December 30, 2007
What I learned at church today...we were at Darrell and Mitchell's house today and we found out that a year ago Mitchell and his cousin made this video about Jesse's first year at Camp Du Nord.
December 29, 2007
December 26, 2007
Usually there is one. A photo that speaks to me more than it might to others. And this year is no exception. As I shuffled through the lot of them I came across this one and knew it was IT.
You see my son, who is not allowed video games, or video game equipment stood mute when his grandmother pulled a Nintendo DS out of her Christmas stocking. I love the look on his face. I love the look on hers. I love the star from the tree that looks like its perched on his head. Love it. Makes me smile still.
Today I did my annual mini family photo shoot. After a couple of ROUGH years trying to timer set a group photo, it came to me last year to take individual portraits of each of my family members and then the pictures can be combined in a collage or used seperately.
This year I asked my family to grab something from mom and dad's house that exemplified Christmas for them. Exemplified means represented by, illustrated by or embodied in. We jumped outside for the last rays of sun bouncing off the magical light snowfall. Here is a taste of what my camera saw:
Much more to come on this project, including a challenge at TallyScrapper this weekend, so stick around, here or there!
December 24, 2007
December 21, 2007
December 20, 2007
In my church group, we talk often about the Power of the Word. When God speaks, things come into being. Not just new things, like the earth, but things that aren't. In Romans 4:17 it says
- as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations" --in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
In Genesis it talks about the world being a void, or nothing, and God spoke all that we know into being. Christians and Jews call this creation. Some scientists describe that moment as a "big bang" which I imagine is a great way to describe complete vacuousness becoming land and water and light and beings. In the Old Testament God told Abram, an old man, that he would be the father of many nations. Nearly all faiths on earth originated from that moment, and few debate that that infact happened. God spoke and things happened. In the New Testament, God spoke through an angel and a peasant girl from a small village became pregnant. God spoke again and her husband to be not only didn't have her stoned, he kept his promise and raised Jesus as if he was his own. When Jesus, God Incarnate here on Earth, walked among us as a man, his Word called into being health and welfare for many hurting people. In at least one instance his Word raised a man from the dead. Many days dead.
Sometimes, God's Word calls into being things we wish were not. Imagine the surrender and pain Mary felt the day her son was killed, in the cruelest of ways. Imagine the panic she felt when she discovered she was in labor, at night, on the road, and there was no place to deliver that babe. And yet in these situations, we with the Bible as a guide and the hindsight of thousands of years can see how those seemingly tragic situations were the most glorious of all time.
This time of year is tough for most folks. Its a time of reckoning and remembering. And sometimes the memories and the reckoning is painful. It can become hard to have faith. To believe with complete peace that God is in charge of our lives and that its all going to work together to weave a beautiful picture. I think of the phrase "evidence to the contrary" and this year more than some others I seem to be inundated with "evidence to the contrary" that God is in charge that there is truth in the statement that(Romans 8:28) ... we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This year my reckoning has made me realize how far apart my family has drifted, which considering the course of events is very sad. My reckoning has made me face the fact that financially the ship is sinking, and sinking very fast.
I Corinthians 5:7 says "This is why we live by believing and not by seeing."
Hebrews 11:1 says "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see"
I believe in God, the One who Speaks things that weren't into existence. I believe that all things are working together for the good. And I also believe that I can survive everything that will come in the future. I mean look at Mary. She had to survive humiliation, rejection, fear, shame, and the pain of watching her own child be killed. The song that is first on my playlist is one of hope for me. It reminds me that the Breathe of Heaven, or God, is ultimately powerful, and ultimately in charge and will breathe life where life is not.
And that is far more comforting to me then the closest of families or the fullest of bank accounts. In my life, I know God is working things out, redeeming the things I have destroyed or messed up. And when I remember that? All that other stuff just falls away into the void.
December 18, 2007
December 14, 2007
I'm almost afraid to post this, because truth be told, I'm not a girl of routines. I love variety, I fully believe it is the spice of life, so when I find something that is a routine, I worry that its just one step from being thrown aside for the next new thing.
But since I took this picture in October, and its still going strong, I think I'll take the risk.
