Gift ideas!

I don’t know about you, but I am already panicked about getting all of my gifts bought before Christmas!  I mean I start out organized….. I make a list of people we are buying for this year.  I have seen no less than 125 things each person on my list would want all through the year, but don’t buy any of them because I know I will find something they will like better before Christmas.  Well here we are, yet again, a couple of weeks before Christmas and I go into the stores armed with my list and my money and what happens?? Nothing!  I walk around in circles not able to find, or decide, on gifts for anyone!  Ugh!!

I do know that the gifts, and the stores, and the baking and all that goes in to the perfect Christmas , is not really important.  What’s important is that we remember the true reason for Christmas.  The birth of Jesus.  While all of the other things are fun and it’s easy to get caught up in all the hustle and bustle, we need to make it a priority to enjoy the HIS Greatest gift of all!! Jesus!!

Merry Christmas from the Smiths!

 

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Kimi :)

It’s Been a While!!

Hello to everyone!! Hope you are having a fabulous Christmas season!! I have wanted to get back to blogging (or learning how to blog)  I am still soooo new to this!  We have been super busy at our house with all of the Christmas decorating, vacations, , the flu…..but I have wanted to get back to it for a while and so here I am!

I have just recently joined a new blogging community so I thought I would take this post and tell people who do not know me a little bit about myself and what you can probably expect to see on my blogs.

First of all I am a Christian, wife to Doug, mother to Rachel and Jake.  We live in Mississippi, although my husband is from Michigan.  I work part time for an attorney as a Legal Assistant and love my job, even though it gets crazy sometimes!  I am also in the process of starting my own photography business.  I will be taking portraits, senior sessions, new born, sports etc…. BUT I am also very excited that I will be selling prints as well.

So, I thought that I would leave you with a few of my favorite photos!  Hope you enjoy!

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Mountain Sunset

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A little fall colors

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One of my favorite jelly fish pics!

 

Kimi :)

 

Holy Communion

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My post today is simple.

Our Catholic faith is centered around Holy Communion.  Like I said earlier, we leave our seats every  Mass and accept the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He commanded us to do this.   We accept His unimaginable sacrifice of giving His own body so that we could go to Heaven.  We partake in this every single mass because it is what our faith and yours is truly about.

So, since this is the center of our faith we make it the center of our  Mass, so my question to you today is, why don’t you?

 

Have a blessed day,

Kim

What’s with all of the signs?

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I had wanted to post this earlier in the day, but better late than never! My goal for the rest of Lent is to make one post each day about our Faith.

I think today I am going to talk a little bit about our mass. Like I said yesterday, I know when I visited the Catholic Church in my early twenties I had no clue what was going on. I thought it was a very beautiful service, but I was very confused. I have friends that have said that they did not understand why we kneel, stand, what the Sign of the Cross means, what we are saying when we say our response to what the Priest says.

While a lot of these things confused me in the beginning, they are things that I have grown to love about our Faith. For instance, when you see someone make the Sign of the Cross at a restaurant there is no doubt that they are Praying…..(which is another profession of faith). It is simply a sign of reverence and a way to begin and end our Prayers. It just means that you are offering your Prayer in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. We believe in the Trinity, we Baptize in the Trinity and if someone converts from another denomination, their Baptism is recognized in our Church as long as it was done in the Trinity.

When we step into the Church, we renew our Baptismal vows by dipping our finger in the Holy Water followed by the Sign of the Cross. We do this when we arrive and when we leave. We kneel to the alter before we sit in our seat to show reverence for being in the presence of God. This is called genuflecting. I love this about our Church, because if you really think of it as entering God’s house then wouldn’t you bow down to him before you sat in your seat? I know I would, and I do.

We have a total of three Bible readings before our Homily (same thing as a Sermon). Two of those readings are read by members of the Church and the third one is read by the Priest. This reading will be the final reading before the Homily is spoken and it comes from one of the four Gospel’s (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) right before he reads this we make a small Sign of the Cross on our forehead, over our lips and over our heart. This is a Prayer that says “May the Word of the Lord be on my mind, on my lips and in my heart” it is a ritual that I find to be incredibly reverent and it is very special to me. So next time you go to a Catholic mass and the Priest says “A reading according to John” you will know what we are gesturing and the Prayer we are offering.

