Monday, May 31, 2010

Listing my blessings...

"For the beauty of the earth, For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth, Over and around us lies:
Christ our God, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise

- Folliott S. Pierpoint (from the hymn: For the Beauty of the Earth)

Still counting to 1,000...

Sweet blessings from the week:

522. 1/2 day of school on Friday and the long weekend
523. evangelism conversation with our small group
524. Java chip frappacinos
525. a student - back. 
526. Dad James (Happy Birthday!)
527. the kids playing in the snowing seed fluff.
528. peace for Brian
529. a sparkling clean house
530. our new bird window
531. our first iris blossom from Grandpa's garden
532. promise of a new baby for a friend
533. fresh summer sheets
534. a great sermon by Jeff Arthurs
535. proud art students
536. A sweet friendship between two students 
537. raining maple seeds
538. secret Yemen girl blogs
539. time alone
540. future grace

(Prayer Request: Tomorrow my Dad finds out how effective his cancer 
treatments were...please pray that he is fully healed and cancer free!)

holy experience

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Prayerful Proclamation

Colossians 4:2-6

 2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sea Kettle's Cat

I really try my best not to be "the crazy cat lady"... 

But, boy do I like this cat. 

Dmitri is the perfect little animal housemate. He's clean, quiet, attentive, and awfully cute.  

He follows me around the house like a little puppy, gently pats my face with his paw when I sleep in and meows desperately at the door when I go out to the garden. I thought cats were supposed to be independent, picky and aloof?

Really now, how could you resist those eyes and that wild mane?

(Dmitri is a Siberian cat. I highly recommend this breed, especially if you are concerned about allergies. This cat is supposedly hypo-allergenic...out of my 6 friends/siblings who are allergic to cats, he only really aggravates 1 or 2 of their allergies and it is a much less severe reaction.  They have such a great disposition and the softest fur.  We got our kitten from this breeder in NH.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reading on the Hill with the Boys - This Moment

This Moment:  A moment from the week that I'm pausing to remember and savor...

Joining with SouleMama:
{this moment} - A Friday ritual

Thursday, May 27, 2010


One of my very favorite times of the work day is seeing my husband walk out of his school doors when I come to pick him up at the end of the day. My heart warms quick when I catch a glimpse of his just-for-me smile. 

The day I happened to have my camera out, he brought me a chocolate cupcake..

..what a guy. (in so many more ways than one)

Don't mind if I do.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Wedding at Blue Skye Farm

Last saturday, I mentioned that I was going to photograph my first wedding. My sister-in-law and I just finished editing, cropping and sorting our photos and I'm just sent off the DVD and some sample prints to the bride and groom.  It was hard work, but it was a lot of fun to photograph such a lovely wedding!  The day was really perfect in every way.  

Here are some highlights:

Congratulations Nate and Amy!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sea Kettle Gardens - The Beginnings

This post is a bit late, but better late than never, right?  

During my April vacation, I spent a lot of time thinking, planning and planting in our wee garden.   My sister-in-law came down to help and together we picked out many beautiful and healthy perennials. We bought some astilbe, lupine, black-eyed susan, columbine, ladybells, clematis, some climbing hydrangea(I'm most excited about this!) and a peony bush.  I also had some iris, daylily and bloodroot from my Grandpa's garden and some obedient plant, hosta and shasta daisies from Mom and Dad James' garden. We also bought some ivy to climb on the back fence and some hollyhock, cosmos and snapdragons to add some nice bright color. It's really filling out quite nicely.

We also decided to redo the edge of the garden. There were a bunch of extra bricks laying around the back yard, and as we dug, we found even more so we rearranged them to create a more organic line.  This is what the garden used to look like:

Here are some current shots of the garden. Check out those beautiful organic curves (Thanks, Bri!)

..More on how I label my plants later...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Give Me a Calm and Thankful Heart

Father, whate'er of earthly bliss
Thy sovereign will denies,

Accepted at Thy throne, let this

My humble prayer, arise:
Give me a calm and thankful heart,
From every murmur free;

The blessing of Thy grace impart,

And make me live to Thee.
-Anne Steele

(listen to a beautiful new version of this old hymn here)

501. Brian's drums during worship
502. a bird-window gift from Dad
503. movie-making with the kids
504. Nancy's surprise little garden
505. snakes, chinchillas, skunks, tarantulas and flying squirrels at school
506. Papa Ginos
507. Jess and Jesse back in MA from Peru
508. beautiful finished collages
509. early morning garden check-ins with Brian
510. finishing wedding photo work
511. bow-ties and blazers
512. Small group
513. dinner with the James siblings
514. Rhema's curls let loose and her Dad, home. 
515. Brian, as he listens to an especially wonderful symphony
516. the woman sitting next to me in the pew and her well-worn Bible
517. homemade whipped cream
518. Ken Ken and Mr. Tara. Enough said. :)
519. inspiring a new gratitude list
520. quiet Sunday afternoons
521. taking my students to the park and stream for the first time this spring...

holy experience

Sunday, May 23, 2010


John 20:19-22

 19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Summer List - 2010

I always have so many plans and dreams for the summer, but it always seems to slip by so quickly!  Brian and I made a list of things that we'd like to do this summer. I'm hoping that I can post a fully "checked" list in September...

(The format of this list is totally inspired by this blogger.)  

(the heading and pictures on the list were made with some handmade rubber stamps
that I've been working on...more on that later!)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Snakes at School - This Moment - May 21, 2010

a moment from the week that I'm pausing to savor...

Joining with SouleMama:
{this moment} - A Friday ritual

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Preparation: A New Journal

I've journaled on and off since 5th grade. I always have at least one or two working journals around and they are continually being filled with lists, drawings, plans, blessings, gratitudes and prayers. 

I have always loved adding color and character to my journals, whether it be by stamps, stickers, drawings or paintings (depending on my age or current fancy). For my last few journals, I've bought simple brown moleskins and added pictures from old Martha Stewart magazines (she always has the best simple-beauty pictures, in my opinion).  This most recent idea came from inspiration from this lovely lady, her journals and her thoughts on journaling.  

This collage idea is quick and simple and makes journaling especially enjoyable for us beauty seekers.  So last night I hunkered down with my fresh moleskin, old magazines and trusty glue stick and filled each new page with loveliness of all kinds: flowers, skies, gardens, pots, porches, picnics, umbrellas, birds and nests... joyful preparation for the thoughts, ideas and art to come. 

"The Art of Life Deserves a Frame" : If I remember right, this quote was on Ann's blog, as well.  I've been putting this at the beginning of my journals recently...
Some filled-in pages from an old journal: