Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Mail!

So - I know what you are thinking...
this time of year is all ABOUT "Happy Mail!"

It's true... between CyberMonday & the (ever-dwindling # of)
Christmas Cards, it's a great time of year to check the mail...
chances are that you will have SOMETHING fun in there, right?
Something besides junk mail and bills!

However... this was the last of the fun mail that arrives just for me!
Of course - it's not really all just for me!
I will share the wealth in more ways than one!

I am SUPER excited to have Ann Voskamps' new 5 session DVD series with the Study Guide that goes along with 'one thousand gifts'... I have plans on going through it with a small group (or 3) in January... but it's in my living room right NOW?!??  Sooooo... chances are good I will have to (yes, HAVE to!) preview it over the holidays maybe!

Then again... I am going to need to read Platform (it comes highly recommended by several people I trust), and Erin Ulrich's book on self publishing I am hoping will demystify the process for me and stir me on to some forward motion!

I promised myself, my budget, and my family - that's it for me and Happy mail!  This will fill my plate for awhile as it is... but you can't know how excited I was to open this little Amazon box!

On another note... this little family is what I've been working on this week...

We did a mini session but the kiddos weren't feeling so great.  We'll attempt Take 2 this weekend!  I have a few other family sessions lined up for December... but nothing actually scheduled yet, which is fine, really - because once again - YES - AGAIN - I have been summoned for Jury Duty in December.  (How normal is it that I get called every 2 years?)  The families are all waiting for snow... hopefully we can work it out between Mother Nature, and the Judge!

So, what are you reading... and how often have you been summoned to serve?
Let me know... I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

So Thankful... and counting on!

I hope you were able to have a full holiday weekend,
sharing memories, enjoying friends and family,
and counting blessings one by one!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday - hands down!
I love the whole of it!
The food, the family and friends, the tradition,
the turning our attention to the good and the blessings
and the things for which we should give thanks all the time
- but tend to take for granted or simply forget to notice...
all of it!

Thanksgiving is not just a holiday - it's a way of living...
and around here - in this house
- we try to do that on purpose!

Here are some random snapshots of our day
and some along the Cowiche Canyon Trail
where we took our annual
Thanksgiving Family Walk! 

I can't tell you how many decades these little pilgrims have adorned
my Mom's Thanksgiving Table...
I know she bought them when she
was working at Hallmark I believe?!

Black Friday Ads...
mapping our plan of attack!

Food for the soul... 

Morning Bible Reading with the Fam'...
looking up Scriptures on Thankfulness!

Counting Gifts... as Ann calls them!
One by one one by one...
all the way to one thousand
(and then beginning again!)

Cowiche Canyon Trail

My Honey and my Girlie!

November 2012

So Blessed!

 I'd love to hear how you spent your day... and the blessings you counted!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Regret of Leaving the Camera Behind

You would think it not possible...  seriously - HOW could it have happened?

After months and months of falling in love with my camera again, my Honey and I decided to take a spontaneous trip out of town to see my sister.  She - it just so happens to be - lives in one of the most photographable quaint small towns in America - and I forgot (Gasp... FORGOT?) my camera!?  Sure - it is just an overnight trip... and they personally do not like their pictures taken - but it's Fall and foggy and bright with Autumn glory all around... PLUS we actually got LOST on the way there - which NEVER happens... ever! We have made the trip hundreds and hundreds of times... but we missed our turn off so instead of cutting through a few cities we traveled a road along the other side of the river... along the edge with greeny cliffs and rocky bluffs and windy turns galore.... misty, dreamy...ahhh - and no camera!?

Then we are in the little city of trees, and the downtown and the ancient churches and the impressive homes and the ivy league college wrapped in Fall... and no camera!?

Sometimes coming out from behind the lens is necessary... to make memories where you are completely present and in-the-moment, fully- engaged - but I will remember, next time, the camera, and how to get lost again and map out some wandering photo shoot time... Not that I won't be back for another year... and not that I won't remember to bring my camera next time - but I will pencil in a date in the Fall for sure!

What are some of your favorite areas or activities that you wished you would have had your camera with you?  I'd love to hear from you!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My latest 'project'... compiling those Senior Portraits!

So I have been snapping Senior Pix of my girlie for months and finally made myself STOP!

I decided to cheat a little and take Shutterfly up on their pre-made layouts and 40% off offer (that expires on Wednesday!), and made this fun little book filled with the Portraits of my favorite Senior!

Click here to view this photo book larger
Turn your favorite photos into a photo book at

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pinterest Snacks & Shopping with a Purpose!

So - this past weekend, my daughter & I hosted
an Open House to help raise funds & awareness for
Women At Risk, International (WAR Int'l).
We first heard of this organization a couple of months ago
& it so stirred our hearts that we knew we wanted to do SOMETHING! 

