Sunday, March 30, 2008

Prayer Requests...

Please keep my sister's friend, Kayla, in your prayers...

She was on vacation with her husband & sisters, and had to be life-flighted to a Tennessee hospital severely ill. She is septic - which means that infection is raging throughout her entire body. She's in the ICU right now, but we're praying that all goes well over the next several critical hours & through treatment her body can get some help with this major battle.

My sis will be giving me updates as she gets them, and I hope to share positive news very soon.

Another person I'll be keeping in my prayers is a long-time friend who is going through a rather trying time right now. Though it can be really hard to do what's ultimately right (not easy), she's doing a really great job of doing just that. I pray that though these next few weeks and months may not be very easy or fun, she keeps on keeping on.

I pray God touches anyone and everyone in need - I mention only these 2 because they are so close to me & my sis. And both situations have occurred quite suddenly. I pray that all is well with everyone out there - Much Love to all, and God Bless.

Busy Day Yesterday

We had SUCH a busy day yesterday! My parents were sweet enough to watch Livia for us while we tackled our basement...

It was quite a task getting up all that damp, moldy carpet from downstairs. Though we were only able to tackle one side, we were able to get almost all of what was really bad. The other side will be coming up as well, but the worst is officially gone! My Dad let me use his heavy-duty breathing mask so that I wouldn't get even more sick from being down there. Apart from the mask being a little uncomfortable, it was great! I didn't smell anything while we were down there, and though exhausted when we were finally done I felt fine. (We think that downstairs may be a big part of what's been making me sick-ish these last couple of weeks - not for sure, but now that it's mostly fixed we'll find out, right?)

Then after I went and picked up Livia from Mom & Dad's, Perry and I decided to go out to Di'Legge's - a little family owned, Italian restaurant in town. It has SUCH yummy food, but we found out first-hand why they like to have reservations...

We had to wait about 15-20 minutes for a table, which wasn't too bad. But then the place was SOOO noisy that it was impossible to carry on a conversation... It wasn't really all that enjoyable. There was one individual seated at the table next to ours that I was ready to put a muzzle on - just extremely loud and obnoxious. Part of my meal was forgotten as well, though thankfully they didn't charge us for any of it. I'm hoping we can go back and re-do our dinner at this awesome little restaurant another time during a weeknight!

We really did have a great time being together, though. Sometimes I have to take a step back before I can truly appreciate everything! Perhaps I wouldn't have enjoyed our time together so much after we got back home if everything would have gone absolutely perfect at Di'Legge's. I definitely wouldn't appreciate our nice clean mold-free basement as much, if we hadn't put so much work into it.


Thank You God, for all that You do for me. Sometimes Your blessings are plain as day; other times I may have to take a look at the 'big picture' to really see what all You do for me... though I don't think I'll ever truly know ALL that You do for me. Please help me to always realize that You are bigger than all things here on earth - bigger than problems and worries, better than our triumphs and joys; more important than our most prized possessions. Thank You so much for everything, God. Amen.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Nannybird Crafts Last Blogiversary Contest

First of all, I want to apologize - I meant to get this up here WAY earlier in the week! I did mention this contest a couple of days ago, but I didn't really elaborate... So I shall now!

I first want to say... Congratulations!

My very special blogging friend, Nan, has now been blogging for a little more than a year. For celebration, she's been having all kinds of wonderful contests and funstuffs going on. As a 'prize' for us, she's given out some more blog bling to ALL those who participated in any of her contests for her Blogiversary...

Thank you so much Nan!

NOW, you all really should go over and check out her blog - wish this lady congratulations, and tell her how beautiful her creations are! (Should I go on & on about how much I LOVE what she sent me when I won!)

Something she wanted us all to do for this last contest was tell about why our blog is named what it is. I'll go ahead and tell you all as well!

My blog hasn't changed names since I started it, but it has changed style - both in writing, posting, and design. My Aunt Tanya helped me put it into a 3 column-er, and she also gave me the idea to put something fun at the top of my page!

Before just a couple of weeks ago, I just had the simple "Photochick" thing up at the top of my blog. But I realized that I really wanted something a little more - something that really did include all that was special & important to me, and the actual name of my blog! See, I call myself Photochick (obviously because I'm a chick who L-O-V-E-S to take pictures) but I titled my blog, Faith, Family, Friends, Photography!

