Thursday, December 22, 2011

Photo Challenge Day 22

Today's prompt of holiday greetings has had me stumped from the beginning. At first I thought I would photograph the Christmas cards received from family and friends. It amazes me how few are sent out these days. Of course, I'm just as guilty. I get busy. Busier than I expect. There are too many demands on my time. Something has to be let go. It is usually the signing and mailing of Christmas cards. Who of you can relate?

I thought I would make a short video clip stating greetings to each of you in almost real life. Sadly, I have not figured out the video part of my camera.

Then I ran across this video. Are you familiar with this song? I had heard the song, but not seen the video.

This is my holiday greeting to you. May you find the wonder in how a Baby changed everything.

Peace and Joy,

Matthew 18:20 (NKJV) For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Christmas Song HodgePodge

1. Are you cooking Christmas dinner? How many will be round your table this year? What are we having?

We plan for seven but cook for eight (or ten). I love cooking Christmas dinner. We do something a little out of the norm. Your surprised, yes? After all the turkey and ham leftovers from Thanksgiving, who wants to do all that again? Definitely not me. I'm so over turkey right now. A few years ago we started a new tradition for Christmas dinner. Surf and turf. Steak. Standing rib roast. T-bones. Whichever sounds good. And shrimp. Or talipia. Or this year we're having Mahi Mahi sent overnight from Florida. We found a fabulous fresh seafood market while we were on vacation back in October and made the arrangements. I couldn't be more excited. Plus some extra special side dishes and a dessert that is divine. I'll post the menu another day.

2. What is one must-have Christmas cookie in your house? 
Snickerdoodles. Of which I have made none. They are on my "gotta do" list for this week.

3. Santa likes a glass of milk with his cookies. Do you? What kind of milk is on tap at your house-skim? almond? soy? full fat (Gasp!) 
I am a milk snob. I admit it. I drank whole milk for years. Switched to 2% a while back. I finally switched to skim milk a few years ago, but am super picky about the brand. Some brands taste like barely-flavored water. Yuck! But this brand actually tastes like milk.

4. Time magazine recently named their 'Person of the Year' for 2011. This is the person the editors believe had the greatest impact, for better or worse, in the past year. This year they chose 'The Protester'. Your thoughts? Who would you name Person of the Year for 2011? 

Nathan Lorick is my choice for Person of the Year. He is making a stand to keep a nativity scene displayed in his town in Malakoff, Texas.  Hear about his journey to speak out for the community's right to freedom of expression here. You can read about how God worked through this young man and his small community to bring glory to His name. What started out to be a small gathering of 150 people turned in to a huge crowd of over 5,000.

5. December 21st is National Flashlight Day... when was the last time you needed a flashlight and did you know right where to find one?

We have several flashlights positioned around the house and in both vehicles. I even have one on my Harley.

6. candy canes...yum or yuck?

Yummm. But I usually break them into small pieces that I can just grab and go. I like a hands-free type of candy.

7. What Christmas carol lyric means the most to you? 

"No crib for a bed." This verse speaks volumes about Christ's sojourn through this world. From humble beginnings to a borrowed tomb.  

8. Insert your own random thought here. Today's photo challenge prompt is Tiny Tots with their Eyes All Aglow. I don't have any tots at home any more. The grand-boy, who is now 10, would cringe at the thought of being called a tiny tot. And it's just not appropriate to take pictures of random children to post on the internet.  So I leave you with this video:

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. Please hop on over to Joyce's to read other participants answers or better yet, link up with your own.

Peace and Joy,

Psalm 91:1-2 (NKJV)1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;  My God, in Him I will trust.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter Wonderland - Day 20

It's difficult to get new or recent pictures of a winter wonderland when the temperature hovers at the 50 degree mark. The warmth is a tad on the unseasonal side, but I don't mind. Not one bit. For those of you who have followed me through the climate changes know that I am not a fan of the cold. I enjoy a beautiful snowfall like the rest, but I'm happiest when it is 70 degrees or warmer.

