Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Hard to believe it but it's time for another round of hunting with Ashley!
This week's prompts are a mixture of new shots and shots from my archives.  I didn't have much time to get out and shoot this week so I decided to take advantage of some of the pictures I have gathered over the past few weeks.  


I took this a few weeks ago when I captured this shot for the footwear prompt.
I just loved the way the shadow looked in the grass. 


On Sunday, a friend and I went for a walk through the woods at a local park.  I was pleasantly surprised when I caught a glimpse of this stream at the bottom of the hill.  


I wanted to do something really a note from my husband or a something from my kids but no such luck.  Also thought about using my mom's old Bible but didn't get around to it! I forgot I took this picture until I uploaded them to the computer.  I just love the simplicity of this picture. 
 This is one of my students.  He was drawing the Angry Bird he was going to create.  (Such a fun project for any of you out there who teach either in a school building or at home.)


I actually struggled with this prompt and truth be told it was the last one I decided on.  You may recognize this picture from my blog header so forgive me for using it again.  I simply love fresh fallen snow and the blissful feeling I have when I am able to enjoy it.  Unfortunately we haven't had much snow to enjoy this winter.  

5.  GRAY

During our walk we discovered an amazing rock formation.  The rocks reminded me of stalagmites and stalactites you would find in an underground cavern. 

Thanks for stopping by.  I'd love to hear your comments.

In focus on Him,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dear Kitty Paw


Today I am linking up with Finagle a Foto

On a recent Saturday morning, I met up with my photo bud and her sons and we went to the city for a photo shoot.  I know what you are the city...don't get too excited, I am not talking about New York City or another big city, I am talking about the city of York...population 436, 000.
According to Wikipedia, York is the 14th largest city in Pennsylvania.  
It may not be New York City...but it's my city!  
I don't live within the city limits as I am more of a country girl, but York is where I like to call home.  
York has some awesome architecture and great texture.    This is Central Market.  I love this old building.  It has some amazing texture and architecture.  
The inside of this building is as amazing as the outside.  I think one of my favorite features of this building are it's amazing windows.  I love how the sunlight just pours in and gives the inside a warm glow. 

Thanks for stopping by...I'd love to hear your comments!

Focusing on Him,

The ArtsyGirl Connection

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Don't you just love Sundays!
 I was in a funk this week and knew what I needed was some quality time with my bud S. and my camera.  I didn't have time to shoot until the end of the week and I was really starting to worry about finding pictures for the prompts.  On Friday, S. joined me for a lunch time stroll through the park.  On our walk I was beginning to feel better about the hunt as I captured two of the prompts.  My mood was also improving as well...probably because I was with my bestest bud and my camera!  
My husband sent me roses for Valentine's day so I had an idea of what I wanted to do for Love and my daughter had an idea for trending so I was really feeling pretty good when I came home from my walk.  Well...I looked at my pictures and really wasn't feeling the love with any of the pictures I took.  I then tried to use the light box to capture my trending picture and REALLY wasn't feeling the love.  I decided to walk away and try again on Saturday....well the best laid plans...

1.  LOVE

As we were getting ready for bed on Friday night we learned about an Ice Sculpture Festival being held in a town in Lancaster County.  We were a little bummed because had we known about it we probably would have taken the kids to see it.  On Saturday morning we decided to treat the kids to breakfast at Shady Maple.  Now for those of you not familiar with Shady Maple, it is a huge smorgasbord with everything and anything you can imagine.  I am not a huge smorgasbord kind of person but boy do I love it.  We don't go very often because we have to leave by 7 in the morning so we get to the restaurant by 8 because it gets PACKED!  When we left we decided, well really I decided, we were going to go exploring!  We visited the Historic Ephrata Cloister and then made our way to the town of Lititz.  Lititz is the town that was hosting the Fire and Ice Festival.  Our plan was to just drive through it and not get out of the car...Boy am I ever glad we decided to get out!  The ice sculptures were still there!!!  
As we were walking around we stumbled onto this beautiful heart ice sculpture. Nothing says love more than a big heart!!!


I had no idea what to do for duplicated!  I mean did it mean a repeating pattern?...many of the same thing?  I took quite a few pictures for this prompt!  While we were in Litiz, we found this quaint store.  It was the coolest store...I can't tell you what made it cool other than it was filled with all kinds of trinkets.  My husband was drawn to this shelf of glass bottles.  I started taking pictures of them and realized the bottles were duplicated in the mirror that was behind them!  How awesome is that!  Next to the pictures of the ice sculptures I took this was my favorite shot of the day!  