With my latest creation at the top, it looks more like I want it to. It may get tweaked from time to time (fun designs, new pics, classy, fun, seasons, etc.) but the Faith, Family, Friends, Photography! part the one thing I really want to make sure people see when they first pop onto my site.

So why did I title my blog Faith, Family, Friends, Photography! ? No mystery here - those are the absolute most important things in my life, and in that order. I'll do a post soon on a side-note inspiration... But like I said, the main reason for it's name is because of the importance of these things in my life. If I had nothing else in the world, my life would still be complete with those first 3 things. Oh, and Photography is there to keep me our of trouble!

I like to think that my title ss a gentle reminder that even when I'm in internet world, God truly IS our whole world - without Him I am nothing; in Him I can do anything! It's important to never forget Him. Certain times of the year, it may be easier to remember Him in the rest of the world... But in our own lives, HE should always radiate throughout our lives!

OK, so now you know all about my crazy blogginess! Thank you SO much to Nan, for letting everyone come over and have such a fun time over there, and for the opportunity to win such beautiful prizes! Thanks also to Nan for some inspiration over here. We may never know how we might affect another's life - so it's important to tell those who have made a difference in ours. Much love to all, and God Bless.

Flashback Friday (Featuring Liv's 1st Professional Pics)

What? It's Saturday, you say? Well, too bad! We had a fun busy day yesterday, and I didn't *have* (OK, *make*) time to get these up. But they're important to yesterday's events! So here's a look back on the very 1st portrait session I ever took Livia to:

She was only 6 weeks old in these pictures - and now she's coming up on one year! It doesn't seem possible that it's been that long!

Yes, I had to sneak one in there of us two girls...!

OK, now the relevance part!

Yesterday I took Livia to get 'spring' pictures done! I know that we're now within a month of her 1st birthday (Ohhh...! I need to get crackin' on party-planning! Oh, and let out the big secret of what her b-day dress will be! Nope, I haven't forgotten). But I've been without my SLR for more than 2 weeks now, and I'm starting to twitch... Gotta have good pics of her! So I caved and took her to JCPenney's.

I say 'caved' because I can usually get pretty good pictures all on my own, but relatives deserve some pictures too, and this is about the only way I know for SURE they'll get some! (Yes, I'm really bad about printing pics... Any ideas for me to get better about that...?) I gotta give those gals in the JCPenney studio credit - they're amazing! They worked with Livia for as long as I wanted; they made her smile, wave, and giggle; they even let me change her outfit! Oh, and they got a few of just the two of us again.

The only problem, per se, was the choosing part - there were SO many good ones! Livia was such an Angel, and those gals just did a great job of capturing the Livia that I know and love. I ended up getting a *few* more than I'd planned to, but I just couldn't resist! (Shh... don't tell my hubby!)

While They Sleep

(Meaning my sweet little daughter, and my snoring - er! - sexy husband)

I'm going to hurry and catch up a bit more on the blog! Get ready for another information overload! Haha.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Nifty Crafty Creative Nan!

I wanted to get this up last night, but after the trip out and back from my parents, I was zonked (and it was after midnight anyway). But, I just want everyone to know how absolutely excited I am!

I couple of weeks ago, I won a contest of Nan's over at her blog - you SERIOUSLY need to check it out (I'll do another post tomorrow all about her latest contest, and the fun she has going on over there!) For tonight though, I want to give this sweet lady major props and show off the wonderful prize she made just for me!!!


Isn't it beautiful?!! You may not be able to tell exactly what it is, and for those of you who are familiar with Nan's Blog I bet you're thinking, "Hmmm - never seen anything like this in her archive of creations." That's right, you haven't!

We e-mailed back and forth after I'd won the contest, and she was trying to pin me down on when purse I wanted. I told her out of all honesty that I would love either one! But I wouldn't be using it for a purse - the minute I saw those beautiful weavings, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I want to hang it up with flowers inside its little pouch, in our living room next to the door with a sign that says, "Weave Your Worries Here"

When I told Nan about my idea, she actually made this especially for me! I took more pictures so you can better see how it's made...

She has tons of pics over there of more of the awesome purses she's made as well - to me, the most amazing part of her beautiful creations is that they are all recycled! You'll see some pictured that are crocheted, and though she doesn't really do them much anymore - just FYI - they were made out of plastic grocery bags. The ones made like the one she sent me are made (I think) out of magazines! I also told her that her weavings reminded me of Gum Wrapper Chains that my Mom taught me how to do when I was just a little girl. She told me that they used to them when she was in school, and the goal was to see how long it would get (Not as long as THIS though!!) It brought back really great memories... Anyway, it's so incredible that Nan's able to to what she does!

