Thursday, March 31, 2011

It’s book review time!–Awakening by Stovall Weems

I was given the opportunity to review Awakening by Stovall Weems. It was interesting to me because it promised an awakening in my relationship with God. I have been walking with Him for a couple decades now – I love Him, and appreciate all He’s done for me – but I had let my relationship get stale. I was eager for a boost in my personal connection to God. The cover copy promised a satisfying and passionate relationship with my Savior – I love the word “passionate!” It exudes excitement, energy, enthusiasm! That’s exactly what I was looking for!


The subtitle of the book is “A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom.” I’ve never been one who fasts often, so I wasn’t sure how that would work for me…but maybe that’s the reason my relationship was stale? As I began to read the book and understand what the Bible has to say about fasting, I realized I have been missing a large facet of my spiritual life.

Now I must admit, I haven’t started the fasting portion yet. The math doesn’t work out. The fasting plan is a 21-day program. Because I blog my reviews for WaterBrook Multnomah, and they ask their reviewers to post within 30 days, I had a bit of a mathematical issue. I couldn’t read the book and do the fast within the 30 days with my current schedule.

With that said, I have to say that Stovall Weems has already jump-started my renewed relationship with God. He speaks of living daily in a passionate, joyful walk – that’s exactly what I want, and some of the concepts have really opened my eyes:

  • Passion – “God created us to be passionate about what we love; therefore, we should always be passionate for Him!”
  • Creating space – “Don’t try to figure everything out. Just create some space for God.”
  • Fasting – “Fasting hits the reset button of your soul.”

Just these small snippets have made a difference in my spiritual walk. If you’re looking for renewed zeal, want to take another step forward in your Christian walk, or are just starting along God’s path, I recommend that you read Awakening.

I’m going to make some spiritual space for God!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My littlest artist

TDS inside activity by Elli :-)
TDS inside activity, a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

Caleb loves loves loves artistic activities, so the Daily Shoot assignment (being inside) worked well for us today. It's a very chilly spring day - one that called for a fun indoor activity. Maybe I'll share some masterpieces later - this was shot just as Dubbies was getting started painting.

Oh - and I actually got my 7d out for this photo! No cell phone shot today!

Monday, March 28, 2011

It’s a monochrome Monday

The Daily Shoot assignment was black & white, so I played around with a variety of black and white images. I ended up liking two that I took with my cell phone more than any others. This first one is my new cabasa. I love it! It makes great sounds that add some texture to our worship music at church.

I can’t wait until I have really mastered this thing. There’s more to it than a simple shake. Some really cool sounds can be made with it!

This one was taken with my phone and an app called Camera360.

This is the pencil sketch option in the app. I like the minimalist-type feel to this one.

My sweet friend Felice gave me an early birthday present – a new Canon flash! That means I once again have 2 working flashes! I can do some real indoor portrait work if I want to! Yay! I can’t wait to get stuff set up and really play with my 2 flashes now!

What are you working on in your photography skills?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A sure sign of spring

A sure sign of spring by Elli :-)
A sure sign of spring, a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

Okay, now I believe it! My mom's and my neighbor's crocuses are coming up! Whoohoo! Spring is really coming! It may not feel like it yet - it's only 47* F outside - but these crocuses really do mean spring! Whew!

Caleb went on a crocus hunt for me. I asked him to check Bonnie's yard for any flowers peeking up, and he came racing back to the house yelling, "They're UP! They're UP!" He was so so so so excited to see flowers! We are going to have to get that kid a garden plot. Who needs Transformer toys and video games? Give him a shovel, some seeds, and a watering can and he'll be a happy boy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happily snoozing together

Happily snoozing together by Elli :-)
Happily snoozing together, a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

The Daily Shoot challenge today was to capture "happiness." These two guys were unquestionably happy. It was a busy Saturday - especially for Ken - but he took time to have a few moments of peace.

Have I mentioned how much I love my new cell phone? The phone signal is terrible inside my house, but otherwise the phone is perfect! I think that problem has as much to do with my house as anything - Ken's is the only phone that has ever gotten a good signal inside this house. Anyway, the camera is great, and the photo apps that are available are so fun! This one is (once again) Retro Camera Xolaroid.

I'm ready to watch a good movie. Have you seen a good movie lately? What was it? I need some Netflix ideas.

Have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dubby in motion

TDS Motion Dubby by Elli :-)
TDS Motion Dubby, a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

The Daily Shoot assignment for today is "Make a photograph of something in motion. Use blur to help convey the motion you are capturing." I don't really have blur for this, but I did catch his motion. He was having fun taking the biggest possible steps to get across the field. I love the simplicity of childhood!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fuzzy spring

Fuzzy spring by Elli :-)
Fuzzy spring, a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

Caleb and I took a walk to see if spring was going to come. It looks like it just might! Caleb loved the fuzziness of these little guys!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What time is lunch?