You can't live in South Central PA and not hear someone talk about Penn State Football at least once a day!  This may be a stretch for trending but with five PSU graduates and many fans in our family, PSU football is usually the trend when we get together.


Thank you S. for pointing this tree out to me!  The bark on this tree looks like paper.  I have no idea what this tree is called but it looks soo cool!  Does anyone know what it is called?


I had so many cool and creative ideas for this prompt.  But in the end, this picture won out!  When I took the picture on Friday, I didn't notice the "face" in the picture.  When I loaded them on to my computer, I had to smile when I saw the picture.  I knew this was the picture I needed to use!

Hope everyone had a great week and a fabulous Valentine's Day!
Thanks for stopping by...I can't wait to see how everyone else interpreted this week's prompts.  
I'd love to hear your comments!

Much love to all,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Voice of Truth

Sometimes I need more than a simple reminder that God is in control and everything  HE wants to happen will happen in HIS time. 
Today I met some friends for milkshakes for some much needed girl time. The weather was cold and rainy today and I am either getting a cold or my allergies are acting up...either way I had to escape my house to shake my icky mood.  Give me chocolate or ice cream and I am immediately a happy girl!

On the way home, a song came on the radio.  I have listened to this song numerous times and sing along with the band.  However, I never really listened to the words of the song.  For some reason today I listened...

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. 'Boy, you'll never win!'
"You'll never win"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth...

Voice of Truth 
Casting Crowns

As I was listening to it, I started to wonder if God was talking to me, telling me that he has a plan for me and that I need to be patient and let that plan happen. 
My friend, S. and I have been dreaming about turning our photography passion into more than a passion.  Is this the direction God is telling me to go?    
When I got home I checked my email, I received an email with the subject line...How far could you take your photography?  Is that a sign?

Do you think Abraham was internally questioning himself when God told him to pack  up and move to a new land.  Would you be able to do what Abraham did and move your family to a new land, change careers, or make a life changing decision?  I would like to hope I would but I'm not so sure!  

Focusing on Him,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” 
Joshua 24:15

Focusing on Him,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Can Do All Things...

At a youth group meeting last year, the other leader challenged us all to come up with a personal mission statement.  Now, I've helped create mission statements for various organizations and companies before and it wasn't fun.  A mission statement is like a promise you are making to a customer, an employee etc.  Now I am not saying a promise isn't a good thing, I am saying you have to really be able to stand behind the mission statement you choose to represent you.  I thought for a long time about what kind of statement I wanted people to remember me by.  
I thought about the characteristics that people like about me and the image I am already portraying to others.  The one thing that I kept hearing people say is how I can make them laugh or that I am always happy.  Wow...that's some pretty strong pressure there...but a huge compliment.   So I thought about why I can make them happy and I realized that no matter what God throws at me I will survive.  I can do anything!  At the same time Joey issued the challenge, my daughter came home from her youth group with a Bible verse to memorize. 
The verse was Philippians 4:13.
"I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me." about a God moment!  I decided that was going to be my personal mission statement.  I taped it to my bathroom mirror to remind myself every day.  And every day as I am getting ready to face the day I look at the simple but powerful message taped to my mirror.  I also chose it for the header on my blog.  

I have to admit though I do struggle with remembering my mission statement.  Take the last 24 hours for example.  I got an email from Verizon stating my bill was two months past due.  WHAT are you kidding me.  How could my bill be TWO months past due and holy crud that's my office line and I need my phone for work.  So my husband called Verizon and discovered that somehow we were signed up for paperless billing.  Really paperless billing...I know it's a good thing but how about a phone call when you didn't get our payment when you see we pay on a timely basis.  OK I'll stop venting about that and explain we got it all straightened service interruption and no late charge and NO more paperless billing.  PHEW...I can handle all things! 
Fast forward a few hours like right before the kids bedtime to be exact.  
You know it's never a good sign when one of your kids, yells down the steps UH...we have a problem.  We discovered their toilet won't flush. OK no big deal we will get the plunger and try to plunge it.  Guess again...doesn't work.  We, well I should say my husband, took the back off and checked everything out but we can't get it to flush correctly.  I can say that a few nights ago I was standing in my daughter's room, which is right beside their bathroom and it sounded like a jet plane was taking off when the toilet was flushed!  We decided we would just look at it again in the morning and maybe it would miraculously fix itself.  
Fast forward about three more hours when it was time for my husband and I to go to bed.  Hubby tried the toilet one more time before bed and nope still not flushing right.  ERGGHHH!  I started thinking about all the reasons why it might not be working and it hit me like a ton of bricks...maybe there is a leak in one of the pipes.  You know come to think of it, the shower has been making this weird noise the past few days...
I convinced my husband to go to the basement just to check things out.  Now the kids play down there so I wasn't too worried because they would tell me if they saw anything wrong right?!??!  UMMM apparently they didn't see the huge puddle of water coming out of the hot water heater.  Are you kidding me it's 11:00 and there is water leaking out of the water heater?  Hubby told me it wasn't too bad and not to worry about it until morning.  Yeah right how can I not worry about see in September we were the lucky recipient of a foot of water in our basement thanks to all the rain and hurricanes that decided to visit us.  So how could I not worry!  Needless to say I didn't get much sleep.  
When I went down to the basement this morning, I was greeted with more than just a little bit of water.  Are you kidding me...I spent three days in September sucking up water out of the same basement...I wanted to cry.  You know really do have a sense of humor...I know I can do all things but do you really have to test me????

