Saturday, January 31, 2009

Winter Photography

Click here to enlarge slideshow.

A Must - Today Only!

We've seen these with the kids. I absolutely love them. They are great food for the creative and imaginative soul. We've seen things like a heart that is hooked up to a clear plastic machine pumping still. We've seen how the brain can adjust an inverted image back around the right way in defiance of "special glasses" that turned the world upside down for Mr. Moody. He even flew a plane wearing them! We've seen sharp shooting fish that spit at their lunch!

We like them because they offer a visual demonstration of what they are teaching you. Like the various differently shaped big sponge "cells" used to demonstrate the rate and volume of absorbed liquid. It was a demonstration of why God's design for the blood cell is best.

Every DVD is tied into and supports God's Word and concludes with a word from Mr. Moody. This set will build upon what you've been teaching your children, support their faith, and build their understanding of God, His creation, and laws.

They are full of very practical knowledge. There are many concepts and creative ideas that you will use. Get ready to be inspired at Vision Forum today and don't forget to pick up your free copy of FIREPROOF!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Get Fireproof for Free only at Vision Forum

There's just a couple of days left in the Vision Forum New Year's Clearance Sale, and everything in the store is still 25-50% off.

But the deal just got BETTER because between now and January 31, every order of $100 or more will include a free copy of the hit movie, FIREPROOF, SAICFF Best Feature Film 2009!

This life-changing incredible new movie by the producers of Flywheel and Facing the Giants, stars Kirk Cameron, and was the number one grossing independent film of 2008!

From the beginning, FIREPROOF has been as much about the stories of the people who experience it as the story in the movie. Stories like Trish's:

"My husband and I separated two days before he saw this movie. My husband had been struggling for years with many of the same issues as Caleb. The only reason he saw the movie was he thought it was an action movie. "God caught his attention through this movie, and later that night on his knees and in tears, he became a Christian. He begged me to see the movie. I refused. He did The Love Dare on me, and I reacted the same way as the wife in the movie."However, the second time through the book, I responded. We reunited on December 8, and I saw the movie two days later. Wow! It has been amazing. I asked him how many times he will do the book. He said forever. He is almost done with the third go around. Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to our Savior. My husband, children, and I thank you. God bless!"

Get your copy today!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blocking Facebooks Ads

If you love the functionality and productivity that Facebook offers but you're not as excited about the random ads on the sidebar, now there's a solution that will help make your Facebook experience completely clean. Follow this link to find out how to block Facebook Ads. It works, I have tried it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Critique of Princess Diaries II

It has long been our family's opinion that people are amusing themselves to death. All the more reason we are supportive of those taking dominon in the field of Christian Film.

"The future of our culture will be waged in the hearts and souls of the people of this nation. The vision of the Jubilee Awards and the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival is to make one of the many steps needed to lead men to Christ, to train Christians to actually think like Christians, and to take back the culture for the Lord Jesus Christ in the area of film by encouraging, motivating, and rewarding those uncompromising, creative, and innovative filmmakers who are willing to take the narrow path." ~ Doug Phillips

One of my favorite lectures at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival is given by Mr. Botkin and titled, "How to Analyze a Hollywood Movie." Once again, it was a phenomenal lecture this year. Kim Coghlan from Life In A Shoe has posted her notes from the same lecture. Hop over to Life in a Shoe and you'll see why it is such an important lecture.

Thanks Kim!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Heroic Water Landing, Women and Children First

According to FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown, the US Airways Flight 1549 had taken off from LaGuardia Airport en route to Charlotte, N.C., shortly before 3:30 p.m.
The plane crashed between 3:44 and 3:48 p.m., federal aviation officials said. The plane went into the water near 50th street, and was carried south by the outbound tide, White said.
Alberto Panero, a passenger interviewed on CNN, said: "I actually grabbed one of the seats and some people grabbed the inflatable ones. It seemed like immediately there were folks coming to us.""People were bleeding all over the place," passenger Kolodjay said. "I was scared."
After the crash, Kolodjay said passengers crowded onto the wings, and then people started getting onto life rafts. According to Kolodjay, women and children got onto the rafts first, and then the men did.
Ferry boats and other harbor crafts quickly converged around the partially-submerged aircraft and passengers wearing yellow life vests were sitting in life rafts.
Media reports said people responding on ferries tossed life vests to the plane."They threw the jackets to us. At first there was a little bit of panic," Panero said.Some people quickly took charge, he said."Once people realized that we were going to be OK, people calmed down," Panero said.
"Wow, thank the Lord and thank the pilot," said Alberto Panero, a passenger quoted on CNN. "I can't believe he managed to land the plane safely."