So tomorrow, my #1 goal is to get to the craft store. I can't wait to get pics of how it all turns out! Nan, I cannot thank you enough for the weaving - it's even more perfect that I could have imagined.

A lot more happened today as well, but I shall try to revisit it tomorrow. Tonight, I'm content to sit and admire the special piece of art that already has a big place in my heart. Love to all and God Bless!

Another Wordless Wednesday

Featuring: "Farmland" Reflections... Yes, those really ARE fields in both pics. Thanks to all the rain we've had lately, they look more like lakes right now, though!

Wordless Wednesday

Featuring: Michael's Chicago Trip Pics

Monday, March 24, 2008

Livia's 1st Easter

My sweet little girl had her first Easter yesterday!! We had such an amazing (though busy) day.

It started bright and early for sunrise service at my church. I was in the Cantata (a special music program) and though I was a bit nasal-y it went great! The soloists all sang perfectly, and really brought home the true reason we celebrate Easter. Mom and Dad came too, and they watched Livie for me while I was up front with the rest of the group.

After, we all went out to my parents' to get some breakfast before we all headed back out to church for morning service - Perry met us there too! There's no way he would have missed it, because Laura Belle sang! We all love to hear her sing in church - she has just about the best voice there (except maybe for Matt D.)

Mom & Dad had to leave the service just a bit early so they could go ahead and get ready for Easter dinner with my Mom's side of the family. By the time we arrived back there, almost everything was already done! And soon after, others began to trickle in. By noon, we were ready to chow down on the most wonderful Easter feast! Ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, hot rolls, coleslaw, vegies, macaroni, and more deserts than you can imagine. It was awesome!

Then afterward, everyone went out to find what "The Easter Bunny" (my Dad) left behind! Livia even found a few eggs all by herself (ok, with just a little help!) But I think the big kids had the most fun. It was all about the challenge. I only found 3 eggs, but there's no surprise in that... I've never been very good at finding them!

Not long after, everyone had left and I was pooped... So I snuck in a nap! I am SO thankful for my parents - they watched Liv for me while I slept a couple of hours.

I DO have pictures of Livia in her cute little Easter Dress, and a couple of Perry & me as well, but they are actually out at my parents' house right now. I'll get them up as soon as I can though, cause I just have to show off how cute she is in it!

Saturday Fun

We had SUCH a busy, fun day on Saturday. At first I thought Livia was sick with her runny nose (she also had a bit of a fever and a really runny diaper) but then we discovered that little tooth! Oh, something I almost forgot - it's on the top! I'm still without a good camera, so I haven't been able to capture it in a pic yet, but just trust me when I say it is so cute!!

Once I figured out what was really going on with my little girl, we got ready and headed out for a day of fun and adventures!

First up was a baby shower for Jamie - I've known this gal my whole life, and she is just as beautiful as she is sweet. Once again, I was without a camera so here's a pic of Jamie and her sis, Katie, at my wedding. (Jamie's the blonde)

Aren't they both so beautiful!

Anyway, Jamie is having a little girl, due next month - and guess what her name is. Olivia! I just love it! I really hope that she & Livia will grow up to be great friends. Everything at the shower was so perfect and cute and girlie! Lots of pink and green. Jamie & I are going to do lunch together on Wednesday, so I'll get to see her again very soon & talk baby-talk!

After the shower, I went out with my mom to the mall to (among other things) try to find an Easter Dress for myself. We weren't there for all that long it seemed, but all of a sudden it was after 5:00! And though I wasn't even aware of the time, but I was ready to give up...

Then almost as an afterthought, Mom & I went into Dillards to look around, since that's right where we were parked anyway. I didn't expect to find anything within my budget (though there was one dress that was SUPER cute - white w/pink & brown polka dots, and a pink sweater - but SO out of my price league!) Amazingly, I did find a dress and sweater that were under $35 for both! Yay!

About that time, I got a call on my cell from Kendra - OHNO! I'd so completely lost track of time that I was missing little Miss Maggie's 4th birthday party!! We immediately booked it outa there, and Mom & I parted ways. Liv & I hurried back home to pick up Perry, then we were off to the party!

I felt really bad that we got there so late because of me... I haven't got to spend much time with Kendra lately, and I really was looking forward to hanging out with her and watching the kiddos play. Plus I was without a camera, so I didn't even get any pictures of the fun :o( I guess I'll just have to take double the pics next time I see those kiddos! Oh, they're getting so big...! And, even though I didn't really get to spend a whole lot of time with Kendra or her kiddos, I know they all had a great time at Maggie's Birthday Party! I'll just have to see if I can sneak in some time with them this week, since they're on spring break.

Not as they Seem...!

Back on Wednesday Liv & I were both under the weather, but she was already on her way to getting better. I thought we just had colds, but that doesn't seem to be the case... f or either of us!

Livia may or may not have even had a little cold, and she was a lot better. But early Saturday she was starting to get all snotty again. Later that day, I figured out why - SHE FINALLY GOT HER FIRST TOOTH!!!!! I am SO excited! I'm sure she's not a huge fan of having tender gums, but I can't help but be so happy.

Most babies get their first tooth somewhere around 7 months - some come a lot earlier, some really take their time...! It's so sweet to see my little baby getting 'big'.

I'm still not sure if I ever did have a cold or not, but I ended up going to the doctor's office on Friday. It looks like I have yet another sinus infection. I'm on antibiotics, and if I'm not better by Wednesday they want me back in there.

I'm afraid I may end up having to go back in though, because I'm still not feeling any relief... And I have my own guess about what could be going on - I mentioned last week that our basement had some water issues, and even though there is no longer any standing water, it's still quite moist. In fact, moldy. I walked in the house yesterday and I could even smell it a bit upstairs. I say this not to actually speak badly of anyone, but who in their right mind puts carpet in a basement that has water issues???

One of the previous owners of the house did this... not the brightest crayon in the box, are we? No, I don't really mean that. I'm just frustrated. I mean there are 2 sump pumps for the 700 some-odd square feet we have down there. With 2 sump pumps, wouldn't you think twice about carpeting it...?

Well, that's neither here nor now, because I can't change the past. I do plan on changing it in the very near future. Actually I'm already well on my way to doing so. I know that I can only do one of the 2 rooms down there at a time, so I'm starting with the worst first. I'm moving and organizing all the 'stuff' into the other room, and I've already begun taking up and cutting the carpet into manageable pieces. Though I have a loooong way to go, at least I have a good start!

More Catch Up (Featuring Laura's Vacation!)

Something I had forgotten to write about from even earlier that week, was that we all went out to eat at Turoni's Forget-Me-Not Inn. Mom, Dad, me, Perry, & Livia all went to eat and visit with Laura Belle and to hear all about the fun she had on vacation. She also showed us all thte wonderful pictures she took!

Laura & Michael at the beach...

Again, just the two of them - don't you wish you were there?

I love this shot - so classy and beautiful!

A perfect sunset in paradise

And one last shot of them at a pre-season baseball game for the Yankees and Reds.

They had SO much fun down there... have a feeling they didn't really care too much to come back! I sure am glad they did though. Laura Belle got Livie the CUTEST little outfits. Very summery and fun. No snapshots yet, but don't be surprised to see some soon!

Anyway, more fun stuff coming right up...!

Lots of Catching Up

I've been so busy, and a bit under the weather that I haven't taken time to keep this up as I should... Over the next few posts, I'm going to attempt to do just what I titled this post - a lot of catching up!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rainy, Wet, & Cold[s]

That's what it's like around here, these days! I can't even tell you how many inches of rain we've had in the last few days... too much, that's for sure! The whole area's under a flash flood watch, some schools are even closed (today and tomorrow), and it's just downright icky out there!

Needless to say, I've been very happy to be here at home these last few days. No place is perfect though, including here. It's not only wet outside, but a bit in our basement as well - *grrr*. Luckily, we have a dehumidifier and 2 sump pumps. Barely damp at all anymore!

The only other hurdle we're trying to get over here is that Liv & I both have colds - Boo. I no like-y. It's not so bad when I don't feel so hot, but I hate it when my sweet little Livie doesn't feel good. When she gets all snotty, it's a little hard for her to breathe... but when she gets all worked up (let's face it, it happens!) she gets to where it's almost impossible for her to breathe.

Well, here's to hoping that the sun shines all day tomorrow, and everything dries up - and clears up!

