Friday, July 29, 2011

Writing Objectives.....

It is complicated.
Chelsea finished the Pa. State Requirements
for graduation during the last school year.
We allowed her to "walk" in the 
county wide graduation.  But because of her 
age I was not willing to rock the boat with the 
school district and we will report this year
as her final year of formal High School Education.

I have no problem doing this
as Chelsea will be working
every bit as hard
learning fine arts, public speaking, 
working in retail,
baking, photography,
learning the electric guitar,
song writing,
teaching children where she
does childcare.... and more.

We will visit a local college
on Tuesday morning to investigate
classes available to her during this school year.
As she is very shy she wants to take a class in 
public speaking.  
Yes, it is her idea.
She doesn't like
being uncomfortable
in this area.
So her answer?
Work on it!

When we were in Kentucky
Chelsea met a woman who 
worked for the music company
where she wants
to intern in a couple of years. 
Would you believe this woman also 
graduated at the age of 15 and worked
an internship with the company before 
being hired there permanently?
That was all Chelsea needed to hear!
She visited with this woman
on a couple of occasions
and learned what the requirements
are for internships....
that has set us on this course.

Chelsea is very, very goal oriented.
So, as I said, I have no problem whatsoever
writing up her objectives for this school year.

They include but are not limited to:

Painting, photography, sketching, sales on Etsy
Songwriting, Electric Guitar, College Level Class(es)
Poetry, College Level Speech Class
Business Math, Work in Retail
College Level Class
Home Ec:
Continuing her interest in baking and
healthy cooking

A Fine Arts Program if I ever saw one....
but if you could see the hours that go into these interests
you would be mightily impressed.
I am!

Her first canvas
A very common sight around here.....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Photography 101

What not to do.....

Last night I decided to list this new candle in my Etsy shop.  This meant I needed photos.
Now, I have learned how wonderful natural light is in photography.  I know this. 
However, I just wanted to get the candle listed so I took these in the kitchen....
with the flash (Gasp!) and slapped them online.

I knew better.  I even told the ladies I chat with on our Christian Artists Team that I 
wasn't happy with the photos.  Of course they were kind and said they looked pretty 
to them...but I knew.  I knew that my impatience had caused me to do less than my best.

So...this morning found me outside in the natural light taking photos that show the 
true colors and shine of this lovely piece.  Just look at how it came to life!

Only time will tell if I actually learned this lesson.
Patience.....natural light.
They are so important!

Another Component,
as pointed out by my dear friend Vee,
Blending of background and style of subject.

Now, as I told her, I knew better.
I had to come inside for the camera card and meant
to grab a pretty doily.
I forgot it and was just too lazy to
come back for it.

So....after she suggested it I decided
to take photos again.
I love doing this and so it was no hardship.
I went outside with a little stool I use at shows.
It was all set up...I snapped a shot.

But it just wasn't making me happy against the
grass.  This candle would not be one you would likely
burn on a deck.  It's a bit dressier than that.
So back inside to find a well lit spot.
Set up again.
Here you are....

Now, I didn't do any cropping or editing on these.
They are simply to show the difference in display.

Thanks, Vee.
You are my conscience sometimes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chick Pick'n

It felt like a normal morning.
Time outside with the dogs...
chatting on my Etsy Forum,
posting here yesterday.

And then it changed.
Georgia popped by and we were chatting.
As she went to leave I suggested she peek
in on the the the garage...
with their momma.

Then it seemed kind of dark for them so 
I suggested that we should carry the tub
out back so they could enjoy some sunshine.

After getting the tub outside and onto a 
table I began to worry that some 
predator might be able to move the 
screen and get into the tub.

That led to a decision to see if I could catch
and move the rooster who lived in the 
side of our chicken house where we wanted to 
put the momma and chicks.

I began the process on my own.
Georgia, who had gone to her house
came back out to ask a question and 
got into more than she bargained for.
I cannot tell you how often this happens
to the dear woman.
Being near me is a bit like being near
a hurricane.  
Scary, really.

So there we were.
I had climbed into the chicken yard...
in my bare feet, in a long skirt.
Turns out chickens are short and the 
spiders have spread webs all across
the top of the chicken wire.

But after I got over that.....
I began cornering the rooster.
He was pretty fast and kept 
getting away from me.

Finally he went into the coop
where after two tries
Georgia nabbed him.