My neighbor has all sorts of interesting things around her house and yard. This is the first time I've seen this one with a visitor.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lemon Bar Heaven

Lemon Bar Heaven by Elli :-)
Lemon Bar Heaven a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

This was a very, very yummy lemon bar from The New Coffee Mill in Stevensville. Absolutely delicious! Caleb and I spent a couple hours working/schooling there, and it worked out okay. We are so glad that the Coffee Mill has reopened!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I had visitors!

Miss C and Mister C 1 by Elli :-)
Miss C and Mister C 1 a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

These two sweethearts came to visit me today. They just came (and brought their mom) to see us - not for formal photos - but I took their pictures anyway. They are so sweet! They're such happy little people! They are 4 months old, and cute, squishy, precious!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just a couple kid snaps

My dad told me today to keep sharing kid shots. I realized that I hadn’t been taking many pictures of the kids, so I decided not to keep waiting for the right moment to get the big camera out. I didn’t even get off the couch! I just went ahead and took a couple cell phone snaps while the boys were just hanging out. The girls weren’t in positions that would allow me to capture them, and I don’t know where Dale was. But here are 4 of my handsome boys.

These guys are just so cute!!

I have to laugh at Nathan though – I don’t think I have more than 3 photos of that child where there is no motion blur. When he was just a year old my dad called him “Wild Man.” Boy, was that the truth! I don’t think he’s still for 5 consecutive seconds!

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I followed the Daily Shoot assignment to the letter

TDS not seen in a while by Elli :-)
TDS not seen in a while a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

The Daily Shoot assignment was, "Go somewhere you've not been to in a while and make a photograph of something that grabs your interest."

I haven't been to my cleaning cupboard in a long time. I found my feather duster in there! Cool! Note that I did not actually use the duster to dust anything. The assignment didn't say I had to. :-0

Sorry there was no post yesterday.

We still struggled with internet ALL day long, and it was even worse in the evening, so even if I had taken pictures yesterday, I probably wouldn’t have been able to post my blog. So today you get two! (If Qwest is up long enough to post.)

We saw flaky, flurry things today. At first I thought that maybe it was ash from…um…well…the neighbor burning? brush fires? a volcano? But the “ash” kept melting as it hit the car and ground. Some were suggesting that it might be snow, but tomorrow is the first day of spring – it wouldn’t snow on me today, would it? So I knew it couldn’t be snow.

Then I realized what it was.

Ken had been sanding sheetrock. It was sheetrock dust!

(Yes, I know it was melting, but this is my story, and I’m sticking to it!) When Ken quit sanding and doing sheetrock, the snow quit. See? Sheetrock dust!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I just have to say…

…that Qwest is on my naughty list right now. About a month ago we “upgraded” to the higher speed internet that they offer. We were routinely getting very slow internet, so I called them to complain. They told me they would switch me to a less congested server. Problem solved, right? Not exactly. Our speed did improve a bit, but we started having more and more problems with our internet being down. And down. And down. So I called again. They said, “we are expanding in your area – be done by the end of the week.” Well, I realize it’s not quite the end of the week, but I have battled this issue with my work (I work at home, online) all week long, and it’s gotten so bad this evening that we’ve been down more than up. I have a lot of work left to do, but I can’t get through one article without the internet going down. All of this has me just a bit frustrated. Ergh.

So…how ‘bout a cell phone photo. I took this one of Queen Cheerio after Ken (silly man) said, “Get out of my chair, Cat!” I had to laugh at that. Cheerio obviously believes that this is her chair.

So…tomorrow I will have to catch up the work I couldn’t do today. But I guess that’s just the way it goes. Thanks for stopping!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Just for fun

Spring WILL come!
TDS outdoors

Playing with water and  food coloring…
swirling colors experiment 3swirling colors experiment 2swirling colors experiment 1

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One more try with oil and water

I really want to get the oil and water thing right! This first one isn’t the same sort of result that Sandra and Alison M. got, but I like it because it sort of looks like a frog to me.
TDS green oil and water

The colors in this one are more muted, but the oil drops seem to have nice “character.” This one was taken more from the side than straight overhead. I like the depth of field that creates.
oven mitt oil and water

Here’s a kid shot – Fancy spent some time this morning teaching Caleb how to draw, and he practiced for quite a while. I love the artistic pursuits!

(Taken with my htc Incredible and Retro Camera)

Monday, March 14, 2011


Crunchberry by Elli :-)
Crunchberry a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

I must admit that I did not take this photo today, but I love it so much that you get to enjoy it anyway. This poor cat may look like he has an easy life, but he has to put up with so much... severe, extreme love; being locked in cupboards and closets; dressing up; kissing and cuddling beyond any comfort... he's a good cat. He's Kristi's baby.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's the season for basketball!

Ken and the kids were out playing basketball again this morning. I decided to try some higher speed action close-up type shots with my 7d.

The basketball hoop our neighbors gave us was one of the best gifts the kids have ever received.