So there are just a few facts about our mass. I hope you find this helpful and will learn a little bit more about our Faith through my blog this season of Lent. If you have any questions about anything I will be happy to answer them. I am in no way an expert on any religion, but if I don’t know the answer I will do my best to find out. Also, if you have any subject you would like for me to discuss, just let me know in the comments section and I will do my best.

Have a Blessed Day!

Kim

Why Catholic

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Last time I wrote on my blog I was complaining of having writer’s block. Well, a friend of mine gave me a really good idea and that was to make a post about my faith.

I grew up Baptist and like most “non Catholics” I was taught that Catholicism was, for lack of a better word… a “NO NO”. I had a friend that I worked with back in the early 90’s that was Catholic, and I went to Church with her a couple of times and was very very confused the whole time. I went on my way not thinking much about it and still assumed as I always had, that Catholics were not “saved” that they just practiced a bunch of rituals that really did nothing for you in terms of where you would spend your eternity. Until 1999.

In 1999 I married a Catholic. I did this thinking that he would surely change his mind, see the error of his ways and become Baptist…. NOPE I was wrong. He was very devoted to his faith and while I admired that, I argued with him regularly about his religion. And as I looked up more and more evidence, read, studied, Prayed and kicked and screamed I actually decided that I would become Catholic. Well, you can imagine the horror that my friends went through. After all this time, Kim had chosen, because of the Yankee she married, to do the WRONG THING. I mean after all I was giving in to a Church that worshiped Mary, condoned drunks, had Priests that had done horrible things to small children, confessed our sins to Priests instead of to God. Yep, if you are Protestant go ahead and admit it, you think everyone of those things are true. So did I. But I was wrong.

I did not just wake up one Sunday morning and decide to become Catholic because I didn’t want to fight about it anymore, I decided to become Catholic because it was what was on my heart. I have been to a lot of Churches, have friends of many different denominations and I know this to be true. The root of our faith and the faith of everyone most likely reading this is that God sent His son Jesus to die on the Cross for our Salvation. Do Catholics believe this?? ABSOLUTELY!! If we did not believe that then trust me, I would not have converted. It is the core of everything that I hold dear to me in my faith journey.

No matter what religion, Church, organization that I have ever belonged to I have always had things that I didn’t believe in that they did. I mean I do not believe that there is a perfect belief out there. I believe we are all wrong about something. Do I think our Church has it’s faults? Of course I do, it’s made up of humans just like yours. When you take something as complicated as the Bible and have millions of different people interpreting it you are going to come across some differing opinions. I am going to take a few of the things that you most likely disagree with that the Catholic Church does and explain to you my opinions and why I allowed my children to be raised in this Church.

Mary. We do not worship Mary. Do Catholics ask for her intercession? Yes they do. This has been a huge huge issue for Protestants. Why am I ok with it? I’m ok with it because after some very serious soul searching I came to this conclusion. We ALL think that certain people have a clearer line to God. Catholics think Mary has a clearer line to God. That in NO WAY means that we “Pray” to her. Intercession and Prayer are not the same thing in my opinion. Every single Catholic I know Prays to God just like you do. But some of them ask for intercession just like you do. Oh you don’t ask for intercession?? I beg to differ. When is the last time you asked your mom or your dad or your preacher or your Facebook friends to pray for you? Does that mean you don’t pray about it yourself? Absolutely not. Does that mean that you worship Bobby Joe that you asked to pray for you? Absolutely not. Let me ask you this. If Mary who God held in VERY HIGH regard was standing in front of you would you ask her to pray for you then? I mean you will ask someone that just posted a crude joke on Facebook to pray for you, wouldn’t you ask the Mother of Jesus? So the real issue here is do you think people in heaven can hear you. It is NOT a matter of worship, its a matter of communication. No where in the Catholic Church teachings does it say Pray to Mary because God cannot hear you. You have greatly misunderstood.

Drinking. Catholics do drink. They are not drunks. The Bible says drunkenness is a sin. We do not in any way condone drunkenness. Jesus turned water into wine at a party…. well I have heard the argument that really should have been interpreted as grape juice. Well it says later in the Bible not to be drunk with wine….. should that be interpreted as grape juice too?? In other words anything in excess is a sin including drinking. And yes, Catholics know that too. But if you are in the process of judging your Catholic friend that you see having a glass of wine at the table across from you at the restaurant I challenge you to look up judging in the Bible, it falls under the same category as drunkenness.