So the Hubs and I spent the day...well mostly him, sucking and sweeping water in the basement.  On my lunch break we ran to Lowe's to buy a new bigger shop vac so we didn't have to keep emptying the one we currently have.  There is still water to be sucked in the basement but the water heater has stopped leaking thanks to my awesome friend and neighbor.  I am so grateful to him.  It is hard to find honest contractors these days.  Heath has helped us out numerous times in the past few months.  He lent us fans after the flood so we could dry out the basement, he installed our sump pump so we wouldn't have a wet basement again and he did an awesome job renovating our living room and hallway.  

I still haven't made it to the shower yet today but will be headed there as soon as I checked the water heater one last time but I did learn a valuable lesson today...or was just reminded AGAIN!

"I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me."

Do you have a mission statement?  How do you face day to day struggles...Who do you turn to in times of need?

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

Much Love to All,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

It's Sunday so that's time to HUNT again!
I normally don't really look at the prompts until Thursday or Friday.  I then begin to think about where I am going to go to find them.  This week however, was quite different.  Eye on the Sparrow asked me if I knew where she could find some forgotten flowers.  So we went on a hunt to find some in the park beside my house.  Little did I know that someone cut back all the dead flowers and cleaned out all the flowerbeds...UGH!  So we continued our walk...through my neighborhood, stopping periodically to capture random forgotten flowers along our way.  When we got home, I discovered I found several of the prompts without even trying!  Boy am I glad I hunted early in the week as it went from bad to worse as the week went on.  Read here to find out why.

 My adorable niece...A.!   I know it says Facial FEATURE not FEATURES but there was no way I could only share her eyes!!! 
Here is her whole face...don't you just wanna kiss those cheeks?!!???

I love the innocence in her eyes.


During our walk back from the park, we encountered this awesome set of shadows.  I looked at S. and said look shadows!  S. looked at me and said..."Great minds think alike!" 


I actually took this picture from my archives!  A few weeks ago I took this picture to represent repeating pattern, however, I wasn't happy with the way it turned out so I used a different picture.  When I was trying to decide what to do for spicy I remembered this picture.  I looked at it closely and noticed the word spicy!  The funny thing about that sign is that S. tried to remove it for me so I could capture a picture with clean lines!  So glad it was permanently attached!  The jars contain Hot Pepper Relish.

4.  GOLD

I love discovering forgotten things!  I captured this flower pod on our lunchtime walk this week. I didn't realized it was so golden until I looked at it on the computer.  It is one of my favorite pictures from our walk. 


I had no idea what to capture to portray fabric.  I thought about going to a fabric store and taking a picture of the rows of fabric.  I thought about taking a picture of my new purse/camera bag but neither of those things really said SHS prompt.  I then remembered this dress.  This was my mom's baptism dress.  I love the daintiness of it.  It is so paper thin today but I am sure my mom looked beautiful when she wore it.  

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by...I'd love to hear your comments!

Much love to all,

Are You A Light?

"There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold
There is a Spirit who brings a fire
Ignites a candle and makes His home

So carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world"
I love this song by Chris Rice.  Every time I sing it or listen to it, I am reminded of the ability I have to share God's love with someone.  This week our pastor talked about being the Salt and Light of the world. 
Matthew 5:13-16 says:
  “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way,  let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
After church on Sunday, one of the youth in my youth group received his Eagle Scout award.  As I was listening to the Pastor and Scout Leader talk about the honor of being an Eagle Scout and all the qualities that make up an Eagle Scout, I thought about the sermon earlier in the day.  
One of the responsibilities of an Eagle Scout is service.  Doing service work is the same as taking the light and sharing it with others.  I am amazed at the young man this particular youth has become.  In a few short months, he will be embarking on the next chapter of his life as he will be graduating and hopefully entering the armed forces.  He has been raised by two amazing parents who instilled God's love and the desire to share the light with others.  

