Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving From Me & My Cat!

"We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers."
1 Thessalonians 1:2 (NIV)

May God bless you this Thanksgiving and always!  As I reflect on my blessings, I thank God for you and your kind encouragement, dear readers!

The photo above is of one of the card covers I made for our closest family members this year. I may not be a talented card maker but I enjoy making the cards and praying over the recipients as I design and write them.

Everything in our lives comes from God: life itself, family, friends, food, shelter, clothing, books, nature, art... He is the only reason anything exists and thanksgiving is a great time to heap praise upon our Lord.  God is great! Jesus is Lord of Thanksgiving and every day! Let everything within me praise Him!

Of all my blessings, eternal salvation is what I'm most thankful for and my husband is my best earthly blessing. While my life certainly has its challenges, I am abundantly blessed and deeply thankful. 

On a lighter note, my cute and funny Baby cat also has some Thanksgiving sentiments for you (in the photo below - for anyone who can't read the text it says "I'm thankful for this comfy spot & that I'm not a turkey! Happy Thanksgiving!).
She's definitely a cat who knows how to get comfortable and she's a wonderful blessing too. 

I pray that you have a blessing and love-filled Thanksgiving!

Related posts:
Hilarious St Patty Cats:
Funny Valentine Cats:
Funny Easter Cats:
St. Patty Pope Like Cat Pics:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sunlit Tiger Cub Cuteness (Photos)

Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 11/2013
If you love cute baby tigers as much as I do yesterday's photos and the previous day's videos just weren't enough. So here's one last installment of cute baby tiger pictures from this week's trip to the National Zoo. These aren't as action oriented as yesterday's photos but the light is a lot better in these and you can see the tigers' beautiful coloring more clearly. While this is the last in this series, I am hoping to make more trips (God willing, of course) to take in the baby tigers' playful cuteness so if you want to see more of little Bandar and Sukacita just let me know.
Baby Tiger Licks Paw Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 11/2013
This cute baby tiger basked in the sun in a pile of leaves and took a minute to lick its paws (while on the lookout for its pouncing sibling).
Baby Tiger Gazes at Sky Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 11/2013
I think a bird captured the baby tiger's attention. 
Cute Tiger Paw Walk Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 11/2013
 Baby tiger practices sneaky hunting activities.
Baby Tiger Plays It Safe Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 11/2013
The tiger cub looked like it was going to jump down (I'd guess it to be a six foot drop) but then saw it's mom and apparently decided to wait until it was bigger. The tigers' mom did a great job of keeping an eye on her rambunctious tiger kittens and seemed to have a sixth sense about when one was about to do something foolish.

May God bless this adorable tiger family and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
Baby cheetahs:
Cute tiger cubs playing:
Cute baby tiger videos:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cute Tiger Cubs Playing (Photos)

Baby Tiger Swats Mama Tiger Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 11/2013
Here is the first set of baby tiger photos promised in yesterday's cute baby tiger video post.  Tiger cubs Sukacita and Bandar love playing together and with their mom in their habitat at the National Zoo in Washington D.C.
Baby and Mama Tiger "Hunt" Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 11/2013
The tiger cubs are full of energy and enjoy play hunting while running and jumping around with their mom watching and sometimes participating in the fun. The mom is a big cat but I think little Bandar will be even bigger when he grows up. His paws, while still totally cute, are huge.
Baby Tigers Wresting Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 11/2013
The baby tigers take playful nips at each others' nether regions while wrestling and investigating their space.
Tiger Cubs Play on Stairs Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 11/2013
If you look closely in the photo above you can see one tiger cub hiding under the stairs and biting its sibling's nether area.
Tiger Cubs "Hide" Under Stairs Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 11/2013
The fall leaves make great camoflauge for the baby tigers. If you look closely you'll see that there are two tiger cubs hiding under the stairs (the second has its head peeking out of the right side of the stair case).

