Monday, January 31, 2011

Chocolate Dreams: Valentine's Day from Eden Fantasys

I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.
Song of Solomon 7:10

Valentine's Day is exactly 2 weeks away. What are your plans? Check out what The Night Owl Mama has to say about her plans. And also, check out what she's giving away: A $50 Gift Certificate to Eden Fantasys! I'm entering! If I win, I will likely purchase some lingerie, or the Chocolate Dreams Sensual Kit by KamaSutra, that you see in the photo above. I'm sure that Papa Bear would be thrilled either way!

So head on over to The Night Owl Mama's blog so that you can enter too!

Have fun checking out the Eden Fantasys website. Maybe you and your spouse can find some delightful things to enhance your marriage while you're there.

Mama Bear

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Christian Wall Art for Kids and Parents Too!

Sometimes, it's a bit tough to find Christian art prints that you like. It's even tougher to find Christian art prints that can be personalized. But I can tell you where you can find some: in my Etsy shop: Blackberry Cottage Home Decor.

Please check out what we have. The great thing about these prints, is that I send you a digital file and you can print off one or more, just like you would a digital your local photo lab, or your favorite online photo lab (mine is

I hope that you will check out my shop. 20% of all sales go to Hands at Work in Africa, an organization that helps feed and medicate vulnerable orphans and widows.

Mama Bear

Friday, January 28, 2011

You Capture -- Happy


Today's "You Capture" theme from "I Should Be Folding Laundry" is "Happy".

Yesterday, I took a LOT of photos, just to get more practice in. Sometimes my little bears are agreeable when it comes to Mama Bear wanting to take their photos, and sometimes they are not. But yesterday, I was able to get some photos, and my "You Capture: Happy" photos are some that I absolutely love. I took these with a Canon Rebel T1i, with a 50mm, 1.8 lens.

So, what do you think? Do these photos make you feel happy?

The little girl in the blue and purple is the daughter of a friend of mine. We had fun taking photos at a local park, with the two girls. MY daughter was SUPER attached to my cell phone! Great! Wonder what our future is going to be like??? :-)

Mama Bear

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How I Used to Like "Any Man of Mine", But Now I Don't

I haven't listened to much country music in a LONG time, but have been lately. I used to ONLY listen to country music. I can sing almost all of the lyrics from songs from the 90's...Clint Black, Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Jodee Messina, etc., etc., etc. That was my life. I "lived" in the bars...went country dancing 3-4 nights a week. I was single...I could do that. I loved hearing songs that I could relate to, or WANTED to relate to. I believed in the words of Shania Twain's song, "Any Man of Mine". I felt that I had the right to be treated a certain way. I deserved it. I deserved to have a man serenade me with smooth words like these from Tim McGraw:

It's your love
It just does somethin' to me
It sends a shock right through me
I can't get enough
And if you wonder
About the spell I'm under
It's your love

Better than I was
More than I am
And all of this happened
By takin' your hand

I just knew a cowboy would sweep me off my feet and love me forever.

But I didn't marry a cowboy. And I'm glad. I didn't become the demanding woman that I thought I would be, based on the fact that I would sing this song at the top of my lungs, any time it came on the radio (in the car, or the safety of my own home of course):

Any man of mine better be proud of me
Even when I'm ugly he still better love me
And I can be late for a date that's fine
But he better be on time
Any man of mine'll say it fits just right
When last year's dress is just a little too tight
And anything I do or say better be okay
When I have a bad hair day
And if I change my mind
A million times
I wanna hear him say
Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah, yeah I like that way

(Read the lyrics for the entire song HERE.)

Listen to the song HERE.

What has changed? Have I become a weak woman, who does everything her husband says? Have I lowered my standards? Have I become a submissive, pathetic being who has no say in life, and just takes what has come my way?


