Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

8 Weeks.

The most recent "pride & joy" added to my side of the family... already 8 weeks old!  There he is... Just the prettiest, little face, isn't it?  :)  He's happy and healthy and beautiful.  Aunt Laura just LOVES to kiss his, chubby, little cheeks!  :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stayin' Alive @ 35!!!

I celebrated a birthday last month... my 35th.

My dad turned 35 in 1987.  We bought him THIS coffee mug... and he still has it.  :)  Hehee! 

I asked him if I could have it, and he said that I could... as long as I passed it along to my siblings on their 35th bdays.  Silly?  Probably.  But we have fun.  :)

I clearly remember choosing and purchasing this trendy (at the time) coffee mug.  My dad is an avid coffee drinker, and a dad can never have too many coffee mugs or neck ties, right? 

I must have been around eleven years old at the time, and I remember thinking, "Holy cow!  THIRTY-FIVE?!!!  That is 'really' old!"  Seems like just yesterday... and, yet, here I am! 

I don't feel nearly as old as I thought it seemed back then.  In fact, I really don't mind aging... YET!  (I reserve the right to change my mind later!  :)  I've said for a long time now, I'd rather be in my thirties than in my teens.  Who wants to go back and have to "re"learn from all those mistakes?  Not me!  I'd rather just keep on pressing on!  :)  I'm even okay with a few laugh lines to show for it.

Of course, my hubby did a little something extra special for me.  LOVED this gift:

I'm a total sucker for anything that shows off my family.  I absolutely love birthstones, charms, bracelets, necklaces... anything that represents the people I love the most... 

"I am doing a GREAT work, and I cannot come down!" -Nehemiah 6:3a

Or in my own paraphrase:
Don't try to distract me with the stuff that doesn't matter!  God has given me this wonderful gift of being a wife and a mother... And it's a BIG job!  Aside from Him, THEY come first. 
Nothing you have for me is as important or needs my attention more. 
The End.

In case you wanted more info on my really cool birthday necklace, you can check out these links:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weekend Highlights.

School is underway.  Life is busy, as usual.  The summer has flown by.  FINALLY, we're having days that do NOT reach ninety-something degrees.  Before I know it, fall will be here... ah, my favorite. 

A little bit of life, as I know it...

Friday evening, I went out with all of my siblings for dinner.  My brother planned it, and threatened us with our lives if we didn't show.  :)  Just the five of us... it was quite delightful, I admit.  Here we are, trying to get a snapshot... Haha!  :)

Finally, I caved, and asked someone to just take it for us. :)  Aren't we just adorable?  :)

I so love them.  We laugh a LOT together.


I came home on Friday night, to greet my very special weekend guests, two members of the Snow family, whom we all know and love.  :)

Then, there was Saturday...

While my friends were out running an errand, I took advantage of the fact that it was Saturday, to do some chores...  This being one of them:

I had some aloe plants given to me by my sweet neighbor. They had been resting nicely on my kitchen counter, and growing well... better than I'd realized for their tiny, little pot. I thought it was time that I should separate and replant them... not a big project, right?

It's kind of amazing, the things I get myself into...

Susanna came home in the middle of my mishap, and decided to take some pictures in the midst of my dilemma... Don't worry, she helped me, too.  Thank  you, Susu!  My sink is still draining splendidly, due to our efforts NOT to clog the garbage disposal with potting soil!

Sometimes, there's just so sense in turning back... Might as well follow through.  The good news is this:  all three aloe plants, along with a calla lily AND two, baby cacti, were successfully transplanted into new pots, and are doing wonderfully!  :)  Of course, my kitchen counter currently looks like a jungle, but I'll figure that out later.

But... leave it to me to make it as difficult as possible... deciding to do all of the work in my kitchen rather than the back yard... AND to do so, while wearing white shorts?!!! 

Side note... you HAVE to admire my cute tshirt.  KS3 picked this one out, and said I just HAD to get it.  :)  (Those would be cheese wedges, holding a camera and posing for pics... get it?  "Say people!")

Saturday evening was a better turn of events.  :)  Mrs. Snow taught me how to make her famous SNOW family pizza!  Not only did I get to spend some time with two amazing people, I got to learn how to make some amazing pizza!  One of my favorite memories of spending so much time with the Snow family growing up, was when Mrs. Snow would cook... and pizza was a common favorite.