Read the whole article here.

Another Opportunity to Save on Your Vision Forum Favorites!

Young Ladies Guide to the Harmonious Development of Christian Character
Harvey Newcomb

This is a wonderful book from the past for the needs of the present. It is a 'Teacher's Manual' by which parents may scripturally and practically guide their daughters along the path of goodness and godliness. Its principles and practices are lights along the pathway of life for young ladies who desire to become godly women for the glory of God. It should be read, studied, prayed over, and put into practice by parents, young ladies, and - yes - even young men! It should be in every home, and in the library of every young lady. It is a 'companion' book for a lifetime.

Godly Femininity Set

Feminine by Design
Scott Brown

Based on twelve biblical texts that can be used to cast a vision of femininity, this helpful book is written to young women to help them see the beauty of godly femininity in a world confused by gender neutrality.

Helping Them to Choose
Rev. Samuel Phillips

How should parents help their children choose a marriage partner? In this guidebook, godly counsel from 1859 is a timely reminder of the wisdom of God for this important aspect of family life.

Julie Sutter

This inspiring story gives twenty-first-century girls a look at life in the eighth century. Adelina is an honorable example of courage, nobility, perseverance, and faith in God. ~Beall Phillips
From across the ages — thirteen centuries ago, when the fearless Scottish and Irish missionary bands are sent out from the Isle of Iona — comes the story of a virtuous young woman of unshakable faith, filled with determination to fulfill the role to which God has called her. She finds herself whisked away from a simple life to become the queen of a kingdom where she wrestles with temptations from her past and faces down enemies intent on her demise. Based on a true story, this Esther-like tale recounts the deeds of the courageous Adelina of the ancient German Culdee church as she endures and overcomes persecution, slander, exile, and the impending destruction of her people. In the end, she is used by God to see the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ shine forth and prevail!
A story I love to read to my girls. Adelina’s life shows that girls can be feminine, strong, and Christ-honoring! ~Kim Coghlan, Editor of

What is Biblical Femininity?
Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin

This powerful message seeks to explain what biblical femininity is and what it is not. True femininity is not based on tradition, stereotypes, or romantic images from the past. It doesn’t matter how “girly” a girl’s clothes are or how good her manners may be—if a lady’s heart is not devoted to God first, she’s not practicing femininity as God designed it.
Raising Dominion-Oriented Daughters
Geoff Botkin

How do you teach a shy daughter to go outside of herself ? What kind of toys should you give your girls? Is it wise to foster romanticism or sentimentalism in your daughters? Enjoy this personal glimpse into how Geoff and Victoria Botkin have endeavored to wisely raise their daughters for dominion oriented service for the kingdom of God.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Cottage Man Takes A Bride

Once upon a time, in a not so far but distant land, there sat and busy little man completely engaged in boredom, when he heard a brisk wrapping on his cottage door.
Upon opening the door to the unanticipated guest our main character received a bright and happy, “Hello!” coming from a near stick figure of a man in a plaid 3-piece suit and derby hat sporting a band equally as bright as his smile.

Upon removing the hat from his head he continued, “I imagine a cottage dweller in this not far but distant land must often find himself at a loss for interesting amusements? You haven’t any neighbors near.” A horse whinnied and our cottage dweller peeked over the shoulder of his visitor to spy a horse drawn wagon upon which was painted, “Handy Rick’s Wagon of Tricks.”

“Well, yes I suppose it can be a little quiet here in Hickoryhaven at times. What do you have in mind? Do you have a wife in that wagon?” he said with a smirk and a smile.