Back to winter and a wonderland of which I have none. Here are a couple pictures I snapped while in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago. These were taken at the Bellagio. They have such a beautiful atrium. It is fully decorated with animation. There is also a train whose tracks run through the display equipped with a camcorder. You can watch a monitor from an engineer's point of view. Pretty kewl.

This polar bear and these penguins are adorable. Of course, in reality they are on opposite poles. But, hey....this is Vegas afterall.

In keeping with the winter wonderland theme for today, here is what it looks like when it snows in my neck of the woods. This is from last winter but still 2011.

Thank you so much for playing along in the 25 Daily Christmas Photo Challenge. Today is day 20. Only five more days until the challenge is over and Christmas is here.

Peace and Joy,

Luke 1:76-78 (NKJV) 76 “ And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, 77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins,  78 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;

Monday, December 19, 2011


You don't have to venture far to find toys. Whether you are six or 60. Almost every merchant seems to have a variety of "gifts" to fulfill your want list. Electronics. Tools. Games. Kitchen gadgets. Appliances. Motorcycles. Yes. You read that right. Even motorcycles. The ultimate toy for some. Like me. Here's one with a big red bow.

There were only a couple of motorcycle with bows on them positioned near the Christmas tree at the dealership. It was difficult to get a good shot. You may not be able to tell from the photo, but that is a backrest. It's for the comfort of the passenger. The passenger can lean against it for a more relaxing ride.

Only six more photo prompts. Six days till Christmas. I am not stressing over any of it this year. I'm pretty happy about that too. What about you? Are you stressing over what you still need to accomplish or are you enjoying the special moments each day brings?

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting. If you are participating in the photo challenge, be sure to link up.

Peace and Joy,

Colossians 3:17 (NKJV) 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Cheer!

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the gatherings. Whether it is getting together with family or friends, there is nothing better than time spent with people we love and care about. Today's prompt is a reflection of that joy. Food. Beverages. Warmth. Sharing.

This cup is cheer is nothing more than a soft drink in an elegant glass. Isn't that what makes it special? Yes. Partaking in the ordinary in extraordinary ways instills in the recipient that they are indeed precious.

Here's to today, This Day! May we each instill in others how precious they are to us and to God.

Peace and Joy,

Luke 1:68 (NKJV) “ Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people,

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I thought today's prompt would be so much easier to find than the hippopotamus. I was wrong. So, so wrong. What is it with mistletoe? Are people afraid to put it up? We were at a lovely dinner party last night. The place had beautiful decorations. Not one piece of mistletoe.

The hubs and I are going to the city today where I'm hoping to get a few shots for the remainder of the photo challenge. But to fulfill today's theme, you can read all about mistletoe here. When I searched for a mistletoe song, I found this. It's new. It's modern. It's kinda cute. It just might be a new favorite. Enjoy!

Have a fabulous weekend.

Peace and Joy,

Matthew 1:20-21 (NKJV) 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” 


Friday, December 16, 2011

A Hippopotamus for Christmas?

Isn't that what every child wants? A hippopotamus? Ummmm. No. I can't remember ever having that item high on my list. A friend of mine wanted a pot bellied pig. I think she finally got over that. She went with reptiles instead. They are easier to manage. I guess.

I searched high and low for a hippopotamus. I found a few elephants. But not one single hippopotamus. So, I'm using a photo which I took back in 2010 when we took the grand-boy to the zoo. It's a hippopotamus and I took the photo. Just not this week.

To make up for that, I found this funny clip of the song that started it all.

Thank you stopping by and visiting.

Peace and Joy,

Luke 1:30-33 (NKJV) 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Heard the Bells

It's Christmas Time in the City! Most of the hotels in Las Vegas do it up big for Christmas. But not a single one of them ever beats the Bellagio. Huge trees. Animated scenes. Florals. Archways. Water spouts. It is amazing. They do not disappoint.

