Thursday, April 30, 2009

You Know It's Bad When... get an email from BlogHer saying, "we've noticed it has been a while since you last blogged..." 

We've had so much going on! We were out of town for 5 days, and in that time I had 4 photo shoots (two being for my niece...prom and cap and gown photos).  Prior to leaving to go out of town, I had a maternity photo shoot.  As soon as I get with the mom, I'm going to post some from that very first shoot.  She is a beautiful pregnant lady too!  

The photo editing on top of how busy I already am home-schooling two children and taking care of our home.  Not to mention we also had a yard sale weekend before last.  So you know how it is getting ready for those.  

I'm so thrilled about the photo shoots, yet it does consume a lot of time doing the photo edits. :)  I'll get into my groove with it though, and do much better with scheduling too.  It is just that while we were home, family and friends asked me to take photos for them while I was in town.  It was a lot of fun too!  But...would not have normally scheduled 4 shoots in one weekend. :)

During our visit we saw several of our dear friends.  J got to see a couple of her best friends E and K.  I didn't get photos of she and E...whom she spent Sunday with.  But I did with her friend K.  K was watching me edit the prom photos while she was over with J...and she said, "JenJen, will you take my picture too"? Of course, I was more than happy to! Plus, I knew that J would love having them for memories.

Here are a few photos from my nieces prom. :)  Both girls are my nieces.  Long story, but the oldest went to prom with the youngest's boyfriend...because they are best friends and she and her boyfriend broke up prior to already having planned to go to prom.  Meanwhile, she starting dating a new boyfriend...but the tux was already ordered for the friend...Like I said, long story. ;)






J and her friend K



Here are a few of my faves from a maternity shoot I did back home in western NC this past weekend. Isn't she pretty? :)





Monday, April 20, 2009

Great Weekend; Sunday

This weekend we had a friend visit from back home.  :)  We had a wonderful time together!!  She arrived to us on Sat afternoon.  She stayed with us Sat night, and returned home early Sun morning. 

When she arrived, we were finishing up a yard sale.  We did pretty well on the yard sale, and were able to bless our friend by taking her to dinner at a restaurant on the water.  I've got photos, but have not had a chance to edit them yet.  So I'll post a few later.  

Between fighting for the computer...the only time I have to do major edits is in the evening when the kids are in bed.  Otherwise, we are fighting for computer time!

We need another computer in our home!!  We have one laptop to share among four.  Between Josh making movies with it, Jordan using it and Dad using it for work and leisure...and my photo editing.  With all of the photos I'm taking, I am already outgrowing this one.  

Also, I really do need a larger screen for editing photos with.  I've got my eye on an Apple at Best Buy...the 20" desktop version.   Speaking of eyes have been killing me trying to edit on this little 13" laptop screen!  Not to mention, it is difficult to get a good overall view of portraits on it.  So, hopefully some time in the next year we can get the desktop.  Josh and I can share it for movies and photography. :)  David and Jordan can fight over the laptop.   lol!

So much happened this weekend.  The yard sale, visit from our friend, it was our praise teams turn to sing this Sun and I had a solo part this weekend, and....I had my first maternity shoot Sun afternoon. :)  

The maternity shoot went great.  Mainly, because the couple I photographed were extremely patient with me! I had some issues with my camera.  It is an older model Canon 10d.  Something is going on with it.  About every other time I snapped a shot, it would lock up and say error 99.  

It had done this some prior to our shoot.  I had read up about it online, and some suggested to clean around the lens connection with an eraser.  So I did all that, and charged my batteries up full...all the things it suggested online.  Still, it kept locking up.  So frustrating!!

Also, every time it locked up, I would lose the photo right before it locked.  I had to turn my camera on and off every other shot to reset...this went on for like the first hour.  We lost a lot of shots...I was about in tears.  

Then I just took a deep breath, and prayed.  Since my friends were ok with it all, we just went with what we could do.  As the shoot went on, the camera locked up less and less.  Thankfully! However, many of the photos were blurred due to the lens trying to refocus after it would shut off.  Grrrrr....

I'm pretty pleased with the results, even with the camera struggles.  Again...I haven't had time to do any photo edits yet coming off of a busy weekend.  However, I've narrowed those from this shoot down to 50 or so shots... to narrow down again to 20 for final edits.  

I'll work on a few of my very favorites and try to post them soon.  I'd like to allow my friend to see them before I post too many of them.  I'm so excited!  :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Songs I'm Into Right now...

