Friday, September 30, 2011

Free VeggieTales!

If you've been around here for a while you know I love a good bargain.

A friend posted on facebook the other day that she had a code for a free VeggieTales DVD. You only pay shipping. I tried it out and it's good! Shipping was just under $5 and my DVD came today!!

This is the video that I got...

Check out this coupon site for all the details!!

It's good until the end of the year.

Farm Tour 2011

Last Saturday happened to be an absolutely gorgeous day... which was a good thing since me, Liza and Jason were looking forward to the annual farm tour! Each year four farms are open for touring. You drive yourself around and view at your own pace. The kids love seeing the animals and the tractors.

This year we actually made it to all four stops and we really enjoyed our day.

There was umm... picking corn off the cob? What do you call it?

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Digging for potatoes.

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We checked out the chickens and spotted a few eggs.

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We learned about different tractors and how they are used on the farm.

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There were kittens...

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...and Liza got to hold one.

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Liza would have picked the corn off the cob all day long.

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This was a miniature farm display... it was really large and really awesome.

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And the kids got to ride on the little tractors.

Check out Liza's tongue!

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We had a really great time and I look forward to going again next year!

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Focus vs Balance

I used to try to get some balance in my life. It was difficult. Every time something was added or taken away I would be all out of balance.

I can't balance my life.

And I no longer want to because God deserves much more than a balanced portion of my life. He deserves all of my life and everything else should flow from there.

What I want now is focus.

Absolute and complete focus on Jesus... because when I am focused on Jesus my life will find balance without much effort from me. Feeling out of balance is an indicator that my focus is on the wrong thing/person.

This week I am out of focus and it's leaving me feeling stressed. I know the answer is to fix my eyes on Jesus and nothing else. It's not always easy but it is necessary.

Focus is the way to go.


The winner of this week's giveaway is


She wants Captivating and I'm excited about that. I've been telling her she should read it for a few years now. :)

I'll get it in the mail for you on Saturday Mel!

If you are bummed that you didn't win don't worry... all the books listed will eventually be given away on my blog. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Butterfly Snacks

Don't forget about my giveaway!!


You guys... this is such a simple thing and will make you look like super mom without actually having to be super mom.

I needed a snack for Liza to take to school... but the kids wouldn't be eating it there. They would be taking it home. I had remembered seeing the butterfly snacks online somewhere. Probably Pinterest. I have no idea where though so I can't give credit. Oh well.

They need to be shared because I seriously got soooo many compliments on my awesome little snack.

Here's how they go...

1. Put one cup of fruit loops into a zippy sandwich bag and close the bag.

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2. Twist a pipe cleaner around the middle.

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3. Add a clothes pin.

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Super cute butterfly snack that will have all the other moms thinking you are awesome and super crafty!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Set An Example In Life: Conclusion

So I know that the fruit of the Spirit seems like an intimidating list. It can at times feel hopeless. How could I ever walk in a way where all the fruit is visible in my life!?

But it’s in the Bible. Actually let me give you the verses surrounding the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:13-26
You, my brothers (and sisters!), were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command; “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passion and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Live by the Spirit.

If you are a born again believer you have the Spirit living in you. And Jesus says of the Holy Spirit:

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” (John 16:13-15)

The Spirit is in us and is the Counselor and Teacher. He will teach us how to live by the Spirit.

We are told to live by the Spirit and that the life lived by the Spirit is one with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. If it were not possible to live like this then we would not be told in the Bible to do it.

It is possible. It may be difficult to make changes that are necessary in order to live this way but it is not impossible.

I think the key is admitting that we can not do it in our own strength and therefore need to fully rely on God.

Set an example in life!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Yesterday was my birthday!

I'm 32 now.

And I'm very much ok with that.

I'll probably talk more about my birthday another time but today I want to have a giveaway. :) They say it's better to give than receive... sounds good. But I'm going to say instead that it is just as fun to give as it is to receive. My love language is gifts. I'm not going to lie... I love to receive! But I also love to give.

So... here's how it's going to work.

The giveaway will end Thursday morning (Sept 29) when I post the randomly drawn winner on my blog. The winner will receive their choice of one of the following books:

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

Wild at Heart and Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge
~This book has two books in one. Captivating is a book for women and Wild at Heart for men but there is definitely no reason at all that both can't be read by each!

Food and Love by Gary Smalley
(A used copy but in good condition)

The New Dare to Discipline by Dr. James Dobson
(A used copy. Good condition with very little highlighting... only in about five places.)

To enter just leave a comment saying which book you would choose. (You can always change your mind if you win.)

You do not have to have a blogger account to enter but you will want to leave your name so I know who you are.

One entry per person.

Set An Example In Life: Self-Control

1 Timothy 4:12
Set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The only fruit left to discuss if self-control. I was going to post this on Friday but since I was losing it about every ten minutes I just couldn't do it. Just being honest with you all. I'm feeling better about life and my temper today though so let's finish this thing up. :)


The Greek word translated as self-control is “egkrateia”.

Egkrateia-  Self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites)

I’m not really sure where to go with this one. It seems pretty self explanatory. And it’s also probably the hardest one for me.

Proverbs 25:28
Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

The note in my Bible says that a city whose walls are broken down is defenseless and disgraced.

A lack of self-control leaves us defenseless against the schemes of Satan.

1 Peter 5:8-11
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

James 1:12-15
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

I have to be honest here. I really struggle with self-control when it comes to anger and food.

I’m a lot better in both areas than I used to be but I also still have a long way to go. 1 Corinthians 10:13 is an encouraging verse for me and one that I need to keep at the front of my mind always. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

I need to be more aware of when I am about to lose control and seek for the way out that God has provided. And really, if I think about it… God himself is our way out.

When the temptations come and we feel that we are lacking self-control we need to turn to God. And by “turn to God” I mean to completely turn away from the temptation and seek God. Fall on our faces before Him. Let HIM be our answer and our way out.

And now I must start applying my own advice.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Song

We sang this song at church this morning.

I love it!

The chorus says:

You, You are God, You are Lord
You are all I'm living for
You are King of everything
I want my life to praise You

Make it true!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Five Years With Liza

Five years ago today Liza Mae was born and my life was changed forever. She is absolutely amazing and challenges me constantly to be a better woman.

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In honor of her birthday I'm going to share a few stories with you.

Not too long ago we were driving down the road. The kids love yelling out every time they see a school bus. One day I said:

ME: Liza, it won't be long before you are going to school and can ride a school bus.
LIZA: I don't know if I'm going to go to school when i grow up.
ME: Oh really? Why not?
LIZA: Well, what if God wants me to be a princess?

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The only thing she wants to be is a princess. She dresses up daily and puts on shows where she dances around the house and expects Mike and I to sit on the couch giving her our complete attention. We are more than happy to do that for her. Her dancing is hilarious!

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She still calls Barbies "Garbies". I've tried to correct her by saying "oh. Is that a Barbie?" And she always says "you mean Garbie?" Ok. So Garbie it is. Jason calls them that as well. Although she doesn't actually have a Garbie... but she did get three barbie-type princess dolls for her birthday and she is in love with them.

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Liza will craft all day long. She doesn't need any direction. She thinks something up in her head and she makes it. She's quite a genius really and is constantly amazing me with the things she is making. Her drawings blow my mind too... the other week she drew the maintenance guy on a tractor mowing the grass. It was awesome.

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One of her recent things that has me cracking up quite often is that when she gets angry she will take whatever it is that she is playing with and say angrily "Don't even touch it! It's too special for you to even touch!" And she is absolutely as serious as she can get. It's hard not to laugh. The other day I couldn't help it though. She was being a punk in the parking lot of the post office. It was a bit of a fight to get her in the van and as she's getting in her seat she looks at me and says "Don't even touch me! I'm too expensive for you to touch!"

Wow. No idea where she gets this stuff but it's humorous.

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Liza has expanded my heart in so many ways. I love her more than I ever thought I could love another person.

Thank you Liza for enriching my life with five years of awesomeness!

Set An Example In Life: Gentleness

1 Timothy 4:12
Set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


The KJV uses the word meekness which is translated from the Greek word “praotes”. It’s defined as gentleness, mildness, meekness.

Meek- patient, long-suffering, or submissive in disposition or nature; humble.
Humble- not proud or arrogant; modest.

I think meekness is one of those words that gets confused with weakness. To be meek does not mean to be weak. Actually, I think it means the exact opposite. It takes a lot of strength to remain meek and humble. Those two things aren’t easy.

Moses was more meek than any other man on the face of the earth. (Numbers 12:3) Yet he confronted Pharaoh and led an entire nation. A weak person would not have done that.

God calls himself Meek! And humble.
Matthew 11:29 KJV
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Jesus also calls himself meek.
Matthew 21:5 KJV
Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an donkey, and a colt the foal of an donkey.

If meekness is good for God and Jesus I have to conclude that it is also good for me. God and Jesus are meek, and yet they are anything but weak.

The NIV translates the word for meekness as gentleness.

Gentle- Kindly, amiable, not severe, rough or violent, mild.

Be meek!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Finally Did It!

A few weeks ago a friend called me up. She knew I crocheted and she wanted some hats for her baby. I got to work.

I posted pics of them on facebook for her and I've been crocheting my fingers off ever since.

The orders just kept coming in and people were wanting to know where they could find the hats. I finally decided it was time to just start up a page on Facebook.

I've got all kinds of hats and I only do custom orders. That means that you get to pick the kind of hat, the colors that you want and you get a hat that actually fits. A lot of moms are finding out that their kids heads are a lot bigger than they thought they were. :)

The orders keep coming in and I just keep making hats.

Check out some of the hats I've been making...
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(My awesome nephew Caleb modeling his new sock monkey hat!)

And my latest which can be made in any colors...

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Stop on over to Wix-Works to get all the info!

Set an Example in Life: Faithfulness

1 Timothy 4:12
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The word translated faithfulness from the Greek is “pistis” and it has a two-part definition.

1. The conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things. The provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. Also a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation through Christ.

A conviction is a fixed or firm belief. We are to be firm in our belief of God and who he is. Unwavering. We know that we know that we know and nothing can undo that knowing.

Hebrews 10:22
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Faithfulness is being fully assured. No doubt.

It is also the kind of faith that saves us.

Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

Matthew 9:2
Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

It’s the kind of faith you can see.

2. Fidelity, faithfulness

Faithfulness- the character of one who can be relied on.

Fidelity means loyal.
Loyal- Characterized by or showing faithfulness to commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations, etc.

The character of one who can be relied on.

Titus 2:9-10
Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything; to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

Have faith in God.
And be faithful.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Set An Example In Life: Goodness

The Greek word translated goodness is “agathosyne” and means “uprightness of heart and life, goodness, kindness.”

Upright- being in accord with what is right.

2 Peter 1:3-9
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has give us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world cased by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control; perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you posses these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

I think it is interesting that the first thing we are told to add to our faith is goodness. And we are told that goodness will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 14:2
He whose walk is upright fears the Lord, but he whose ways are devious despises him.

Proverbs 16:17
The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.

Goodness. Uprightness of heart and life. Doing the right thing all the time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Song

I have a busy day today.

We are celebrating Liza. She turns 5! on Thursday so we are having the grandparents over today for her little party. Liza is excited! And she loves cards so if any of you want to put one in the mail for her I would be more than happy to give you the address.

I also have a photo shoot this evening. It's one that is simply for fun to bless someone. My favorite kind of shoots!

On top of that I have a bunch of hats to crochet. I finally started a page on facebook and called it Wix-Works. Check it out!  I've been crocheting like crazy for the past two weeks! I love that people love the hats that I am making. :)

Anyways... with all that going on I have to remind myself to not miss God. It is so easy to get caught up in our busy lives and go through days at a time before realizing that God has been left out. Oh... He's there! We just get too busy to see Him.

So today, even if you are busy, remember to keep your eyes open. To see God in the moments. And don't forget to say "here I am. My life is yours."

Take My Life and Let It Be
by Chris Tomlin

Take my life and let it be consecrated to Thee
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing always, only for my King
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee
Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use every power as You choose

Here am I, all of me, take my life, it's all for Thee

Take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine
 Take my heart, it is Thine own, it shall be Thy royal throne
 Take my love, my Lord I pour at Your feet, it's treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee Here am I, all of me,

take my life, it's all for Thee Here am I, all of me,
take my life, it's all for Thee Here am I, all of me,
take my life, it's all for Thee (Take my life, Lord, take my life, take all of me)
Here am I, all of me, take my life, it's all for Thee

Friday, September 16, 2011

Set an Example in Life: Kindness

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The KJV uses the word “gentleness”.