Here is my best effort to capture the silver bells hanging from the ceiling of the atrium.

The colors, fragrance, and sheer magnitude are breathtaking.  Have you heard the bells? Check out this video of Casting Crowns rendition.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. For those playing along in the 25 Daily Christmas Photo Challenge, tomorrow is hippopotamus day. Have you found one yet? Can't wait to see your pictures for that prompt.

Peace and Joy,

Luke 1:26-28 (NKJV) 26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Deck the Halls HodgePodge

1. Do you put Christmas decorations in every room of your house? If not every room, what rooms do you decorate? I generally put a little something in each room. Not this year though. This year I'm cutting back because of time constraints. Most of my favorites are out and about just not everything.

2. If you could visit one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) which one would you choose and why? Denmark. I have friends there. IRL and on-line friends. Friends from a photography workshop. I would love to meet these incredible ladies.

3. What does the word faith mean to you? The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

4. You can go back to your childhood for one day...what day and age would you choose? This is a tough one, Joyce. I'll have to give it a little more thought.

5. When did you last have 'punch'? If it's not too much trouble share your favorite punch recipe. I haven't had punch in.....ummmm....I honestly don't remember the last time. 

6. Do you fill stockings at your house? Are stockings opened before or after the bigger gifts? We absolutely fill stockings. They are the last item to be opened. There a lump of coal that gets passed around too. It's more of a novelty or joke really. The kids (all over the age of 21) laugh about it when they are the one who ends up with it.

7. What takes your breath away? Besides the hubs? The joy and privilege of living every single day.

8. Insert your own random thought here. Today's photo challenge is Deck the Halls. My mind immediately goes to the next line in this song, "with boughs of holly." There are many holly bushes and trees around campus. One right outside my building, so I snapped this picture before I left work for the day.
Thank you for stopping by and visiting. Please hop on over to Joyce's to read other participants answers or better yet, link up with your own. Also, if you are here for the 25 Daily Christmas Photo Challenge, please link up below. If you'd like to join in, there is still time. You can read about the challenge here.

Peace and Joy,

Matthew 2:4-6 (NKJV) 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6 ‘ But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Dasher, On Dancer....

....On Prancer and Vixen, On Comet, On Cupid, On Donner and Blixen. These eight reindeer have a huge responsibility to make sure that Santa and his bundle of toys makes it around the world in a single night. It should come as no surprise that sometimes they need a little break for the standard. The norm. Something with a little more zip and flash than the orthodox sleigh.

Enter the chopper trike. What reindeer would pass up the opportunity to zip around the north pole sporting one of these?

This exhibit was in the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas. Pretty snazzy rig if you ask me. But then I'm rather partial to motorcycles. lol.

Thank you for playing along. Please be sure to visit the other participants to see their photos in this 25 Daily Christmas Photo Challenge. Want to play along? You can still join in. Go to the daily challenge post for the prompt list and start today, This Day! with #13 Reindeer.

Peace and Joy,

Luke 2:10 (NKJV) Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.


Monday, December 12, 2011

A Candy Cane, or Five and Something Sticky

I missed candy cane day because of a week long conference. I took a couple pictures with my cell phone, but they were just not what I had in mind. So I decided to wait for today's prompt. I think this does nicely for days 6 and 12.

Who of us can eat a candy cane without getting sticky? Certainly not me. The hubs would say, "I would expect no less." I'm a mess maker. I admit it. Do I care? Nope! I clean up after myself. But I am not fanatical about it like the hubs. Guess that's what 24 years of military service will do for you. Thank you, Armed Forces for training my husband.

Anyway, The candy cane has a very special meaning. Here is a poem that explains it:

Christmas Candy Cane Poem about Jesus

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who’s sinless and pure!
“J” is for Jesus My Lord, that’s for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!

I am thankful for the message of Jesus in something so simple as the candy cane.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. Be sure to link your blog post.