God has changed my heart SO much, since I was that single woman from the first paragraph up there. He has shaped me and formed me, and helped me to see that what He wants is what is best for me...not always what I want. WHEW! I'm so glad He didn't give me what I wanted back then. He knew what I needed. I needed a true man, with a gentle spirit, and a heart that loved God more than anything else. I needed someone who would cherish me and love me, even when I gained weight and didn't put makeup on for a week, and failed miserably at being a good wife.

It is so dangerous to base your standard for Mr. or Mrs. Right on a song, a movie, a character in a movie, an "ideal". Those "perfect" people will somehow always let you down. When you trust in God to bring you the person who is perfect for YOU, and you think of yourself as "the chiefest of sinners", and look to God to fulfill your every need (instead of your partner), THEN you will have a good marriage.

I always looked for someone else to fulfill all of my needs, yet I wasn't willing to be the single-handed fulfiller of someone else's needs. I just wanted to be spoiled and to have what I want. I'm still a bit selfish, but I have an amazing marriage. Why? Because God has shown me what it is to think of myself as the chiefest of sinners, and not have these super high expectations of my husband, when he will only fail me. Like I have failed him. If I look to God to fulfill my every need, then I don't have to stress about meeting every one of my husband's needs all the time. All I have to do is love, forgive, respect, serve, honor, cherish, and have an amazing life with the one God chose for me! When I let go of my expectations and desires, God blessed me SO much more than I could have ever even imagined! No, it's not the stuff romantic movies or songs are made's ONE THOUSAND TIMES BETTER (and more realistic too!)!!!!!

Thank you, Lord, for my husband! You know me so well. You knew exactly what I needed.

I love you, Papa Bear! When I think of you, I think of "This Kiss". :-)

Mama Bear

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Heart Faces Photography Challenge -- Innocent Wonder

I am going to try my hand at entering the I Heart Faces Challenge. This photo was taken inside, around 11:45 am, with natural light coming in from our south-facing window. This photo is SOOC (straight out of the camera), with no post-processing.

I love seeing the joy in our children's faces, and this photo of our four year old little guy is a testimony of that joy and Innocent Wonder.

Mama Bear

Friday, January 14, 2011

UPDATE on Adoption Fundraiser

Praise God! We got GOOD NEWS yesterday when we went to sign papers for the petition of adoption for Baby Bear! We have NO adoption fee to pay! Apparently, when you pay for your first adoption through the county (Little Bear was adopted through the county in March of 2009.), then you don't have to pay again...ever! At least, until the state runs out of money.

Our second bit of good news is that there is an adoption tax credit, which we knew. But what we didn't know, is that it seems that if we don't file WITH our taxes, we may be able to get the lump sum of the credit, which is a GOOD amount! This may help us get the van which we pretty desperately need.

God is SO good to us! His provision and kindness for our family is overwhelming!

Mama Bear

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Raising Money For Adoption

Baby Bear's adoption is right around the corner! We have a foster daughter, who has been with us since she was two months old. She is now 16 months old. Her adoption finalization ceremony is just about a month away. We are needing to raise $500 for the legal fees for her adoption.

I am having an "Adoption Sale" in my Etsy shop, Bear River Photo Greetings, where you can find invitations and announcements for pretty much any occasion in your life. It's so easy. Just purchase, send me your photo and/or text, and I'll send you a digital file that you can upload to your favorite photo lab, to get printed. I'm offering 10% off of any item in my shop, until we have raised the money. Please use the code, ADOPTION10 when you place your order. I would love it if you would share this on Facebook and Twitter, and with all of your friends. Please feel free to share it on your own blog as well.

Just to let you know, 80% of the sales will go towards our legal fees, and the other 20% will still go to Hands at Work in Africa. That will not fall by the wayside, as we try to raise money for the adoption.

I am also having this same sale in my other Etsy shop: Blackberry Cottage Home Decor, where I sell wall art, or digital prints that you can have printed at your local photo lab, and also pillow covers.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!

The Ochoa Family