“Nooooo-ho-ho-ho, sir nothing like that of course. A horse is enough trouble for a traveling man like myself. What do you say I join you for a cup of coffee, no worries I brought my own coffee maker, and we’ll discuss the other fine items I have brought along with me today? I drove all the way out here when I heard what the folks over in Hunter’s hollow were saying,” The salesman said with a wink.

“What where they saying? Who?” came as a curious reply.

“Weeeeelllllll, it’s no matter really. Perhaps a guitar? Would you like a guitar? Just as soothing as a woman’s voice and nearly as pretty. You could spend your day singing like the Van Trapps.”

“The Van Who? Were they the ones that said something?”

“No, no, friend,” the salesman said with a smile. “The family singers from the next town over know nothing of the matter. Maybe music isn’t your thing? How about a jigsaw puzzle? 1000 pieces? I have several. Do you like puzzles?”

“Puzzles? What matter? Sure, I like puzzles, but tell me what you’re talking about; what THEY are talking about! What did they say?”

“That’s alright, no matter, I am sure they meant no harm.”

The cottage dweller’s eyes widened. “Oh no, it was bad then.” And he hung his head for a brief moment.

“Perhaps you should sit while I relate the story to you. Let me get you a chair.” And the salesman ran to his carriage and back again will a tall stool. “Sit here friend and feel kingly in your tall perch. That ought to lift your spirits”

Pulling up a matching chair next to the discouraged character, the salesmen began to share the hear-say and hubbub that the busy lips at Treehopper’s General store were relating to one another, ending with, “…but it’s nothing to fret over.”

“That’s easy for you to say. You’re not the one they are talking about! How could they come up with such wild speculations? That I must be sick or perhaps even backward and to say that I could be a lunatic! Why, they don’t even know me!”

“It’s time to stop worrying and start living my friend,” said the friendly salesman as he grasped the cottage dweller’s shoulder.

“There’s only one thing you can do.” The salesman paused and peering up in the sky noted it was approaching noon. “You must get yourself a wife and they’ll know you’re not nutty!”

“But you haven’t one in your wagon and who is there to marry!”

“You’ve asked the right man. My grandmother was the town matchmaker in her day. I’d say I have learned a thing or two from her and I have inherited the family business. Can you be at the church at six?”

“I haven’t a clock, or a ring, or a woman, how do you imagine this possible?”

The salesman ran to his wagon bringing back a ring and a clock and while setting the clock to match his own timepiece he said over his shoulder, “Consider this an early wedding gift! Here man take this ring, I’ll add it to my fees and get you self shaved for you’ll be married tonight!”

Then he dashed away to go find a prospective bride!

Our cottage man was quite rattled after his visit from the stranger. To think he would be married that very evening finally and put an end to the gossip and rumors. His fancy new clock read 2:00 now and it was quite a distance to the chapel. A bite to eat would settle him before he set out on the shortest jaunt down the longest road he’d ever traveled.

In his best (and only) suit he started the long walk to town.

And boy! Wasn’t this the thing to see! For the whole town and the town next over had come to see if the rumors where true. The crazy cottage man had come to town to marry!

And what a sight for our poor cottage friend to see such a turn out for his wedding…

“Psst!” came from the alley beside the black smith’s shop. It was our friend the salesman with another somewhat startled townsman. "I've hired you a photographer! It's a special day you know. I added it my regular fee. I knew you wouldn't mind!"

Three abreast our betrothed cottage man and his two friends walked down Main street toward the chapel surrounded by the whispers and hushes of the towns folk.

To be continued….maybe...

Grandma's Knitting Journal

Behind The Seams: Girly Camera Bag

So, I haven't wanted to admit it yet, but I have a new Canon Rebel XS. I am still fiddling with the buttons and working on shooting a decent picture. So far, I know the on/off switch and which buttons change which numbers on the LCD screen, but I haven't had time to figure out what the numbers mean. Ha!
But that is besides the point right? This is a Behind The Seams post. So, what to do about a camera bag? That's a problem I can tackle easy enough and without a manual and very little trouble shooting.
But here's the problem. Camera bags are ugly and I was kinda wanting a girly looking bag. So, here's what I have come up with. Buy a purse, and modify. It was easy and quick. Here's some photos to show you how the project went.
Plenty of room in there.
Just right for the camera with an 18-55mm lens.

