~A Visit to Oklahoma~

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DSC_0482 DSC_0483 DSC_0484 DSC_0487DSC_0489DSC_0501DSC_0502DSC_0503DSC_0517DSC_0518DSC_0524DSC_0530DSC_0536DSC_0540DSC_0557DSC_0561DSC_0568DSC_0573DSC_0578DSC_0589DSC_0592DSC_0624DSC_0626DSC_0633DSC_0648DSC_0649DSC_0652DSC_0653(photo courtesy to Petie, her mom and sister, and me)

   Books/hairstyles/make-up/swimming/95 degree weather/watermelon/cleaning/preparing the meal/eating/ Oklahoma scenery/writing notes back home/togetherness/photo-shooting/giggly laughs/horses/smiles/church/singing worship songs/having discussions/ hummingbirds (not very often you see them in Iowa)/rain/visiting and eating at “The Diner”/ coffee stop/salmon and kale chips dinner/first time watching “Flywheel” (very good story-line)/red telephone booth for a prompt/big smiles/fly home/dinosaur bones in a Chicago airport/the ending of the day/

Hello dear readers!

Recently I got to visit one of my blogging friends Petie (from all things bright and beautiful) in Oklahoma.

It was a great, relaxing trip. Petie and her family were very hospitable and memories of shopping, touring, movie-watching, and getting to know Petie and her family better was a great experience. I think the only difference that Oklahoma and Iowa have is the dirt. (In which case I brought some home with me in a bottle and is now sitting on my bookshelf)

Petie, if you’re reading this then you probably know what I think about you. But if not, here it is: You’re an awesome sport, and you truly love the people around you. 😀 Your perseverance in running is superb, the way you do your make-up and hair in the morning is inspiring to watch, as well as listening to you sing. Tell your family that I miss Lydia’s hairstyles she did on me, your father’s discussions, your mother’s kale chips, your relatives, your friends from church, as well as yourself. Thank-you for making my time in Oklahoma great. You really deserve an award for making people feel comfortable in their own skin. 🙂


In Christ our Lord,

Marianela (Nela for short)

(read Petie’s account here)


4th of July Celebration!

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This 4th of July was relaxing, yet pleasant to watch people enjoying themselves. I love capturing moments at the right place and time. These are the moments that are meant to be treasured, and looked back on for future generations.

   So, how was your fourth of July?

Do tell.


{Ephesians 6:1-3} “Honor Thy Parents”

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with a promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” {NKJV)


{my lovely parents}

How many of us take our parents for granted? Well, I know I do.

Isn’t it strange that our parents (who gave us life) are the ones that usually see our “ugly side” and not our friends?

Something must be wrong if that’s how it usually is. When I have a serious discussion with either of my parents, at times I raise my voice a little higher to make my words clear and to get my point, but even then it can be taken the wrong way, (especially toward the younger siblings who tend to follow our example).

My parents, (who’ve seen my every weakness) are one of the most influential and godly people I know.

During this spring, I was diagnosed with a psychotic disorder. During that time I said things to them that were  disrespectful, and wrong. Since then I’ve been doing much better but yet those memories still remain at the back of my head.

I don’t often realize the effort and sacrifices they make to provide for me and my siblings, so this verse is very special to me, and will always hold a place in my heart when talking about God-given parents.

I do believe that we must honor our parents “in the Lord” because Christ is our ultimate Master and King, and that obedience to the Bible must come first before anyone else. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” and nothing but the Word of God can change our hearts and minds for Christ’s sake.

I love my parents very dearly, and wouldn’t be who I am today without their guidance in my life. Since this verse comes with a promise of blessings and long life, I say we treat them as we would like to be treated, with respect and love.

To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen.


