goooooooo Wonder Pets!

I love my new friend, Rachel.  We just "click".  Due to both being moms of little ones, we haven't had a lot of time to actually "spend" together, but I know one day when we do, we'll never be able to shut up!!!  What DID stay at home moms DO before the internet!!!???

Rachel has 3 precious blessings.  And in their house, Wonder Pets is a preferred show.  (it's SO funny how different kids have different preferences!  Nathan could not care less for the Wonder Pets!)  So Rachel's mom got all seamstressy crafty and made the three kids their own Wonder Pet costume for Halloween!  Rachel asked if I could take a photo of the 3 of them together in their awesome costumes, to document the special occasion.  Here is the final result:

Are those not amazing little costumes???

Although we had intended to acquaint ourselves with the Hot Air Balloons at Funfest this year, Rachel was our official tour guide for FunFest!  We are still so grateful for all her help then -- we had SUCH a good time!  Can't wait for next year!  She let us in on all the good spots, helped us know where to go, what to make sure to see, what to miss, etc.  Awesomeness combined with just lovely company.  At any rate, Friday evening before the balloon glow (which again, I wouldn't have known about if not for Rachel, and was my FAVORITE part of funfest, hands down!), I took a few of her 3 lovelies.  They are precious little children.

too busy to smile at me... ah, the life of a 3 year old

young life

Shawn and I are VERY strong supporters of the ministry of Young Life.  I could go on and on about it... but I'll leave that to you to discover, since this IS my photography blog.  In October we had the amazing privilege to spend the weekend at Windy Gap Young Life Camp in Weaverville, NC.  Although Young Life does have "family camp," that I look forward to taking our own little ones to some day when they are older, we visited on a normal teen weekend.  What an amazing thing to get to SEE Young Life operate, and SEE those kids being impacted!

Because the annual fundraising banquet was coming up, and because Scottie, our local YL area director, hadn't been able to update his photos in years due to budget constraints, I decided to volunteer my photographic skill to try to capture some awesome moments just for that purpose!  I contacted Color Inc, my preferred print lab.  Their customer service had always been beyond superb to me.  My contact there left things with "if you ever need anything, please don't hesitate to ask."

So... I DID!  I let them know about Young Life here, what I was planning to do at Windy Gap, and asked if we could have a discount to get some BIG BIG BIG prints made.  Their reply?  We were floored.  The discount was huge.  Just huge.  What a tremendous, tremendous blessing!!!  Words can't describe it.

The banquet was held on October 26.  The prints were there and hanging around.  It was the first time I've seen "my" work displayed anywhere, let alone in 12 huge 24x30 prints and 3 banners.   Utterly huge banners.  It was really, truly cool for me to see.  And I hope and pray that they somehow helped the people who attended the banquet to FEEL a small taste of what Young Life can do in the life of a teenager.  The forever impact on a life.

Here were my favorites from that weekend.

splash pad

[so I'm trying to get caught up on blog posting that I've put off for a while.....]

I'd like to say that the following pictures were of MY kids at the local splash pad. I LOVE the splash pad. I think it is just plain awesome.  And it's FREE!  What a fabulous thing for us to do.... Alas.... when we, as in my own family, go to the splashpad -- Nathan spends the entire time lying on the concrete, NOT in the water.  And Cora spends the entire time trying to run off into the grass surrounding the facility.  Needless to say, I have NO even mediocre photos of MY kids at the splashpad.

But one day we met my friend Amy, her kids, and some kids that she kept for the summer there, and THEY cooperated with me!  (is this not a sight for sore eyes on this cold, rainy day!)


In August I was commissioned as a photographer.  It was the first time for something like this.  The church that planted our church was honing its core values, and was creating something very visual to go with it.  At the time, I didn't know that.  At the time, all I knew was this was a project for Grace Fellowship in Johnson City.  I was given written descriptions and asked to bring that forth into a visual image.

After all was said and done, I was very pleased with how they turned out.   I'm not 100% sure which images were actually chosen for each theme, so I showed my favorite-favorites.  It's amazing what emotion just hands can convey!  But I understand that 3 of my images are hanging big-big-BIG in one of the rooms at their facility.  What an honor!!!

Pursuing Growth
Seeking greater personal growth in all situations
(Proverbs 4:5-9; Luke 2:52; Philippians 3:12-14;James 1:1-4)

Demonstrating Love
Treating others as we would like to be treated
(Matthew 7:12; John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

Living Truth
Conforming our beliefs, attitudes and actions to the Bible
(John 1:14, 17; Romans 12:1-2; James 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

katelyn times two

Happy, smiley Katelyn is daughter number two for good friends of ours. She is only a mere 5 weeks younger than Cora, but she's certainly smaller! Katelyn is such a petite little thing! But she makes up for her small stature with a BIG happy personality. Her smile truly is infectious.

These friends have been so wonderful to us over the years. They have always been there. They've brought meals during troubled times. They've had us over for dinner countless times. They've listened. They've invited us to just have fun. I asked if I could do a one year old session for little Katelyn, in an attempt to make up for a tiny portion of all they've done for us!

I LOVE big sister's expression here -- are you DONE taking pictures, or what, lady?

And lastly, one of big sister's gorgeous big blue eyes!!!