Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In His image....#2

So here is my latest attempt to show the reflection in the water. Last night before my photography class I was very early (don't ask) and decided to take advantage of the great light and time. Here is my favorite of the ones I took. It turned out ok and it was a great reminder for me again that God is there always....even when the water isn't smooth and everything isn't as clear as I'd like it. In fact, He is there even more during those times. Right there with and my hom' boy workin' it all out. :)

JC is my BFF....

OH...P.S. I received an email today from a fellow blogger. Went and read that blog and here is the gem that I took away. What an awesome little prayer. I wrote it down to carry with memory stinks and I know me. I'll be praying and say something like "Yada yada God. You know the prayer I'm talking about." Unfortunately, that doesn't quite cut it. :)

"Lord, take me where you want me to go
Let me meet who you want me to meet
Tell me what you want me to say and
Help me stay out of Your way."

~ Fr. Mychal Judge - priest who died in the
World Trade Center, 9/11/01

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


TURN YOUR SPEAKERS UP (and turn off my music at the bottom of my post before you listen to this)!

My new favorite song....we sing this at church and our band is such an awesome, rockin' band. I love it. It makes me want to dance RIGHT NOW. :) Why do I love it? Because I DO KNOW WHO I AM. People may not know me, but I DO...and so does God. He knows my heart and He knows my deepest desperate need. THAT makes my day. Enjoy!

JC is my BFF!!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I AM A MARILYN..... :)

I really have a lot of work to do. A lot. But my ADD kicked in and I got sucked into this silly little quiz....try it. Only two questions and it pegged me almost exactly. :) Here is the link to the quiz...

You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me
* Be direct and clear
* Listen to me carefully
* Don't judge me for my anxiety
* Work things through with me
* Reassure me that everything is OK between us
* Laugh and make jokes with me
* Gently push me toward new experiences
* Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Marilyn
* being committed and faithful to family and friends
* being responsible and hardworking
* being compassionate toward others
* having intellect and wit
* being a nonconformist
* confronting danger bravely
* being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn
* the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind
* procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself
* fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of
* exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger
* wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right (unless that rule book says I actually have to WORK and not follow my wild ADD trails :) )
* being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often
* are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn
* are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger
* form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent
* look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel
* are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Marilyns as Parents
* are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty
* are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence
* worry more than most that their children will get hurt
* sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

JC is my BFF....

Sneak peek....

Yesterday. Was. Windy.

For whatever reason it's nearly impossible to get all three of my girls in one place, clean and presentable at the same stinkin' time. One is always dirty from soccer or just in general not clean. Or, one is away with friends, with their dad or sleeping and grumpy. So...yesterday was the day. I didn't care that it was cold and we were experiencing winds in excess of 70 mph. OUR CHRISTMAS CARD PICTURE WAS GOING TO BE TAKEN. Alli wasn't feeling well and missed a soccer game but oh well....I was on a mission. :)

We went to Hanging Rock Park in Redfield just down the road from my house. Nothing spectacular until you get to the back of the tiny park and see the river and the "hanging rocks". Made them sit, smile and snap. Only Taylor was crying....she really is not a fan of cold....and Carli and Alli were yelling at her 'cuz she was "making it take longer"! Oh the joy of taking a Christmas picture...all so other people can see how wonderful your children are all the time. HA.

Anyway, finally Carli got Taylor laughing by trying to poke me with a stick behind my back. She actually got me once on accident and it HURT. Needless to say she put the stick down. Their individual pictures turned out great. Our group shot....not so wonderful, but I'm ok with that. I secretly didn't want in it anyway. :) After only 15 minutes at the park, here is our Christmas card. Please act shocked when you get it in the mail.

JC is my BFF....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Breast cancer, presidential election and Psalm 27...

Random thoughts on a few things I just feel like talkin' about:

Breast Cancer
Tomorrow is the Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure" here in Des Moines. With my crazy busy schedule I won't be running this year....wish I had thought in advance to put that on the year maybe. And I probably should start training again. I don't know if I could even run three miles these days! :) Anyway, today at work we are celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a pink food contest, best decorated office contest, etc. I wore my pink shirt and brought my pink almond bark pretzels in to share with my co-workers. It has been one of those weird months....two people in my office have or are recovering from breast cancer. I really should pull my head out of the sand and go get that baseline mamo that is two years over due. Chill. Don't send me any "OMG, YOU NEED TO GO TODAY" emails. I know, I know.

