Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What do you see...

"Mirror Mirror on the wall
Who's the fairest of them all?"

“We always see our worst selves. Our most vulnerable selves. We need someone else to get close enough to tell us we’re wrong. Someone we trust.”
-David Levithan

 What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Is your inner beauty shining through?

"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
1 Corinthians 13:12
Much love to all,

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I'm on the hunt with Ashley again.  This week I hunted with another SHS'er.  It was so much fun to spend the day with her and learn from her.  She is an amazing woman and am so blessed to call her friend.  I am very thankful God brought the two of us together.


I need to give a shout out to my friend, Doodlebug, for finding this for me.  (I think he just didn't want me to take another picture of him!) 


I struggled with this prompt all week.  I had no idea what to capture to represent Stand Alone and then all of the sudden the words to a song from Sunday School came to my head...

The B-I-B-L-E
Yes, that's the book for me, 
I STAND ALONE on the word of God the B-I-B-L-E.

I am so glad I captured this picture last Saturday when I was out and about!


Last Saturday when we woke up to all the snow, I decided to go check out this church.  While I was in the parking lot taking pictures, a man asked me if I wanted to see the inside.  While we were inside the church, I took the picture of the Bible and cross above.  He proceeded to talk about the church.  The original church was built in 1860 on a different location on the property but was later moved to it's current location.  The church then burnt down and the current building was constructed on the old foundation.  You can't help but feel all warm and cozy when you step inside the sanctuary, if I closed my eyes I could hear the hymns of yesterday being sung out loud.  My mom attended this church quite regularly as a child and I too, once visited many years ago.  Today my dear friend L, plays piano for the church every Saturday night and sings with the choir every Sunday.


Isn't he the most adorable thing you have ever seen?  During our travels on Friday, we discovered this cute duck.  Mr. Duck is actually a gourd, or the remnants of one! You can't tell from this picture but he is standing on an artificial goose and in front of an artificial pear and apple.  So you see this picture is really all artificial.  Mr. Duck was so cute and if he hadn't been so expensive, he may have found a spot on my bookshelf.  Oh well maybe next time!
A row of shopping carts.   It's not what we actually went into the store to photograph.  This particular store sells all kinds of dips and spreads and jellies and jams.  I wanted to photograph the shelves full of products.  I took lots of pictures however, I wasn't really happy with any of them.  I am a little bummed as I even straightened all the products so the labels were facing forward. As we were getting ready to leave the store, the row of carts just caught my eye!

I had so much fun hunting and can't wait to hunt with my friend again, she has taught me so much already and I can't wait to continue to learn from her.
Thanks for stopping by!  As always, I'd love to hear your comments!
Much love to all, 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

To Drink Wine or Not to Drink Wine...

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to the doctor for an annual checkup.  When I checked in I was handed a two page document containing my health summary.  This must be a new procedure as I have never received one of these documents before.  
  The third item on the document listed my BMI.  While I will freely admit my BMI is far from perfect, I had to laugh as I read the statement that followed the number. The statement loudly proclaimed, "WE NEED TO WORK ON WEIGHT LOSS."  The next bullet point proudly proclaimed that my BLOOD PRESSURE  IS UP-TO-DATE.  (I would hope since I was still breathing!)  The fifth bullet indicated my cholesterol numbers had dropped, if I remember correctly 13 points...my doctor was very happy about that.  Guess he was right when he said I should consider not eating ice cream every night.  Doesn't he know that I am totally addicted to ice cream?  

As I am sitting in the exam room waiting patiently for the doctor to see me, I hear him outside the door giving someone a list of supplies that he needed.  The list included lidocaine, betadine, and a very large needle.  He then says that he would be in with me.  Now anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a needle person.  No let me rephrase that, I despise needles!  (I'm getting just a little bit nervous as I am there just to get my blood work results...last time I checked that didn't involve needles.)  Dr. S. walks in and says, hello and asks how I am doing.  I told him I was fine but if the needles and lidocaine were for me, I was leaving.  He looked at me for a split second and then very calmly stated that I had nothing to worry about.  Phew!  

