Thursday, November 30, 2006

First all Digital Scrapbook page

I have sucumbed to the lure of the digitial scrapbooking page. Notthat I want to abadoned my tried and true tactile version -- it is just that is allows me to expand my horizons a bit...and probaly the thing I like best is that I don't have the SCAN it in -- stitch it together beofre sharing it with you. But on the downside...I LOVE my stamps...paint....brads...tools....tearing papers and the ability to change every embellishment so much that this could only be a form of scrapbooking that I do occasionally. However, I love that I learned something new today. How about you? What's new in your brians?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

5 Smooth Stones

























There has been so much happenin in the past few weeks...and I just haven't been able to catch up. One wonderful surprise for me was that Royce arranged for me to attend a Youth Conference being held in Chatanooga, TN the weekend before Thanksgiving. While I attend LOTS of youth conferences...this one was different because Weston's band was leading worship. I got to be the official photographer...and it was a great learning experience in shooting in that kind of environment. His worship band...Five Smooth Stones had won a national worship leading contest...and were invited to lead worship at this conference. The band is 5 guys....ages 15-16 and for being as young as they are -- I think they are pretty terrific...of course, I am biased because Weston is the drummer. However, the response to them at the conference was awesome...so fortunately -- someone other than myself think they are good.
Royce and I had T-shirts made up for them to sell (a total surprise to them) with the logo you see above. They sold out the 12 dozen shirts we brought within just a very short time. I wish you could have seen these boys handling just this little bit of "fame." The girls were all giggly -- wanting their pictures taken with them...buying shirts. And while the guys tried to act "cool," you could totally tell that they were blown away with the response. I am sure I will have some fun scrapbooking to do with these pics. Right now I am in a major "reorganization of my space" so I can keep track of what I have and where it is -- so I haven't been doing any actual scrapping lately -- am itching to get started again though -- asap. Just wanted to share a couple of pics from the concert....will share the lo's when I get them done.
Yes...I am as proud as I can be. I claim him as my son...and while none of my genetics are in him...my whole heart belongs to him -- so I love seeing him have these wonderful experiences...and am so proud that he is using his talents for the Lord.
Who in your life are you proud of? I would love to know.
Love you...have a great week.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I am Thankful...





































For my friends and family -- both here in Nashville and back in Dallas. I am blessed beyond measure to have you each in my life. {If you don't see your picture here -- it doesn't mean that you are not my friend...you are -- and I am also incredibly grateful for you -- I just don't have a picture of you on my actual computer}

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Grassy Knoll



November 22, 1963 was a sad day for America. Just as we remember where we were when the tragedy of 9/11 struck...and when the shuttle Columbia fell from the sky...those of us around the age of 45 and older also remember where we were when JFK was shot in Dallas. For me, I was with my new parents (I had just been adopted) in Iowa...and what I remember is seeing my mother staring at the TV screen and crying. This was something that she didn't normally do -- so even at my young age I knew something wasn't right.
Royce thought it was really strange that I had grown up in Dallas and never gone down to the Sixth Floor Museum or to Dealy Plaze and the "grassy knoll." I think growing up in Dallas it was just such a tragic memory that Dallasites wanted to forget. However, I have always watched all the specials on TLC and Discovery or CNN about JFK's assasination -- and about the Warren Commission. We decided to take Weston down there today...and it was fun to see his brain turn into high gear and try to figure out what all of America still ponders..."were there two gunmen or just one?" Because I could be an eternal student, I love when Weston gets curious about things -- it challenges me to do my research...and try to find answers to his questions.
Although touring the museum was very sobering (much like when I visted Auschwitz several years ago) -- I am really glad we did this today. Weston was old enough to appreciate what had happened...and it made something that he had only heard about in a "boring history class" (his words) come to life and real...and I think for the first time he realized that history might not be as boring as it seems. He bought a paper and sat on the grass on this pretty day and read and read and read. It was a good time to get pictures of him un-observed...and also a great memory from our trip to Dallas. I am headed back to Nashville in the morning...and Weston and Royce will be going on to East Texas to visit some more relatives.
Hope your day after Thanksgiving was great...that you found great sales...or recovered from the extra "stuffing" or that you discovered something new.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving...Happy Me

I can't upload pictures tonight for some reason...bad blogger...bad!

However, I can tell you that today was one of my favorite Thanksgivings -- EVER!

Royce and Weston came to Dallas with me to spend it with my family for the first time...and we had so very much fun. It was so delightful to watch Weston in the "big brother/cousin" role with my niece and nephew -- who clearly adored him. Weston -- who has never met a stranger -- took Tyler along to the park after lunch to find a pick-up football game. I did sneak over with my telephoto lens and capture a few moments...but you know how teenagers are -- you have to pick your moments to embarrass them -- so I resisted getting close for really great pictures for the trade 0ff of letting them have some good guy bonding time. Which was the only hard part of it all...Lindsey (8 yrs old and a bit "smitten" with Weston) really didn't understand why she wasn't invited to go play football with the guys. Fortunately, she was easily distracted with a new scrapbooking project that she and I worked on together. She is really creative with the way she uses the tools and items available to her. It kind of made me think outside the box...good creative input.

As always, it was great to spend time with my sister and her family -- but this was especially sweet to me to have my "boys" with me...I just kept having to pinch myself to see if it were really true...and sure enough -- it was, I have the bruises to prove it.

