Tuesday, November 17, 2009

16 Years Later...

Every year, November 18th roles around and I am just awed by my vivid memory of that day back in 1993. Even though it is 16 years later and at the time - having a mind of a unemotional seven-year-old - I remember that morning like it happened today.

Death is never easy, especially when it is an immediate family member and in my case, my little brother. I often wonder what he would like like if he was alive, or where he would attend college? Would he have a girlfriend? What would be his hobbies? Would we be really close? And while I reflect on the day and the "what ifs...", I take a deeper look at the many, many blessings the Lord has given my family. And let me tell you -- I could go on and on and on and on.

And our blessings in life wouldn't occur without the many storms we also endure through life...

Joseph and I are both in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) [We are studying the book of John this year] and this past week was on John 6:1-21 - This section of John 6 tells us about the miracle of Jesus feeding of the five thousand and Jesus walking on the water towards the disciples during the storm. When the disciples were out on the boat right after feeding the five thousand -- they were caught in a great storm and struggling to get to the other side. Jesus saw their struggle and went out to them and delivered them.

Few things I was thinking - Jesus helps us during our trials and He will not let us be tempted or tried beyond what we are able to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). When the disciples were struggling against the storm and we getting weary with "rowing" and going nowhere - Jesus watched, estimated their strength and delivered them at the perfect time -- and that is the same with us. During our "storms,"He is with us, he sees us, he is thinking and praying for us -- just like he did with Shadrack, Meschack and Abednego in Daniel 3. And in every trial and storm - the Lord provides a way out... he may use a different means than we anticipated, yet He will always bring us through to His destination. In my family's case, the death of Kyle wasn't what we wished -- but He brought us through and we experienced Jesus with us... and still do.

So remember - if you are doing through something hard - the Lord is always watching. He knows, He cares, He heals, He saves, He holds us in His hands, He loves.... Take it to the Lord. Embrace Him - take him into your boat just like the disciples did. It is amazing when we do that, how He takes our hand and walks us through it to His destination, one step at a time.

And while this storm is still hard and every year the anniversary of Kyle's death falls during a time of thankfulness - when I think about it, I am truly thankful. I am thankful that Kyle is rejoicing with the Lord in Heaven. Thankful to the Lord that He has made me who I am from this situation. I am thankful for my husband. And for my beautiful and God fearing & serving Family. THANKFUL For Jesus - who died on the cross, for me and you...and saved me from eternal punishment. Thankful for an amazing small group. Thankful for amazing high school girls. Thankful for amazing friends to serve with. Thankful for my job. Thankful for a house. So ..Thankful.

So, as I think about Kyle today, I think about God's grace and His unfaltering love. Today is hard. It will always be. But, we have a great God who has used this storm-this situation- this trial -and turned it into gold. May He continually be glorified through this situation. It is not how my family and I all turned out to be but how God changed our lives to always point this situation back to him...

Praying for my family today. It will always be hard.

Matthew 19:14

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Kyle Christian Plantz. 04.13.90-11.18.93

Thursday, October 22, 2009

isn't he just the cutest thing?

Wanted to share a few pics of our cute nephew Ethan Plantz:

Kissable Cheeks

He is so cute... now, we have a lot to live up to. Thanks Ry and Ker for being so "ridiculously good looking."

I am gonna go with Ryan's Teeth Genes on this one...

As you can tell, he really loves his Auntie Dani and Uncle Joey.

Monday, October 12, 2009

my running partner is a rockstar

26.2... "no biggie" - for a mother of five, a grandma, a wife, employee x 2, and the other million things my incredible mother has on her plate....

Yesterday, I was able to witness the 2009 Chicago Marathon as a spectator - I decided to take the year off and cheer on my mom. While, I won't type her age, when you become a grandma and can run a marathon, well, that is something else. She is one incredible, strong, determined and dedicated woman and most importantly, I am glad to have her as someone I look up to. This is my mom's third consecutive and fifth marathon total. Not many women her age can do that. So, three cheers for you, mom.

Watching from the start line was bittersweet for me. I really did enjoy taking the year off (wedding, new husband, new job, new house... ;) ). However, being a part of something like that and understanding what those 45,000 runners were going through made me tear up. I played "Amazing Race" by myself for the majority of the morning and I finally got to LaSalle near Moody, only to miss my mom by like 2 minutes. She was runnin' like a cheetah...

I risked my life, actually the lives of the marathon runners, and crossed the street to get to Wells (the other side of Moody) to meet my mom there. Once I was there, our plan was for me to finish the last 14.5 miles with my mom. While waiting for her to come, Candace, Madeline, Kerry and Ethan met up with me. It was FREEZING and not much fun for an 11 month old... poor guy.

Finally, the running star appeared and I joined the fun....I told my mom while we were running, "So, this is what the last half of the marathon is suppose to look like..." [Note: 2007 and 2008 were two of the hottest marathons in the history of the 32 Chicago Marathons on record & I don't do so well in heat....]

It was a great, easy and chilly run with my mom. Perfect weather for a marathon. I enjoyed finishing the marathon and getting a medal at the end so I didn't look too suspicious....

So, congratulations mom. You are incredible. Another Chicago Marathon checked off. Now that she is taking 2010 off, anyone interested in training for next year's marathon with me? 10.10.10? Neat, huh?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Children's Book

Joseph and I have many similar goals in life... one of them is to write a Children's Book. Many people think this would be super easy (my belief as well), but they are wrong. One, this is an unbelievably hard industry to get into, and two, thinking of a successful idea is tougher than one thinks. We have come up with some (hopefully) great ideas that moms and dads would love to have their kindergartner or first grader read. Or older, if you were anything like I was in first grade....

So, our journey begins... We will keep you updated with the book along with the rest of interesting lives.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wedding Photos

Thought we would share our special day with everyone....

Honestly - it was the perfect day. Not only was the weather exactly what we wanted, but more importantly, God was glorified through every aspect of our wedding. So, enjoy the photos - our photographer, Jill Devries captured the "day" and "us" perfectly.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Surprise Slip-N-Slide Party = Success

This past weekend, I (Danielle) put together and threw a "surprise" slip-n-slide party for my wonderful husband, Joseph. It was his big 2-5 birthday, so I thought this would be fun. Joseph has always wanted to have a giant slip-n-slide party and after finding a 50x12 foot slip-n-slide, the party was on! With much help from his two best friends, his brother Benjamin and friend Billy, we pulled off probably the biggest summer bash of 2009.

From the 50 foot slip-n-slide, to homemade guacamole, to a whole spread of Joseph's favorite foods, to Billy in a speedo with pink suspenders, you couldn't ask for much more..

If you didn't come - your loss. However, with the HUGE success of the slip-n-slide and great food - the party might come back (elsewhere) for an Summer-end party or make another appearance for 2010. Annual event anyone? So, if you didn't come, no worries, the slip-n-slide will definitely make another apperance very, very soon.

Picture of the Slip-n-slide:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why, you ask?

  Welcome to the intriguing, amusing, sometimes adventurous life of the Snares.  This blog is bound to be a hit, what with us going to bed at 9:30 and enjoying our bike rides and so forth.  We'll give it a shot, though, mainly cuz baby girl wants to let you all know what new with us.  Stay tuned for something.....