Mar 30, 2011

Testing Textures

I recently have been inspired by a friend's blog, Mrs. Murdock.
 (you can read here)

She shoots with a Nikon, and although I am partial to Canons, 
she produces some great photos.  I especially like when she
applies textures to them.
(see here)

So, after coveting after her look, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone.
I watched the tutorial at Kim Klassen's, downloaded some free textures
and made an attempt to make my pictures as vintage as Mrs. Murdock's. :)

It was fun, and I can see myself getting addicted to it!
Thanks for the inspiration, Mrs. Murdock! :)

Sweet Shot Day


Mar 24, 2011

In me

Something has been on my heart for a couple of weeks and I wanted to put my thoughts onto "paper."  It all started with a Sunday morning testimony from a man who told the congregation how his perspective on life and his church ministries had changed.  Simply put, without going into all the details, God spoke to him about not just going through the motions in his church ministries as well as not being so hard on the  children he brought into church, but instead realizing that he had been put in their life for a purpose.

It really set me thinking...

Every Sunday morning I have the opportunity to drive and pick up little kids and shuttle them to the bus where they get taken to Sunday School.  I then get on the bus where I am with these children for approximately 20 minutes.  When I get to church I get to help in a 5-6 grade girl Sunday School class of approximately 40-50 girls.  After the Sunday service I then get back on the bus and spend another 20 minutes back to the shuttle car and then another approximate hour in the car taking kids back to their houses.

Was I taking advantage of the time I had with these children?

Was I more concerned with getting them to the bus, or rushing through a Sunday School lesson?

Was I letting Christ shine through my life, by showing them compassion?
The majority of the children I am with on Sundays come from broken homes.  Homes where, when I stand outside their door I can hear cussing and obscenities being yelled as common language.  Homes where never once is the Bible read or God's name mentioned except for in swearing.  

Two families off my route that I would shuttle to the bus, recently moved, one of them being completely unexpected and without me getting to say, "Goodbye."  I wondered to myself if I had made an impact on them.  Did they see Jesus in me? Or was I crabby and impatient because they talked to much, bickered with their siblings, made me wait, or they had bad odor?  I was the small amount of Jesus that they were around each week...

God has kept me at my home church for a purpose; and it may be one that I will never know here on earth.  Am I taking advantage of it?  Is Jesus being seen in me?

Mar 22, 2011

Time well spent:

 I wanted to be sure to share the pictures from my fun time spent with my good friend, EJ,

We had a jewelry party featuring our own unique designs; 
we had a great time making the jewelry, surveying each other's designs,
and then planning the the party via phone calls, texts, and emails.

We had such an enjoyable time hosting the event, and can't wait to put together another
one when she is home during the summer!



 Keychains, bookmarks, pins,

 Glass tile pendants,


 And adorable resin cabochon rings!

 Brought to you by expressionBYnicole & elizabeth-ann-designs! :)

Next on our agenda was to visit here::

 A coworker of mine had told me about this place several months ago, and I had been dying to
to go but alas, had no one who wanted to go with me or who was remotely interrested in painting ceramics.
When I found out EJ was coming home, I knew at once she would want to go, since we have many of the same interests in extracurricular activities and hobbies.

The first step was picking out what we wanted to paint...
 Decisions, decisions...
It's so hard to be a girl! ;)

After that we looked through some books to get an idea of what we
wanted to paint on our cup holders, and then it was off to choose the paint!

Excited and nervous to paint the first stroke...
 It was a relaxing two hours, where we hardly spoke a word to
each other, both of us intently painting our "handiworks..."

 Here I go!!

 I was done before EJ, so attempted a self portrait with my creation!

And then we tried several attempts to take a picture of both us and our cup
holders...(note to self:  it is difficult to hold a dslr out far enough in order to 
capture more than the forehead of the subject...)

 Here we be...

 And us again...

Trying so hard to get our holders up in the picture...
It was quite comical! :)

It was a fun evening; time well spent with great company!

And now every time I reach for a freshly sharpened pencil I will think of my dear friend!

Mar 20, 2011

another year older

 {linking up my mosaic with Mary}
Last week I celebrated turning another year older...

One of the best things about having a birthday in my family is getting to 
choose the menu for the day!  I had a very hard time decided on just ONE thing...
 But, I finally set my heart on a Rachael Ray recipe for almond crusted chicken!

One word:::aMAzInG!

Dessert was easier for me to choose as I am not much of sweets person.
 Tiramisu is a bit of Italian heaven that I believe everyone should partake
of in their lifetime...
Besides the birthday food, I had a great day.
{some pictures that highlighted my day::}

Feeling older already...

 reading my littlest sister's homemade card...
I always look forward to seeing what she will design for me!

 getting chocked up over a necklace Brooke
got me...
(I think they were tears of joy, or maybe getting
older makes me more sappy???)

[insert squeals here...]
 And my "techno-electro" Dad looking on...:)

Looking forward to another great year!!


Mar 12, 2011

completion and a look ahead...

Another busy week has went by...

A week in which I started my new tutoring job, thanks
to a referral by my sister.  And a week in which
I completed my 6 week online photography class. 
It proved to be immensely helpful, and I have gained
alot through it. I was slightly nervous about taking
the test, as I have not taken a test for about 2 1/2 years!

I passed! :)

With the start of a new week tomorrow comes an abundance of things going on. will not be seeing much of me; I will be busy with::

  • Jury Duty (both nervous and excited as to what this will bring)
  • A jewelry party with EJ
  • A birthday celebration
  • A lunch date
  • Tutoring
  • Practicing a piano duet for Sunday School
  • Editing Paul's Senior Pictures
  • Hanging out with EJ on her spring break (going to a paint some pottery; super pumped; pictures to follow) :)
  • Another senior photo shoot
  • CDA homework
So until next week, a quote to ponder::

My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out.
~ Ronald Reagan


Mar 7, 2011


[I am late in entering my mosaic over at Mary's
but this is probably one of my favorites;
so I had to share it...:)]

One dreary, drizzly Saturday (1 1/2 weeks ago), my dad decided on a whim 
to take the family out for lunch in Chicago. 
 Of course, we all jumped at the offer,
 seeing as we absolutely love the city!

We had a delicious lunch at Lawry's complete with some amazing prime rib 

and out-of-this-world dessert!

 {strawberry trifle}

{chocolate bag}

& a first for me...Creme Brulee!! {heaven in a dish!!}


It was rainy and blustery, and we did not want to window shop, 
so we opted to drive the scenic route home.  
So hence all the above pictures in my mosaic were taken
 from inside a car window! 
{which I think adds so much character to them} :)

View more mosaics here!

Mar 4, 2011


I have not been much of a blogger lately...  It is not because I have nothing going on; I have just been busy with life.
However, I wanted to take a breather from this bus-y-ness and share something that God has spoken to me through.

If thou canst believe all things are possible to him that believeth.
{Mark 9:23}

The great danger with most of us [me] is that, after we ask HIM to do it, we do not believe that it is done, but we keep on helping HIM, and getting others to help HIM; whether than waiting to see how HE is going to do it.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.
{Psalm 37:7}

So often, I pray and pray and pray and wait and wait and wait and see nothing move.  Then, the Lord brought me to these verses and told me to wait...with patience.  Patience takes away worry, it takes away weeping, and it takes away works.  But most importantly, patience takes away all wants.  Sometimes the desire for the thing I wish is stronger than the desire for the will of God to be fulfilled in its arrival.  

Let patience have her perfect work.
{James 1:4}

And if I left patience work, rest in Him, and believe; then, and then only will enrichment and peace follow.


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