Perhaps the funniest moment of the day came when Robyn and I pulled out some old 8mm films of us from our childhood and let the kids see us "cutting a rug." Of course, the second time through, my nephew had to go find the right music that he supposed we were dancing to (since these were silent films) and that made it even funnier. All in all -- just a wonderful day. Hope yours was too.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More than Fog in the Air


I loved this picture I snapped from the turn lane on a busy street in the early morning fog. I love that I am learning enough about my camera to be able to capture it.
My title refers to that old saying, "Change is in the air." First of all...I figured out how to change my blog! Woo Hoo! That is a huge step for me. This time last year, I had no idea what a woman my age would have to say on a blog...so there is one big change.
Secondly, I am making some changes in my career life as well. Not sure what all the answers are...but know that some changes are coming. As of November 1st, I began doing consulting -- and am working hard to make the house payment -- so we will see about what all that brings. But I have been doing some soul searching too...and reading a great book called Second Calling, by Dale Hanson Bourke. It is just wonderful...it addresses purpose and calling in the lives of those of us women that have hit the 40-ish mark. Men typically hit their "mid-life" crisis about this point -- and begin looking for "significance" rather than just "success" in their careers. For us gals -- we've been all about significance from the get-go -- so that isn't such a big deal for us. However, our lives do seem to hit a "change" both figuratively and physically somewhere around in there...and it can be a bit confusing. I certainly have found it so.
Most of my life has been spent using the gifts God gave me to help others achieve their dreams. I was a missionary for 20 years because I caught a vision of what Josh McDowell wanted to do to change the lives of young people in this country and in Russia/Eastern Europe. I worked hard to make that dream come true...and it was wonderful. The past four years, I have been working to help my honey, Royce, and his partners make their dream come true...using MediaShout software to help pastors, youth pastors and worship leaders change the way church happens so that we don't lose a generation of young people to the "world" rather than help them begin the most important relationship they will ever have -- their relationship with Christ.
I am thinking about what I want/need/or am called to do with the second half of my life. Is it more of the same? Perhaps. But perhaps not. Perhaps there is change in the air. I feel a bit of a breeze...and I am looking to God to provide me the answer.
In reading this book, Second Calling...I had to laugh. Dale points out that most of the bible studies done for women focus on Ruth or Esther -- or perhaps Mary from the New Testament. She makes a great point...these women were very Godly and worthy of being emulated -- but they were teenagers...perhaps we as 40-ish women might want to study about Godly women who were past the pimple stage. She suggests Naomi from the book of Ruth as a good place to start...a woman who was Godly -- had raised her children to adulthood...seen them married...and then had a SECOND CALLING...one that she hadn't forseen when she traveled with her husband to Moab.
Another point -- and I won't go on and on -- just wanted to pique your interest enough to get you to read the book -- but another point is that our group of women are the best educated, largest in number and healthiest group of ladies ever to hit their 40s and 50s. If all of us were to get on board with what God's "second calling" is for our lives how would it change the world as we know it today? I just had to stop and ponder that.
For those of you that are years away from this point in your life -- no worries...God has pleanty for you too...enjoy it...thrive in the hustle and bustle...use the energy that you have now as best you can. It takes all of us living in the moment, day by day to get the BIG PICTURE plan done.
Ok...enough rambling...just wanted to share some thoughts with you about where I am at the moment...because this is my story today.
I will be at an event/conference teaching for the next five days so my blogging may be a bit sporadic...but I will try and check in.
Love you guys...more than you probably know.

If a picture is worth a thousand words....


what'll you give me for this gal?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Scary Scan


Ok...this was supposed to be a "winter/Christmas" layout...and in real life it is cute as a bug in a rug (ok...that probably doesn't sound cute at all -- but it is what my grandmother used to say)...but the scanner went all SPOOKY on me and this is what I got instead! YIKES. I will rescan later so you can see it for real...

My little niece got a snow outfit and wore it everyday (even when it was hot) for a week waiting for the snow -- did I mention she lives in DALLAS, Texas...so there is NEVER snow in the forcast....bless her heart. But it went well with the Daisy D paper....and makes a great story.

Ok..have to run -- but will get back to you with a better scan soon. Have a great day!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I Love Fall


and fog...and frosty mornings...and although it doesn't begin with an "f," my Rebel camera.

I have been having so much fun with it -- getting up early to capture the fog...staying up late to to capture spooky moonlit nights. I have been reading Bryan Peterson's book, Understanding Exposure. It is wonderful...and for the first time (although my pictures don't show it yet) I am seeing the relationship between ISO, aperture and fstop. Way cool. Now if it would just work its way from academic head knowledge to being applied to actual photography that would be even cooler! *smile* I know...I know -- "Rome wasn't built in a day," "Good things come to those who wait," "And everything of value takes time" ... but I want it right now...forget the delayed gratification thing...(can you tell I am doing everything short of stamping my foot?)

Happy week to you all...and may all your images have perfect exposure!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Strong Right Hand

No offense to you lefties out there...your hands are probably strong too...but I am referring to Jesus as He is described in Acts 7:55 and most particularly Psalms 118:13-17.

My heart has been heavy for several of my friends that are facing big difficulties. I guess we all do now and then...but my heart and my mind have been turning to God's Word for these friends especially the past few days. I love what God promises us in Psalms...

"I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous [read that two story ranch, mobile home or Colonial Mansion]. The Lord's right hand [read that "Jesus"] has done mighty things! The Lord's right hand is lifted high; the Lord's right hand has done might things! I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. "

What a mighty word of assurance I found in His Word. I am so thankful that God has provided me with written communication so that I can fall back on it when I am scared, fearful or uncertain. Earlier in that same chapter of Psalms we are promised that we will be "set free from the bondage of fear...and have no need to be afraid." Wow... I may have moments of fear for myself or for my friends...but I am no longer BOUND by it -- required to do the bidding of FEAR!

Guess you can tell that I had a precious time with the Lord this morning and I just had to share. I hope each of you are doing well. I pray this promise over you as well...that you would not feel bound by fear...and know that the STRONG RIGHT HAND of God is working on your behalf.

Love you guys....