She held him capably while 
I climbed back out of the pen.
You have no idea what a feat this was.
The door to this pen is high.
Not to the ground.
You literally have to climb up and over,
through a very small door.
I'm not small.
But, I did it!
((insert cheeky grin here))

I then opened the other coop and
my city raised Mother in Law
put that rooster in as if she had been 
doing it her whole life.
(If you don't count the screams from both of us)

Oh, how funny.
But this meant that we just had one hen 
who is sitting on a pile of eggs left on this 
side of the coop.


Time to move the Momma and her babies
into their new home.

We opened the wire top
but even so one of the chicks
popped out and was chased under the coops
by my very helpful pup, Bandit.

There was no time to waste,
we had to get the rest into the coop.
So there I was "Chick Pick'n!"
when Georgia remembered she was supposed to 
be at an appointment.
She ran off....

So, after moving the remaining seven 
chicks into the coop with momma
I waited and waited for number eight to pop
back out from under the coop so I could give
him back to his momma.

He didn't show up.
I tried not to panic.
The Momma was clucking and clucking.
She was worried, 
I just knew it.

After a while I looked in and thought there
seemed to be a lot of chicks in there.
Lo and behold they were ALL there!
Eight little chicks
happy as could be.

That is one benefit and danger to them 
being so stinkin' tiny.
That little bugger found a bitty hole and 
returned to his momma all on his own.

Want to meet the chicken family?
Here they are....

Love that medicated chick mash!

O.k. Momma, what will we learn today?

I wouldn't mess with us!

I love breakfast!

Momma mentor....

Always on the go!

So, there you have it.
A snapshot of the craziness that
I call life. I embrace it.
Love it. Would get so bored any
other way!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Samson? And Wonderful News!!!

Chelsea was doing a photo shoot of her big 
brother.  I guess this was an artsy shot.
Since I have very little to share today....
this is what you get.

I could talk for hours about the candle stuff
but Chelsea says that gets boring.
I trust her input.

I will tell you that my friends, Joe and Susanna,
have gotten word that they can come and meet 
their new daughter. 
Because of the timing of this trip Joe 
will not be able to go
so Susanna will travel alone.
Brave woman!!
But, it is the next step in getting little 
Katerina to her new and very, very loving home.
I think Susanna would walk through fire 
to save this sweet, helpless child.

God is good.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Meet Monika, her Mosaics... and More!

For years I have dreamed of being able to 
make a mosaic backsplash for our kitchen.
I just know it would be gorgeous!

I am afraid.
Afraid of tearing into the project 
and making a mess which I am 
incapable of finishing.

So.....I have done nothing.
Absolutely nothing about it.

However, I have found a lovely lady
in Florida who could perhaps help me
bring mosaics into my kitchen....
even if they aren't on the wall.

A cake platter

Glass Cake Cloche
 Everything that Monika lists
has that "" feel 
to it that makes that little girl
in me smile. 
It takes me back to that childhood bedroom
that was pink, pink, pink....
because I loved the color.
We have laughed since remembering
the male guests who were given my
room in our parsonage.
I was the one to give up my room when
visiting preachers came.
I wonder what they thought of a few days
or a week in the pink room with white furniture?
Funny to think about now....

Now, pink can be an accessory and 
doesn't have to be the main event.....

I know someone who would love it if I had this......No more glare in his eyes as he tries to sleep.

Monika is a gem of a lady with 
an awesome sense of humor.
While I have never met her in person
I have come to love and respect this 
dear lady who speaks German, 
English and at least two other 
languages.  Good grief....
I can barely speak proper English!

If you would like to see more of Monika's 
amazing work you can check out her
Etsy store at

I am sure you will be pleased
by this simply adorable shop!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Auction for A Great Cause

IF you knew that there were two children
languishing in an orphanage in Bulgaria...
would you wish to help?

IF you knew that these children had parents
longing to bring them to their forever home...
Would you wish to help?

Well, IF you are so inclined there is a very specific 
way to help.

Since my friend, Susanna has come back into my life
deep in the midst of an adoption of her own
my eyes have been opened to the needs of 
children in Bulgaria.

Thankfully, the money is nearly in place for 
their little Katerina.
Joe and Susanna are now in the waiting stage
for the Bulgarian government to assign 
them as Katie's parents.
Then they will go for a first visit
before a second allows her to come home.

However, Shannon and her family are 
still in the fundraising stages for their 
two......they are holding an online auction
on their facebook page.

