Thursday, November 28, 2013

365: Pets and Snow.

I don’t get inspiring shots every day and so rather than take goofy shots I am participating in Project 365 rather loosely. For me, this is ok. It still inspires me to get my camera out and look for those great shots.

I am still playing with settings in manual mode but that is more than I did all last year so I am moving right along and learning what my camera can do.

The first few puppy shots were made with the baby mode on my camera. It definitely gives the depth and softness that I am looking for. I imagine the shutter speed is faster also.













So, I am already 10 behind. How did that happen?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Using the Macro feature for 365

Hello blog world. Here are my daily photos for Project 365. I played with the Macro scene feature this week and chose a few of the shots for my dailies. I love using macro. I think the photos have a certain charm about them that can be attained with ease.

It was interesting to see how the Macro feature responded to light and proximity. I am hoping this experience will prepare me for when I am ready to go ‘cold turkey’ and USE MANUAL SETTINGS.













Saturday, November 16, 2013

Freebies From Photo Lovers

Love, love, love, this Christmas photobrush from Pixelberrypie and it is free! Will certainly be using it this Christmas.


I also came across this blog post at Persnickitey Prints and thought I’d share. How to photography your holiday meal/free idea list. Its good to plan ahead.

My 365 catch up tomorrow!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

365 Update


I have been experimenting with the scene selection on my Nikon D5100. There are not many. I chose the baby setting as I assume it would also cover the movement on pets. Love how this turned out. I can rarely capture Lilly on film so this is a rare shot.


I could just go gah, gah over these colors!


Tried the portrait mode and wow! Look how my honey stands out from the background.


I have yet to capture the beauty of a Virginia sunset but this came pretty close. I finally learned how to turn of the flash. Duh!


I almost never enjoy pictures of myself so a selfie is a rarity. This is definitely an untouched early morning shot of me. However, look how I pop against the background. I thought it had character.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Silver Boxes: November Photo Challenge

Silver Boxes: November Photo Challenge: After doing last month's photo challenge & enjoying it so much, I went on the search for a challenge for November. But... I co...

I love this post. I am on day four of Project 365 and already recognizing that scenery photos can get real old. This will certainly motivate.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Trees With Character



I’ve always loved the lines on these trees. They have so much character they could be the walking talking trees from the Lord of the Rings. Still not out of manual mode yet but I did use the scenic setting. Nikon D5100

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Brilliance at Dusk



This picture was captured at dusk and was even more brilliant earlier in the day but I was without a camera. I took the opportunity to get my owners manual out for the first time today and actually moved the auto dial to a landscape scene. There was definitely more depth to the shot. Now if I can just Photoshop those signs!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Project 365

Joining in with 200+ and taking a photo a day for 365 days. If you are visiting from Click It Up A Notch, WELCOME!

I am doing this because;-

1. I want to learn how to use my DSLR in manual mode.

2. I want to restore this blog to it’s intended use and keep a photo Journal.

3. I am looking forward to learning from others who know how to, ‘rock the shot’.

4. Life is too beautiful to let it slip by.


Virginia is never more beautiful than when the leaves change




Friday, July 26, 2013

Lesson 4. Worry, The Work Of The Flesh

Fast crafts that little hands can do without much assistance. Those are the best kind when you are pushed for time.

We are making a photo frame that they can leave as is or take home and insert a photo. This way you don’t have to rely on them remembering to bring a photo.


I love crafts that I don’t have to go out and buy things to make them. I am never organized enough to allow time for that. For this craft you will need aluminum foil, craft sticks, card (I used cereal boxes), glue and something to decorate it with.

Fold the foil around the card with shiny side up. Stick down craft sticks along one side and glue sticks across the top but be sure to only glue the ends. When glue has dried a little you can decorate.  


Before attaching the verse be sure that opening is to the side so that picture will not fall through the bottom.

If foil is good quality the children can use it like a mirror. Or they could put a picture of themselves in it.

We have been covering the fruits of the Spirit. The last couple of weeks it has been Peace. Just as the spirit can bear fruits in ones life so can the flesh! The opposing work of the flesh is WORRY.

We have chatted at length about how to maintain a spirit of peace during difficult times. Today we will look specifically at worry and how this robs us of peace and finally re-iterating how to maintain a life of peace.

What sort of things do we worry about?

Children will have different concerns to adults.

Worrying comes from concerns about our wellbeing. We need to have a sense that everything is ok. We have a need to control things so that it will be ok. God works in a different way. He has control of our lives and He uses all things for our good whether we enjoy them or not. Our sense of wellbeing can come from trusting God and letting go.

Can we change anything when we worry?  We concentrate on concerns that might not come true and then the worry is worse than what we fear. Emotionally we feel as though it has already happened. This is not walking in the spirit and it will prevent us from making good decisions. 