If you like to watch a crowd of kids play basketball with a crazy man, check this's just boring old basketball in Scrivnerburg. I admire a man who will play with so many young kids. I admire it, but I don't join in it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Retro Fancy

shot_1299888163308 by Elli :-)
shot_1299888163308 a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

I have been having a great time playing with the cell phone on my new camera. Oh...wait... I mean playing with the camera on my new cell phone. I downloaded an app for Android called Retro Camera - if you're familiar with iPhone's Hipstamatic, I understand that it's quite similar to that app. I love it! It's so fun! I practiced on Fancy while she sat on the couch nursing her injured knee.

On another note - we DID finally have some promise-of-spring weather today. We saw the sun, had temps in the low 50's (I think), and got to be outside for a while. Yay! I think I was needing some almost-spring!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Not the stellar shot I wanted...

...but it shows what I saw outdoors today. I'm so ready for something other than snow, wet, and cold. Ergh.

Somebody please tell me spring is really going to come.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

TDS water (and oil)

TDS water (and oil) by Elli :-)
TDS water (and oil) a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

I'm still not happy with this attempt, but it's better than the last one - - because the focus is sharper. I really need a macro lens. :-) I'm going to keep working on it. My inspiration for this came from Sandra Marek - check out this archived blog post - The speckles are part of the glass dish I used. Next time I try it during daylight hours.

What kind of photo projects are you currently working on? Or any other projects...?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It’s been a while since I shared blessings…

I used to do it daily, then occasionally…now rarely. I need to start that up again because it’s so easy to get distracted by the little irritations when I take my eyes off the good.

1.) He’s been at the top of my list before, but here he is again. My beloved husband is such a blessing to me. He does laundry, he runs errands, he makes me laugh…what more could a woman ask for?

2. ) I hear a rumor that spring will eventually come. This looks like hope of spring to me.

3.) I have a job that I can do at home that I love. It’s the best of all worlds for me.

4.) I have recently “rediscovered” knitting. It has been so fun to learn new skills and produce useful items! This is my newest purse just for me. I love it! It’s my first felted one.

(Mom, do you recognize that button? It’s from the button box you gave me years ago. The two like this didn’t have notes, so I don’t know where you got them, but they’re perfect for this!)

5.) Never a boring moment. Living in Scrivnerburg isn’t always (usually?) peaceful, but it is never boring. I don’t believe I’ve experienced boredom in the last 11 years. Life is crazy, frustrating, funny, loud, busy, happy…but never boring.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Emergency Chocolate

emergency chocolate by Elli :-)
emergency chocolate a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.

This doesn't fit the Daily Shoot "red" theme very well...but this great gift just HAD to be my subject for today. My favorite part is where the directions for use say "Alternatively massage into the affected area." Too funny! My mother-in-law bought this for me. I think she loves me!

It's good chocolate, too! Uhoh...I feel a chocolate emergency coming on...

My apologies

I'm sorry there wasn't a post for yesterday. :-( I didn't take any pictures, and I just took the day off of blogging. I actually took the day of the internet for the most part. I do hope you'll forgive me :-). 

It's almost time for a book photos and a book review will be coming soon!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Trying for bokeh

Sandra posted a challenge today to work on bokeh, and the Digital Photography School challenge for the weekend was "dessert." I combined the two challenges in this photo of our York peppermint patties with Christmas light bokeh in the background. 


Friday, March 4, 2011

Our New Primroses

Our New Primroses by Elli :-)
Our New Primroses a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.
We found these beauties on sale at WalMart. Caleb loves, loves, loves plants and flowers, so he couldn't choose just one. They were only 62 cents each, so I let him pick 5 for us and 1 for Felice.

The Daily Shoot assignment is "Make a photograph of something that you find amusing today." A bunch of primroses might not be amusing by themselves, but Caleb's excitement about the flowers, and his enjoyment of our basket full of blossoms was VERY amusing.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


TDS shadow coffeeee by Elli :-)
TDS shadow coffeeee a photo by Elli :-) on Flickr.
I'm sorry - it isn't as exciting as I'd hoped. I had a terrible backlog of work today, and that got most of my attention. Coffee was my friend today!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


We were without power for most of the day today. Apparently, our local substation had a fire in the early hours of the day, and judging from what I hear around town the people in charge of fixing it did a great job getting power back on in a timely manner. Kudos to the power people!

That does mean that I didn't take/edit any photos today. I apologize. I will post tomorrow with something worth seeing - I hope. Thanks for stopping in!

Oh - and a note to anyone who owns a lift chair - there's a reason they tell you to put it down each time you get out of it. If the power goes off while it is lifted, you won't be able to use your chair for the entire 18 hours the power is off because it will be lifted too high to sit in. My mother is a wealth of useful information.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I finished up a couple projects this morning

I just had some buttons to put on to finish up these two fun projects. The first one is my first felted project. It's a fun, happy purse that I made for Fancy. I love it!

This one was a very quick little backpack. I can't wait to make more of these! I'm going to try one with some beads, and one with fun fast and so cute!