Book Review: “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo


Les Misérables  by Victor Hugo

*Summary taken from the back of the book
  Les Misérables, the story of Jean Valjean, who stole a loaf of bread to feed some hungry children and paid for his act by years of misfortune. It is a marvelous story- at times breathless with action and adventure, again tender and appealing, it’s pages filled with as many emotions as life itself. And what a varied and extraordinary group of characters! Marius the student and lover; Cosette, the adorable child who became the foster-daughter of Jean Valjean; Javert, the implacable detective’ the Thénardiers with their genius for evil- these and literally a host of others reflect the immense scope-the amazing force and fire of Hugo’s genius. “Take it all in all,” says Stevenson of this masterpiece, “there are few books in the world that can be compared with it.”
My Thoughts:
I first heard of this book from a dear friend’s blog, “all things bright and beautiful”  by Petie {go there for reviews on other classic novels.}, and probably would never have read the book (or saw the movie!) if it weren’t for her love and recommendation of it. 😉
For me, Mr. Hugo’s writing is hard to follow, but not impossible to interpret scenes from it. Speaking of scenes (this may contain some spoilers), the most special and “wow” moments came when Valjean adopted Cosette at the Thénardiers inn (the scene when Valjean presents the doll to Cosette was super sweet), the scene where Marius and Cosette finally meet (definitely an “awww!” moment), and Gavroche, Eponine, and Valjean’s death. Call me crazy, but I enjoy reading a good death scene, especially if it makes me cry (which  hardly ever happens by the way).
Now for the big question: Would I read it again? The simple answer is yes, but only after I visit a few other places first. 😉
Also, it’ll probably be best to read the book after you’ve watched the movie. Mainly because (for me anyway), it makes it easier to imagine the scenes. 🙂
Favorites Quotes:
“The devotion of one man had given strength and courage to all.”
~pages 47-48, Les Misérables
“Eponine let her head fall back upon Marius’ knees and her eyelids closed…and said to him with an accent the sweetness of which already seemed to come from another world: “And then, do you know, Monsieur Marius, I believe I was a little in love with you.” She essayed to smile again, and expired.”
― page 456, Les Misérables
“…Gavroche had fallen only to rise again; he sat up, a long stream of blood rolled down his face, he raised both arms in air, looked in the direction whence the shot came, and began to sing….he fell with his face upon the pavement, and did not stir again. That little great soul had taken flight.”
― page 485, Les Misérables
 So, if you’ve read the book, seen the movie, and/or watched the play…
which do you think is better? 😉
Take care everyone!

~Beautiful Iowa~

DSC_0022{my second-cousin, Charley)

DSC_0021{second cousin Olivia}

DSC_0050{second cousin Jayden}

DSC_0070{Henry’s birthday cake}


DSC_0067Watching “How Animals Eat Their Food”. The rhinoceros is my fave. 😉

DSC_0083 {little Henry learning how to roller-blade}


{early morning on the farm}









Life in Iowa is pleasant, but at times full of surprises, trials, and adventures.

I may not always appreciate Iowa, but it’s where I grew up and will always have a special place in my <3.

So tell me, dear reader, what’s your special place? 🙂


~Summer Thrill~

DSC_0051DSC_0098 blouse: garage sale//belt: my mom’s//feather head-band: Goodwill//jean capris: Wal-Mart//

Normally I don’t “dress up” to attend meetings, but a local photography gathering was taking place in a nearby city, and being a photography enthusiast, I went to see what it was all about.


It wasn’t a big, formal group that I was expecting, but they sure know a lot more about photography than I do. 😀
Being an observer, I tend to notice images that catch my interest. Below are some of my favorites..


I adore the starry sky (especially in a forest setting) 🙂

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so out of all these images, which one is your fave? 🙂

  and before you go…


this little boy here (my baby brother)  turned six yesterday. Mind if you wish him a happy birthday? I’m sure he’ll love it. 😉

Take care, and may the Lord always bless you!


“It’s the start of something new…”


Hello everybody,

Welcome to the brand-new opening of “Beloved Star”!

Thank-you for joining me and I hope you’ll enjoy your stay as I write and post pics of my life as a country girl. There’s going to be a few extra goodies as well, so stay tuned!

In Christ,

~Marianela (Nela for short)