Friday, March 13, 2009

More photos & some explanation

Well, we're consistent if nothing else. This semester, just moving into the trailer, re-doing the floor, painting all the rooms & building porches wasn't enough of a challenge for John & I. So we added two dogs, a new shop and college to the mix. John is keeping his full time job at the bank & pursuing an MBA degree in the evenings. We're very blessed because Texas pays for veterans' tuition & fees, and the bank is paying for all of his books. And I'm also back in school, non-degree seeking, taking a photography class with my sister & her mother-in-law. It's a wonderful class & the reason you're seeing more photos on the blog. I've been shooting in RAW the past couple of years and while I love the flexibility the format offers, I never seem to get around to editing & printing my photos. I've learned so much about photography & photoshop in this class, even though it's very time intensive. I'm also doing my second Beth Moore study, Esther, at our church with my mom.

I'm betting that a lot of you have already done a Beth Moore study but if you haven't I cannot urge you to do so enough. I put off doing one too - it just seemed like a lot of time. But the payoff is great - I've learned so much about God, the Bible and myself through these studies, as well as getting to know some wonderful ladies. Even though most of the ladies at our church have already done some of the earlier studies, I want to go back & work through them myself and borrow the videos from the church.

This little guy was sitting in my front yard the other day. I was running back into the house to get mom to call the vet for a sick cow but had to stop & take a picture.

We had to do a fashion photo for an assignment - they really wanted us to do some high fashion poses from magazines but I went with a more rugged look because my model is such a handsome cowboy.

Everything's blooming out right now in East Texas - dogwoods, azaleas, wisteria, fruit trees, violets - it's my favorite time of the year. Right now it's 45 degrees & raining but hopefully I'll get more flower photos over spring break.

Sunset from my front door.

The view from my scraproom. It's the church where we got married. Some people think it's weird to live beside a cemetary but I say that it makes for quiet neighbors & John says it's the live people that you have to worry about.

Not a view from my house but one on the drive home. I photoshopped out the high lines - am so excited that I can do that now.

Look for photos of my backyard in weeks to come. Why my back yard? Because we signed the papers on Wednesday and construction starts on the shop, or Man Cave as John calls it, on Monday. We are so excited about this! I'm sure some of you are wondering why we're taking out a loan to build a shop when we're repainting an older trailer. Well, we can't build our dreamhome right now & since we're only planning on doing this once since we want to use the land Dad left me, we didn't want to build a 'starter' home. John's Dad gave us the trailer to use as long as we want so we're not under a rent payment but since we've downsized each time we've moved, we're bulging at the seams. John does a lot of handyman work on the trucks, on electric & plumbing, fencing and builds my stuff from wood - so we've got tools, wire, pvc, etc all over the place. Plus his Twilight bowfishing stuff. So once the shop is complete, all of that will go in it plus he's building me a storage room inside for all of my stuff, like Christmas decorations, luggage, etc. It is wonderful to finally be on our place, building the things we've dreamed about - God has blessed us so richly.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just a few snapshots of what we've been doing:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Working on a virtue of gratitude

"We can’t blankly, inattentively, stumble through the day – mindlessly moving from one mechanical task to the next – and maintain habitual gratefulness.

And that’s what we endeavor. Not simply the feeling of gratefulness -- fleeting, that -- but the virtue of gratefulness – a lifestyle of giving thanks in all things.

The emotion of gratitude flaps about according to the weather. Obliging, sunny hours, and it basks. Stormy days and it hangs, limp and beaten. The vulnerable feeling of gratefulness falls prone to circumstances.

The virtue of gratitude, however, determines its own weather. Regardless of forecasts, skies or daily events, virtuous gratitude gives wholesale thanks. “In everything, give thanks!” The robust virtue of gratefulness rises above circumstances.

And the virtue of gratitude necessitates vigilance. We’ll have to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ."

From A Holy Experience (I wish I could write this well)

We had a lovely Christmas and hope you did too. I'm very fortunate in my job in that I get a nice Christmas break and was able to spend a couple of days working on the trailer. We plan to be moved in this week. I was going to show you some photos of our New Years trip to Las Vegas but my brand new 8gig compactflash card failed, taking with it approx. 500 photos. I'm disappointed in the loss but grateful that we were able to take the trip, enjoying each other and John's cousin, Kim & Mitch, her husband. They were our gracious Vegas guides and a lot of fun. Fortunately we took some photos with John's Christmas present, a Coolpix, so I hope to share some soon. 2008 was a rough year in many ways but we're starting off 2009 on a better foot, with a lot of hope. A new dog, who is so sweet-natured and obedient, you can't help but love. A new home on our own land. A new start at school for John, who's returning for an MBA, and a photography class for me. I pray that your New Year is as hopeful as ours.