Wordless Wednesday

Featuring Miss Maggie

Happy Birthday, Princess!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Panda, Happy Manda!

Less than a week ago, I was surprised with a very exciting e-mail. Audrey from Mama Loves Giveaways and Pinks and Blues had e-mailed me to let me know that I had won the Happy Panda Baby Onesie! (check out their blog - they have a little snip-let about the winner... oh, wait. That's me!!) Let me back up just a second - Whoa, I'm excited! Lately, I've found a few cute contests, and I couldn't resist. I entered, and even though I had no expectations of winning anything whatsoever, I just thought it was really fun, and I got to see some really cute stuff.

Well, last Wednesday Audrey e-mailed me to let me know that they HAD already chosen a winner for the super-cute Happy Panda Onesie, and they had never gotten back to her... So they randomly chose again AND I WON! Oh, I was SO excited!!! And I still am - that sweet little onesie got here today just in time for St. Patrick's Day!!! My one *grrr* is that I only have my camera phone, but I still got some really great pics!

Oh my gosh! Isn't little baby-boo SO cute in her little St. Patrick's Happy Panda Onesie?!!!

Here you can see the cute little logo a lot better - I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I ADORE pandas! Can't get enough of them - honestly can't even tell you how many I have here in the house.
Even though it's a bit blurry, I love this shot - Livia had just plopped down and I moved the camera just in time.

And here's the proud Mama, and her beautiful baby in her Irish Greens! (Perry's side of the family does have some Irish in it... none that I know of in mine - mostly German - Dutch)

And one more of me & Livie - I love her AND her onesie!

I cannot say THANK YOU enough to both The Happy Panda and Mama Loves Giveaways for this absolutely wonderful prize! Audrey, a special thank you also goes to you, since you contacted me & e-mailed me back and forth. (Audrey has a little boy just a little bit older than Livia - how cool! Should I wait just a few years to start playing matchmaker...? hehe!) Anyway, my utmost thanks and appreciation goes out to all of you.

I feel kinda bad that I'm just now getting a chance to put all this up here, but we've had a wonderfully busy day. Miss Maggie Boo came over for a visit today - she stayed until the afternoon, and she & Livia had a blast! I love it when those girls get to spend time together - I hope that they grow up to be as close as sisters!

Shortly after Miss Maggie left, we left to meet Bill & Trilby out to eat at Logan's. They told us about REALLY cheap meals they have every Tues. & Wed. - 2 for like $14! With drinks and everything, our bills were both under $20. We had a good time.

And then afterward, Perry and I drove around for a little bit and talked history. Livia fell asleep in her seat, and we took the opportunity to learn presidents! And when I say 'we' I really mean 'me'. Perry already already knows all the presidents forward, backward, and a ton'a facts about all of them! I've got at least half of them down pat... I WILL LEARN THEM ALL! Oh, I'm so thankful for a History-Buff husband!

Today has been such a wonderful day, I almost don't want it to end... But all good things must come to a close. And right now, I'm ready to lay down beside my husband, close my eyes, and have sweet dreams! Love to you all and God Bless!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Livia's 1st Carousel Ride!

This evening, my sweet sis-in-law invited me to come out with her and Miss Maggie-Boo to the mall. The girls haven't seen each other in a while - and neither have we for that matter! I had no intentions of purchasing anything, which is just as well. Every time we stopped moving, Livia wanted O-U-T of her stroller!

We did, however, go on the carousel in the food court - that's right! Livia's first time on the Merry-Go-Round! And even though I didn't have my 'real' camera on me, I did have my phone and managed to get some pretty cute shots of the girls!

Livia really liked the red, yellow, & green thing on top of her horse - she kept grabbing for it.

Don't those girls look like they're having fun!

Here's a really good one of Miss Maggie & K~

Oh! Livie's whole world is a' spinnin'!
Maggie-Boo had so much fun riding the black horse!

After we all got off the ride, the girls got their hands stamped with a horse.
Couldn't resist - had to get a pic of those cute little stamped hands!
And finally, I got a pic of all 3 of my favorite girls! What a fun way to end the day :o)

Friday, March 14, 2008


Why is this word so very loathed by women today?

When you look up the word ma'am in the dictionary, you may find a variety of meanings. When I typed it into Google's search engine, I clicked on the top result. What did I find? On it is defined as "a woman of refinement. Used as a form of polite address for a woman." How is this a bad thing?!

