Saturday, December 29, 2012

365 People Pictures -- Day 6: Brielle


After six months, I still can't believe the color of my granddaughter's eyes.
Our creator is quite the artist! I thank Him every day for His wonderful gift of a granchild!

Friday, December 28, 2012

365 People Pictures -- Day 5: My Beloved

Day 5:

On Sunday my husband and I will celebrate 29 amazing years together. If there have ever been two people who have, by God's grace, lived an adventurous life together, it would have to be us! Even now, we wait to hear if the State Department will be able to help us (and other families in similar situations). Just today Russian President Putin signed into law a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children. We still long to bring to closure our adoption of three precious brothers and their little sister. So, we wait and we pray while we thank the Lord for the many, many blessings He has provided over the years, including 12 children and one grandchild. God is, indeed, faithful. And, nothing will be impossible with God! (Luke 1:37 NASB)

Today I captured this picture of my best friend staring out an airport window watching for a plane to arrive. That plane was carrying Lissie's friend, Eric, and his sister, Kali--also a dear friend of our daughter. Eric and Lissie will have the opportunity to spend two weeks together so that they have a better idea where their relationship is headed before Lissie returns to her teaching job in Central Asia in mid January.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

365 People Pictures -- Day 4: Eric West and Brielle

Day 4:

I'm cheating already in my determination to take a people-picture a day.

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago in Ohio. The man kissing my granddaughter, Brielle, is her Uncle Eric (on the Nix side of our family). Something about this picture just reaches down into my soul. Obviously, I altered the look of the photo; my tool was the photo editing software Lightroom.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Want to Be Successful?

I'm reading a book called Embracing Obscurity. And believe it or not, the author of the newly published title is Anonymous. The book is about the need for less self-focus in the life of a Christian. I've found it quite convicting so far!

Yesterday I read the quote below. I found it compelling enough that I've gone back several times to re-read the words.
"You want to be successful? If you live comfortably, share what you have. If you have a spouse, serve him or her sacrificially. If your home is filled with the clamor and clutter of children, savor the monumental challenge of raising them. If others follow you, point them to Christ. If you are given accolades, receive them humbly. Love and serve people around you. Walk well through the inevitable sufferings of life. Live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ. This is true success. And really, what more could we possibly want?" (pg. 89)
On the evening of the holiday that inevitably ends up being about stuff no matter how hard we try to "remember the reason for the season," I find these words refreshing.

365 People Pictures --Day 3: Daria and John

Day 3:

Daria (17) and John (nearly 21) were sharing dish washing duties as we prepared for our annual Christmas brunch. The mid morning window light was just right as they stood at the sink.

Monday, December 24, 2012

365 People Pictures -- Day 2

Day 2:

Jaynie (19) and her dad

For the story behind the flower arranging see our A Surprise at our family blog:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

365 People Pictures -- Day 1

During the past couple of years, a practice that many folks interested in photography have used to hone their skill has been to discipline themselves to take a photo a day for a year.

I've decided to restart that project but this time with my own twist. Because people are my favorite subject, I've decided to encourage my development as a photographer by taking people pictures on a daily basis.

Here's Day 1:

Mark (17) and Jaynie (19), adopted from Russia in September 2001 along with their biological sister Cassandra
I just realized a side benefit to this plan. Life is so busy around here that it's easy to miss both special moments and the daily routine that defines us as a family. I think this photography effort will help prevent that. There's already been a pay off in capturing a detail I wouldn't have wanted to have missed but easily could have in our ever-changing, extra-large family. Mark got his braces off on Friday, 21 December. I didn't think to take a picture when he returned home from the orthodontist, but now those pearly whites are on record.

Besides improving my photography skill and capturing family moments and milestones, this endeavor has a third benefit which is probably the most important. "Children are a gift from the Lord." (Psalm 127:3 NASB) Some days I find these words can be hard to swallow, in all honesty, in the midst of the daily-ness of parenting. And yet, when I see photos of my kiddos stream across my computer screen in a slide show, all the sudden my heart releases pent up anxiety and exasperation and I'm able to believe God's truth again. Children are a gift from the Lord--even during the challenging times. The reality of my life is that I am exceedingly blessed to be a mother. Pictures help me remember that.