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Monday, March 30, 2015

12/52 Shining

M4H Project 52 - Shining

On our trip through the hill country of Texas today, I visited the Wesley Brethren "Painted" Church (circa mid-1800's) near Brenham, TX. The weather was beautiful with clear skies and the sun shining through the trees. Directly above the doors is a hand painted sign bearing the message: "JA JSEM TA CESTA I PRAVDA I ZIVOT SLOVA JEZISEKRISTA", meaning "I am the way, the truth, and the light, the words of Jesus Christ" in Czech. Inside the church, much of the wall and ceiling surface has elaborate and detailed hand painting.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Instagram Challenge for April

If you would like to join me, I've created another Instagram challenge for April.  No pressure, but feel free to post a picture when you are able, just remember to use the hashtag #MTreasuresApril2015.  
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

11/52 Reality

M4H Project 52 - Reality

They say that nothing prepares you for the love you feel when you have children.  In reality, the same is true when you have grandchildren.  That child who filled every part of your heart, now has a child of their own.  It is as if you re-live every feeling from long ago, but now with double intensity.  I work full time and love my job, but in reality, I can't wait for the time when I retire and can be a full time grandmother.

Bucket List Check-Off

I suspect that everyone has some sort of bucket list, whether or not it is actually written down.     I've been able to check off a couple of items on my list in the last few years---a trip to Alaska, a watercolor class, learning photography.  Tonight, I had the opportunity to check off yet another item. I joined several friends and took an introductory stained glass class.
It was SOOOO fun!  After a tour of the studio and some basic safety information, Eric taught us how to begin the process.
We learned how to apply copper foil
and then to use a soldering iron and lead to fuse the pieces together.   This was slightly terrifying at first, but I was beginning to get the hang of it by the end of the project.
We ended up with pretty cool sun catchers--mine with an etched fleur de lis.
I loved every bit of this class and hope to be able to take a few more classes to learn how to cut the glass and make a more elaborate design with colored glass.

Monday, March 16, 2015

10/52 Nature

M4H Project 52 - Nature

This week's theme was difficult because it rained---I mean POURED down rain---all week long.  Finally, this weekend, the rain stopped for a while and we actually had a the tiniest glimpse of the sun for a minute or two.   It was just long enough to get outside and snap a few photos in the yard.  I couldn't decide which picture I liked best, so I submitted two photos this time.
After the rain.
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." 
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

For The Love

Sometime back in the summer, I read a post by Jen Hatmaker about the new edition of her book Interrupted.  I had never read any of her books, but had heard a lot about her books from both Callie and Jana, and I had begun following her blog a few months back.  I loved her writing on the blog, and the description of the book sounded like something I would really enjoy.  I even asked a few friends to join me in the online book study that Jen talked about leading in the fall, thinking that would make me more accountable to the reading.   I downloaded the book, but the online study never materialized, so I pretty much forgot about the book.

Then, last month I flew out to South Carolina to visit my new grandson and prepared to download a book to read on the plane.   I'm so busy on a daily basis that I don't make much time for regular reading, so traveling provides me with a block of time to get a little reading done. It was then that I remembered Interrupted and decided to read it first---or at least try to read it.   I'm not a fast reader and tend to a be a little ADD, so I need things to be fairly entertaining to keep me engaged.

I should not have worried about this book keeping my attention.  Can I just say that I.LOVED.IT!!   I found myself smiling and laughing to myself more than once (and almost laughed out loud at one point on the airplane).  But, mostly, I found myself nodding my head.  Yes!!  Someone had actually been able to find words for things that I've never been able to articulate.  As one book reviewer (Karen Lee-Thorp) observed, "Jen Hatmaker is just crazy enough to actually do things Jesus talks about in the Bible, even though it's messing up her middle-class Christian life."

I haven't been able to stop thinking about it ever since, and want to read it again---with a group of friends this time and I'm making plans to do just that.

But, in the meantime, something kind of exciting happened.  Last week, Jen blogged about the upcoming release of her newest book,  For The Love.  You can see that blog post right here.  Instead of the kind of launch that involves reviews by professional authors and bloggers and such, she decided to launch this particular book with a group of ordinary women from all over the United States and gave people a chance to apply to be part of the team.  Fairly certain that I didn't stand a chance of being chosen since I'd only read one of her books and don't really have a very large-reaching blogging audience, I decided on a whim to go ahead and apply.  I mean, it couldn't hurt, could it?