I totally enjoyed every minute of my visit with the baby tigers and their mom. In my opinion, they are some of God's most beautiful creatures and I can't help but praise His amazing creativity and smile at their adorably cute antics. May God bless the tigers, the zoo staff and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
Funny caracal Christmas photos:
Cheetah cubs:
More cute cheetah photos:
Baby cheetah sneezes video:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cute Baby Tiger Videos & Haiku Poem

Baby Tiger (Cub) Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 11/2013
Sumatran tiger cubs Bandar and Sukacita romped and played in their habitat in the National Zoo with their mom to the delight of a small crowd yesterday. They were out when we arrived around 10:15 am and went in around noon. I overheard one of the zoo volunteers telling another viewer that as long as their health and the Washington D.C. weather holds out the cubs should be out daily from around 10:00 am to soemtime between 11:00 am and 1:30 pm. If you live within driving distance I think it's worth a trip to see these adorable baby tigers.

My husband liked the video above, of the baby tigers playing on stairs and then one rolling down and finally chasing after a leaf, best. I hope you like it too. You can hear the carousel music and a commentator from the crowd.

I thought this shorter clip of the baby tigers and their mom playing around the tree and then elsewhere in their habitat was fun too.

The tiger cubs are totally adorable. Once I have time to sort through our many regular pictures (the one at the top was a still shot taken from one of these two videos - my very first movie still shot too!) I plan another tiger baby post. Expect more in the future because I'm already asking my husband to plan another trip. They're irresistably cute and I love them already!

I wrote this haiku poem yesterday in tribute to the baby tigers' cuteness:

Cute Baby Tigers Haiku
Cute, furry and soft
Striped bundles of energy
Tiger cubs playing
May God bless these adorable little creatures and may He bless you too!
Related posts:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chrysanthemum Kaleidoscope Photos

I thought these neat combinations of different colored chrysanthemums resembled a kaleidoscope when you look from one photo to the next. In the photo above, which color do you notice first?
Here I think the fuchsia chrysanthemums pop but the apricot, white and pink are beautiful too.
I love how the different colors intermingle and the mauve-red chrysanthemums snake through the middle.
Here the salmon and white take center stage but if you look closely there are some pale pink chrysanthemums too.
Here's an overview shot of the chrysanthemum bed. Which photo did you like best? Which color chrysanthemum would you like to grow in your own yard?

Happy Autumn to you! May God bless and keep you!

Related posts:
Missy's chrysanthemums:
Thousand bloom chrysanthemums:
My chrysanthemums:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Self Talk for Sound Sleep - Two Free Scripts

Marianne's sound sleeping kitties, Giacomo and Mookie
Photograph by Marianne, used with permission
Earlier this week my friend Marianne shared her self talk for sound sleep and kindly agreed to let me edit and share it with you here (hearty thanks to Marianne for doing so!). Self talk can be a wonderful natural sleep aid that can help your sleep get better and better the more you use it. 

First I'll share Marianne's personalized version of self talk for sound sleep and then I'll share the one I developed for you all. Feel free to use either or both (or parts of either or both) as part of your positive self talk for just the kind of sleep you need.

Marianne's Self Talk for Sound Sleep
  • I get a good night's sleep every night and it makes me feel great
  • I value my sleep and never let less important activities interfere with my good sleep habits
  • I wake up feeling rested and refreshed
  • Because I am well rested I can get up early and do my cardio workout
  • Getting great sleep allows me to wake up before anyone else and have our home to myself and that quiet time is something I treasure

Your Self Talk for Sound Sleep 
  • I love to experience deep, restorative sleep
  • I sleep soundly each night and wake up feeling refreshed and energized
  • I turn off all screens at least an hour before bedtime
  • I keep to a regular bedtime schedule, going to bed at the same time each night so my body can prepare for its well deserved rest
  • In that last hour before bed I enjoy relaxing activities to unwind as part of my pre-sleep routine 
  • Because sleep is important to me and my health, I make relaxing before bed and getting to bed on time high priorities
  • My bed is my haven, a great place to relax, let go and enjoy soothing, serene sleep
  • Getting great sleep allows me to enjoy my life more fully 
I recommend that you post your version of self talk for sound sleep somewhere you'll read it every night as you prepare for bed (perhaps where you brush your teeth). Even if you don't yet have good sleep habits, read it as if it's already true. Read it aloud when you can. Read it often and soon your brain will be working with you to establish great sleep habits and hopefully you too will be experiencing nights of deep, restorative sleep.

May you experience the best sleep possible! May God bless Marianne and may He bless you too! 

