Monday, July 30, 2012

More Cute Cheetah Cub Photos

We went back to the zoo to see the cute baby cheetahs at the National Zoo again and friends have asked to see more pictures so here you go. I love how one of the cheetah's tongues is sticking out in the photo above.

All photos by me (any photos in any of my blogs are by me unless specified otherwise). The cheetah's handler said they're 13 weeks old, male and female and will be named after the fastest American male and female runners in this year's Olympics (I think in the 100 meter race).
 Baby cheetah running toward sibling cheetah.

 Cheetah cub enjoying the high ground advantage.

Baby cheetah cooling off in the shade. Not that they stayed still for very long. The cheetah cubs were an absolute joy to watch and now they're on view for the public most days at 10 am and 1 pm (for an hour each session), weather and cheetah cub health permitting. If you live near Washington DC these precious cubs are a must see. May God bless you!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lantana Trees for Floral Friday

I've been wanting something tall for in front of our dining room windows and came across these lantana trees this week. Regularly $49.99 each they were on clearance for only $12.50 each! So I got all three for less than the price of one. They're working out great and already attracting bees (and hopefully, soon butterflies too).
Here's a close up of a lantana flower cluster. We grew a lot of lantana when we lived in Arizona and they can handle the crazy hot heat there so I figure they can handle it here too. They won't survive the winter unless I bring them inside though (Ben says no to this so far but I'm trying to convince him so if you agree that they're worth saving please let me know and I'll pass your comments on to him).

Here's a photo of the lantana trees from an angle that shows you more of their height. Now I'll just need to find three matching pots for them. Happy Friday and weekend to you all. May God bless you!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cute Cheetah Cubs and Wild Wednesdays

Cute cheetah cubs thrill the members only crowd at the National Zoo
Photo by Phyllis Wheeler
I was blessed and overjoyed to have the opportunity to see the two month old cheetah cubs at the National Zoo today. Along with my idea for "Floral Fridays," I thought I'd add "Wild Wednesdays" and thought the cheetah cubs would be a fantastic first feature. The cubs can be seen my zoo members only until Saturday when they will be on view for the general public, generally at 10am and 1pm for one hour each session (cheetah health and weather permitting). 

Baby cheetah hides in grass
Photo by Phyllis Wheeler
Their keepers took turns watching over them and the cheetahs tended to stay on the same side of the habitat as the keepers.
Photo by Phyllis Wheeler
The cheetah cubs were full of energy as they raced around their new habitat, stalking and chasing each other and apparently having a great time.

Photo by Phyllis Wheeler
It was truly a treat to watch these adorable cheetah cubs joyfully bound around their habitat. If you live in the Washington DC area I hope you'll get a chance to see these cute cheetah babies. May God bless the little cheetahs and may He bless you!

Related posts:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Zinnias, Roses, Joe Pye Weed, Day Lilies and Fancy Echinacea: This Week in My Maryland Garden

Welcome to my garden! This will likely be my last Tuesday "This Week in My Maryland Garden" post but I'm excited to share that this week will also begin "Floral Fridays" where I'll still post some of my own flower photos but also photos from the gardens I visit during the week. (Hint to my local friends - if you invite me over and have a garden I will likely ask to take pictures). I hope you'll enjoy the new feature of "Floral Fridays" on my blog!

Above is a super close up photo of one of our giant purple / pink zinnia. I'm hoping there will be a good bloom to enter in this year's county fair. I love gardening but am not so into it that I can engineer blooms for certain dates.

Some of our roses. One of the good things that game from the emergency excavation of our yard this spring is that now, instead of having our rose bushes scattered here and there around the yard, we have a concentrated rose garden.

Our "Little Joe Pye Weed" is just starting to bloom. These plants are supposed to grow "only" to four feet tall and tend to be butterfly magnets. This is our first year with this plant.

This bi-color day lily might be one of our last day lilies of the year. I love having a long day lily season so we have a wide variety of the flowers with early, late and mid season bloomers.

When we saw this fancy red and orange echinacea (coneflower) we just had to add it to our collection. We might have to start an echinacea garden (like the rose garden). The butterflies and bees just love echinacea (coneflower) plants and we enjoy their many colors.

Hope you enjoyed my garden photos and God's amazing creation! Also hope to see you this Friday for my first "Floral Friday!" May God bless you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Heat Beating Flower Photos: This Week in My Maryland Garden

This morning's walk around my Maryland yard garden showed which flowers can really handle the heat. We've had another heat wave here with triple digit temperatures so I was happy to see so many flowers blooming. Here are my best five floral photos of the day. As you may remember from last week, we have a lovely orange echinacea (coneflower) plant and the bees have found it.

The zinnia plants I started from seed in April are doing great and providing us with lots of "purple" and red flowers. Oddly enough the ones started in March have yet to bloom.

White echinacea (coneflower) with funky petals. Bees and butterflies seem to love echinacea plants of all colors.

 White rose of Sharon with a fiery center. Hummingbirds and bees love these plants.

Drought tolerant day lily. We have a lot of day lilies blooming but I think this is the only variety that hasn't made the blog yet. The day lilies seem to love our Maryland soil.

Hope you enjoyed this week's photographic garden flower tour! I'm thinking of either changing "This Week in My Maryland Garden" to "Floral Fridays" or adding "Floral Fridays" as a separate, new feature (focusing on flowers wherever I happen to be on any given Friday. Which would you prefer to see? May God bless you this summer and always!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Prayer for Freedom From Limiting Beliefs

Dear Heavenly Father, 
Thank you for the sound mind you've given us through our salvation in your precious Son, Jesus Christ. Please help us to see the world, our family and ourselves through Your truthful eyes. Help us to see our situations from Your loving point of view. Please remove any limiting beliefs that hold us back from doing Your will and living our best lives for Your glory. Reveal the enemy's lies and show us Your will. Help us to remember what freedom we have in Your love, embrace the truth and love You and others more each day.
In Jesus' precious name, amen.

The prayer above was written by me and inspired by the July 4, 2012 In Touch magazine devotional (the magazine is free and my only connection with the ministry is as a subscriber and donor) as well as a number of other readings and recordings I've enjoyed in the last few months. There is freedom in recognizing the truth. May God bless you with that freedom today.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Disciplines of a Godly Woman" Book Review and Top Ten Quotes

I enjoyed this book so much that it made it into my list of top ten non fiction books that I've ever read. Barbara Hughes has such an honest open heart and deep love for God and others she inspires readers to love more, serve more and spend more time with the Lord. She shares heart wrenching and soul inspiring stories as well as useful yet easily understandable doctrinal information.

I'd heartily recommend it to any christian woman looking to deepen her walk with the Lord. Often when I finish an eye opening book I like to type up my book notes and then pass the book on so someone else can benefit from it. However, this book was so chock filled with useful information I'd end up typing up half the book so I've decided to keep it. As mentioned back in January's Twelve Great Books to Read in 2012 post, I've been working on this book for a while but the time spent in it was definitely worth it.

Here are ten of my favorite quotes from the book (and it was really hard to pick just ten!).
  1. "Remember that the Gospel is the foundation for every single thing you are and do." p. 26
  2.  "Submission to God's will is the true heart of worship." p. 46
  3. "True worship springs from within our spirit, from spontaneous affections of the heart - as it did from the heart of David when he wrote Psalm 130: 'I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the LORD more than watchmen wait for the morning' (vv. 5-6)." p.60
  4. "Let Christ be the Lord of your daytime and your prime time... Be different because you have a Christian mind." p. 71
  5. "If you are filled with God's Word, your life can then be informed and directed by God - your relationships at home, your parenting, your career, your ethical decisions, your internal moral life. The way to a Christian mind is through God's Word!" p. 72
  6. "Women who love God and love his Word find sources of joy and satisfaction that surpass any the world has to offer." p. 84
  7. "Real love stands apart from circumstances and sees the object of love with all its flaws - and loves anyway. Real love is intentional, an act of the will. It's respect that's given because it's the Lord who requires that respect be given... Giving loving respect to your husband is God's will - even when he doesn't deserve it. Watch your actions and listen to your words. God sees and hears." p. 154
  8. "We were designed to work, to create. Good deeds are the redeemed heart's response of gratitude for the gift of God's grace." p. 172
  9. "Every person we encounter is an eternal soul of immense value - a person we should see in the same way that God sees him or her." p. 195
  10. "The disciplined godly woman rids herself of associations, habits and attitudes that impede godliness. Then she invests her energy in the pursuit of godliness." p. 211
 I'm a far way from being the disciplined godly woman that Barbara Hughes clearly is but, by the grace of God, He's working on me and I pray that His love will be reflected in my life. May God bless you dear reader!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pretty Flowers & Wild Insects: This Week In My Maryland Garden

Moths party on echinacea plants
The moths and bees were all over our giant echinacea (coneflower) when I walked around the yard for this week's Maryland garden flower photo shoot.
Black eyed Susans attract bees
I think that's a bee enjoying our first black eyed Susan bloom of the year.

 A tattered moth enjoys one of our marigold flowers.

 This orange echinacea (coneflower) is the newest addition to our garden.

 I think these pretty white flowers are morning glories. They're vining up one of our rose bushes.