Congratulations J. on your accomplishment.  You are an amazing child of God and a wonderful example of God's shining light.  

Do you let your light shine for God?  Do you share your light with those that are in the dark and need it most? I hope our children grow up sharing God's light with those that need it.
Let your light shine bright for all to see!

As always thanks for stopping by....I'd love to hear your comments!

Much Love to All,

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

On the hunt with Ashley again!
It's hard to believe January has passed and February is in full swing.  As I get older I think time is starting to move that even possible?
I am loving participating in SHS and this week was no different.  I love being forced to think outside of the box and find new things to capture.  In fact, this week I was driving by a building and thought, I can't wait until there is a prompt that I use that for.  (Little did I know this was the week!!!!)  

 You might remember this guy from last week's smile pose.  I actually took many pictures this week that I could use for strike a pose however, this one makes me smile every time I look at it so he won. 


It's a what?
It's a shoe house....yes it's an actual house!  This house has quite the history behind it.  I grew up a few miles up the road from this unique building but I have never had the privilege of stepping inside.  Today you can stop in for some hand dipped Hershey's Ice Cream on the weekends or tour the old shoe. You may have seen this footwear on The Amazing Race a few years ago.  It has also been featured in many articles and television shows.  If you are ever in the area, be sure to stop by and check it out!  
(There is even a shoe shaped dog house out back...)


 This was a hard one for me because I have many things I like to do.  However, there are two things that I would consider and knitting.  Last week, I took a day off from work and hooked up with a friend and we spent the day taking pictures.  It was one of the best days of 2012!  While we were out and about we stumbled upon a yarn store.  This store had tons of cubbies filled with colorful yarn.  I just wanted to keep taking pictures of it!  I almost used this picture last week for artificial because of all the "artificial" colors of yarn. 


 I met up with some friends at Cracker Barrel last Sunday after church.  While we were waiting for our table we nosed around the General Store.  I love looking around in the store you never know what you are going to find!  I happened to look up and see tons of antiques hanging from the ceiling.  I did not have my camera with me so I turned to my friend and suggested she take some pictures of the unique things.  She was afraid she wouldn't be allowed but offered her camera to me.  I just started snapping away and totally forgot about the pictures until this Friday when she asked me if I found my shiny picture yet.  
I learned two things that day...
1.  Never leave home without your camera 
2.  If you do leave home without your camera be sure you are with your bestest bud who never leaves home without her camera!


 Color me green could mean so many things.  I however, wanted to think outside of the box and find something that was being colored by nature.  I stumbled on this wall while my friend was snapping his shiny picture. 
This used to be a fenced in tennis court complete with lights in someone's backyard.  I can remember driving past here when I was a kid thinking how lucky the people who lived there were because they had their very own tennis court.  Today all that remains of the court is a rusty basketball net.  Even the fence is gone.  
Thanks for stopping by and as always I'd love to hear your comments!
Much love to all, 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What are your Plans?

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
~Jeremiah 29:11-13

Don't you just love the promise and hope in that verse?  This is my "go to" verse whenever I am faced with a tough decision. I remind myself that God has a plan for me and to trust in Him.  I refer to this verse quite a bit.  I often direct the youth I work with to read and reflect on this verse when they come to me with a tough decision.  

This is A.  
He is one of the kids in my youth group.  (I don't think he'd like me calling him a kid, so I'll call him one of the guys in my youth group) He is also the son of my dear friend.  A. decided to hang out with us as his mom, brother and I spent Saturday morning the taking pictures.  When I sat down and looked at the pictures I took, I immediately thought of  God's plan for each of us.   I know God has a plan for A., I mean take a look at his eyes, don't you see how they shine with God's love?

Apparently A. hates to have his picture taken.  But I convinced him to let me take a few.  He was very cooperative until the end.  But then again...this is A.! (Just remember when you see this picture A., I could have used your nickname for the whole world to read!)

thank you for allowing me to capture your amazing personality.  I am go glad God crossed our paths and am impressed with the way he is at work in you. God definitely has a plan for you my friend, I don't know what it is, but I am excited to see what it may be. I am honored to call you friend. 

What are you plans?  What verse do you turn to in times of trouble?  What verse do you turn to in times of joy?

Thanks for stopping always I'd love to hear your comments and, I bet,  so would A.!

Much love to all,