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Monday, December 15, 2014

Our Weeks in Review 2014 ~ 11/30-12/13

So, yeah, I missed last week's post.  Doug was on vacation from work and we spent a lot of time shopping.  Not all Christmas shopping though.  We are remodeling our bathroom.  Again.  It was the first room we did when we bought our house 17 years ago and it is due for an update now that the rest of the house is done.  If I wasn't shopping with him, I was shopping with someone else!  :)  I tagged along with some ladies from church to Kraynak's (Christmas and toy store) and Daffin's Candy (chocolate!) again this year.  We went last year and had so much fun, I guess we are making it an annual thing.   We also made some Christmas candy.  Every year the deaconesses at church give out small boxes of candy for Christmas.  It is a lot of work making it but it is fun getting together.  I will probably be helping with that again this week.

Since I didn't post last week, you get bombarded with two week's worth of photos.  Sorry!

{November 30: I bought this!}
November 30: I bought this!
Recently I bought a package of sparkley, glittery washi tape to use in my scrapbooks and for crafting. Because one can never have too much washi tape.  True story.  :)

{December 1: Fruit}
December 1:  Fruit
This is the only sunshine we saw here today.  :)

{December 2: Grass}
December 2:  Grass
Back in July, before the maintenance folks mowed the Far Meadow at our favorite park, Honey had a fun time running through the tall grass.

{December 3: Pop!}
December 3:  Pop!
Alex was excited to finally be able to open this apple-cinnamon lolli-POP from Halloween. I knew we were saving it for a reason.  :)

{December 4: Free}
December 4:  Free
Gazing at the moon is free. However, taking a trip to the moon is anything but. It is estimated that NASA spent $20-$25 billion (in 1969 dollars) sending men to the moon. That would be about $150 billion today. YIKES!

{December 5: Me}
December 5:  Me
Me ... with the birthday boy. Alex turned 9 officially at 5:12 a.m. today. My baby is growing up too fast! {sniff sniff} We got a little silly taking pics with my cell phone.  We were messing with the different modes on my phone. This was taken on "beauty" mode. My skin is not that smooth.  :)
If you missed it, I posted about Alex's ninth birthday.

{December 6: Joy is ...}
December 6:  Joy is ...
Seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child.  
Alex was so excited to (finally!) put the tree up today. He helped his dad get it up, string the lights, and put on the star. Then my in-laws came over for a visit, so Alex was even more excited when his grandma helped put ornaments on. He loves having the tree up!

{December 7: Weekends are for ...}
December 7:  Weekends are for ...
Worshiping Jesus and celebrating Christmas with our church family. (We had our Christmas dinner today). And enjoying the beautiful sunshine, which felt especially good as the sun has been a bit elusive lately.

{December 8: Simple pleasure}
December 8:  Simple pleasure
A few years ago I decided to start collecting snow globes. It is a simple thing that makes me happy. This guy was my first and is still my favorite. He's just so cute!

{December 9: Decoration}
December 9:  Decoration
One of my favorite decorations at Christmastime is our tree because having it up enables me to play more.

{December 10: Closed door} 
December 10:  Closed door
Just one of many decorated closed doors we saw today during our walk through Kraynak's Christmas decorations.

{December 11: Something red}
December 11:  Something red
I loved the Snoopy lights in the Peanuts display yesterday while visiting Kraynak's. I would have bought some of these lights if they had any in stock. Snoopy and I go way back. 

{December 12: Skyline}
December 12:  Skyline
This is the view out my front door ... my neighbor's mulberry tree. I love that tree. I think it has so much character.

{December 13: Much loved}
December 13:  Much loved
After thinking all day what I could take a photo of that is much loved, I finally decided on Honey. She's been our girl for almost 6 years (we adopted her in January when she was just a pup) and I couldn't imagine life without her.

Linking with Tamar:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Susie's Hope DVD movie ~ Review & Giveaway

UPDATE 12/15:  The winner, chosen by random.org is #3 - Vera Wilson.
Congratulations, Vera!  I will be emailing you to get your information.
Thank you to all who entered!

