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INSTAFriday #5 Link-up

Okay so today's INSTAFrida is slim pickin's for sure. This week has again been busy and I've been feeling a little puny. My sweet husband decided to share his gunk with me and I'm been sniffling and blowing for days. Thank the Lord it is finally subsiding a little and I can see some clear breathing in my near future.
I took the above photo the other day during my devotion. I love it when I find smilies in the Bible. This was in Romans but I'm sure they have to be everywhere. 

 Then yesterday at church I took this little pretty's photo. I love Daffodils and I'm super-crazy-excited about Spring. I love flowers and Spring is perfumed with them.

Yesterday was pretty special too.  I didn't take any photos but it was my birthday, 42nd actually. My family did so much for me. My day started with a wonderful breakfast prepared by my sweet Hannah, who is BTW, an excellent cook. Then I opened some gifts and received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my honey and Hannah cooked a great lunch that included some crazy-good stuffed mushrooms. I followed all the excitement with a nap (which I needed) and then we headed to church and out to dinner afterwards with friends. It was a lovely birthday, really one of the nicest I can remember. Oh yea and it got up to 73 yesterday and was gloriously sunny. Altogether it was a perfect day!!

Okay girls, it's your turn, can't wait to see your INSTAFriday photos!

First Day of Spring Hike

I have seriously had Spring fever lately and to celebrate the first day of Spring we went for a hike to Grebengrad. Grebengrad was one of two major fortresses in this area around 1200 AD. Hungaria Counts lived here and soon moved the settlement to a nearby valley which is now Novi Marof. The walls of Grebengrad are still somewhat standing and it's a great hike up to this historical landmark. 

I am a bit of a flower nerd and I'm constantly on the lookout for these little beauties. I was interested to see what would be in bloom this early in Spring and I wasn't disappointed. 

Look at these sweet little wild strawberries. 

I was so surprised to see this little beauty growing in the forest. I love the way the Ciclama flower grows upside-down and check out those spotted leaves, lovely!


 I'm not sure what these are but aren't they purty! From the look of the leaves I'm thinking that they're in the violet family.

I think the two above are in the Lupinus (Blue Bonnet family for us Lone Star ladies) or some type of Salvia. Love the colors. 
Not sure about these little sunny buds but they were growing out of the rocks. 

These little Galanthus of Visibabe as they're called here are some of the first flowers to make an appearance in Spring. I super-love them!

I'm not sure what these are but I'm thinking that they are in the Hellebore family. Love the variation between the periwinkle and green. 

Fnally this is a rare Hannahborealous. 

Loved the exposed roots of this amazing tree along the trail, amazing!

Zoi was so happy to find this little natural spring on top of the mountain and she drank so much she had to make several pit stops on the way down!

We loved the blue doors of this old house. The oldest walls were actually stick covered in mud and hay. 

Some of the walls of Grebengrad. Amazing to think we were actually standing in a fortress from 1200 AD where people actually lived. 

The one downside to living in Europe is that it spoils you for history. When we're Stateside and touring old 100 year old settlements it's hard to get to excited when we we're used to much older history here in Europe. 
My last photo for today is me and my baby! I love seeing Europe and experiencing life with this man. Blessed doesn't describe it!

What did you do to celebrate the first day of Spring??

INSTAFRIDAY Episode #4 & a linkup

Okay guys, it's time for InstaFriday again. Sorry for taking last week off but I'm telling you, life has been crazy! 

First off, Johnny had to go out of country for a week and that left me and Hannah at home with nothing to do. Okay so we could have done some major Spring cleaning but we didn't. BTW, doesn't Hannah have the prettiest blue eyes ever?? She gets them from her Daddy!

I did decided to paint the kitchen while he was gone. I've been trying to figure out what color since our kitchen is very small and has a sloping ceiling. My living area is a light turquoise so I didn't want whatever color I painted it to clash so I went with a buttery yellow. I'm also incorporating the yellow in the living area to tie it all together. I'm not showing the kitchen yet because I'm saving that for my Home Tour Kitchen Edition. ;0)

Last week we had guests come to visit from Florida and some missionary friends came down from Budapest. We had a great time visiting but it was crazy busy. We had revival all week in the Croatian church and the Gypsy church. 

 We have a Saturday "Sunday" School of sorts in the village and it's only for children up to 12 years old. They are such special little guys and it's a privilege to teach them about Jesus.

 This is my neighbor dog! Yes, he looks cute but he's a menace! Last week I watched him cross the street from the neighbor's house into my yard and begin to bury, in my flowerbed a giant red hen that he had apparently decided to sent to an early demise. Are you kidding me! I ran him out of the year and then tried to go next door to tell the neighbors but the gate was locked. So, I grabbed the leg of this big clucker and chunked her onto the neighbor's trash cans. Moral to this story; you can't trust blonds!

Finally for this InstaFriday is my special early birthday gift that my honey brought home for me from his trip. Remember a while ago when I posted about my Old Black (Maroon) Book, well I've been wanting a new Bible but I've not wanted to give up the comfort of my old Bible. It knows where we're going before I even start and it seems to just flip open to that verse. It's comfortable and loved but it's getting old. So 2 weeks early my honey (who can't wait for birthdays just like me) gave me my new Bible. I love it! It's a Church Bible and the quality is top notch. It's top grain cow hide and it smells like the very first pair of Justin boots I ever bought when I worked at Motts 5-10. They smelled like heaven and my new Bible has the same smell. I know that's silly but I was so proud of those boots and worked hard for that $100 so I have fond memories of that smell and my Bible smells just like those boots! 

Anyhow, that's InstaFriday for this week. I'm hoping you'll join in with me this week!!

Back Just in time for Hodgepodge!

1. Share a favorite song, book, or movie title containing the word green?
I loved Ann of Green Gables when my daughter was young. We watched all the movies and the series way too many times.

2. Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, 'Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.' Would you agree? Are you a believer in luck?
I would love to believe in luck but the Bible in contrary to that thought. 
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 9:11-12, 
 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

I'm also very aware that God has a divine plan for us all and if we stay within His will that plan will come to pass. 

3. Spring water, Hot Springs, handspring, spring fling, spring break, spring fever, offspring...which 'spring' word best applies to something in your day, week, or life right now? Spring Fever for sure! I'm basking in the warm, 60-ish weather we're having here in Southern Europe and loving all the buds blooiming everywhere. Took a photo of these beautities the other day while taking someone to the airport. Lovely!

4. What's something you do to make yourself look or feel more confident?
Wow, what do I not do? It's hard for me to admit but I'm a very vain person. I don't leave the house without being dressed up and my full face on. Maybe it comes from insecurities but I always make sure I'm looking my best when leaving the house, so I do it all! 

5. It's National Celery Month...are you a fan? If so, what's a snack or dish you enjoy that calls for celery?Love celery! I love it with any sort of cream cheese but I'm not a fan of the whole celery and peanut butter thing. Yuck! Don't get me wrong, I super-love peanut butter but not with celery!

6. What's one thing you wish you'd learned sooner? 
Wow, I could name a million. I wish I knew what I knew now about parenting, I would have do so much differently. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.

7. Would you like to own a second home? If so where would you want that home to be? 
I would love to own a little stone house on one of the islands in the Adriatic Sea. We've been there for vaca before and it's amazing.

8. Insert your own random thought here.Okay, so I'm back from my little blogging sabbatical. Life was seriously crazy for the past two weeks and it doesn't look like it's gonna slow down any time soon so I'm just gonna have to make time to blog. I really have missed reading all the blogs as of late and I'm glad to be back in cyber-ville!

Joining everyone over at From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday's Hodgepodge. 

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