The songs I'm totally into right now...

Shadowfeet by Brooke Fraser (Lindsay sang it at our church and it was AMAZING!!!)

Our Hope Endures by Natalie Grant


Who would have thought that God would speak to me through a Disney Pixar animation...but He did!

Sometimes I just feel so stripped like this little guy (you will see after you watch the movie), or I feel like damaged goods. People aren't short on reminding us of our flaws either...too fat, a terrible mother, I'm unlovable, I'm an idiot, the list goes one...people can be quick to judge someone they THINK they know, but really have no idea about the insides of them at all. They make deductions based only on a few (of their perception) of the outward evidences. Or, they look for the bad, instead of the good in folks.

Can't wait to show this to the rest of our little family too. We all needed it.

David has been really down since his dad died, and so have the kids and I. Things going on with our loved ones can affect the whole family dynamics. We are all in need of a major rebound!!! What we don't need though, is people telling us how they think we should feel, or not feel. That is like pouring salt on the wound. God does the work!

After watching this, I cried happy was sweet. Of course, God was working on me last night as lift my head up, pull myself out of the valley, and to remember that God really does care (even if it doesn't feel like it at all...i know i know, we don't go on a feeling-however, we do have feelings that God cares very much about!).

Thankfully, I had my good cry yesterday (and a little this morning), and I don't plan to stay there in the hard places.

I'm so praying for David. He is a good man, and has been through so much. He deserves the very best of encouragement and treatment. He has a caring heart. My prayer is that God will so bless him for all of His hard work...all of his struggles and pain. I'm not a name it claim it person. However, I believe it is his time to SHINE!! I want to see this happen for him...soon!

Thanks Andrea for sending this vid. Our whole family needed this reminder through something fun.  ;)

I'm just so ready to be "settled" somewhere...where we can dig in as a family with some staying power. Everything is always so up in the air. To think about packing up everything AGAIN, and moving and starting over again...well, I just don't want to think about it right now...It is in God's hands, and whatever He wants is what I will do. If David's time to shine means we move again...then I am definitely ready to go!

Anyway, Hope you all enjoy this cute vid too!

Boundin' by Pixar

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Color the Stormy Sky



I call this, "Color the Stormy Sky" - I took this photo during all of the tornado warnings a couple of weeks ago. The sky was so eerie and unsettling. I pulled this photo out today because I was feeling like the storms in my life won't seem to let up...they were overwhelming me today. For some reason I began painting the darkness with color. This is what God does when I soak in Him. He paints my gray with His beautiful colors.

Goes to show that I can't stay in those gray and dreary places in my heart for very long...


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A True Friend...

...Lets you know...

Thanks Angela for being thoughtful, and taking the time to let me know that the link to my photoblog wasn't working. I appreciate it, and also your support and enthusiasm for wanting to see it. :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

I'll Keep My Day Job

Well...Since my dreams in music of singing and songwriting haven't taken off... yet...

(only kidding - I know everything is in God's time, if this is what He wants for me ;)...However, I guess I'd better keep my day job. ;)

Which is wonderful in itself! My current day job is teaching, and caring for our children. Hopefully another of my passions will continue to grow into a part-time photography business. It would be great to bring in extra income for our family, while doing something that I enjoy very much. I'd also like to use this as a ministry and outreach tool.

Until I can fulfill those "long term" goals. Photography will certainly always be a part of my goals though. Especially within ministry. I'd love to further grow in my abilities to design webpages, and graphics. Also enhance my photo editing skills.

God put this web design idea on my heart several years ago (along with my heart and passion of music ministry), and I know the photography is just part of it the bigger picture God has in store. The problem with me is (well one of the many problems.haha), that I tend to put things on the back burner quite often. Or, I get discouraged, so I lay it down for awhile. No, I'm not a quitter...sometimes I lay it down out of discouragement...or to earnestly seek God. He seems to always bring music back to me though. I've given up my keyboard before...and the Lord brings me another one! lol! Seriously!!

I guess I put things on the back burner concerning me...Mostly because I think the needs of my husband and our children are more important. So, I take baby steps where I am God leads and brings opportunity to serve. :) I'm thankful for every moment to do so.

With all of that being is link below to my new and improved bloggie. Jaime Potts and I collaborated on the header design, and she totally designed the blog and picked a beautiful background! I love it!!! I've spent the last days filling in the tabs. It is still under construction, but it is getting there. Thought I'd go ahead and show it though.

