Wednesday, April 30, 2008

II Corinthians 4:7

"We have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."

A genuine Christian should be a walking mystery because he is surely a walking miracle. Through the leading and the power of the Holy Spirit, the Christian is involved in a daily life and habit that cannot be explained.

-A. W. Tozer

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A new equation:

On the road + no internet = no blogging!

I really haven't meant to be this quiet here on my little blog -- especially after all I learned last week! I have so many ideas running through my head now, (as well as pictures on my camera!) but I don't think normal blogging will resume until we are home again. One of these days I am really hoping to share with you some of the exciting things I learned, but until then.....


Recipe for a Snowman

:: make sure you have plenty of heavy, wet snow available ::

:: and lots of ambitious helpers ::
:: roll the snow into large, LARGE balls ::
:: but not too large to discourage the stacking crew ::

:: carefully pack snow into the cracks for sturdiness ::
(Caution - flying snow could easily turn into a snowball war!)

:: extra equipment (such as a ladder) will come in handy ::

:: boots and mittens are also a must ::

:: it certainly helps to have sturdy young men spear-heading the project ::

:: though all assistance is welcomed ::

:: finally, treat your snowman with tender care ::

:: and congratulate yourself on the teamwork ::

:: 'cuz coming face to face with a good snowman is a rare privilege ::

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Prizewinning Photography #28

So after being gone for a week, completing 70 hours of photographic instruction time, taking 80+ pages of handwritten notes (and journaling a total of 18 pages) you can only imagine how hard it would be to sum up my time in Dallas, TX, in one little blog post. So I'm not even going to try!!

I learned so much about photography, and yet it was also so much more than that. Some nights I found myself asking the Lord "Did you allow me to attend this course to learn about photography? Or more about my heart and my relationship with You?!" I'm still not sure which I learned more about!

And thank you all so much for your prayers. I could definitely feel them! I am so blessed to have so many incredible blog readers, friends, and cheerleaders who keep pushing me on and encouraging me. May God bless you!

And now for a few random pictures...

the amazing instructors
(from left to right: John, Will, Katie, Mandy, and Rowan)

Enjoying the Dallas Arboretum with Deanna,
who was my room mate for the week.

Wednesday's location

Walking downtown Dallas, from one location shoot, to another!

On Friday afternoon they had an open forum where we could ask the instructors anything we wanted. And believe me, we did!!

Just one of my many assignments: a high contrast black and white picture.

Almost every day we had anywhere from 5-8 different assignments, and we usually only had 2 hours (sometimes less!) to complete them all. And when one has a time limit and an exposure limit, it really makes you think before pushing the shutter button...and scramble at the same time to fulfill all that is required! It was so much fun. Then in the evenings, we split up into small groups to have our photographs critiqued.

Fun photo competitions....a trip to Starbucks [my first time ever!]...a game of ultimate frisbee...making new friends...the fellowship...hearing stories about China...seeing who could come up with the most awkward pose was a very full week!

If you haven't checked it out yet, there are updates from fellow IPS students, as well as other prizewinning pictures from the week at the IPS archives. And if any of you are interested in photography, I highly recommend this course!! I am already trying to figure out way to fit a few of their other photography classes into my budget and schedule!! [smile]

Prizewinning Photography Class #28

Monday, April 21, 2008

Proverbs 16:11

"The preparations of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord."
I am to prepare --
God does the using.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Hello to all Bethany's friends and faithful blog readers. This is Rachel, signing in to give you a quick update on how the week has progressed for my dear sister! We hear from her about once each day -- either during a quick break between classes, or as she 'winds down' in the evenings. They keep her schedule VERY full!

I know she will have many things to share with you when she gets back, but she asked me to extend her heartfelt thanks to you for your prayers and encouragement! It seems the Lord has been teaching her many things.....not only about photography, but about Himself and her own heart. I am personally looking forward to having her back in Nebraska on Saturday and hearing the details of her week.

But until then, I have to brag on her a little bit. (I'm her big sis, after all!!) Each day of the course, there are prizes awarded for three photos. With each student capturing approx. 20-40+ pictures each day -- and 29 students in attendance, this award is a huge honor for the chosen photographers.

So you can imagine our delight when we found this! Yes, Bethany's photo was chosen for Photo of the Day on Tuesday of this week! Congratulations, Bethany!!!

And that's all for now.... I'm sure she'll be eager to share more when she arrives home. [smile]

"How precious is Your loving kindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings"
Psalm 36:7

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I'm headed out!

The suitcase is laid out and packed...the flight details all printed camera gear all packed...a few snacks ready for the week...much prayer in preparation...

and I am finally headed to the Institute of Photographic Studies for their Prizewinning Photography course! Something I have dreamed about for years, but it never worked with our family schedule until now.

Now!!! As in -- this week!

My blog will probably be pretty quiet while I am gone, (unless you can twist Rachel's arm to do a guest post....) so browse the archives and wait for an update upon my return! [grin]

If you think of me, I would appreciate prayer: for wisdom in each situation I encounter, understanding to absorb all that is taught, and most of all that Christ's name will be glorified. Blessings to you all!

"Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place."
II Corinthians 2:14

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I so enjoyed working with you yesterday afternoon, Laura! And thanks for being such a good sport as we worked around the wind... [grin] Congratulations as you graduate, Laura, and as you pursue what the Lord has for you!


Congratulations as you graduate, Grace! What a wonderful time I had Monday night -- taking pictures is so much fun, and when working with great people, it really doesn't get better than that... [smile] Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do your senior portraits! Blessings to you!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

NCHEA: random smiles

Ruth watching the drama with her team

:: the sound technicians -- Josiah and our cousin Nicole ::

Esther -- the amazing cook!

One of the biggest surprises....on Thursday night after all the training was over, we had a little recreation time of volleyball and basketball. During basketball, one of the star actors in the drama came down on someone else and twisted his ankle wrong, making a huge bruise and causing it to swell BADLY. Though there were a lot of questions as to 'what now', the drama team quickly revamped a few of the scenes, Franz used crutches for the whole drama, and the show continued!

Matthias -- my favorit-ist bad guy

Team Pisa -- I had such a great group of assistants and kids!

Boys will be...boys!

The staff
"Never trust a skinny cook!"

Alaythia with the drama director

Matthias leading games

A smile from Holland!
City Dump Award (or was that a penalty?!)

Italians forever!!!!

Stephen teaching during a small group session

Andrew was a team leader over a whole boys team -- 18 of them, to be exact!

The tired, tired team leader/photographer.

But what a wonderful weekend! I am already looking forward to next year... [grin]