the sets of all the LOTR and Hobbit filming. 
AFRICA: South Africa, because why not? 

3. What is your favorite "foreign" song?
Sosban fach. A Welsh song sung at Rugby games about a Saucepan boiling on a stove… and a cat… who is not boiling on a stove, but is scratching children and sleeping. 

4. Do you know your heritage? From which contry(s) does your family originate?
I am a proud second/third generation American (depending on which grandparent you look at). My paternal grandfather was from Mexico, my father’s maternal grandmother was from Norway and my dad’s maternal grandfather was from Ireland. My mom’s grandparents were from Germany and France. So, I’m ¼ Mexican, 1/16 Norwegian, 1/16 Irish, 1/16 German, 1/16 French, and ¼ some other stuffs :)

5. What is your perferred method of travel?
I’ve always thought that trains sounded delightful, although I’ve never been on one, but imagine that I would like them the best. They just sound like fun, in books so many great things happen on trains (robberies, murders, intrigue, romance, anything).

6. What is your favorite ethnic food?
I really love Italian food, I also like some authentic Mexican dishes like fideo and enchiladas, although I can’t eat most Mexican food anymore since I’m allergic to corn and most Mexican food has corn in it :(

7. If you had to choose one literary character to travel around the world with, who would it be?
I would choose the goddess Sif from Norse mythology, not because I think that I would enjoy her company. No, it's purely from a practical reason. Sif's hair is literally golden. If we ever needed any money I could just cut her hair off and use it. That, of course would make Thor angry but he should get over it. It all ended pretty well for him the last time...........

8. From kilts to kimonos, most countries have some form of traditional dress- of which would you be most willing to wear?
Honestly I would love to wear a kimono, although I hear that they’re really heavy…

9. If you could speak any foreign language, what would it be?
I’m a bit torn between Japanese and French. Japanese is the only language I’ve ever heard that’s actually an adorable language. French, on the other hand, is beautiful and more useful. I think, I’ll settle on a compromise and choose German… just because. (Does German have anything to do with those two languages…. no.)

10. What is your opinion on the subject of hot air balloons?
I feel that they’re very safe and trusty ways to travel, and that there’s nothing possible that can go wrong from being in one…

11. Okay. Pick a country, any country (except England). Now pick a piece of classic literature (fiction, please!). If that story took place in this other country, what would be different? 
Ummmm DENMARK! And…. Don Quixote. Well Don Quixote would be a tottering old Viking, Sancho Panza would be his slave captured from a more southern European country and his horse would be a reindeer. He would not be inspired to embark on his quest from reading books about chivalry, because they didn’t practice that in Denmark. Instead he would have read Beowulf and would be inspired to slay the creature Grendel. There would be no windmills, and instead he would be tilting at glaciers and having run-ins with old sea-Vikings in pubs and braving the winters in forests. Instead of encountering fairies and witches he would encounter druids and trolls. And everyone would still think he was crazy, but would put up with it because those who are mad are protected by Odin. 

12.Choose five of your favorite authors (or just as many as you can)...each from a different country!
J.R.R. Tolkien (Does he count as South African?) C.S. Lewis (Ireland), Mark Twain (America), Diana Wynne Jones (Wales), and Rafael Sabatini (Italy).

13. In Around the World in 80 Days, Phileas Fogg is accused of bank robbery. Of course, we know he didn't do it- but the book never explains who did. Who do you think robbed the bank?
The bank robber was actually the ingenious French Jewel thief Flambeau! He disguised himself so well that, despite his incredible height, he could be mistaken for any ordinary Englishman, which is why poor Mr. Fogg was accused. He was about to make his get away when he was confronted by the priest/detective Father Brown who spoke to him. Ashamed of his actions Flambeau decided to turn himself over to the police and pay for his crimes. Once this was accomplished he would then seek work as a private detective. He, of course, is now very sorry for any inconvenience his actions had upon M.. Fogg. 

14. Does your church support any foreign missionaries? If so, tell a little about what countries they are from!
Why yes, yes we do, many in fact. They serve in Austria, Turkey, Peru, and Brazil to name a few. We also have many people from many different countries come to minister here in Houston. It’s the most diverse city in the United States and has so many different people groups who have never had an opportunity to hear the gospel, so there’s lots of opportunity to minister. 

15. Time is running out! You only have a few days left to finish your journey! You're on the last leg of your trip, traveling through the American West by train, when suddenly Indians attack! What do you do?
Well first, I roll my eyes and say “it figures” and then, because I’m from Texas, I pull out my revolver and start shooting at people and end up stealing a horse and riding away into the sunset like the Lone Ranger. I also capture an Indian who I use as my sidekick. Also, since I stole an Indian horse, it has special powers and can run faster than trains, so my Indian prisoner and I ride off together into the sweet realms of victory. 

Monday, June 4, 2012


The Road goes ever on 

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
-- J.R.R. Tolkien
Listening to the LOTR soundtrack made me think of this song. I think it rather appropriate as the Summer begins and I make my plans for a new year :)