It is natural to have concerns and the scripture tells us what we can do with them.

Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you.1 Peter 5:7

Peter was a fisherman and the analogy of CASTING your cares upon Jesus like throwing a fishing net is so vivid.

Casting our cares means we pray about it, trust God, and let go!

However, that letting go bit can be difficult. It begins in our mind and will then it becomes part of our life.

If we are not to concern ourselves with our own wellbeing what are we to concern ourselves with?

This passage instructs us to have His kingdom as our main concern and He will take care of us!

Mathew 6

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

We can’t have Gods concern as 1st in our lives if we are concerned about our own wellbeing! God says to put Him first. This is walking in the Spirit! Fruit + peace.

And we can cast our cares on Him because He cares for us.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Peace Week 3

This weeks craft comes from Crafts By Amanda. Very simple and the kids will love it. We will write our Memory verse around it.

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We can have peace with God because of what Christ did at the cross and we are no longer enemies with God.

True peace is not positive thinking. It’s the assurance within that, no matter what the circumstance, we are going to be ok because we are putting faith in someone we trust and depend upon.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Furthermore we can have peace in difficult circumstances because we have a loving heavenly farther who will not forsake us. Its having that relationship with God, through faith in Jesus, that enables us to have access through prayer. When we pray God listens and we know He answers in a way that is best for us. This is real peace.

Teach the children that our peace is a gift as a result of what Christ did for us. As we have learned previously, treasuring that peace is a responsibility.

Teach them that they have immediate access to God no matter what. We talked about being in difficult situations and how we can send ‘arrow’ prayers. Prayers that seek the help and wisdom of the Holy spirit in a given situation.

Teach them that we can trust God for the outcome and can leave the burden and worry with Him. 

We had a crisis that had arisen on the evening of Club. Two of the children shared how a family pet had been hurt and seemed quite critical. We prayed for the animal and asked God to take care of it. I called the next day and it had made a recovery. How precious it is that they know God cares and that they could leave their worries with Him. Does God always answer in the way we want Him to. NO and that’s because He is God and He knows best. We will examine that this evening. Peace and rest!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

We Took The Road Called Back of The Dragon

When dealing with medical insurance in the USA you have to go with a medical provider that accepts your insurance policy. Unfortunately in SW Virginia most local medical providers do not accept our brand of insurance so for specialized treatment we have to travel. For my yearly well women’s check up I had to travel an hour and 20 minutes over the mountain. Jim very gallantly drove me and I am thankful he did. We took the road called Back of the Dragon through Hungry Mother Park. Those roads twist and curve like no other I have seen!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

What A Lady Indeed


I thought I would miss the seasonal flowers in The UK. They announce each season with their beautiful blooms. And if I am honest, I do miss the late winter Crocus and Snowdrop, and the early Spring bluebell! I have been amazed by the parade of flowers in Virginia though. It’s like they pass the baton in a glorious marathon of bloom. This beauty is called Naked Lady because it is all flower and no leaf. What a Lady in deed.


Surrounded by trees I am always concerned about falling limbs and not without good cause. This aged cherry fell across the back of the green lane. Thankfully no one was around to get hurt.


This is a welcomed sight. One of my fave soft fruits. Great in apple and blackberry crumble.


This is our vegie garden. Lot’s going on here!

Friday, July 12, 2013

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Peace week 2

I always think I am going to have loads of time in the Summer because we are off school but actually it feels like I have less. I think it is because we are not trapped indoors by bad weather and there is lots to get involved with.

I haven’t posted since July 4th which was 8 days ago and even longer since I posted on my other blog. This definitely is NOT the norm for me. Last week was a whirl wind of hospital visits and sick beds. I am glad it has gone by. My Mother-In-Law was finally ready for the ER after 5 days of being in her bed and she was very ill with Pneumonia. It was touch and go all week but God blessed and she was able to come home. I had too hospital check ups last week and they were far too far away! Then I got sick when my body could take no more and that was the end of the week. Good riddance I say!

Anyway here is this weeks prep for Children's club.  I will start out with the fab craft we did last time. Corner bookmarks. If you click on the link below it will take you to the video tutorial at The Hybridchick.

Here’s mine-


They were super easy to make and we included a verse of scripture on the back. The kids loved them.

Peace Week 2

Peace is not being worried or afraid when bad things are happening.

Nice short week this week as we will read the first part of the Peace story by Mr. Kidz (part of the RU program) Simply, a real life story that relates to a Bible passage to get the kids thinking.  You could use a story from your life about when something bad was happening and how you chose to trust God. A few biblical examples are Peter walking on the water, or David standing up to Goliath.

The verse to go with this lesson is John 16:33 These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace, In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

I make a sheet that misses important words (subject, verb etc.) and, as we guess what they are and add the correct words in, it helps them process the verse.