Recently I learned of an organization called Susie's Hope.  It is a nonprofit organization that was created by Donna Lawrence to help end animal abuse.  I learned of this through the movie, Susie's Hope, that I had the privilege to watch and review.

About the movie: Run time 105 minutes
Based on the true story that successfully passed Susie’s Law in North Carolina, which seeks stricter punishment for animal abusers, Susie’s Hope brings to life the inspirational relationship between pit bull attack survivor Donna Lawrence and Susie, a pit bull-mix puppy found beaten, burned and left for dead. Recognizing reflect and abuse were to blame for the tragic attack that nearly claimed her life 10 months earlier, Donna resumes the battered animal and accepts her as family. Together, they learn to heal, love and forgive as thyey lead a historic effort to seek justice and protection, not only for Susie, but all animals. Starring Emmanuelle Vaguer (40 Days and 40 Nights), Burgess Jenkins (Remember The Titans) and Andrea Powell (Ender’s Game, The Twighlight: Breaking Dawn Saga: Part 2), Susie’s Hope is an incredible story of love, loss and redemption.

Watch the Susie’s Hope trailer here!

About Susie:
Susie was found nearly dead in Greenfield Park in Greensboro, North Carolina on August 20, 2009. Just a puppy, Susie had licked the face of her owner’s newborn baby. Her owner became violent—she was beaten so severely her jaw was broken. That wasn’t enough, though. She was then set on fire and left for dead. Incredibly and against all odds Susie survived. Donna Lawrence adopted her two months later. Susie is now a trained therapy dog and event won the American Humane Association’s American Hero Dog this year!

Check out Susie’s Hero Dog Award Video here!

Susie’s Hope website has loads of information and more information on her story.

Susie's Hope is a great family movie!  It made me sad.  It made me angry.  It made me happy.  And it will do that to you too.  If you are an animal lover, you must see this movie!  It will inspire you to do something to help those that God put us charge over.  Even the smallest thing can make a difference.

Today you have a chance to win the DVD movie, Susie's Hope.  Just leave a comment on this post letting me know what your pet's name is and how he/she came to be a part of your family.  If you have more than one pet, list them all!  :)  If you aren't a pet owner, that's okay too.  You can just say hi.  Anonymous comments are temporarily permitted, but please leave your name/email address so I know how to reach you if you win.  

The last day to enter is Sunday, December 14.  (Which also happens to be my birthday - in case you want to send me a card or something).  :)  Winner will be drawn randomly and announced on Monday, December 15.

Thanks for stopping by!

Legal stuff:
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lumo Project: The Gospel of John

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” ~ John 1:1

If you have Netflix and like watching movies about the Bible, you won't want to miss The Lumo Project's The Gospel of John.  If you don't have Netflix, get it!  Because not only will you be able to watch The Gospel of John, if I understand correctly, soon the other three Gospels will be available for viewing.

About the film:
A ground breaking, multi-language biblical film resource transforming the way we discover, study and engage with the life of Jesus through the four New Testament Gospels.

The Lumo Project is a ground breaking, multi-language biblical film resource transforming the way we discover, study and engage with the life of Jesus through the four New Testament Gospels: redefining the standard of visual Biblical media. The Lumo Project presents four films – one for each Gospel account – that will revolutionize the way we all experience the story of Jesus and the world of First Century Palestine in which he lived.
The Gospel of John takes the story of Jesus from John’s gospel with its own unique characteristics. For John, Jesus is the Word of God made human. John is clear that that when encounter Jesus, we encounter God.  The gospel writer points to the miracles (the ‘Signs’) and teachings as evidence of Jesus’ special relationship as the divine Son of God.
This full-length feature film about the life of Jesus takes the actual Gospel text as its script, word for word, unedited. Five years in the making, this epic production has been critically acclaimed by leading religious scholars as a unique and highly authentic telling of the Jesus story. Narrated by leading British actor David Harewood (‘Homeland’, ‘Blood Diamond’, ‘Merchant of Venice’) it is based on the latest theological, historical and archaeological research. With specially constructed sets and the extraordinarily authentic villages and countryside of rural Morocco, it immerses the viewer in the world of first century Palestine. 