Presidential Election
I read a blog today that I follow regularly (See "Zawisza Tribune" on my blog list on the right) and here is what it said about our upcoming presidential election. If you know me at all you know that I am N.O.T. into politics and as you read above I have a "head in the sand" mentality about things. This was AWESOME....


1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed teaching and healing.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.

Amen to that....

Psalm 27 I think about breast cancer and our upcoming election (they really have nothing to do with each other but that's how my mind works), I am reminded of one of my favorite scriptures....Psalm 27. God placed this scripture on my heart not long ago when I was struggling with a lot of past, my future, my heart and my purpose. I will never forget the relief I felt when I read this for the first time. It was God reminding me that He is in control and He will protect me always if I just put my faith in Him. These words remind me that no matter the economy, no matter who is choosen to run our country and no matter if our bodies are filled with illness, pain or otherwise, He is my protector and my shield.

"The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?

When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.

Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple.

For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling;
He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;
at His tabernacle will I sacrafice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.

Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be mericful to me and answer me.

My heart says of you, "See His face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek.

Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
You have been my helper.

Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
The LORD will receive me.

Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.

Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.


JC is my He yours???

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Light and corn....

I bought my Nikon D80 last October and had no clue how to really use it. If you know me at all I am absolutely, positively a person who learns by watching and doing versus reading so I rarely open the owner's manual. Wade bought me a DVD about my camera to watch, and I have watched it, but I really think my mind is kinda weird that way. I gotta want to learn before my mind fully opens up enough to let what I am learning soak in. I have a way of, on the surface at least, getting what I am learning but it doesn't sink in initially. I know that is very much my ADD and while it is frustrating to me that I am that way, I know it is equally as frustrating to others at the same time.

So, after having my camera for a year now, I finally signed up for an 8 week class on how to USE my camera. I bought the darn thing, put it on "Auto" setting and off I went. I have had good success in that mode but that's like having a manual transmission car and never getting out of 1st gear. The car can do so many more things, go way faster and get you to your destination quicker and easier if you drive in the right gear. Seriously, I am a slow learner!!!

Tonight is week 4 of class. We had an assignment to take actions shots so that we freeze the action and then caught the action blurred (you do this by adjusting the shutter speed and f stop in case you felt like that was important to know). All this is to be done in MANUAL mode....which means I (yes, me, myself and I) control all the functions of the camera. I had no problem with freezing the action. That setting and control actually makes sense to me and as a sports action photographer I GET that. I did, however, have a problem with the blurred action. But, have no fear, FINALLY, I figured it out. The light bulb came on! I have to say though, I am my biggest critic and my own worst enemy. I was really down about how I wasn't figuring it out and how the heck could I be a professional if I didn't even know how to do something soooo simple! Then WHAM. Something I did worked, I tried it again and it worked again. crisis averted.

Anyway, all of that to just show off a few pictures I took Sunday on my way to church. Nothing fancy, but something I figured out (and none of them have anything to do with the action shots of my assignment! I will post them later). I'm excited!!! The two of the twinkle of light through the tree in my front yard are pretty cool. Made me smile so that makes them worth the post, I think. :) The first one of the corn is just to show you all where the little demon children live ready to prance out and kill all the adults ("Children of the Corn" movie, in case you didn't know)...I so hate that movie! The other one of the corn tassles is to show all you city folk what the corn looks like when it's ready to harvest. See my post of the tassles from earlier this summer. :0

JC is my BFF!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Taylor, Sponge Bob and photography....

IT WAS SO FUNNY....I walked in the house Tuesday night after writing my bog about getting Taylor watching Sponge Bob and possibly putting her in a Memory mate. You know what the first thing that kid said to me was? "HEY MOM! GUESS WHAT!?!? Sponge Bob is on and it's a TOTALLY NEW EPISODE!!' I almost peed my pants. Went and got my camera and here is my baby watching Sponge Bob. No Memory Mate....sorry.

NO....she does not normally sit next to the TV like this....I made her move there so YOU could see SPONGE BOB!!!

Playing the clarinet....this is a rare sighting of a clarinet playing little girl!

Then, I saw a blog a few days ago about handing your camera to someone and having them take a few pictures to see the world from their viewpoint. All my girls love to take picture with my camera so last night I let Taylor have a go of it. Here is what she took. She is actually a pretty good photographer!

I guess the guys head is not important.'s what see shes in the world, remember?!

Pretty trees and leaves. She gets art, I think.

Happy Friday everyone!!!

JC is my BFF....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In His image....

