"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Joshua 24:15

Monday, August 31, 2009

I Heart Faces: Before and After

It's a non-contest week at I Heart Faces, but not a week off! The theme this week is "Before and After." It's a time to go back and look at those not-so-lovely photos I took when I first started thinking about composition, focus, lighting, editing and such - "getting serious" about it.

Most posts I have read on this topic begin with, "When I first got my DSLR..." Well, mine will start like this...

When I first got our new point-and-shoot, I noticed a difference in the quality of pictures immediately. But I had no idea how to use the camera to get GREAT pictures.

This was the first week I had it...

SO glad the driveway is in focus and NOT my child's face. Good work Erin.

And how about this fine lighting and focus? Yikes! I needed some help!

I started figuring out some settings and options on the camera and taking more pictures OUTSIDE and things started looking up...

And I got a little more creative...

And taking lots of shots of my little guys...

And I'm still working on it!

I am loving all the things I learn through I Heart Faces and other people's pictures. I'm also experimenting with editing more now and love it!

I'm not doing this professionally, so for me, it's all about stepping out there and learning new things and I'm enjoying it so much!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

About that ice cream...

Who doesn’t want to win free ice cream?

I did! So when I saw a contest to win an ice cream block party for our neighborhood, of course I wanted to enter.

Then I saw this:

To enter, please write an essay telling why your neighborhood deserves an ice cream block party.

We have lived in our neighborhood for three and a half years and barely know anyone. Yes, people wave to each other and are pleasant, but nothing that deserved a block party.

But I decided to enter anyway. I didn’t write about how our neighborhood deserved a party, but about how we needed one; for connection, fellowship, and fun.

And wouldn’t you know - we won.

You see, I failed to mention that since we moved in, I had been praying for our neighbors and for a way to connect with them.

And in His timing, God provided just that.

As our prize, we won ice cream and party supplies for 100 people. We asked our small group for their help in organizing the event and they jumped right in. Our two boys helped me hang invitations up and down our street.

The day of the event it rained.

Right up until our start time. And then, it stopped.

People started coming. Not everyone on the street stopped by, but the ones who did were so glad to connect with one another.

Games were played, our driveway was covered in sidewalk chalk, everyone ate ice cream, connections were made and God answered my prayer.

Incredible photos by our wonderful, talented friend Jeff - thanks man!

Working on our memory!

Just passing along our Bible memory verses for the week!

Jeremiah's verse is based on our preschool curriculum each week.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1

Mine is based on our Sunday sermon.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!" Matthew 5:43-44

Do you do weekly memory verses? How do you decide which ones to do? What is yours this week?

Maybe you don't do it already. Would you like to? Anything holding you back?

I am always curious about these kinds of things, so please share your thoughts!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fix-It Friday: Beauty

I don't know why, but I am very nervous about this!

This is my very first time participating in "Fix-It Friday" over at I Heart Faces. I should say my first time actually posting what I've done - I've been playing around for a while and been just too insecure to post in the past!

But I figured what the heck this week - I'll put myself out there!

And what a beautiful picture to work on! This sweetheart is actually a triplet!

Here is the original...

And here is my edit...

I used the GIMP program (can't afford Photoshop!) and I can't remember what all I did or I would post it for you! I know it involved sparkle and glow and borders :) Just wanted to give it a dreamier look!

Thanks for checking it out! Check out all the other FABULOUS edits over I Heart Faces!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Important Thing About Preschool...

Jeremiah and I embarked on a semi-new adventure this week.

Preschool - at home.

Now, I say semi-new because for the 6 months or so, we had been doing the Letter of the Week preschool curriculum. We both really enjoyed this and he learned his letters VERY well from it.

But we're in a whole new ballgame now. Thanks to this site.

It's amazing.

The whole year is laid out and every week includes:

-a Bible story
-a memory verse
-a letter of the alphabet
-books to read
-songs to sing
-math & science concepts
-crafts & activities to do

It's amazing.

By the end of the first day, Jeremiah had the weekly Bible verse memorized...

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1 (and he always adds this at the end)

It's amazing. Did I mention that?

And now, what's not amazing...

Jeremiah's attention span. He is three after all.

So, we've done some tweaking. I love the schedule laid out on the site, but it's just not working for him. I've tried a few different ways, but we're still figuring what works for Big J.

And that's the beauty of doing this at home. I can make it about what works best for him AND for our family. I like when things are all scheduled for me, but I don't have to do it all by the book. That's a ltitle hard for me.
But, this is where what's important and what's not come in to play.

The important thing about "preschool" is that the child learns.

Preschool is about colors and shapes and letter and numbers. It is about manners and Bible verses and crafts and songs. It is about creating and writing and reading and free play.