 So, so, SOOOO yummy! 

For dessert, however, we treated them!... to Silky's, of course... because it's a Ketteman FAVE!
Susu and me.  :)

Feelin' some SNOW love!  :)

Hangin' with my hubby.  :)


Sunday was a normal one.  I love my church, and I loved having my friends there to worship with us.

I told them good-bye for now, on Monday morning.  The boys were already at school.  My house was quiet again... too quiet.  :(  At least I have my doggies...

and time to ponder...

I went for a run.  I love those moments when you stop thinking about running, and let your mind just wander.

I thought about how blessed I am, and I thanked God for all the ways He reminds me that He loves me.

I am reminded that it's worth the time, effort, and energy to maintain relationships worth maintaining.

You know what else?  The opposite is true, as well.  Don't waste your time on the people who bring you down.  Jealousy is bitter and ugly.... NOT worth entertaining.

True, authentic, Godly relationships... invaluable.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I've been talking recently to a friend about the value of a good distraction.  In my own experience, distractions have been known to make or break me.  :)  Quite honestly, I'm not sure if I mind either.

I've created them in many forms.  My husband just LOVES to come home and find that I've decided to repaint an entire room that day.... reorganize all of the kitchen cabinets... or accomplished NOTHING in my day but reading some ridiculous book all day long...  Yes, my OCD combined with my ADD comes into play with some of this as well.

The fact is, sometimes you just need an escape from your reality at the moment.  It may be to clear your head, so you can face a dilemma head on.  Maybe you need to refresh and come back to something later.  Maybe you just need to get away from a problem or a worry.  I don't see it as a negative thing at all... just a pause... a refresher... and, then you get back to whatever it is that needs your attention again.

A common, more simple "get away" for me is in my photography.  This week, I've been trying to learn some new editing programs.  Well, when business isn't booming, you just make something up... and I needed something to edit.  So, I put on a cute top, some accessories, and make up... hung my bathroom curtain up in front of my bedroom window (because the lighting is pretty good in there), set my tripod up, along with my timer... and voila:  a session to edit.  HOWEVER, I still ended up going back to my tried and true method of editing.  :(  Sheesh... I don't do so well with change... which is why I needed the distraction in the first place!  Well, here's the end result, anyway:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Sweet Nephew, 4 weeks old.

I can honestly say I can't remember seeing prouder parents than my brother and sister-in-law upon the birth of this precious boy.  They are SO excited to have him.  :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My memories of Mr. Snow...

This was the last post I wrote about the Snow Family:  Snow Hugs

As you can already tell, I love them.  :)

It's funny the things you remember.  Memories have a way of creeping in, when you least expect them.  Sometimes, it can be the slightest moment that will bring one back to mind... and there it is, something you haven't thought about in YEARS.  Then, there are the BIG things that bring them back... none of which, you have any control over.

The Lord gives, and He takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

My sweet friend, Shelly, quoted that verse as her FB status last week.  In the days to follow, I heard it repeated over and over again.  Some of the ways I heard it, weren't related at all, and there it would be again... That's how I know God wanted to remind us.  HE IS IN CONTROL.  (He has to remind me of that a LOT.)  And He is to be praised, NO MATTER WHAT.  Blessed be His name.

Mr. Snow, praying for his baby girl and her new husband at their wedding, March 2011.

I awoke last Tuesday morning, to find the news from Shelly, in my inbox... that she would be calling me later, but didn't want me to hear another way... her father had passed away the day before.

I had to read it several times, trying to convince myself that I was still groggy from my night's rest, and I must have been reading something wrong.  But it was true.  The father and husband of this sweet family who has meant so much to me throughout my life, was gone... at the young age of 58 years old.

And there they were... the memories... flooding in, one right after another.

I don't have a lot of memories of Mr. Snow without them involving his whole family.... more specifically, Mrs. Snow.  :)  They were a team.  No matter what the hard times brought them, they stuck together, leaned on God for strength, and they got through it.  The kids have scattered about over the years, but they remain close... a tight-knit bond of unconditional love.  That's how they were taught.  It's just who they are.