The thing is - human trafficking is so HUGE... 
it is such an overwhelming problem, that we can feel like
there is nothing we can do to make a difference,
but WAR makes it easy!  Women At Risk, Int'l has Safe Houses
all over the world and they help to rescue & retrain women & children
to learn a skill that will enable them to be self sufficient
& make an income that is not covered in shame.
They are hands on... they are front lines... & they are making a difference!
Some of the ways they retrain these women
- who were either rescued from a lifestyle of sex trafficking,
or were at risk in getting caught up in that lifestyle -
is to teach them how to sew,
how to make jewelry, cards,
bookmarks, toys... 

So - WAR offers an at home party option to help sell
the products made by these women,
& the money goes to help support them,
& rescue & retrain others.
HINT - this is NOT just a 3rd world problem.
Every month, 300 children are sold in Atlanta...
100,000 - 300,000 women & children
go missing in America every year.
Human Trafficking is now the fastest growing
Organized Crime in the United States.
But you CAN make a difference!
You can shop with a purpose
- or you can get more involved...
but every penny helps!
Plus - whenever you wear your jewelry or scarf,
you will be remembering this cause
& can help share the story behind it to bring awareness!

We wanted the focus to be on the jewelry & gorgeous scarves, etc. - not food...
but we wanted some finger food type snacks... enter Pinterest!
I had to stop myself & only picked a couple of things to make -
& added filler store bought snacks as well.
We made Sweet Acorns & Pretzel Hugs!
Both were super (I mean SUPER!) easy & super delicious, too!

Here are the Pretzel Hugs...
I couldn't find the Square waffle pretzels...
these twists worked fine!

I can't even tell you... the salty crunchiness of the pretzels
& the sweetness of the Hugs... oh MY!

Next up - these adorable Sweet Acorns!
Super easy... & anything you 'have' to dip into Nutella
is a WINNING recipe if you ask me!
I haven't bought donuts or anything like that for years now,
so maybe this is the normal size now - but these donut holes seemed BIG?
I think I would prefer to find smaller ones if (when) I make them again!

You simply dip the donut hole into Nutella...
then into Choc Sprinkles (or anything else... toffee bits, nuts, ?),
& break a piece of a pretzel stick and insert for the 'stem'!
SO yummy!

But - more importantly - the Open House was a great success! 

The Jewelry & Scarves are GORGEOUS
& we had a house full on Friday night...
Saturday was a little slower
but still had some shoppers stop in!
Overall we raised nearly $1200.00
to help support women rescued...
all of the money goes directly to
the women who made the products
& also to help rescue & retrain
more women & children!
Such a great cause!
If you want to shop... 
you can shop their online store directly, 
or check out the website to find out
how to host your own Jewelry Party!
Here is the link to their site:


Monday, November 05, 2012

Every Ten Minutes...

Most of the posts here at this blog of mine are based around
Scrapbooking, Art, and/or Photography
but today, I want to share another 'creative outlet' of sorts!

Several months ago I bought this little gem:

I had been reading up on this 10 Minute Worship Revolution movement,
& reading testimonies, & then some friends in my circle bought some...
I loved the idea of it! A little 'timer' of sorts, that would vibrate a silent reminder
to stop, turn our attention to God, & give Him praise!

I used it solely as a Worship Timer for a couple of months!
Nearly every day... every ten minutes,
I would stop what I was doing for just a few seconds,
& give thanks... give praise... worship Him for who He is...
whatever my mind was focused on before - good or bad - 
He was always a welcomed 'interruption'!

Then I thought to use it as - well, what it is designed for - 
an Interval timer during a workout!
I LOVED it... & used it like that for a few times,
then it got turned off & put up on a shelf.

It's been months since I have worn it!
This whole Sandy storm has grabbed my attention
& brought me back to center,
praying off & on all day...
which reminded me of my
Worship Timer!

So today, I turned it on,
clipped it on & spent a few seconds every ten minutes
in prayer for the East Coast!
It is so huge... so much sadness & loss...
But already, after just one day, I feel full of hope,
& I trust that God is - in fact - at work,
whether I can see Him or not!

What about you?
Is there something you could focus on
& pray about - every ten minutes -
that would bring clarity & hope
back into your life?
Something that is looming larger than life,
that could use a little perspective adjustment?
I encourage you to just give it a try!
You don't NEED a fancy super cute pink timer,
just a resolve to choose to shift what you are focusing on...
on a consistent basis through out the day!
I believe that there is, in fact, 'an app for that' too!


P.S. You can learn more about this by clicking HERE...
& watch an interview with Carol Arnott about it HERE!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Glory in trees... aaah - to paint again!

So after a whole month of blogging on two blogs,
each with a specific theme,
I took a day or two off and did something
that I hadn't done for months: Paint!

Now - mind you, I am still new to this...
and what I had INTENDED to do was more abstract,
I think with writing about my love for Fall all month long 
on my other blog, I had
Glory in Trees
on the brain and in my heart!

This is rough... and unfinished!
I plan on adding some more layers,
some liquid glory (copper paint), maybe a few more details...
but for today - it just felt great to create in a different way...
with brush in hand, and worship turned up loud!

What about you? What have you been creating lately
- either with words or in other forms?
Any fun creative plans for the weekend?