Well, yesterday, I got an email letting me know that I'd been selected to be part of the Launch Team!!   I'm pretty excited!!!! The book is still in draft form right now, and the official launch won't be until the middle of February, but it is already available for preorder on Amazon here and on Barnes and Noble here if you are interested.  I can't wait to read this new book and explore the idea of grace through Jen Hatmaker's perspective.
Monday, March 9, 2015

9/52 - Shapes

M4H Project 52 - Shapes

All week, I looked for shapes, but just couldn't seem to capture anything that really translated well in a photo.  Yesterday afternoon, as I was replacing the last of my winter decor with signs of spring,  I carefully unpacked the small silver bowl of buttons that I like to display on my sofa table.    While most of the buttons from my grandmother's stash are round, there are also square ones and embossed scallops and embellishments on the surface of others.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

8/52 - Perspective

M4H Project 52 - Perspective

You've already seen this picture once in my collection of snow photos, but since I'm trying to post my weekly photos from Project 52 and just realized that I never posted the 8th prompt.   I know that most of the country is ready to be done with all the cold and snow. But, here in Louisiana, one inch of sleet on the ground brought joy to everyone---especially those of us who are teachers. In this picture, it appears that both Emmi (our small Maltese) and Joy (a Sheltie) are having the time of their lives in the snow. Actually, Joy IS having the time of her life, while Emmi is running as fast as she can to get back inside where it is warm. It's all in your perspective . . . and perhaps the the quality of your fur coat.

A Week of Birthdays

The first week of March always brings lots of birthdays in our family.  Dan's birthday is on the 2nd, but since it was during the work week this year, we had to settle for phone wishes.  A couple of days later, Ron and I celebrated his birthday together by opening a few gifts and then going out for his favorite dinner---steak!
Adellelyn shares her Papaw's birthday, so we were able to wish her well through a Facetime chat.  Technology has certainly made being far away from family a little easier.  Chad's birthday was the next day!
Yesterday, I was able to drive down to take Dan out to celebrate his birthday.  He'd really been looking forward to lunch at his favorite place, the Dugout, and enjoyed his steak very much.  Steaks seem to a recurring theme where birthday dinners are concerned.
On the way back to his group home, we stopped for a mini-photo session.  It was a beautiful day and I thought it would be great to get a few good pictures of the birthday boy.
The older he gets, the more he looks like my dad.  Yet, only his mustache shows any sign of gray.

Back at the house, the guys gathered round while Dan opened a few gifts from family.
They sang "Happy Birthday" to him and cheered as he blew out the candles.
I think I'm pretty lucky to have both of these guys in my life!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snow Day #4

While I would have loved to have known ahead of time that the schools would have be closed, this morning, I got up, showered, ate breakfast and just happened to have time to check Facebook before I left.  Good thing!  The TV station we'd been listening to had not reported that our schools were closed, but my FB friends sure did!
With one more snow day under our belt today, it only seemed fitting to post the last of my snow pictures from February.  When Ron got home from work on the first snow day, we drove down to the duck pond to see what things looked like down there.  It was still sleeting at that point, and I loved watching it bounce off the hood of the truck.

There were kids enjoying our Louisiana version of sledding, on cardboard boxes and boogie boards.
The poor ducks seemed a bit confused by it all.
I'm quite sure this is not what they'd bargained for when they flew south for the winter.

On the last snow day, we went out to the Wildlife Refuge.
Most of the snow had melted by the time we arrived and my warm boots (fake Uggs) were no match for the cold, soggy mess.
Of course, there were birds everywhere, particularly cardinals.
Everything looked so pretty with the dusting of snow that remained in the underbrush and along the sides of the trails.
Yet, even in the very cold temperatures, and the fading gray of a snow day, there seemed to be the promise of spring.
That experience prompted me to order a new pair of snow boots when I got home.  I only need them a few days a year, at most, but they should last a very long time for me.   In fact, I had them on this morning, ready for a day at school.
I guess I can kick these off now and pull on some slippers instead.

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