Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and that your hearts can 
know the peace of Jesus.

Scarlet Tanager ornament my Mamma painted.

"I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!"

Revelation 1:18

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ornament Project

One morning I was sweeping up the spilled contents of a pencil sharpener,
when a piece of broken crayon that was lying on the floor got swept up too.
   I started thinking about those cool looking melted crayon art pages
that you make using a hair drier.  I always think it would be fun to try. 
Then I started mulling over different things you could possibly do with heat
and crayons and remembered the three clear ornaments I’d found reduced
after Christmas one year.  Could you put crayons inside and melt them?

It was time to start school for the day but… instead of math, we grabbed the
hair drier and those ornaments.  What’s the fun in always doing everything
you should, exactly?  Besides, if you homeschool, can’t everything be a school project? 
 (As a homeschooled person myself, I’m allowed to say this with a hint of
mockery in my voice.)
  So, back to the ornaments.  The girls picked out the colors they liked
(with subtle suggestions from their mother) from the broken crayon container.
After chopping the pieces we put them inside.
(something about a hair drier is terribly hilarious when you're 3 and 6! J)
  It took a while to start the melting process, but once they got hot it
wasn’t too difficult to coat the inside of the ornament.  They swirled nicely
and the girls were very happy with the project.  Props to me, I did talk to
them about heat and what it takes to melt different substances.  If I were
truly brilliant (the only science I loved was biology) I would have been
able to explain to them why there were sparks going from the hair drier
to the glass globe when they nearly touched.  I vaguely remember something
about this electricity from a trip to the science museum many years ago. 
If anyone cares to share some knowledge I’ll gladly listen!
Some notes on making these ornaments if you should care to try some:
        Keep the chunks of crayon together in a mass and heat
  only this area.  (If they get separated you will be
  chasing random pieces around in the globe.)
     Use fewer of your darkest color.  The dark colors tend
   to overpower the light ones.
    A glove helps to keep your fingers from frying! J

"And we know that the Son of God has come
 and has given us understanding,
so that we may know him who is true;
and we are in him who is true,
in his Son Jesus Christ.
He is the true God and eternal life."
1 John 5:20 (ESV)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


   What does it mean to be content? What comes to your mind when you think of contentment?   Maybe a little baby snuggled up in a soft blanket just gazing around with no cares in the world, maybe sitting on a front porch on a hot day with a glass of tea, or reaching the top of the trail on a mountain hike and just soaking in the beauty of everything below you.  Those scenes to me would exemplify contentment.  It would be enough in that moment.  But those moments surely aren’t my everyday life. 
   Is contentment possible when the kids are going through a rough stage and demand constant attention?  Is contentment possible when the economy is bad and your finances are headed the same way?  Is contentment possible when all the people around you are gifted at so many things, and you just really don’t have any showy gifts?  Or in my own life right now, is contentment possible when I haven’t felt well for months and the getting better is taking its time?  Is contentment a choice or a circumstance?


    I’m on this contentment thought because last Sunday we had a visiting preacher at our church and this was his topic.  It spoke to me.  He talked a lot about material things and being content (which was very timely with it being the Christmas season, although that wasn’t his point).  There are so many ways (often small ones) in which I’m not completely content.  And those are my own choices.  Choices that I want to change.    


Contentment is not satisfaction. It is the grateful, faithful, fruitful use of what we have, little or much. It is to take the cup of Providence, and call upon the name of the Lord. What the cup contains is its contents. To get all there is in the cup is the act and art of contentment. Not to drink because one has but half a cup, or because one does not like its flavour, or because someone else has silver to one's own glass, is to lose the contents; and is the penalty, if not the meaning of discontent. No one is discontented who employs and enjoys to the utmost what he has. It is high philosophy to say, we can have just what we like, if we like what we have; but this much at least can be done, and this is contentment,--to have the most and best in life, by making the most and best of what we have.
Maltbie Davenport (Mattie D) Babcock
  1858 –1901

I planted some tulip bulbs today. 
Yes, I know it’s late for that. 

    But I was observing those dead looking hard brown lumps and I want to be like them.  I want to be satisfied to be small and dry and brown and live under the earth, forgotten.  Until...  Spring.  Then I will rise and bloom.  And until then I will be content with who God has made me, the body He has given me, and the circumstances and journey He is leading me on. 

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content
with what you have, for he has said,
 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

Monday, December 3, 2012

Forrest & Rachel's Wedding

   Well she did it.  She said “I do” to the preacher man!  What can I say?  When I found out that Rachel and Forrest were dating I literally wanted to go around screaming like a teenage girl at a concert, it was that cool.  It’s just so amazing when two people are undeniably meant for each other!  Rachel has become a beautiful Godly woman who seeks Christ, and Forrest is a man serving God with a sincere heart.  I know He has brought them together.
   I also know that taking wedding photos where both the Bride and Groom are your close friends is so much fun!  Rachel and I have gone to the same church she’s been a dear friend for years.  Forrest, what can I say?  When you’re cousins and grew up doing all kinds of crazy stuff together there’s just something there that time doesn’t take away. Thank you for asking me to photograph your day!!  And thank you Mandy for all you did as the second shooter.  It was a good day in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
    I was looking forward to this occasion and enjoying all the details I knew would be part of it. Rachel is such a creative person, and the details are her specialty! There were lots of lovely handmade touches, from the invitations she made to the giant chocolate chip cookie favors tied with twine and a tag. 

Forrest and Rachel planned to see each other
 before the ceremony and we caught that
special moment when the man first saw
his lovely bride.

I believe you call this adoration?


photo credit: Mandy Summy

This has to be my favorite shot of the day.


photo credit: Mandy Summy

I couldn’t help but slip in a picture of our
little family all spiffed up for the wedding! J 
Thanks, Mandy, for the picture.


photo credit: Mandy Summy
Music runs deep in Forrest’s family and
his sisters and sister-in-law played beautifully
during the ceremony. The groom andgroomsmen
sang a stirring rendition of the
old hymn “He Leadeth Me”. 

Between the ceremony and reception
we slipped off to out-of-the-way a place beside
the Shenandoah River to capture some
of the newlywed enchantment!

photo credit: Mandy Summy


The cake was created by Tanya Nissley, and I believe it was the most perfect wedding cake I’ve ever seen.  It was absolutely gorgeous!  I actually picked up one of the icing rose petals that were scattered around the cake just to make sure it wasn’t real!  If you live in Virginia and want quality, she’s the person to get in touch with.


God bless you Forrest and Rachel. 
God was already using you as single individuals
 and I know His plans for you
together are even greater!

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