Now I love my doctor.  he is a really cool guy and is very much aware of my sense of humor!  He explains to me that my blood pressure isn't exactly where it should be.  I nod my head and listen as he continues to explain that diet and exercise would be a good way to help it.  (Seriously again, doesn't he know I am addicted to ice  cream?)  I really start to laugh when he mentions aerobic exercise would be  a good way to help raise my good cholesterol levels.  When he realized that, was probably not going to happen he nonchalantly mentioned that I could possibly have a glass of red wine at night.  Um excuse me...did I just hear him say I could drink a glass a wine at night????  I know most people would probably jump at the opportunity to drink wine at night, I however, do not drink.  My alternative...not ice cream...but red grapes.  Hmmmm...how can I convince him that ice cream will do the same thing as wine and grapes....?

Ok just go with it...it's the closest thing to grapes that I have at the moment.  I know it's stretching it but you get the idea!  So all this talk about wine made me wonder about the verses in the Bible about drinking wine.  I stumbled on this one and yes, it may be taken completely out of context but I thought it was quite appropriate for my conversation with Dr. S. yesterday.
1Timothy says: 
(No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 

So I will leave you pondering that thought.  The next time you take a sip of red wine remind yourself it may be good for what ails you.  But you didn't hear it from me!

Thanks for stopping by and as always I love to hear your comments.
Much love to all, 

Monday, January 23, 2012


"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;"
 Proverbs 3:5

 Such simple words with deep meaning.
I never really thought much about the word TRUST.
 That is until the past 24 hours.  
In the last 24 hours I've heard the word TRUST in four different situations.  

In church yesterday morning, we had a guest pastor who told us the story of Jonah.  Jonah was asked to go to Nineveh to teach repentance.  Jonah didn't want to listen to God so he ran away.  The first lesson here is you can't hide from God.  God found Jonah on the boat and caused a great storm. After some debate among the sailors, Jonah jumped into the violent sea and was swallowed by a big fish...(does it matter if it was a fish or whale?)  While inside the belly of the fish for three days, Jonah prayed to God asking for forgiveness.  The story goes on to tell us that Jonah escaped from the fish and obeyed God.  Jonah had to TRUST God that he would keep his promises.  OK, I've heard the story of Jonah and the Whale numerous times and didn't really pick up on the trust part until later in day.

Sunday nights mean Youth Group.  I love Youth Group...it's amazing to see these awesome young people gathering to learn about God's amazing love.  We have a bunch of high school seniors in our group this year.  In order to help cultivate their leadership skills we are encouraging each senior to plan and lead one meeting this year.  Wanna guess what our topic was?

If you guessed
 you guessed correctly!   

I was actually looking forward to last night's meeting as I recently lost trust in a friend due to some poor choices they made.  Their story is not mine to tell and the reason my TRUST was broken isn't that important. 
During our meeting we discussed the definition of TRUST.  

Here it is according to Merriam-Webster case you were wondering:
a : to place confidence : depend <trust in God> <trust to luck> (look at that TRUST in God)
  b : to be confident : hope
In case you are keeping track...that's the second time!
I am glad this bird trusted me to take his picture so I can show off my shot with Rachel over at and then, she {snapped}:

While I was at youth group I got an email.  I quickly glanced at the email and saw that my friend posted on his blog.  Wanna guess the subject of his blog?

You guessed it:


I won't type his whole post but you can read it here.  Please take a few moments to read his amazing thoughts...leave him a comment or two...I am sure he'd love to read them!

In case you are counting that's the third time!  

A few months ago, I asked the guidance counselor to come to my class and do a lesson with my students.  I did not know ahead of time what the topic of her lesson would be.  I never in a million years would have guessed her lesson would be on the very topic that has been hitting me in the face over the last 24 hours!  You guessed it...TRUST.
I get it God you want me to focus on TRUST... now can you tell me exactly what it is you want me to focus on concerning TRUST?

Who do you trust?

Thanks for stopping by...as always I'd love to hear your comments!
Much love to all,

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

It's Sunday...know what that means?  It's time for SHS!  I love Sunday's for many reasons, church, friends, youth group, relaxing...and SHS!  This week's hunt was a lot of fun.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I played taxi cab driver last Sunday.  I grabbed my camera and headed out the door for the shoot.  I had not intended to look for prompts while I was out, probably because hadn't even looked at the list yet.  While we were out C said hey what are the prompts for this week.  We pulled out my phone and found the list.  When the day was over, we had captured three out of the five prompts...not bad for not trying!  