Related posts:
4 Simple Tips for Better Sleep:
DIY Sleepy Time Tea:
Sleep hypnosis:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

2nd Blogiversary and Fun Statistics About You

"We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers." 
I Thessalonians 1:2 (NIV)

Thanks to you, dear readers, Love Joy and Peas is celebrating it's second birthday and hit 25,000 page views this year! I want to take this opportunity to give hearty thanks to all of my readers, models, contributors and clients and all the glory to the Lord! I do pray for my readers and you're welcome to post prayer requests in the comments of any of my posts or email me at and I will be honored to pray for you.

Instead of doing a lot of introspection like I did last year, this year I thought I'd share some statistics about you (my dear readers) and what you showed you liked with your page views. Aside from the statistics, I personally think you are wonderful!

You're a wonderfully diverse group of people. Our top 10 countries by size of our audience (starting with the largest) are: United States, France, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Russia, United Arab Emirates and Philippines. If you'd like to see your country move up next year be sure to share our link with your friends.

Top 10 Most Popular Posts of All Time:
1. Janet's Super Organized Craft Room
2. Zuma Blitz Tips
3. Free Valentine Coloring Pages
4. Funny St. Patrick's Day Cat Photos
5. RIP Tracey Sandefur
6. Merry Christmas Cat Elf
7. Cherry Blossoms and National Monuments at Washington D.C. Tidal Basin
8. Raindrops on Pretty Flowers Photos
9. Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Garden Photos
10. Teen Inspires Minimalist Spending

This Month's Most Popular Post:
Autumn Bonsai Photos

Over the last two years I have published 310 different posts for your reading pleasure. Which was your personal favorite? Which made you laugh hardest? Which inspired you? What would you like to see more of here at Love Joy and Peas? Is there anything related to this blog that you haven't seen but would like to (maybe a specific inspirational or healthy living topic? photos of a particular flower, place or animal?)?

If I went just by the stats above I'd think you want me to publish more organization, simple living, game tips, cat and nature photo posts. Whether that's true or you'd like to see something else, please let me know. My goal remains "to inspire, encourage and bring joy to people while glorifying God in all I do" and I hope you smile and feel inspired or encouraged when you visit. May God bless and keep you!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day Blessing

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 (NASB)

May God bless every veteran and service member and provide for their needs both here on earth and in eternity. May He provide safety, comfort, and supernatural awareness of danger so more precious lives may be saved from terrorist and other dangers. May our veterans feel America's love for them, understand that we appreciate their selfless service and countless sacrifices, and feel deep in their hearts and souls like the heroes they truly are.

Last Veteran's Day I wrote this paragraph and I still feel the same now so I'm sharing it again. "Today, I'm focusing on being thankful for our veterans. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for serving our great country. Thank you for the countless sacrifices you've made in your personal and professional lives. Freedom truly isn't free, and we wouldn't have it without our veterans. May God bless you, dear veterans, and may He bless America".

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pray for the Persecuted

Image by xandert
 “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” Hebrews 13:3

Today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Please join me in praying for persecuted Christians throughout the world. May they stand strong in their faith.  May they feel God's loving presence and peace deep in their heart, mind and soul. May they experience God's supernatural power flowing through them. May God provide solace and everything they need to glorify Him and win more souls to Christ. May God comfort them, their families and loved ones. May their persecutors see Jesus in them.

It's hard to understand why God allows His people to suffer, but we know He has a plan for each one His children and He wants us to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted. Billy Graham writes, "Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are enduring great trials because of their faith. Most of all, make sure of your own commitment to Christ, and make it your goal to live for Him regardless of what the future holds. Remember: In the end, God will win."

Christian persecution is really happening. We need to pray for the persecuted church and not just today but every day. According to Open Doors, a ministry for the persecuted church, "75% of the world live in an area with severe religious restrictions and "100 million Christians are persecuted worldwide in over 60 different countries!" The official International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church website states, "Believers in countries such as Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam face violence, imprisonment and even death because of their faith in Jesus Christ. There are other places in the world such as North Korea where acts of persecution take place, but we don’t see or hear of it. Brother Andrew of Open Doors once said: 'Our heroes are not with us simply because they are in prison.'" In my mind, every persecuted Christian is a hero and deserves our prayer support.