Every morning on my way to work I go by these beautiful ponds (one lower, one upper smaller one). It happens to be in the backyard of some farmer person and I am sooo jealous that they get to see this every day. Most mornings, especially now that it is getting colder outside, there is a fog coming off the water. Absolutely beautiful. I took the picture above late last month (and it is NOT my best....fundamental issues with exposure, etc. but it serves the point I'm trying to make here) and I was mesmerized by what I was seeing as I sat along side the road. It occurred to me that the trees next to the pond are a perfect reflection in the water. Then, as if God took His large hand and smacked me upside the head, I totally got the comparison between the perfect reflection of the trees in the pond and how God created us all in His perfect image.

I love it when He smacks me upside the head. Really, I do.

I wish I had some great insight on how to better live to "reflect" God within us or what it really means to be created in God's image....I don't. What I do know is that God created us for His pleasure, with a plan and a purpose to serve and love Him and to love one another as ourselves. I wish I had great words of wisdom on how to love the person sitting next to you in that cubicle carrying on like an idiot about the happenings in your office, or how to love your neighbor who keeps raking their leaves in your yard and thinking you don't notice, or how to love that spouse who keeps hurting you with words of unkindness or insensitivity....but I don't. All I know....and I know that I know that I know....that God is working ahead of each of us paving the way, making crooked paths straight and preparing to reward us for our faithfulness. If we place all our cares and worries with Him at the foot of the cross, our "reflection" gets more perfect every day.

JC is my BFF....

Monday, October 13, 2008

One more then that is it for the day....

Lots to say today! Just wanted to post two more new "Memory Mates" that I created over the teams more options. Red one is Alli....yes that is my kid in the YELLOW with the rest of her team in their proper uniform. She is the goalie and I guess she thinks she can wear whatever she wants.

Carli being all Carli-like.

And FYI all you people wondering where the heck a picture of Taylor is on this blog....well, she dislikes soccer very much and just isn't on a team to partake in the cool Memory Mates. As soon as I get a good picture of her watching Sponge Bob or reading or practicing her clarinet (which she RARELY does), I will create a cool Memory Mate for her too. :)

JC is my BFF!

Stacie & Brad....

Meet Stacie and Brad. Stacie is my cousin and I begged them to let me take some engagement shots of them. One because I need the experience and two because I was pretty confident I could get some cool pictures they would like.

Stacie and Brad met 5 years ago while working together at Farm & Fleet. This was the first time I had ever met Brad as during the holidays when my family gets together, Brad is always with his family. He's a good guy and they are very happy together. They are getting married in Hawaii next May. I cool is that! It's pretty obvious to me that these two are very much in love and belong together.

Anyway, I have learned a few new tricks in PhotoShop and used these shots to see what could be done. I really like all of their pictures and am happy with how they turned out! THANKS Stacie and Brad for letting me into your little circle for a brief time to show the world the two of you. I'm very happy for you and excited to see the Hawaii wedding pictures!

Two Twins fans on the baseball field.... :)

I L.O.V.E. Stacie's face in this one....super cute!
My absolute fav....what girl doesn't want a shoulder to lean on. **sigh**
JC is my BFF!!!

Cheerleading....It really is a sport....

Dang. I will admit it (and if you know me at all you know admitting I was wrong about anything usually takes an act of God). Cheerleading IS a sport. I absolutely disliked cheerleaders in high school. They were always so happy and cheery (imagine that!) know....they were cheerleaders. I was an athlete....therefore I was better than them 'cuz that was just the natural order of things. WRONG.

I was hired to take action shots of a Valley High School Cheerleader not too long ago. I, of course, being the professional that I am, kicked out my long repressed feeling of cheerleaders and was actually excited about doing something I had never done and seeing how things turned out. Turns out...I got schooled. Cheerleaders are seriously athletes! Amanda (the girl I was hired to shoot) is a flyer....I had no idea what that really meant until I got there. You know what I learned? She stinkin' flies! I know. Duh, right? Anyway, it was a huge learning experience for me and I now have a very serious respect for cheerleaders and what they do. It is very much an under appreciated sport...I used to be at the very front of that line. I caught myself saying as I was taking the shots, "YOU GO GIRL!!!!...FLY!!! YEAH!!!" Here are my favs from that shoot....

Meet Amanda....

I don't know about you but I trust NO ONE to catch me! That's crazy... :)

Check out her pony tail....she was coming down fast...

I so love learning new things. All you cheerleaders out have my utmost and long overdue respect.

JC is my BFF!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New look...

Check it out....turns out I only like dark, deep blog backgrounds. Decided to try something a bit different when my 10 year old daughter said yesterday, "Mom, were you goth when you were growing up?" I choked on my Dr. Pepper and asked why. She had seen my blog at her dad's and said it looked like I was really into black. Huh. Since I don't want to seem prejudice towards any color, I found this blog background and decided to go for a change. I like far. Even though it doesn't have much color either. :)

I also found these pictures while going through some old pics of mine to get ready for the craft and art show coming up in November that I am participating in. With the weather seeming to turn rather quickly these days (I swear when it was raining today it looked like snow....NAUGHTY WORD, I know!). Nothing like some pretty flowers to brighten your can almost smell the lilacs, huh? And really...whoda thought that chives were so pretty???

JC is my BFF!

Chives in the garden....NO...I did not plant these. They were there before me! If you don't know, I have an AMAZING green grow weeds. Very large weeds. Don't be a's my God-given talent.
Chives in black and white....

Lilacs....we have two of the four sides of my property loaded with lilac bushes (That is a TON of them in case you have no idea that I live on nearly 5 acres). They are beautiful for the 2.5 days they bloom every year. Totally worthless the rest of the time. Ok....that was a bit harsh, but give me a break. Why can't they bloom a little longer!?

Lilacs in black & white....

P.S. Stacie and Brad's engagement photos will be up soon....I was too stinkin' tired last night to work on them!! Sorry.... :/

Monday, October 6, 2008

Thank you list to God ...#2

Here is my second installment of my thank you list to God.

11) THANK YOU for showing me love. I took my cousin's engagement photos this past weekend. Stacie and Brad have so much love for each other and as I was taking them I couldn't help but think how cool it is when God creates each of us for a purpose. Along with that He creates our soul mate...the one who we are meant to be with in order to fulfill that purpose. While the love that we have for another human pales in comparision to the love God has for each of us, it's still nice to be truly loved here on earth too. Stacie and Brad sure have that for each other. I'll post my favs of that shoot tomorrow.

12) THANK YOU for Alli. She turned 16 yesterday. My 1st baby is growing up (they all three are but for some reason she seems to be growing up faster). Couldn't help but think about when she was little and all these funny memories flooded me all day. At the end of the day, after my brother and his family called her to say happy birthday, she looked at me, smiled and said "what a great day....365 days and I get to do it again". We all went out to dinner in honor of Alli's birthday and her boyfriend Alex got to meet her dad. Been a long time coming and it was so uneventful I think she was surprised. Not sure if she thought the world was going to explode when they shook hands or what, but it didn't (in case you hadn't noticed...:o). All is well in Alli-land.

13) THANK YOU for second chances. Ok.....second, third....millionth chances. Without knowing God "has my back" I'm just not sure how I'd ever get through the day. It feels so good to know that my sins are forgiven and washed away. I am a new creature in Christ Jesus and for that I am soooooo thankful.

14) THANK YOU for....Wade. My best friend and the person who has loved me when I didn't deserve it, stuck by me when he should have walked away and makes me laugh so hard I cry and cry so hard all I can do is laugh. In the last two years we have been through more than most couples do in 10 years. Best part is we've got it all (I hope) out of the way so when the rest of the world is struggling in their relationships, we can smile and say "Uh...been there done that, got over it". It's been a long road but I honestly would not want to go through all of this with anyone else. Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks sing a song that goes something like this..."No way over it, no way around it. If we want it we have to go through will always win". That's us, Wader. Thanks, God, for my BFF Wade....without You, our relationship would never work....with You, we are a mighty force to be reckoned with!

15) THANK YOU for Funyuns. Seriously. I ate them for breakfast three times in the last week. I have a serious problem, but admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. :)

See below pictures of Alli on her birthday and some of her friends before her bonfire party Saturday night. I would have gotten many more if every time I got out my camera she didn't give me the EVIL EYE. Enjoy!

JC is my BFF!!!!!

Alex, Alli and Alli's dad...can you tell how much she loves to have her picture taken?

Alli and Alex

Taylor, Alli, Carli and Hannah...only one happy about this is Hannah!

Alli and her crazy hat....she'll kill me if she knows I posted this one so if you see her...SHHHHH.

Stephy, Alli and Katie before the bonfire. Like Alli's walls? She did that paint job all on her own.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

God's gift to me....I think I need a 12-step program.

'nuf said.

JC is my BFF...