Walking down the isle to be saved…. this is a big one. I have always been taught that in order to go to heaven you have to believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus has died on the cross for your sins and you will be saved. I have done this. It says to make a profession of faith. Now, you say Catholics don’t do this because we don’t walk down the isle and profess it in front of our Church members. Please show me ONE verse in the Bible that says this is the one and only profession of faith that God will recognize because let me tell you about some other forms of professions of faith that we Catholics use. Take Lent for example. We make a profession of faith EVERY YEAR, not just one time where we give up meat on Fridays and we give up something that we love or are addicted to or that we would miss as a profession of faith. For instance if everyone in the office is having fried chicken Friday and I don’t participate and have a salad or fish instead I simply make a profession of my faith and say that if Jesus can die on the Cross for my sins I can skip having chicken on Friday…..it’s a small sacrifice and it is a way to get people discussing Jesus dying on the cross and realizing how much of a sacrifice He gave for us. I also go down the isle every time I am in Church to take Holy Communion (The Lord’s Supper) I do not sit in my seat and have it brought to me I get up and walk down the isle for Jesus, professing that I accept His unimaginable gift of Salvation. We have ashes put on our forehead on Ash Wednesday to let anyone who sees us know that we believe that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins. Now if you have a personal relationship with God and you know Him to be understanding and know what is in our hearts can you say that your profession of faith is any better than mine? It may be professed differently than you, but it is still a profession of faith.

Problems withing the Church. Yes I am well aware that we have had our fair share of horrific problems with Priests doing unspeakable acts. I know of some protestant ones too. The devil goes hard after any Church. And there isn’t a Church out there that has not been affected by such. It just may not be in the news like ours is. Those acts were done by sick individuals and had nothing to do with the fact that they were Catholic. Use your brain on that one. Seriously.

Confessing our Sins to Priests. We do talk to Priests about our sins. We do confess our sins to God, we do not believe that a Priest can forgive us our sins, we believe that they can council us as to how to keep from doing that sin over and over. If you have ever felt the need to confide in your preacher it is the same thing. We ALWAYS ask God for forgiveness bottom line.

I am going to stop here for now because I could type on and on forever about my faith. So what I have decided to do is to make one post a day for the rest of lent (until Easter) about why I am Catholic. I encourage you to ask me questions, or share your faith with me. I would be happy to talk to anyone about this.

Hope everyone has a very blessed day!

Kimi

Blogging block!

Blogging is so much harder than it looks! I have wanted a blog for so long and I am finally learning a tiny bit of the ends and outs of it, but talk about a severe case of writers block! If you know me then you know that I am rarely ever at a loss for words and I am definitely someone who can talk your ear off about any given subject! But let me sit down and stare at this screen and suddenly…….I’ve got nothing. But, I am a pretty stubborn and determined person, and I AM going to blog darn it!! Some days it may be a deep philosophical blog, some days it may be something as stupid as how ridiculous the bachelor sounded the other night, there may be the occasional recipe, update on my favorite clothing finds, favorite books, interesting Pinterest finds, and most definitely a lot of photos! But one thing is for sure, you will hear a lot from me and my blog! I look forward to sharing my interests, thoughts, opinions and photography with you. I love feedback and would love to hear your opinion on my posts. I love to read blogs and I will leave feedback on your posts as well. Hope everyone has a great day, and I am excited to get started with my blog!

Happy Thursdsy,

Kimi

Gardening for the forgetful

Ok so since we are having a balmy 55 degree day here in MS it has me thinking of gardening. My husband would cringe if he heard me say that because I have to hear every year how I buy plants with the greatest of intentions and do good with them for a little while (which he would also debate) but then I get busy with other things and forget about my poor plants and they end up dying. Well, this year it is going to be different. I mean it this time! Here are a few of the plants that I have researched as “hard to kill outdoor plants”.

Daylilies which are one of my favorite flowers

Million Bells® Yellow - Calibrachoa hybrid

Calibrachoa aka Million Bells which I found on http://www.provenwinners.com they come in many different beautiful colors!