May God bless every persecuted Christian in the world and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
National Day of Prayer Poems:
The best "Good News":
Anti-depression prayers:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fall Foliage and Capitol Columns Photos

Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, November 2013
The old capitol columns rest on a hill within the U.S. National Arboretum and they're particularly beautiful right now with the autumn color blazing all around them.
Copyright © by Ben Wheeler, November 2013; Used with permission
My husband graciously agreed to share his unique shot (above) through the columns to the foliage across the street.
Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, November 2013
I'm not sure what these yellow (and orange, red and brown) spiky bushes are but they are in their glory this fall. There's a giant planting of them in front of the capitol columns.
Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, November 2013
And here's a close up in case that might help one of you identify them (please let me know what they are if you do!). They were green in the spring and summer (and lovely, but not as striking as they are in the fall). I hope you enjoyed this mini photo tour of the capitol columns and surrounding plants. May God bless you this autumn and always!

Related posts:
Arboretum Fall Foliage:
Autumn Bonsai Foliage:
Maryland Fall Foliage:

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Hope America with Billy Graham / The Cross Review

First of all, I should state that I love Billy Graham. I think of him as my father in Christ because it was at one of his talks that I received Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord. I'd read the Bible, gone to church and a lot of people thought I was a Christian, including myself, but it wasn't until that day Reverend Graham spoke to me (and a whole crowd of eager teens) that I truly repented, started a personal relationship with Jesus and experienced the joy of salvation and peace of God.

That said, I totally enjoyed watching My Hope America with Billy Graham / The Cross and highly recommend it. I hadn't heard of Lecrae or the beautiful female singer who were also featured on the video but both of their stories brought tears to my eyes. The message was completely unlike one of Reverend Graham's revival talks in format but the heart of it was the same. If you're curious about the difference Christ can make in someone's life, definitely watch the program.

If you didn't get a chance to watch My Hope America with Billy Graham on Billy Graham's 95th birthday (November 7, 2013, when it first aired) it's airing through November 10, 2013 and also available online. You can see the broadcast schedule or view the program online at Only God knows for sure, but this may Be Reverend Graham's last major undertaking and I think it's a must see.

For more information on how to become a Christian or to chat online with trained Christian counselors 24/7 visit

May God bless Billy Graham, his family and all of their ministries and may He bless you too!

Related posts:

This post is my personal opinion and I wasn't paid or asked to write it. My only affiliations with any of the people or organizations mentioned herein are as stated above and a donor/fan.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fall Foliage at the U.S. National Arboretum

The fall foliage at the U.S. National Arboretum seemed to peak this week and it's a great time to visit if you're close enough. If you look closely you can see the capitol columns in the background in the photo above.
I love the different reds in the Japanese maple trees in the photo above (taken outside the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, which is within the National Arboretum).
This interestingly shaped tree is near the old capitol columns (I plan to feature a picture of them in an upcoming post so be sure to return in a few days!).
 Graceful yet fiery Japanese maple tree.
Here's an overall shot of the little bonsai maple from yesterday's blog post. Some of its companions have lost their leaves already but it's still a striking display.

May God bless you this autumn and always!

Related posts:
Autumn bonsai:
Autumn blessing:
Fall foliage in Maryland:
Peaceful pond trail foliage:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Autumn Bonsai Exhibit At U.S. National Arboretum

Yesterday my husband and I happened upon the National Arboretum's Autumn Bonsai exhibit in their National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. If you're within driving distance of the Arboretum the exhibit runs until November 10, 2013. The outdoor bonsai trees photographed better but the indoor ones were amazing too. The bonsai tree pictured above was located outside.
 This amazing pear tree bonsai was also located outside.
This spooky bonsai tree with bat art greets visitors as the enter the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum.
 My photo doesn't do this beautiful bonsai justice but I hope you enjoy it anyway.
 I thought this little bonsai was neat. I think it was the smallest on display.
I think this is Japanese blood grass and I'd like to add some to our garden next year (along with a Mr. Lincoln rose and some variegated Solomon's seal). I hope you enjoyed my mini photo tour of the Autumn Bonsai exhibit. May God bless and keep you!

Related posts:
Azalea bonsai:
Secret gazebo:
Orchid jubilee:
Dragonflies and butterflies:
Day lilies: