Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Christmas 'Card'

I usually start taking pictures of the boys in the fall, keeping an eye out for the 'perfect Christmas card picture' to enclose with the Christmas cards I mail out. Most of these cards are sent to family...especially my elderly Aunts. Well, life has been such a whirlwind, the right picture of either the boys or all 4 of us just never happened. I had planned to attempt to take a picture of the boys this weekend as we (FINALLY) decorated our tree. But honestly, trying to get a decent picture of them together is like working with rabid neanderthal monkeys hyped up on mega doses of mountain dew. They just won't, don't, and can't cooperate with me on a posed picture. One or the other is always making a face...COLE!, or about to slug the other one...Ian! Or Riley tries to get into the picture at the wrong moment,(although, in Riley's defense, he usually IS the most cooperative one in the bunch!) or someone sneezes - COLE!, or someone poots & everyone flees the room. Anyway....I woke up this morning with an inspired idea. We just had our portraits taken by Olan Mills for the new Church Directory. Why not use these photos!!?? Not the expensive little wallet sized ones you can order from them, but instead insert the photos into Photoshop from the cd Olan Mills gave us! Wahoo! Thank you, Lord, for the inspired ideas!
Soooo, here's our 'official' Christmas card for this year....

Speaking of our new Church it is, and guess who did the cover photo!?! Yup...I'm a 'published photographer!' WAHOO! I also had the great privilege of taking most of the candid photos within the directory.

The significance of this photo is that is was taken IN Lithia Springs about a week or so after the horrible flood in 2009. I was at a LSHS football game (which was playing on a Monday night to make up for the game canceled by the flood), and I looked up and there is was... across the sky looking towards the Church, this beautiful rainbow! It was so moving to see it after the week before's tragic flooding. Even after all the terrible things that had happened - everyone just stood there in awe of it. God was sending us a simple message...He's still in control and there's always Hope.
For the directory I photoshopped a picture I took of our steeple onto the back of the cover photo. It's in the right place...but you can't really see FBCLS from the high school stadium, but I thought it needed to be there. I'm tickled silly with the results, and feel so blessed to have been trusted with the job.

Friday, December 10, 2010


It's Christmas Concert Season around here.

Last night, LSHS's band had their concert. Wonderful!!! They played the traditional "Sleigh Ride", and a couple other tunes, but my favorite was the medley of Christmas songs that included a brief, but oh so beautiful solo by Ian! "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" never sounded better.

Tonight was Cole's Turner Middle School's concert. This was the first time Cole got to dress up in concert attire. I think he looks pretty spiffy! (For some silly reason he didn't enjoy it.)

In between sections of the concert - 6th grade finished/7th & 8th grade coming on - Cole's band director, Chris Willis (who is a fraternity brother of Blake's AND plays in the Westside Winds with Blake) had made arrangements for Blake & Karl to play. They played "Christmas Time is Here", from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, & then Karl played 'O Holy Night.' It was fabulous! They got a well deserved standing ovation! Here's Blake & Karl playing, and Blake, Cole, Chris and Karl.

AND finally, last weekend our church presented "Two from Galilee"...a Broadway style musical drama of how Mary & Joseph were in love, came together, and eventually traveled to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. It was FABULOUS!! Kerry, our music minister, has worked himself half insane getting things ready. It was quite a journey for him. There were soooo many talented people involved - on stage and behind the came together in a blessed way that only God can do and was awesome. Blake played in the orchestra with the Westside Winds. I had the privilege of doing a little sewing, and photographing everything. Here's just a few of the photos... (I took over 1000 pictures between the dress rehearsal & the 2 performances. It's so hard to choose which ones to share!) The absolute best part of the show was the Magi, played by 3 of our ministers. They hammed it up perfectly! It completely stole the show. Kudos to Kevin, Danny & Mike!

Now all we have left to do is for Blake & I to get a piece ready for Christmas Eve....YIKES! I haven't played the dulcimer since LAST Christmas Eve!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Florida Is....

Thanksgiving with loved ones...

We had 63 folks there this year. While it's great to see everyone, it's also sad to see how many dear folks are now gone. But, we remember them with love and many happy memories from Thanksgivings past.

Good times with goofy people your related to.... Sometimes, Ian gives me a 'look' and is the spittin' image of his Uncle David!

And Riley...just happy to be on a road trip with his family!

Weird roadside tourist attractions....This one had everything from fresh oranges, to rockcandy, to ice cream, to an old timey saloon, an Elvis, a dinosaur museum, a REALLy weird display of 'modern art' AND a 'zoo'.
A friendly goat.
Ian with a sheep who later turned into a 'butt head'!

The boys were terrified that the llama would spit on them. The llama was long as they kept feeding it fruit.

Cole liked the Coatimundi.

A weird tree face!

A very friendly kitty at the zoo....but rather odd to see him amongst the wildlife.

A lemur with those beautiful eyes.

Beautiful images of....
Country Dirt Roads

Giant Spiders with hairy knees

Dead Orange Tree in the early morning fog

The early morning fog across a pasture

A Sunset

And where is all began for Blake & I ~ Blanton Methodist Church, established 90+ years ago. We were married there June 9, 1985.

For me, Florida is Thanksgiving, ...and so much more.