Thanks to Jaime, and also Drea for her assistance in various ways answering questions and offering suggestions for me as well. :) Two talented ladies!!!

Click here: Jennography

Now...Long Term Goals:
1. Make a recording of worship songs that are geared toward encouraging the wounded hearts of the world.
2. Learn the piano better so that I will feel comfortable leading worship from behind it!
3. Last but not least...Complete my Psychology Degree to do either family counseling or youth counseling...or both. If God keeps us here, I have considered the Child Life Specialist field as well. Mainly, to use what I have learned thus far in Psychology to be of counsel to someone in their time of great need. Many moons ago when I was in Bible College, I believed God was calling me to be a youth counselor. Then...I got married, and moved...and well, the rest is history. ;) It still feels like unfinished business to me for some reason though.

The other thing that has held me back is my physical condition, which I don't like to talk about too often. I've surrendered that to God as well. When I have symptoms, I remember that God is teaching me things and growing my character through my pain. It brings me closer to Him. :)

All of these things I am praying about; Whatever God wants though. :) We can have our "goals and our plans", but in the end...God is the one who ordains our steps. When we are fully surrendered to Him, he leads our lives to wonderful, unknown and extraordinary places!

Proverbs 16:8-9 (King James Version)

8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Proverbs 16:8-9 (The Message)

8 Far better to be right and poor
than to be wrong and rich.

9 We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

First Prom Shoot with my Canon 10d

Thought I would share a few photos from the first prom I have shot with my Canon 10d. I've taken prom photos before...for my niece last yr. However, it was with my Kodak.

I friend of mine...her daughter called and asked if I would do her make-up, hair, and photos. I was happy to do it. Since I am portfolio building I planned to do them for free. Instead, I got a "gift" hidden in my purse. So...guess I can consider this my first "paid" session with my Canon. :) What a blessing too! (now my new Canon has fully paid for itself ;)

Here are a few of my faves:











Thursday, April 2, 2009

Throwback Thurs

It has been awhile since I have participated in a Throwback Thurs.

So here it's all about me this time. ;) Thought I'd got through Easter photos of our family, beginning with a few of mine from the past. You all can tell me if you think J looks like me, or Bubb. ;)

Here goes...

EasterApril68_1Easter 68 - My sister and I - I'm 4 1/2 mons old

EasterApril68_2Here I am dressed up Easter Sun - 4 1/2 mons

EasterApril69_1Easter 69 - 2 yrs old

EasterApril69_2Easter 69 - All dressed up...I was 2 yrs here. Sitting in front of my favorite instrument!

EasterApril71_1My sister and I Easter 71 - I was 4 yrs old

Jen_piano_Nov68Something I always wanted to do. My sister took lessons, and I never did. Now I am 41 and learning the piano. :) Here I am 1 yr old. Looks like I am blowing a bubble in my mouth in this photo. haha!

BalletPhotoYup, believe it or not, I took ballet! I think I was 5 or 6 in this photo. For those of you who know me now, you'd probably laugh...I'm not the most graceful gal!! Hence, I was never the "prima ballerina"! I was always jealous of my sister...she had the pretty "thin" body without even trying, her costumes were always so ornate and beautiful (I would sneak and try hers on...I'd have to SQUEEZE into them - she'd catch me and the fight was ON! lol). Oh, and she always had the boyfriends in school!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cool Flip Flops!

Ok, Bubb has these flip flops that he has worn for like 3 yrs!! He has flat worn them out!!! Seriously...they look too bad to even photograph! Yet, he still wears them! They were canvas straps on top and suede in the foot part. I think we bought them on clearance at The Shoe Carnival.

Recently, our Aunt and Nana were here visiting. They took Bubb to try to find flip flops like the ones he has worn to shreds. (the insides of them were literally shreds) They had no luck.

Last weekend when our friend Drea was here visiting (after our Harris Teeter triple coupon grocery run), J and I hit the Dollar General with her. After Drea headed home, J and I decided to go Dollar Store hopping. lol! We love Dollar Stores, and Goodwill Stores as well!

J and I came across these really cute flip flops.

They look much like the ones Bubb has...only more greenish and his old ones were more buff colored. I didn't want to buy them without his stamp of approval.

We went out today for a few grocery store items, and then ran by the Dollar General. He LOVED them!!

The best part...only $5 a pair! They are VERY light weight, and have this bumpy texture on the inside of the bottoms for footsies to get a little massage when walking. The straps are frayed canvas like his others were..only darker green. They'll be great for the beach!!! :)