This was not one of the pictures I captured during my photo shoot adventure on Sunday.  Since the sunset picture was one of the two pictures I was not able to capture on Sunday I met up with some friends and we set out to capture the sunset.  We climbed up to the top of a large hill so we could see for miles around.  What we didn't expect was that when we got to the top it would be extremely cold and windy.  However, I think the wind and cold was well worth it!  


C hard at work capturing leading lines for his homework.    I hope his mom loves this picture as much as the others.  I posted some of the others here


This was the day I captured most of my scavenger hunt items.  I was captivated by my shadow on the rocks as I walked past so I grabbed my camera to shoot the picture.  After I took the picture I noticed the face in the picture.  

4.  FOUR

When I read this prompt, I immediately was thinking of four of something so I found four goats. 
Then I found four baby goats...
I promise there are four there! 
A little later we discovered this...

Four seats on a the playground!   
I thought I finally found my four until yesterday when I found four ducks floating down the stream...

So instead of a four pictures of one thing, I decided to share four pictures each with four things in them!


Yes, someone does live there!  This house is VERY colorful!  

I have two more pictures to share.
Last week one of our prompts was Winter Wonderland.
I posted this picture I called Waiting on Winter Wonderland.

Well this week I am happy to report someone must have gotten the message because when I woke up yesterday this is what I saw...
Winter Wonderland...
Thanks for stopping by...as always I'd love to hear your comments.
Much love to all,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Leading Lines...

After I left church on Sunday I spent the afternoon playing taxi cab for a friend's son.  He is a senior in high school and will be attending art school this summer.  His teacher gave him an assignment to take pictures of leading lines.  Knowing how much I love to take pictures he asked me to tag along...well actually he needed me to be his taxi!  He even gave me permission to take pictures...like I need permission!!!!  So off we went to capture leading lines...    Our first stop was pretty successful...

While C was shooting his pictures, I thought his mom might enjoy a few pictures of her son in action...so I captured a few...

And my favorite one:

We then proceeded to drive through my town and capture more shots...the temperature was a mere 22 degrees so I decided to stay in the car while C continued to capture some lines at the intermediate school.    We then decided to just drive and see where we ended up.  I love spending time with C.  He is an amazing young man who deeply loves God and writes about his walk with God here.  

Of course the cross was probably there to remind me that God is always there for me when C decided to do this... (For the record Mom, I was totally against this!)

We continued on our search for leading lines and found these amazing lines...

As I spent the afternoon in God's creation I was constantly reminded that He is always with us... 

Yes, we did see this sign while we were driving!  But who needs a sign to remind you when you see this:

I love it so much I just had to  show off my shot!
I had an awesome time getting to know C a little better and sharing his love of photography.  I think he had a great time and he has picked the place of our next photo shoot.  I just hope he picks a warmer day, my fingers are just now starting to thaw out.  (I did learn to always have a pair of gloves in the car...unfortunately I didn't learn that until it was too late!)
Thanks for allowing me to spend the day with you C.  I had so much fun!  

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” 
Deuteronomy 31:6
Thanks for stopping by...as always I'd love to hear your comments.
Much love to all, 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I am loving Scavenger Hunt Sundays with Ashley
I am catching myself looking at things and ask can I use that for one of this week's prompts?  My husband and kids have even gotten in on the fun!  

1.  Stacked Up
The stone wall holding up our flower bed in the front yard

2.  Winter Wonderland
 Since we have no snow here and none in the near future I had to stretch my imagination a little! 
I am renaming this Waiting on Winter Wonderland! 

3.  Sweet
Saturday afternoon's dessert...cupcakes made with love!

4.  Hole

I couldn't wait to take this picture.  
This is an old barn down the road from me. 
I love the texture of old barns!

5. Frozen
This prompt proved to be quite the challenge for me.
My first two ideas didn't turn out so my husband suggested I use a frozen ice pack.  

Thanks for stopping by!!!! 
  As always I'd love to hear your comments.
Much love to all!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I am beautiful

Have you ever looked in a mirror and repeated those words?
My guess is if you are like me, the answer would be No.

Last night I helped chaperone a Lock-In at our church.  (What is a Lock –In you ask?  It’s a big slumber party …with very little sleep.  Big emphasis on the word VERY!)