That’s it for this week. I will post another craft next time. Have a safe and healthy week. God Bless.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Coupon Results

And results there are!  I totally jumped in with both feet, which is what she advises against, but I needed to reduce our spending fast. I spent at least 7 hours learning the system and combing this weeks deals. My weekly shop took at least four hours today as opposed to the average two hour shop. BUT I saved a whopping $130 on the purchases I bought. However, ‘you have to spend to save’, is true as I spent at least as much as I normally do but I came home with twice as much and a few stock pile items. So, that $130 saving reflected on the end of my receipts will actually be a much bigger saving in the coming weeks as my purchases become fewer.

Southern Savers, (see last post) has a great system and I needed to watch her very lengthy video to actually get to grasps with it. Basically you stockpile the weekly coupon inserts from the local newspaper to be pulled out and used when prices are at there lowest. Prices follow a six week cycle of high to low selling price. Southern Savers does everything for you. She will take the weekly sales inserts and after finding the lowest buy now prices she will match it to the coupon and tell you where to locate it. I followed this system this week and added a few of my own regular items and amazingly enough my trolley was very balanced.

So onward and upwards. I will continue and I will give you an update in about a months time. Good hunting! DSC_0047



Saturday, June 29, 2013

Time to Learn Effective Couponing.

At the end of this month I will have been out of work for 10 months. God has been so good and miraculously provided for all our needs. Hubby is working three jobs and money does not seem to be flowing very quickly. So, when my recent trip to the supermarket cost $175 for three people I decided it was time to learn a more efficient way to shop.

I attempted coupons when I first arrived and would have found shooting myself in the head more appealing. The hours I spent and the little I saved made it very impractical for me. However, there are a whole group of ladies out there that manage to do it well and save 60% a week on grocery's. This would mean a $105 saving for one weeks shop. This would be the equivalent of ten hours labor before taxes. Definitely worth the effort.

I came across this series

I found this very helpful and followed several of her links including Southern Savers, which I think I will invest time to learn and use for my shopping lists.

I have realized the way I was couponing was what the problem was. I need to learn effective couponing to save the big bucks. So the first step for me is to get organized. I am going to use the accordion/cancelled check method. (no more wandering around the store with endless coupons that I don’t need) Read more here. Off to buy my files. Will let you know how I get on next week.

Friday, June 28, 2013


It’s Friday and that means I am preparing for RU. We have started the new session on the fruit of the Spirit peace. I prepared and gave the first lesson two weeks ago but it is still with me. It made such an impact on me.

What stayed with me are the basic fundamentals.

The source of peace =  GOD

Made possible through = JESUS DEATH AND RESURECTION

Col. 1 :20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.


A gift God intends for us to have. A gift that cost Christ everything.  Therefore such a precious and costly gift should be nurtured and protected at all costs.

First we examined what is peace. The children found it easier to say what it is not. ‘It’s not noisy’, ‘it’s not war’.  This is a great place to start. Peace is the absence of fighting and noisiness. This is true.

‘What does it mean to have peace in our hearts’?

It means we don’t feel bad inside. When we feel noisy and at war inside this means we don’t have peace in our relationship to God.

When we feel this way we have to ask why. If God has given me peace and I have accepted Jesus as my savior then why do I not have peace? This is an alarm that tells us that something is wrong.

What are the enemies of peace?

There are many enemies that we call sin. If we sin our conscience tells us that we are not right with God. We are to confess our sin so that we can have good fellowship once again.

Lets look at a few big ones, envy , fear  and guilt.

Envy is wanting something that we don’t have and then we constantly are looking to get it. This causes us to lose peace and feel dissatisfied inside.

Fear comes from not trusting God for situations and this traps us in anxiety.

Guilt in our hearts can come from disobedience and a non-repentant spirit which then separates us from God.

How can we protect peace in our hearts?

The best way to keep peace in our hearts is to concentrate on what positive things we can do to walk in a good relationship with Jesus.

Be thankful  Phil. 4:8

Trust God   Matt. 6:27

Keep a short account 1 John. 1:9

How can we build peace in our lives?

Build a strong relationship by getting into God’s word, praying and having Christian fellowship.

 Peace provided by God through Jesus is to be received, treasured and protected.


Got the template for this craft at Danielles place. Please note, it won’t print straight from the web you have to save it to your computer first.

Will also give a little question  and answer sheet that they can fill out during the class. This is an important lesson for them to get onboard! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Strawberry Preserves Are Like Summer In a Jar.

We picked the first batch of strawberries from the garden and after a few servings of strawberry shortcake the rest were cooked up into wonderful sweet strawberry preserves.  


Nothing in these preserves but sugar, strawberries, gel and a whole lotta love.


Cook it to a frothy boil and fill those jars.


Strawberry Summer in a jar!  My son suggested we sell the jam to which we responded, ‘no way it’s too valuable!’