Where I come from, Ma'am really is supposed to be a term of respect. Yet many women react with a cringe or even indignance when they are called ma'am. A very common reaction I've heard when a lady is called ma'am: "*Ugh* Don't call me Ma'am! I'm not that old!" Why? Why do so many women interpret it that someone sees them as 'old' and not respected?

I'll never ever forget the first time anyone ever called me Ma'am... It was by an Army recruiter while I was in high school. I just felt so respected - to a young lady, this is a huge deal. Especially when you feel like you're respected by someone who himself deserves a lot of respect. (Regardless of branch, I think anyone who serves our country in the armed forces deserves our utmost respect.)

Now that I am quite a bit older than a young lady, I still love to hear someone call me Ma'am. I think about the many other things I could be called in this day & age... I've heard other gals being called SO many bad names, yet they react positively. When being called something that truly is a term of respect, they react negatively. There's something seriously wrong with this picture... So many ladies are fine with being addressed, "Hey Bee-yotch!" but basically throw a fit when they hear the word Ma'am.

My husband actively served our country in the USMC for 5 years, then was honorably discharged. When he first got out, he used to call ladies Ma'am. Though he still calls me that (as he well should, right? Just kidding! I love this term of love and respect from him) he does not use this word with other women. I asked him recently why he doesn't do this anymore. He said, "Because they think it means that I'm insinuating that they're old - which I'm not."

Are we eliminating respect from our lives, simply because we are so focused on not feeling old? Ladies, are we seriously that vain? Would we rather sacrifice our true value to save a blow to our self esteem? Perhaps our egos and how we see ourselves is becoming more important than how we are truly seen. Think about it gals... Let's try to do something about it!

Embrace the refinement, grace, and gentlewoman in all of us - accept that you are what you are, Ma'am!

Temptation & Easter

I've given up chocolate for lent again this year (as I have done for many years in the past), and my husband is well aware of this. I have in NO WAY made his life miserable - in fact, he even forgets that I've given it up. I suppose this is good, but it's also BAD!

Yesterday, he had to pick up just a few groceries and came home with some chocolate chip cookies. Yes, I drooled and looked longingly at them, but then I gently reminded myself that the reason I give up chocolate every year is for God - He has done SO MUCH for me, this is the least I can do for Him. Every time I think of giving in to temptation and eating chocolate, I think of all God does, has done, and will do for me.

The nut-cracker (don't know where that come from...) came this evening when Perry came home with just a few other little things he needed to make pizza... and a BOSTON CREAM PIE!

Now, talk about temptation! He did make me try one little bite sans chocolate (the chocolate is only on top) but I completely restrained myself from getting a piece for myself.

Oh, one other piece of temptation - every year for Valentine's Day, my Mom makes Heart Cake - red velvet cake in the shape of a heart! It's almost as beautiful as it is yummy! She made it just a bit later this year (it was out at their house this past weekend) but it was pretty easy to avoid eating it. Though, they did try to find a loophole for me, God bless 'em! Michael says, "Well, technically, there's not really any
chocolate in it... just cocoa." Haha! Nice try, Michael! But cocoa IS chocolate!

Oh, sweet temptation!

I do have a lot to take solace in the fact that this is THE earliest Easter I (or almost anyone alive) have ev
er seen or ever will see. My sis-by-choice (K~ Love ya babe!) sent me an e-mail explaining when Easter occurs... This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around our Roman calendar.

t's always on the first Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is on March 20th). The earliest this could possibly occur is only a day earlier - March 22nd... the last time this occurred was in 1818... The next time it will happen is in 2285.

The next time Easter will occur on March 23rd will be in 2228... The last time it did occur was in 1913 - so, only if you're 95 or older would you have been around for this. So, no one alive today has ever - or will ever- see it any earlier than this year.

**Thanks again for passing this on to me, K~!**

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Living Vicariously

My sweet sis sent me a pic yesterday of the beautiful Florida beach! Thought I'd share :o)

Can you believe this was taken with a camera-phone?! Oh, I hope she has a wonderful time down there! (And hopefully she'll bring me many more pictures to ooh and aah over)

Love to you all and God Bless!

Laura Belle sent me a couple more today - isn't she so sweet?

They went a'swimmin with the 'gators! No, not really. But they did get really close - like within 8 - 10 feet! Yikes!