I started our evening girl’s devotion with this question…”How many of you feel beautiful?”  I was surprised by how few of the beautiful girls in the room raised their hands.  You see I think these girls are very beautiful and would love to have their bodies, their hair, their athleticism, their fashion sense or heck even their agility!  I am telling you we have amazingly talented girls in our group!  I asked everyone in the room to participate in the question and was surprised to discover it didn’t matter our age, we all were reluctant or even refused to admit to how beautiful we were, present company included.

You see we were judging beauty by our outward appearance not our inner beauty.   God made each of us beautiful in his eyes and wouldn’t want us to be any other way.  
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”     1 Samuel 16:7

Read that verse again … “but the LORD looks at the heart.”   Think about that…God doesn’t care what we look like on the outside he looks at our heart.  That’s what makes us beautiful.
After a very deep thoughtful discussion about being beautiful I issued the girls, present company included a challenge…well two challenges actually.  

Challenge #1
To not wear makeup or do their hair the entire day. 
(They were allowed to comb their hair!)
Challenge #2
Every day for a week look in the mirror as soon as they get up, before makeup and say, 
“I am beautiful.”

Now you may think that wouldn’t be hard to do today as we were at a Lock-in and we would be leaving after waking up.  But what I didn’t tell you was our Lock-in didn’t end until 2:30 this afternoon.  We spent the day cleaning the church.   (I washed windows and don’t want to see window cleaner anytime soon!)  So you see the girls would be working beside the guys in our group as well. 
I am very proud to say everyone met challenge #1 and with some coaxing everyone met challenge #2.
And an amazing thing happened this morning.   As everyone came into the sanctuary this morning for morning devotions, one of the guys turned to one of the girls and said, “Good Morning Beautiful.”  Three words that made her day!!!!    Awww…I love these guys!
And I have to say our work will be well received tomorrow morning when the congregation walks into a sparkling clean sanctuary free of cobwebs and dust bunnies. 

I am proud of the girls for accepting and conquering the challenge today.  

So now I am asking you my reading audience:
Are you beautiful?
Are you willing to take the challenge?
I took the challenge and here’s my picture to prove it.  Thank you Shay for capturing my inner beauty.

 thank you for making me just the way you did…

"You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of dust.
You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of us"

Thanks for stopping by...as always, I'd love to hear your comments!
Much love to all, 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


"To sleep--perchance to dream: 
ay, there's the rub," 
 famous words from Hamlet's soliloquy. 
 Perchance to dream...
do you allow yourself to dream?

I've been thinking a lot about dreams and what God has planned for me and my family.  Could it be that my children, (who were born just yesterday, I swear!) both celebrated birthdays?  Our youngest turned 11 on Christmas Day and our oldest turned 14 on Sunday.  
Last night I was talking to my next door neighbor.  During our conversation she kindly reminded me that Corey will be driving in a short 2 1/2 years and would be graduating in 4 1/2 years.  Seriously did she think I didn't already know that!!!!  (I am sure it has nothing to do with the teasing I gave her 2 1/2 years before her daughter turned 16 or last summer when I reminded her that her daughter would be graduating this summer!!!! :) )  

 One of the things I was dreaming about was a new blog header and design...I know...I know...I just set up my blog.  But I am impatient and not happy until I get what I want, something I am working on but cut me some slack!  I didn't know exactly what I wanted my blog header to say so I've been tossing around some ideas. I really wanted to include a picture of a person sitting in front of a cross as I thought it would be a perfect picture to sum up what my blog is about.

On Wednesday mornings, I work with some of my students face to face at my church.  As I was walking out of the house this morning, I grabbed my camera in the event I would "see" the perfect picture for my header.  I did see a beautiful picture of the sun coming through the trees, and boy would it have made the perfect header, however, I was going up hill on a busy road with no place to pull over and my camera was in the trunk.  Good place for it right?!  

As I got closer to church, I realized I had the perfect opportunity to photograph the stained glass windows at church.  Our church has beautiful stained glass windows that I love to stare at and dream.  Because the sun was shining so brightly and I was really early, I knew it would be a perfect time to photograph the windows.  I took at least 25 pictures and couldn't wait until I was finished work for the day so I could view my pictures.  I fell in love with the pictures and realized these were the pictures I was supposed to use on my header.