But the important thing about "preschool" is that the child learns.

And how that gets done is not what's important.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blog Hop: A Time to Laugh

It's time to laugh on the Blog Hop this week! I need a good laugh. Check out the links below for lots of laughs.

This makes me laugh out loud EVERY time I see it. Oh dear - prepare yourself.

MckLinky Blog Hop

And we have our winners...

Wow - those of you who entered are excited about this giveaway! I love it!

And I am excited to tell you that the winners chosen by random.org are contestants...

#2 and #7

That means Marina, who said...

I would absolutely love to have a chance to win this. It would help me find new ways to teach memory verses to the kids I teach in Missionettes. I have been teaching my now 3.5 year old to memorize Scripture by 2.5 years old and they've been small verses. The verse your little one memorized is really long...wow!!! Praise God for such awesome people creating such awesome things to teach young ones.

and Nancy, who said...

I would love to win, Sarah has been memorizing Bible verses for a year now. We have a new one every month at preschool. What a great way to add more to her repertoire. I think the 2nd one would be great for a MOPS giveaway. :) But, I think I would share it with Julie M. for J, K and E.

are our winners!

Ladies, please get in touch with me so I can get you these great CDs!

And if you didn't win, don't forget that you can listen online for free and use the coupon code EMOHRING09 to get 20% off any CDs you buy!

Have fun worshipping with your family! Thanks again Seeds!

One Year Ago...

We started on this crazy journey.

Stephen entered medical school, I entered life as a stay-at-home mom and we started this blog to tell you all about it.

And it's been a good year. A great year. Too many blessings to count.

But here are a few (I know I'll miss something) ...

-Our house NOT selling - a blessing in disguise at the time.

-Time with my children every day in their formative years.

-Wonderfully supportive friends and family.

-Safe travels to and from school for Stephen every day. And him being home by 5:30 most nights.

-Great "study buddies" for him who also have young families.

-A rather significant scholarship for this school year that was pretty unexpected. Praise the Lord! SO proud of you honey!

-Getting involved with MOPS - more on that in a coming post.

-Fabulous family, friend and couple vacations - we all need a good getaway!

-Connecting with lots of wise, creative and fun people through the world of blogs - I had no idea!

-Constant signs and encouragement from the Lord that we're on the right track.

Thank you Jesus for all this and more.

Here's to another great year!

Not My Child Monday

Oh dear, how I love Mondays...

And this week is another "Not My Child Monday" blog carnival put together by MckMama! Head on over to check out what other children have not been doing lately!

Let's see, where to begin...

When I injured my foot on a shopping cart at Target, my child did not say to me "Are you going to live?" Nope, he never picked that up at home.

And my youngest child most certainly did not continue to pick up two Veggie Tales lunch boxes off a display at a Family Christian Store and RUN away from me, laughing the whole time...over and over and over again. Not my child.

And my oldest is not known to pick his brother up around the neck. Nope - he's always super gentle with the little guy. Including as I write this post...

My child did not discover the joy of peeing in the lake during our first trip to the beach. And he did not choose to go back through the sand and into the water to pee in the lake before we left when a bathroom was on our way to the van. Not my child.

And lastly, my child would never be told to do something, not do it and when the instructions were repeated, say "Yeah, yeah, yeah - I heard you."

Not my child.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Heart Faces: Nostalgia

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is "Nostalgia." Kind of a wide open topic and I was drawing a blank, so I just scanned through my pics until...

I found this one.

And I got that warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feeling.

The picture is my oldest son and my grandpa on his pontoon earlier this summer.

It brings back so many memories of me fishing with Grandpa. Not that I was ever very good at it or actually liked the fishing part of it all that much - my grandma reminds how I used to panic and say "I think I'm having a heart attack" every time I got a fish on my line - but they are wonderful memories of doing something with my grandpa that he LOVES.

Grandpa just had us four granddaughters to take fishing, but now there are two great-grandsons and he was SO excited to take them out on his boat. And the boys were equally excited.

My dad was on the boat with us as well and as we were there, I realized - here we go with the next generation - grandpa and grandchildren making memories together.

I hope they always remember those times. And get that same feeling.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Beach Boys

Believe it or not, the boys had never been to a beach.

Hard to imagine in the middle of the country, huh?

But we actually have one just 15 minutes from our house and we headed there with friends earlier this week.

The weather was perfect, we were the only ones at the beach...

and the kids did not want to be in the sand!

Eventually they got used to the feeling on their feet and the fun began. They played in the sand, sat in the sand and ventured into the water.

And when it was all over, Jeremiah asked to go back.

I guess that's a good day at the beach!