And of course you can never go wrong with succulents.  There are so many different variety’s of these plants and they are all beautiful.

I also have my Queen Kimberly ferns that I am Praying come back to life after I forgot to cover them during the freeze, as well as  a variety of Palm plants for the patio area.   I also have some great lighting ideas that Douglas the great  (the hubby) will be helping with.

Here’s to hoping that this spring will bring a patio that will live through the spring and summer!

What are some ideas for your outdoor foliage?

Kimi :)

 

My 2014!!

So, it sure has been a while! I’ve missed blogging a lot! I think I just got overwhelmed with trying to learn everything. I am NOT good at figuring out this stuff on my own, and with Christmas and New Years, and the kids being out of school I somehow just couldn’t find the time to sit down and do it. It is something that I love to do and something I want to learn everything about! So I thought I would start out my first post of the year being my goals for 2014.

I do not make resolutions for the new year because I most likely won’t keep them. What I’ve decided to focus on this year first and foremost is spending more time in Prayer and Bible study. Secondly, being better today than yesterday. We live in a world of instant gratification and while this can be nice sometimes it is certainly not the way I want to treat everything in my life. Take exercise for example. This is probably the biggest thorn in my side right now. I am not a runner, I walk. I may get to a point one day where I run, but for now I just want to focus on starting exercise. And for now, that would be walking. But as far as instant gratification goes with weight loss, there is no such thing. If its quick to come off it will be quick to come back on. I am determined not to let this happen, however, that is the hard part. I mean I spend an hour in the gym 5 days in a row and I haven’t lost 20 pounds yet??? Might as well have a cookie, or 10. Seriously, that’s how I’ve gone backwards for years. Not this year!

As far as my photography goes I’ve been doing a lot if thinking about that. Photography is a creative outlet for me. I’ve thought many times that if I love it this much then why not do it for a living? I have come to the conclusion that is not for me. Well not in the portrait setting anyway. Don’t get me wrong, if you need a portrait (especially head shots) I can definitely do that for you. I have noticed one thing about portraits that really bothers me though, and that is posing. I always thought of this as a negative thing. I mean I could take a picture of a kid playing in the snow with the the most joy on their face and really make you see through my lens the joy in the child’s face, show it to the parent and they love it and boom! The question. Can you take our family pics? Sure I can! Picture date comes up and get the beautiful family in front of me and bam…..I might as well be drooling. No idea what to do with them or the camera. I manage to muster through it and we end up with something that me and the customer is happy with. Again I have beat myself over it because it bothers me so bad that I’m not good at posing people or coming up with great ideas for photo shoots. But suddenly this week it came to me. What I am good at is capturing the moment, not creating it. I’m ok with that. Really ok with it. That is what I’m going to focus on this year. Capturing the moments. The look of determination on a soccer players face when they are coming up out of the mud to make a head shot to win the game, a baseball player in the dugout with a hint of discouragement and a whole lot of determination on his face. Those are the moments worth capturing to me. Those are the things I see around me. Those are the things I want you to see through me.

Boy that was wordy! But here are a few of those moments that I have captured….that God created.

Tell me what you think! I would love to hear from you!

Kimi :)

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Christmas Pictures of my kids!

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This is probably my favorite picture I have ever taken of them!

 

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I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas season!  I Pray that everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a very Blessed and Happy New Year!! I would love for you to share some of your Christmas pics on here as well!

 

Kimi :)

Baked Spaghetti

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My photo of Baked Spaghetti….. I said it would be good, I didn’t say it would be pretty :)

I used to make this all the time when the kids were little and everyone loved it.  I hadn’t thought about it in a while and ran across it on Pinterest the other day and thought it sounded really good.  I’m all about easy recipes and for those of you who are like me, and cook all things easy, then this is a great recipe to save!

1 box  Angel Hair Pasta

1lb ground beef (I use 90% lean)

1 jar of spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup Shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Shredded cheddar cheese

Garlic salt and Oregano to taste

Cook spaghetti as you normally would, then mix it all together with cheese on top and bake at 350 until heated through! Delicious!

Feel free to share any easy recipes you have with me! Would love to try them!!

Kimi :)