Even to this day, I watched it for myself.  Every one of her children, rallied by their mother's side, to love her and support and protect her.  They were a beautiful sight, really... of strength and grace.  Mr. Snow would have been so proud of them.

On Monday, they told him good-bye.  Sure, there were lots of tears.  But there was more laughter.  They cried together, feeling the grief of losing this precious man, but only for now... Their rejoicing was so much greater, in that they will see him again... and that he's healthy and strong and where he has always dreamed to be... with HIS Jesus.

When I was young, I was convinced he didn't like me.  :)  Shelly swore it wasn't true.  "Laura, if he didn't like you, he would just ignore you.  That's why he makes so much fun of you!"  That summed it up! 

I was actually closer to Mrs. Snow.  :)  Oh, we used to have so many talks.  You know how it is being a teenager, when you feel like the world is caving in on you.  And she related to me.  She knew my temper, and my stubborness, and she would lovingly put me in my place.  Sometimes it's just different coming from someone other than your own parents.  My own mom and dad probably don't realize how many times they owed her a "thank you" for supporting them.  :)  I'll have to remember that as my own kids are growing up.

Mr. Snow only got involved once, that I can remember, in my growing up.  He had certainly earned the right... although I don't know that I believed it at the time.  Looking back, it was the moment that I knew he must have loved me.  I was about to make a decision that would affect me for the rest of my life.  Several had warned me that it was wrong.  It wasn't like I didn't know, deep down in my heart.  Did I mention that I'm stubborn?  I had convinced myself it was the right thing to do, and I was going to do it... period.  He gave it one, last-ditch effort.  Quietly, discerningly, lovingly... he explained that he was worried for me.  He urged me to reconsider, and gave every logical reason why I should.  I respectfully told him I thought he was wrong... just like I'd told everyone else who loved me!  And how could he know?  He didn't know the details.  He didn't know the whole story.  He didn't know my heart.  That's what I told myself, anyway.  Well, you see where this is going.  I ignored his warning, as well as everyone else's... I did what I "wanted."  I WAS WRONG.

When I think of that memory now, I realize how much he must have hurt for me, in order to take the time and make the effort to have such a difficult conversation.  He knew me better than I'd realized.  He knew he was taking a chance that I'd respond so very negatively.  He did it anyway.  Because he was a man of conviction, and he was so very wise.  I wish I could thank him for that now.

My next favorite memory was only a few years later... after the chaos and turmoil of my own life had settled down.  Jason and I had only been married for a few months, and we took a little drive to Perryville, MO.  Shelly and George had just had their first child, sweet Michayla Stefany.  My best friend was a mommy!  And we were invited to celebrate with them, at her dedication service at Mr. Snow's church.

It was a bittersweet time.  Shelly and George would only be in the States for a short time thereafter, while they continued to gather support for their life on the mission field of Romania.  In the little church where he pastored, Mr. Snow dedicated the entire evening service and message to his brand, new baby granddaughter.  I'll be honest, that I don't remember a lot of it.  I was blubbering like an idiot through most of it, of course.  What I remember the most were his closing statements.  With tears filling his eyes, yet with full composure, he said, "...and one day, when your sweet little girl grows up, and tells you that she feels God has led her to a country far away to serve Him, you'll have to trust Him enough to let her go... because you would rather have her leave and be IN God's will, than to have her NEAR you, and not obeying His call for her life."

I'm pretty sure that's when my own husband fell in love with Mr. Snow.  :)  But he could tell you his own memories and feelings so much better than I could.  So, I'll leave those unsaid.

I'm thankful for the reminder to cherish the moments I have with my own family.  I am so thankful for my own parents, who taught me the love of Jesus Christ.  I am so thankful to have a husband who believes in the same... thankful for his leadership of my family and in my home.  I am thankful for the examples of REAL men in my life... A man like Mr. Snow, who was a steadfast example of following God's call for his life and for his family.  I'm thankful for his sweet wife and his wonderful children, who have made such an impression on my life, and will continue to do so.  I continue to pray for them during this time.  I know that God will give them the strength to move forward... just as Mr. Snow would have wished for them.

My photo
ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.