And here's that beautiful beach babe & her boyfriend... Hope they don't get burnt!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

My husband and his father - Forever Fans, Forever Friends.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2008
Last night when I went over to 4 Silly Sisters, I noticed that MaryBeth had a little plug in for the Ultimate Blog Party, and "invited" her blogging friends to take part. Sooo, I thought why not?

Now, to be completely honest, I'm still not quite sure what it's all about (though the instruction page linked really helps!) According to the page welcoming everyone to The Ultimate Blog Party is "...a carnival for you to meet other mom bloggers, have fun and win prizes." OK, sounds simple and fun enough! I love that it's just for Moms :o)

I haven't had much time yet to really check it out, but hopefully I will within the next couple of days. I'd better get on the ball though - I'm already joining the 'party' pretty late in the game!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008 For those of you who have come over from the Ultimate Blog Party, welcome! And thank you for stopping by. Here's just a little bit about me (for those of you who already know all there is to know about me... Mom, Aunt Tan, K~, sorry!)

My name's Amanda Jill Fultz, I'm 25 and I live in southern Indiana... I'm happily married to my best friend and we have a beautiful daughter (who will be 1 next month!) I'm a stay-at-home mom, and I love taking pictures. Someday I really hope to make a career out of it.

I am a proud Christian! I've known Christ my whole life, but I haven't always lived for Him. I'm trying my very best to do so in every way, every day now though. I was just very recently baptized. I did wait a little later in life than some, but it was still such an amazing experience. It really meant a whole lot to me, and it always will.

I got in to blogging because of my Aunt... It's a great way to keep family and friends up on what's going on in my life, and with my daughter. I love putting updates up as well as everyday life stuff. I never write anything bad about anyone I know (personally or bloggily!) It's not a very Christian-like - even nice - way to be.

I love my friends and family. I have a wonderful family, and they're also my friends; I have amazing friends, so close they might as well be family! Though blogging, I have found a whole new world of compassion, interests, and friends. Who knows, YOU might be next on my bloggy friends list! Thank you all so much again for stopping by for a visit! Love to everyone out there and God Bless!

New Blog Blings from Nan!

Lookie what I have!! New blog-blings from Nan!

She sent me this one that she got from Jaye over at Just a Mom - how sweet it is! Pop over to both of these gals and tell them how cool they are, and how much you love them too! Oh! And you definitely need to go over to Nan's because she's having some AWESOME contests going on! This weeks is kinda'f a early Easter egg hunt - except with characters. You'll just have to go over and see what I'm talking about :o) And possibly win one of her awesome purses!

Nan also sent me another bloggy-bling... One that I'd sent over to her! I was quite tickled. Even though I technically already "have" it, it's nice to know that someone wants me to have it as well!

So, is anyone curious like Nan how this little cutie-thing was made? Well, I'll be more than glad to spill the beans on this little secret!

I'd seen so many cute little bitty things like this on others' blogs, and though I don't have many myself (hey what can I expect - only been blogging a few months!) I wanted to make one to pass along. Sure, I could have 'stolen' one from someone else's blog. But what fun would that have been?

So here's the scoop!

<-- Here's the original pic, taken just outside my front door after one of the winter storms we had. I loved it because of all the icicles and the ice on the tree. Didn't really care too much for the other distractions in the picture though... So, a cropping I did go!
<-- I knew this was the part of the picture I wanted to focus on making something fun out of. Then it was the 'fine tuning' on the cropping.
<-- Most 'awards' I have seen are square-ish, so that's what I went for here.

After that, I really noticed the sun's rays all streaming and colorful, and I had my inspiration!

If you notice in earlier pics, the sky has a lot of gray in it. I get the winter-blues sometimes, and gray skies never help... Just earlier this particular day, I was thinking about my blogger-friends - seriously! You all are from ALL around the country. Just because the weather is yuck & muck here, doesn't mean that it is everywhere! Seeing the sun a-shining, and thinking about the beautiful weather I hope others are having, I went to work on making this look how I feel inside when I read all your blogs.

I added the text first, then actually duplicated the image in Photoshop. That way I could make the butterflies only where I wanted them... Over the sky & overhang, under the sun, text, and much of the tree branches. Oh it was so much fun!

I'm already looking for inspiration to make another. So if you all have ideas or even pics of your own that you'd like me to turn into an award, let me know and I'll make one just for you! Love to you all and God Bless!