I have never seen a film quite like this one.  Word for word, a narration from the book of John.  Wow!  I watched the NIV version but there are other versions available also.  One note of caution though - it is a long film.  Two hours and forty minutes.

I loved the videography.  The lighting was spectacular! (Being a photographer,  I tend to notice things like that).  The varying focal points.  Very well done.

Here are some links for you to check out if you are interested in learning more ...

Official Website: http://www.lumoproject.com

Watch it.  Tell your friends.  I really think we need to support films like this to send a message that we want to see more like this instead of the usual Hollywood trash.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2014


At precisely 5:12 a.m. on December 5, 2005, this sweet little guy came into the world and changed my life forever.

Alex baby
(I literally pulled this print from his scrapbook and scanned it in.  I love this picture of him when he was just a wee babe.  Even with all the things that are wrong with it.)  :)

Two years ago I shared a bunch of pictures of Alex during each year of his life.  Instead of doing that again, I'll just link you to that post and you can go check them out yourself.  :)

When Alex turned seven.

And here he is last year on his 8th birthday.

Alex at 8
We did a few quick pics before school.  Apparently it wasn't cold that day.  :)

And since we haven't done his 9 year old photos yet, here he is back in August during our back-to-school session.

Alex back to school - Aug 2014

Gosh, he's getting so grown up!

He's such a bright, energetic, fun kid to be around.  I can't wait to see what the next nine years have in store for him.  I just hope they go a little slower than the first nine years.

Linking up with Melissa who took our family photos this summer.  If you didn't see them, go check them out here.
Friday Photo Journal

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Better Late than Never

I realized that I never shared the gorgeous photos that Melissa of Melissa Bliss Photography took of our family this summer while on vacation.  I have been a huge fan of Melissa's for a while now - following her blog and her Facebook page - so when we decided to vacation at Sandbridge Beach, Virginia this past June, I contacted her to see if there was any chance she was available to do a session with us.  When she said she was available, I was super excited!  I mean, since this was our first big family vacation EVER, we NEEDED to document it with professional photos, right?  :)

So while I sit here on this cold, gray day in front of my space heater dreaming of summer heat and butterflies, let's take a look at some of my favorites, shall we?

This is now a huge canvas waiting to be hung on my living room wall.


This one is going on our Christmas cards this year.





And my absolute favorite ...
Another huge canvas waiting to be hung.  (I want to do some painting before I hang them, in case you were wondering).  :)

I am so grateful to Melissa for coming to hang out with my crazy crew!  And glad that I finally got to meet her in person!

(Just a note that I added the watermarks on the photos for her protection.  They are not her usual gorgeous watermark - just a quick text addition).

Monday, December 1, 2014

Our Week in Review 2014 ~ 11/23-11/29

Another week has gone.  Much food was consumed during this one.  Thanksgiving was wonderful.  I'm still trying to figure out how it is December 1st already.  :)

{November 23: I made this!}
November 23: I made this!
I was really wracking my brain today to come up with something for this prompt. And then I remembered ... Two Saturday's ago I spent the morning at my church with a group of wonderful women learning how to watercolor. My friend, Sam, is a fabulous watercolor artist and was gracious enough to show us how to do it. We each made a poinsettia book mark to take home. It was a really fun time! And it was great to see how different everyone's painting turned out. 

{November 24: I need to do this}
November 24:  I need to do this!
Today I wrote out a big, long list of things I "need" to do, when God spoke this to my heart.

{November 25: Time}
November 25:  Time
"STOP!  Hammer time!"  
If you don't get this, check out this video ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIRQf0S3oD0.  :)

{November 26: Wall}
November 26: Wall
{From the archives as I spent the day preparing for our Thanksgiving celebration}
The kids and I went on a photo walk around the city and had some fun at the "graffiti wall". It is actually an advertisement for our local cable company. As you can see, they were being pretty silly. I wish I could remember what they were doing. 