First things first, rip the stitching open in the bottom of the lining. I opened it just enough to get inside and maneuver the foam into place.

Though it looks like the bottom is separate from the left and right sides, it's not. I used a seam stress tape and measured for one long strip that went down one side across the bottom and up the other side. The back and front are covered with separate pieces. Once I had my measurements, I marked the 3/8" thick foam with a sharpee marker and then I cut the foam with regular scissors. I figured it wasn't rocket science. I measured a little long on purpose, and trimmed to a perfect fit.

A blind hem stitch does the trick. The lining will be too big since the inside of the bag is now smaller, but there was no need to take the lining in at all.

I tucked the lining in the corners and in the bottom in between the foam pieces where they meet. Much like a slip cover on a couch. I plan to cover that little zipper pull inside so that it doesn't scratch up the camera.
I have extra pockets for the usual camera paraphernalia: manuals, lens caps, memory cards, cords and what have you.

One very cute girly camera bag.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8)

The tradition of making resolutions for a new year dates back to ancient Babylon. It was connected then with the New Moon, which signaled the end of the winter season. Roman emperors managed to manipulate the calendar enough to get the event out of sync with the moon, finally declaring in 153 B.C. January 1 as the New Year. And the early Greeks used a baby to symbolize the rebirth of their wine-god Dionysus as far back as 600 B.C.
These celebrations were the pagan ceremonies of pantheistic or polytheistic systems of worship, and the early Church fiercely fought these sensual revelries. However, by the Middle Ages, many of the pagan festivals and gods had been "Christianized" by various missionary efforts. Thus, by the twelfth century, most of Europe had integrated many of the pagan celebrations into Christian "holy days." That battle between the "traditions" and the effort of Christians to focus their families and churches on worship of our Lord continues today. Commercial entities praise "Santa Claus" over the birth of Jesus Christ. And the "Easter Bunny" vies for attention over the Lord’s resurrection.

Today, as we face the tradition of "resolutions," we must remember three important restrictions from Scripture. First, whatever we promise must be genuine, truthful, and from our hearts (James 5:12). Second, God takes these "vows" seriously (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5). And finally, God’s requirements for our lives are both simple and profound: Do justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God (our text). Maybe the best resolution we could make is one like King David’s plea: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10). HMM III

Gentle Shepherd Clothes Closet

If you haven't stopped by to visit The Shepherd's Journey I recommend that you do. Ruthanne has to be one of the sweetest and most gracious ladies I have ever met. It's quite evident that she loves her role as wife and mother as she is the mommy of 9 precious children. But her love goes beyond the walls of her own home. Ruthanne has a heart for the unborn knowing that many of them have no one to speak for them, defending their right to life. Ruthanne reaches out to minister to courageous new mommies in her area, involving her children in her work. She is an inspiring woman, just take a look at this post from September of 2008.
Delivering Baby Clothes to a Raleigh Crisis Pregnancy Center

Our family maintains a clothes closet of baby, toddler and maternity clothing to donate to local and not-so-local pregnancy resource centers (also known as crisis pregnancy centers).

These clothes are given to us by a couple of Christian women entrepreneurs who facilitate a HUGE children's consignment sale twice a year here in Birmingham. The sale is so big that there is an amazing amount of beautiful clothing that goes unsold. These clothes, donated by the sellers, are then turned around and distributed to various charities, churches or families in need.
We call our clothes closet ministry the "Gentle Shepherd Clothes Closet" and have been blessed to be able to direct baby and maternity clothes donations to pro-life pregnancy resource centers in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois and Iowa. Soon we are due to take a delivery to Texas!
Ruthanne gets much joy out of de-tagging, removing from hangers, sorting and repackaging the clothing with our children, who have also come to love the work. It's an honor for her to be able to facilitate the meeting of needs of mothers experiencing unexpected pregnancies who have chosen not to abort their children.
Lord willing, we'll get another big batch of clothing in March, after the Spring/Summer sale!
Jay at a Raleigh, North Carolina CPC unloading big bags of baby clothes.

Ruthanne signing a guest register