Every morning I:
- Unload the dishwasher
- Make a smoothie
- Concoct my latest version of the word coffee
- Sit back and read Tallyscrapper.com
Andrew loads and starts the dishes at night so that when I wake up in the morning its ready to be emptied. Usually my coffee and smoothie making apparatus is in the dw, so its a good incentive to get it emptied and put away before I make breakfast.
The smoothie recipe I use came from a low carb cookbook I picked up this summer in search of something new to try on Scott's diet. We have both fallen in love with this one. To make it you dump in one container of Yoplait vanilla yogurt, then you fill the container twice with 8th Continent Vanilla Soy Milk and dump that in. You put in a banana and a cup or so of frozen berries and blend. Just that simple and oh so good. When I make it for just myself I have made the recipe smaller by including only one container of the soy milk and half the banana. I give the other half to Andrew to try to start the day by getting something healthy in him. Today we were out of soy milk so I tried regular milk (gag) I really recommend the soy milk. The cow's milk made it too thick and "fluffy" and I didn't like the texture as much.
While I'm making my smoothie I drink down a 12 ounce glass of water. I figure if I can get my first glass of water in before I start anything else, I'll be on my way to drinking enough for the day.
Then its time for coffee. I don't actually drink coffee per se, so I thought I'd share my secret recipe. We use Obsidian roasted beans from Caribou Coffee, ground for an espresso machine. Scott and I have been blessed with the gift of TWO espresso machines, so we don't even have to share. Even in the days when money is SUPER tight it is nice to have that luxury and I pray a prayer of thanks daily for the two kind people that passed them along to us. My espresso machine is from Starbucks. I derive pleasure from the fact that in my kitchen everyday Starbucks and Caribou work together to give me my perfect cuppa.
I fill the machine with enough espresso grounds for two shots, and fire her up. The machine has buttons for doing two shots at once or one, and my perfect recipe for an Americano-to-die-for is pushing the 2shot button twice and the 1shot button once. With that I get just enough Americano to satisfy my morning longings, its nice and hot, and I've squeezed every ounce of flavor out of that 1/8 cup of grounds possible. Mmmm, mmmm good!
Then I log into TallyScrapper and find out what's what for the day. Whose up already, what the day holds for them, if there were any layouts posted since the previous evening.
If I have the luxury of extra time, which I rarely do, I visit here to post, or Pioneer Woman, but usually I don't get much past TallyScrapper.
Within an hour my kitchen is ready for the day, my body is fed and charged up and I've touched base with my online friends. Its a lovely way to wake up!
December 13, 2007
Last night Lisa treated me to a lovely concert. Messiah by G.F. Handel holds a special spot in my heart. Besides being part of a choir that performed it when I was a teen, my ex has a beautiful professional tenor voice and he sang this many times. It is one of the few remaining things from that marriage that I hold dear.
Before Lisa and I went, we needed to do a quick photoshoot, because, being we are two photographers, we of course have no pictures of the two of us together.
So we set up my "photo studio"
Yeah, my husband started shooting before we had transformed it fully. See the cute little christmas ornaments made out of clay sitting on the stove? Yes, that is a microwave...and a pizza. Speaking of pizza,
Lisa did a little pizza modeling while I continued to struggle with my makeup. That ghost in front of her is me rushing to the bathroom to "put my face on".
But in the end, all the hard work and goofing off netted us a couple of decent shots. Then we were off to the Basilica of St. Mary in downtown Minneapolis. And SHHHHH, don't tell my husband, but not only did we park under the bridge, we parked UNDER the BRIDGE. As in not in a parking space. Naughty girls!
And the inside.
And here we have the chorale and the orchestra playing....no wait, that is my friend Kit jumping my moms car that wouldn't start when we were up north in our UNHEATED house. Did I mention is was subzero the whole time we were there? I did. Oh, sorry.
Anyway, the concert was wonderful and the soloists were quite amazing. Here is a link to a clip that is one of my favorite solos. This was not from last night, but you get the idea.
Anyway, I came home with a cold. So I'm in jammies, laying in my favorite easy chair trying to get better by tomorrow because seriously, I do not have time to be sick!