{November 27: I'm thankful for this ...}
November 27:  I'm thankful for this ...
Crazy crew! 
We celebrated Thanksgiving today and had family over to celebrate with us. It was such a great day! Lots of good food, laughter, and even some tears (caused by too much laughter).  Although I think my niece may have cried once or twice for real. She's all good now though. I try to get the kids together for a photo when they are here, which isn't the easiest thing to do. My kids are usually the most difficult. You would think being a photographer's kid, they would know what to do. Look at the camera, smile nice. We get done faster that way. But sometimes I take what I can get. I'm thankful for this opportunity to get together and celebrate family and our many blessings.
Happy Thanksgiving! 

{November 28: Black}
November 28:  Black
This summer, while on a walk, I came across this little black damselfly that was nice enough to sit still so I could take its picture.

{November 29: So, this happened}
November 29:  So, this happened
We went on a train ride today for Alex's birthday (which is on December 5). It was the Santa train! Santa got picked up shortly after we left the train station and made his way through each car talking to the kids about Christmas. Surprisingly when I asked the kids if they wanted a picture with Santa, they all stood up and got in the shot. Not a great shot as this was taken with my phone. I had my big camera with me but didn't have it out as I wasn't expecting them to actually want a photo with Santa!   :)

Not a whole lot happened this week.  I opted to stay home from another school consolidation meeting on Monday.  We had our Thanksgiving church service on Tuesday evening.  It was lovely.  Wednesday I cooked and prepped.  I even made a couple birthday cakes since we decided to celebrate my niece Christi's birthday, which was on November 18, and Alex's birthday, which is coming up on December 5, while everyone was here.

Turkey cakes
Don't you just love their genuine smiles?  :)  Thank you, Pinterest, for the idea.

Thursday we hosted Thanksgiving.  We ate too much.  Laughed a lot.  And played UNO, which has become a tradition when my mom and sister are visiting.
Friday we did nothing, really.  I thought our local light up night was Friday but turns out it was Saturday.  But we went on the train ride on Saturday and didn't make it back in time so we missed it.  Many of my friends shared pictures on Facebook though, so I didn't completely miss it.  :)  We enjoyed the train ride.  Five people squished into two train seats.  Seriously, were people shorter back when trains were used for transportation?  There was about 6 inches between the seats.  And since the train was so full, we couldn't spread out at all.  We still had fun though.  And we think we saw two eagles.  If not eagles, they were some pretty big birds.

Before you go, I need to mention a giveaway that I am having.  Go check it out ...
Awaken Love couples devotional

Thanks for stopping by!

Linking with Tamar.

Awaken Love Devotional ~ Review & Giveaway

The winner of the Awaken Love book giveaway is Danielle!  Congratulations!


Are you interested in growing closer to your spouse?  Would you like to experience deep and genuine love with him/her?  Then this book is a great tool to help get you there.

Kyle & Desirae Idleman put together this 6-week devotional specifically for married couples to hlep them "awaken love in their marriage.  With daily relationship insights and prayer points drawn from the Song of Solomon, The Song couple's devotional will help couples grow in their relationship with God and one another."

The book is broken down into short daily readings that spark thinking and communication. And draw the reader closer to God and to their spouse.  There is a different category for each week, such as Deepening Desire, Rediscovering Romance, and Cultivating Commitment, as well as others.

Check out this resource website!  There are some very helpful resources on this site!

Check them out on Twitter!

Check them out on Facebook!

And now, because I can, I am giving away a copy of the book, Awaken Love.  All you need to do in order to win is leave a comment telling me how long you have been married.  Or if you are not married, you can just say hello (since I can't come up with something creative for you to do).  :)

Last day to enter is Thursday, December 4.  Winner will be randomly chosen and announced on this post on Friday, December 5.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!