Saturday, August 31, 2013

Man looks on the Outward Appearance....

 Elizabeth and I enjoyed all the butterflies we saw at the zoo.  There were so many with vibrant colors.  The docents told us, as we walked in, that there were some large blue butterflies fluttering around that were called blue morphos.  We were told that we wouldn't get a picture of their blue beauty unless we caught them in flight.  They always sit with their wings closed.  The bottom of their wings has a tan and brown pattern.  If you see them sitting they are pretty boring looking.  They are impressively large (2-3" long) but not exactly beautiful.  We saw several of them.  We even saw a couple flying, but with so many people in a tight space it was near impossible to get a picture.

Then I happened to glance in the back of some plants and a blue flash of color caught my eye and there was a blue morpho with it's wings open sitting quietly.   Yes, the butterfly in the top photo and the one just above are the same type of butterfly.  Just one has their wings open and the other closed.  They look so different!

So often we judge others by the way they look.  We only see them as they are with their wings closed.  We don't take the time to get to know what they are like on the inside.  We miss out on the color of who they really are.  We judge them before we know them.  We miss out on many blessings and opportunities.

1 Samuel 16:7 says... "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."  We need to make sure our hearts are pleasing to God.  We need to make sure we have accepted His forgiveness, so we have beautiful hearts.  Perfection is His standard, and it can only be found in His son Jesus.  But God gives it freely to all who seek Him.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mother Daughter Day at the Detroit Zoo

One thing about being the youngest is that you have missed out out on a lot of the family culture that occurred before you were born.  When we had lots of younger children we would have a 'friends of the Zoo' membership and go to the zoo regularly. Alas, I believe it has been about 4 or 5 years since we have been to the zoo. Elizabeth can only remember it through pictures.  She has been asking to go to the zoo regularly.  We finally had our chance.  We were in Detroit for a conference and had a day to do what we wanted,  just Elizabeth and Mom. We decided to go to the zoo!

 It was a perfect day weather-wise!

 We enjoyed the butterfly gardens at the zoo. It is all inside.  Actually,  we were held up in the butterfly area for about 10 minutes while they were chasing down a butterfly that had escaped to the transition zone.
 From the butterfly area to the bird sanctuary that was also indoors.  Elizabeth and I had fun 'hunting' the birds in the jungle like area with the camera.  We got out the telephoto lens and shot away.

 Then on to the reptile house.  They had some very large reptiles and some neat exhibits. I think this may have been the best photo of the day.

 This is the most photographed spot in the park.  Everybody stands in front of the fountain and has their picture taken.

 They did have peacocks running around loose.

 They have really pretty flower gardens in front of most of the exhibits.

 One of the neatest exhibits they had was the prairie dogs.  The children can go underneath the exhibit and then there are several places they can pop their heads up and be in the middle of the exhibit.  This little prairie dog was circling the spot where Elizabeth came up.  It was very cool to be that near the 'wildlife'.

 I think our very favorite exhibit was the seals.  For one thing is was air conditioned.  But really the neatest thing about it was the tunnel that went through the bottom of the seal tank.  You could sit there and watch the seals swim over your head and right beside you under water.  So much nicer than just watching from on top the tank.  

 Elizabeth took her turn with the camera.  She put it on paparazzi mode and took a LOT of pictures of me.

 We ended our day at the penguinarium.  It was a triangular shaped tank with penguins swimming around the tank on the perimeter and they  lived in the middle.  They had 3 different kinds of penguins.

 Here we are at the end of our day.... Elizabeth

and Mom.

My overall impression of the Detroit Zoo:  The zoo was rather expensive.  I believe for the two of us to park and enter was $28.  You can see the whole zoo in about 4-5 hours depending on how fast you walk and how long you look.  Many of the cages were empty.  There are rarely more than two animals of any one kind.  They don't have any elephants.  Everything you do outside of looking at the exhibits costs extra.  $4-6.  Our family has played a lot of Zoo Tycoon, the computer game.  I had the distinct feeling that I was walking through a life sized version of zoo tycoon.  Not sure if that was good or bad.  It just was.  I think the Detroit financial situation has impacted the zoo in a negative way.  They have a huge polar bear exhibit that is very nice, but only one polar bear.  Still, we had a wonderful day together!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Saying Good-Bye....Again

This past July my Sister and her family once again left to return to the Philippines.  It was sad to see them go, but we are pleased that their heart's desire is to serve the Lord.  We will miss them a lot!
 There were last minute pictures to help reinforce precious memories.  Was T-Bob really ever that much shorter than Josh?  The picture wouldn't lie.

 The three oldest girl cousins worked together packing and making memories as they worked together.  They are so glad that with the modern technology of Skype and Google Chat and facebook they can stay in touch!
 I think that Katrinka and T-Bob miss each other the most.  They are bestest friends.  They are happy though to play games on the computer even though they are across the world from each other.  It is a blessing.

 The last day before leaving was spent packing, despite the best laid plans of Todd and Miriam.  Everything always takes longer than planned and so many things pop up unexpectedly that you have to do before you go.  So many challenges!  But they got it done and made it to the airport.

 Josh has officially passed Dad up in height.  Dad did everything but stand on his tip-toes to get every possible millimeter on his side of the height chart.

Then the final good-byes.  There were tears on all faces as the time to say good-bye for the last time was here.  Lots of hugs.  We miss them a lot!  One of Josh's final requests to me was to start writing on the blog again.  Here you go Josh....