I called my friend Cole and his mom Shay and asked them for some help designing!  I was super impressed and happy with the outcome!  Thanks so much Shay and Cole.  I am so glad God has brought us together. Obviously we couldn't include
 all the pictures in the header so I included a few of them throughout my post!

"As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning."
Barbara Sher

What are your dreams and aspirations?
As always thanks for stopping by...Love to hear from you,
Much love to all, 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


we make them numerous times everyday...what clothes should I wear today, what should I have for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  
As a child our choices involved who to play with and what game to play.
In elementary school we had to choose who to sit with at lunch and who to play with at recess.
In junior high our choices revolved around what to wear to school and who to hang out with...because it's not cool to "play" anymore!
In senior high our choices became slightly more important...what classes to take, where to apply to college, what you want to do with your life and of course what car you want to drive!
At the age of 17 or 18 we ask our children to make a choice about what they want to do for the rest of their lives.
I chose to be an elementary teacher.  I love teaching and am very happy with the choice I made when I entered college.  My husband on the other hand made several choices when we was in college, we met when he thought he wanted to be a teacher.  (I am secretly glad he wanted to be a teacher as we met in a class when he was an elementary major.)  He however, decided teaching wasn't for him and decided to follow his heart and work in law enforcement.

I recently had a conversation with a college freshman.  After he completed his first semester he decided the career path he chose wasn't where his heart was calling him.  After some soul searching he decided to change his major the first day of class.    When he shared his decision with his parents they did not support his choice.  Would you support your son or daughter's choice to change majors after one semester? 

My day was filled with many choices today.   However, my favorite choice was what picture to post on my blog!  I can't believe I am going to say this, but I really look forward to sitting down at night and putting my thoughts down on "paper".  The picture I am choosing to post was taken during my lunch break.  I was on a mission to find one of the items for Scavenger Hunt Sunday when I was struck by the beauty of this old barn.  I used this barn during one of my senior picture shoots this fall, but at the time I was more concerned with the client than the actual building.  

I can't show you the "hole" barn just yet!  You'll have to stop back on Sunday if you want to see it! 
To my college freshman friend and to all who are facing tough choices...
Follow your heart and ask God for his guidance.
"In your heart you plan your life.
      But the Lord decides where your steps will take you."
Proverbs 16:9 (NIRV)

As always, thanks for stopping by!  What choices are you making today?

Much love to all, 

Monday, January 9, 2012


As I mentioned in my very first post a few short days ago, I was offered a challenge to create a blog and work on my photography skills.  I love photography and at times feel pretty confident in my skills.  Then there are the days that I look at other photographer's work and say, "How did they do that?" or "I want my pictures to be that good."  So here I am posting again and linking to another challenge... I stumbled on Ashley over at and then she {snapped}'s challenge to post my favorite shot of the week or one that I just feel like showing off.  So after work today, I grabbed my camera and decided to venture around my house to see what I could find.
As I was adventuring, the word commitment popped into my head.
I seem to be having a lot of conversations about COMMITMENT lately...hmmm is God trying to tell me something?
According to Webster's online dictionary the definition of COMMITMENT is:

1. the act of committing.
2.the state of being committed.
3.the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
4.a pledge or promise; obligation: .
5.engagement; involvement: 
I am not sure if this thought was inspired by the conversation I had earlier today or if was because of my commitment to improve my photography skills for the ultimate dream photography job.  Whatever the reason, I am committed to improving my photography skills.  I am not sure what is in store for me down the road photographically, I'll let that up to the One with the plan, but I do know I am COMMITTING to continuing to this blog and improving my skills, so without anymore discussion here's my "just feel like showing off picture":  

One final thought my friends,
"And may your hearts be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.” 
1 Kings 8:61

As always thank you for stopping in!  What are you COMMITTED to accomplishing in 2012?

Much love to all,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I can't believe this is my fourth post in three days.
  I have been thinking about this hunt all week and am excited to finally participate
in my very first 
 Scavenger Hunt Sunday with Ashley over at
1.  One Color
red fish...my favorite!

2.  Laundry
UGH!  a never ending challenge with two kids and a husband!

3.  Empty
...toilet paper roll one of my biggest pet peeves!

4.  One Dozen
our beautiful creche from the Holy Lands...hand carved with love.
There are twelve figures in our set.

 5.  Soft
a basket full of yarn
Thanks for stopping by...

as always I'd love to hear your comments.
 Much love to all,