Currently, I have a hot chocolate mug
in this auction, My friend Sheila has a cosmetic 
bag and there are all sorts of items including adorable hats,
earrings, baby shoes
a shrug, a bracelet and other things that 
have slipped my mind.

IF you are interested you can visit
the auction by clicking 
Just leave your bid in the comments under
each photo.

We cannot ALL bring home children
from other countries.
However most of us can 
assist those who have been 
called to this ministry in their homes.

In addition, let me show you the photo 
of a little girl who is in desperate need
of a life saving adoption.

This is Teri Lynn...
She needs help now.
Susanna has a more current photo
on her blog post.  I have linked below.
Much of the money has already been raised...
all Teri Lynn needs now are willing hearts and
a home......
I share this because I never know 
who God might lead to click on 
this blog and who just might be the 
family, individual or couple to 
save this young girl's life.
For more information about her
her story.
I can not tell it better.

To learn the miracles happening
in behalf of Teri Lynn you
can read what
No Greater Joy Mom has written.

Thank you for reading
and for anything you can do 
to spread the word.

Friday, July 22, 2011


I will search for juicy peaches and.....

Burgundy gingham ribbon.

Also need to take or find a 
photo of a Purple Dress for a 
proposal on a Fundraiser.

Totally unrelated items
that is what I am
in search of today.

What are you up to?

KJ surprised me by offering YOU
a peach candle
in a giveaway.
I hope you'll go over and check
out her blog.
KJ has recently moved from busy
California to the mountains of Idaho.

Please head on over and meet
this creative and lovely lady.

Her blog is quite

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fun at Longwood Gardens....

More Photos from our day at Longwood
last week....

We had walked the Brick Walk and then 
were headed to the Conservatory.
The day wasn't scorching 
but it was definitely hot in the sun.

So, when I saw a bench ahead
and it happened to be in the shade
I longed to sit down.
I resisted.

Jonathan did not.

This brought "scorn" from his sister
which led to a group of photos
from many benches in the garden.
After all....
who can resist "irritating" their 
sister.... or daughter, 
if it is all in fun.

She's not really mad.
Just loves to make faces.

I played around with the Fancy 
Collages in Picnik.
These are from the 
Heritage Collection.

I had to get in on the fun!
Those are my granny sunglasses...
which I love.
Even if they do make me look 

I do hope you'll find some
time to play with your family.
Make memories.
There is always work to be done
but your family is growing and
Time spent together is 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heat Wave, Houseguests and a Funeral

Yep!  That's what's up here.
How about you?

My friend, Shelley, is coming
to visit again.
I love her.
She lets me be me.

This time she is bringing
one of her daughters.
The one that I used to envision 
married to Mikey.
You know how moms 
can be when the toddlers are
growing up together.
Aww...wouldn't that be sweet?
All that silliness.
They were both the 
same kind
of nuts.
They both got
random massive

We haven't spent any quality time with Julie
for years.  Shelley has come to visit on her own. we get to see how this funny girl
grew up.  
I'm looking forward to it.

What I am not really looking forward to is a 
funeral tomorrow.
Warren and Mikey's friend, Mike.
A tragedy of a life gone too soon.
But since we know God doesn't make 
mistakes and that Mike loved the Lord
I'll just have to get over it.
I'm sure the last thing Mike would want 
now would be to return to this fallen world.
Imagine...being in the very presence of 
our Lord and Savior.
One day!!!

The HEAT!!

Please take care of yourself if you
are in the zone of this extreme
heat and humidity.
We'll be pushing 100 degrees
by Friday.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Views From the Sky

It is safe to say that I will never fly in 
a hot air balloon.
Not if I am in my right mind anyway.
So, I am so thankful that Chelsea, Mom and Georgia
went up for me.
Chelsea's photos give a fair representation
of the beauties to be found
when looking down on Lancaster County.
While I am sure the experience
is way better than 
the photos can show...
but I am quite content with this.

 The next two photos are of the Sight and Sound Theater.
You realize how big it really is when you see
it from this vantage point.

 The pilot of the balloon said that occasionally the 
Amish will go up for rides.
They will then look down and discuss the 
fields of friends and neighbors.
Who planted thiers straight or who
had a crooked line.
Why did they plant corn in
that field, or whatever.
Kind of amusing....

A farm pond reflects the balloon beautifully.

 I think some of the cows might have been a 
bit distracted!

And then they had landed!
Creative shot, Chelsea.
Great job!