The Greek word translated gentleness is “chrestotes” which means moral goodness, integrity, benignity, kindness.

I didn’t not know what benign meant so I looked that up and then kept going with a few more definitions.

Benign- having a kindly disposition; gracious.
Gracious- pleasantly kind
Kind- of a good or benevolent nature or disposition
Benevolent- 1.) characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings. 2.) Desiring to help others; charitable
Integrity- adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

The same word is used in Romans 2:4- “The goodness of God leads to repentance.”

Wow! The goodness of God leads to repentance and we are told that one of the fruits of the Spirit is that same kind of goodness! Living a life of goodness will point others toward God.

After Paul and the crew had gone through the shipwreck and ended up on shore it says that “The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.” (Acts 28:2)

We are also told to be kind to the needy and poor. When we give to the needy and poor it has to be out of nothing other than kindness because we can expect nothing back. They won’t be paying us back. They won’t be returning any favors. We help simply because we are have cultivated kindness in our hearts.

Proverbs 14:21
He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.

Proverbs 14:31
He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

Proverbs 19:17
He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.

Kindness is also a command.

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

1 Thessalonians 5:15
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and everyone else.

I like how that ends with “Oh… and be kind to everyone else as well!” It leaves no one out. Be kind.

Kindness… a desire to help others… just because we can.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Look what we got!!

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Actually, we have three of them. :)
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And these guys can EAT! It's quite fascinating to watch them.
If you ask the kids they will tell you that we have some Steelers caterpillars. After all... they are in Steelers colors! They even named the first one we found Palomalu. Smart kids.

We had kind of given up on finding more caterpillars. During the summer we had read that you find them on milkweed usually during the second half of July and August. We kept going back and looking and never finding anything. But then my mom and dad called up saying they had found about eight in one day. A few weeks later they called saying they found more. So we went back out looking and I am so glad that we did!
These three are nice and fat so they should all be in a chrysalis soon. Then it's just a two week wait for BUTTERFLIES!!

I love butterflies.

Set an Example in Life: Patience

1 Timothy 4:12
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

We are in the middle of talking about setting an example in life and I am going through the fruit of the spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The Greek word used for peace is makrothymia. It means:
1.) patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance
2.)patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs

Patience doesn’t give up easily.

Proverbs 15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.

Patience doesn’t have a hot temper.

Proverbs 16:32
Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Patience should be a way of life.

Ephesians 4:12
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Bear means to hold up and support. We are to that in love, with patience.

1 Thessalonians 5:14
And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

Everyone. It leave no one out. Be patient with everyone.

I know that I have a lot of work to do with patience. This is a hard one for me. So often I just react. I would do much better if I would learn to take a few minutes and then respond. I can also get so impatient with my kids… I forget that they are just that… kids.

And so I am going to pray for patience. I’m sure that makes someone reading this go “oh boy. That’s a stupid prayer. Her kids are just going to be worse now and God is going to GIVE her a situation where she needs patience. She’s going to regret that prayer.” But I won’t. Because I don’t believe all of that. No where in my Bible does it say that if I pray for patience that God will give me something to be patient about. Instead, I believe that he makes me more aware of the times that I am being impatient and He is leading me to change, trust in Him and become like Him.

I will be more patient.

Note: Being patient with someone does not mean being a doormat for them to walk all over. You can be patient and still have firm boundaries. Be wise.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Allyson 2012

I met Allyson a while ago when we were scheduled to be in the church nursery together. When she told me she was going to be a senior I told her I would love to do her photos. And I did just that. :)

We did the photo shoot at her house which mostly worked out. She lives in the woods and it was cloudy so we didn't have a lot of good light. Thankfully half way through the sun came out and we got some great shots.

Allyson is beautiful and was easy to photograph. I had a great time and I told her mom that I might have to call them up some time to see if it's alright to use their field and barn for other photo shoots. It all worked out quite nicely.


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(There is a first for everything. Never did a photo with a horse before... and this one wasn't very cooperative.)

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Allyson wanted some pictures of her texting... it's what teens do these days.
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So... I'm totally in love with the barn and the little window and I loved that Allyson challenged me with props and animals. I've got some work to do and things to learn but you have to start somewhere!
Thanks for being beautiful Allyson!

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