This red and yellow day lily brightens our front yard.

Hope you enjoyed this week's photographic garden tour. May God bless you this summer and always!

Which was your favorite photo this week? What are your favorite summer flowers? What's blooming in your area?

Related posts:


Monday, July 9, 2012

You Be the President at the Smithsonian's American History Museum

This weekend I had the pleasure and honor of meeting up with my dear friend Katie and her family and her friend Sean and his family. We had a great visit and toured a good portion of the Smithsonian's American History Museum together. The exhibit that excited the kids the most was the area called "You Be the President." Above is a close up of Michael behind the presidential style podium (his dad's hands are holding him up). He was thrilled to see himself on the combo television screen and teleprompter (not pictured).

Here's Elizabeth at the You Be the President station. Elizabeth is a fantastic big sister, not only to her own brothers but also to Katie and Josh's kids. She lovingly held their hands, explained exhibits and entertained them throughout our visit to the American History Museum. 

Here's little Dillon's presidential photo at the You Be the President station. The kids were all a joy and both families clearly have great parenting skills and a lot of love. I'm proud of you all! Thank you all for taking the time to visit with me.

May God bless Katie, Josh, Audrey, Sean and all of their children and may He bless you too!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Smithsonian Folklife Festival Photos

We stumbled upon the Smithsonian's 2012 Folklife Festival today and it was a pleasant surprise. There was live music, art and an abundance of tents and displays. The festival runs through tomorrow so if you live near Washington DC and can brave the heat it might be a fun thing to check out. 

 Not sure what this mascot was supposed to be but I thought it was very creative and fun.

Overview of one small part of the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival with the Washington Monument in the background.

Live art display / wall painting at the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. 

Overview of part of the art section at the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Hope you are enjoying your summer! May God bless you this summer and always!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Funny Feline Fourth of July Photos

Here's Moose, our elderly cat, all dressed up in her Fourth of July finery. She looks like she's angry but she's not. That's part of what make her holiday photos so funny for us. We know she's just a big, hilarious softie. Here, she's just waiting for the yummy treats she knows follow the Independence Day photo session.

This is Moose before I added the Independence Day garland to her patriotic photo session fabric background (which got wrinkled because she rubbed herself all over it after I popped her up on the chair).

This was the first of Moose's photos. I wasn't sure how long she'd last so got a quick Fourth of July garland shot in before moving her to the patriotic background draped over the chair. I think she's hilarious and cute but, of course, I'm biased.

My patriotic photographer husband got this nighttime Fourth of July shot of my Baby cat. She's approaching the feline geriatric years (Moose is already deep in them) but she'll always be a baby to me. She weighs about seven pounds and has dog like devotion even if she's not as easygoing as Moose. Moose will wear hats and costumes with good humor but Baby, well, we just lay the props around her and hope for the best.

May God bless you and yours this Fourth of July and always! Special thanks and prayers go out to our military service members, veterans, emergency service workers and their families. Thank you for all you do for our country and its people!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Flowers After the Storm: This Week in My Maryland Garden

Red Zinnia Photo By Phyllis Wheeler
We lost power for four days, all the food in our refrigerator and freezer and had a few downed tree limbs but are thankful that our power is restored (and with it the blessing of air conditioning). Many people are still without power so we're praying for them and all of the emergency workers who are hard at work trying to restore power to everyone. Thankfully, our flowers don't need electricity or gas to grow. We did lose a few plants and had to stake a bunch that didn't need it prior to the storm (and a big shout out for my hubby who got that all done before I even knew it was necessary!) but the bulk of our garden is intact and we're thankful for that too. Above is the first of our red zinnia blooms from the seeds I started outside in April.

Purple/Pink Zinnia Photo By Phyllis Wheeler
Here is a "purple" zinnia bloom - the first of it's batch, which I also started in April. Two others are blooming and they're all the same color so I guess we aren't going to have the dark purple represented on the seed packet but they do match our pink roses and are pretty so I'm still happy. Regardless of color, it's always special to see the first bloom on any plant I personally grew from seed.

Sunny Rose Photo By Phyllis Wheeler
Here is one of our sweet smelling yellow roses.

Rose of Sharon Photo By Phyllis Wheeler
One of our first rose of Sharon blooms of the year, along with a bud for a future flower. I love the hibiscus like blooms on these plants.

Butterfly on Purple Coneflower Photo By Ben Wheeler
The storm split our giant mother echinacea (purple coneflower) plant but my husband got creative with some stakes and trellises and the plant still seems to be doing just fine. There were bees, butterflies and moths swarming all over it this morning. It's definitely a great plant to have in a butterfly garden.

I hope you weathered the storm well if it passed through your area. May God bless you!