Peace and Joy,

Galatians 4:4-5 (NKJV) 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ribbons and Bows

Ribbons and bows remind me of days long ago when my daughter was younger. When she had less say in her wardrobe. She wore dresses. I braided her hair, French braid. Then put pretty bows in it. *sigh* She has lovely hair. Hair that she is finally able to manage. It is very, very curly. Lots of curly hair. She rarely wears it down. It's just easier for her to put it up in a pony tail and go. I understand.

But I was not able to get a photo of my daughter's lovely hair with a bow in it. She is working today. Besides the fact that she would think me loony if I thought she would even entertain the idea of me putting a bow in her hair and taking a picture. The whole notion makes me chuckle.

So instead of a picture of my lovely daughter with a bow in her hair, here is a photo of a present wrapped with a curly ribbon. 

It is the only wrapped gift under my tree. I've gotten lazy in my older years or maybe it's better time management to put the gift in a bag. Yeah. That one. Better time management. There seems to be so many demands on my time during this holiday season. Are you feeling the crunch too? Are you behind or right on schedule?

Hope your week is filled enjoying every moment of this special and sacred time of year.

Peace and Joy,

Luke 2:14 (NKJV) 14 “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!


No Crib for a Bed

That was normalcy for Jesus. He had no place to call His own. Not here. Not on Earth. He was born in a stable. Among the lowliest of creatures. From His birth to His death, He could honestly say to each of us: "I know how you feel. I did without. I endured hardship. I experienced pain. I felt loneliness. I cried out in anguish. I shared friendship and felt their betrayal." He came down from His throne in Heaven to teach us, and, ultimately, give His life for us. For me. For You.  

This is one of three nativities we have in our home. It is my favorite. It is powerful in the simplicity of the manger scene and its message. Family. Forgiveness. Love. Hope.

May you find these and so much more that only comes from God through His Son, Jesus.

Peace and Joy,

Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV) Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

O Tannenbaum

O Christmas Tree

They are so lovely, yes?

Here is my tree with Chummly posed in front of it. It took several attempts before he would sit still while I moved around behind the camera.

I kept telling the hubs it was crooked, but he said it was me and the way my tripod was set up. Really? So, a couple days later, he says to me, "you know, I think that tree is crooked." "You know, honey, I think you're right. Can you fix it?" "Oh, sure. I'll just slip a magazine under that one leg." Voila. Straight tree. ahahaha

Thank you so much for joining in and sharing.

Peace and Joy,

Luke 2:14 (NKJV) “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Makin' A List

Checkin' it twice. Gonna find out who's naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town.
Are you ready? For Christmas?  I don't want to alarm any one, but it is only 24 days away. Who of us could get everything accomplished without making a list? Santa definitely has the right idea. I for one can barely make it through a single day without a list. What about you?

I have a list for everything. At work, I make "to do" lists. Things I need to complete today, before month's end, this quarter, this fiscal year. I have a list for the grocery store. I started using my smart phone for that. I downloaded the color note app and use it extensively. I add items needed at the grocery store as I think of them. Plus, I always have my phone with me. No longer is my list at home on the counter when I run by the store. I love that.

There is a list for the Christmas dinner menu. A list of gifts to buy. A list of clothes to pack. A list of books to read. A list of photography equipment I want to purchase. A list of places to go on vacation. A list of pictures to take. I have several of them on Pinterest. Have you gotten hooked on Pinterest? I could spend hours there.

My most recent list is the one we are working on together. A list to take 25 Daily Christmas Photos.

It's a photo of the list. I printed it out so I can have it with me at all times. I need this prompt to remind me of the pictures items I want to capture. It's literally a scavenger hunt. When you see something on the list, click that shutter, make a post about it with your photo, and come back here to link up. Easy peasy.I would love for you to join in and play along.

I'd like to welcome Skoots1Mom at my hands HIS GLORY and Janet who is On the Road. So glad you are joining in on the fun.

I'm off to get more completed from my packing list. Thank you for stopping by to visit and for playing along. Have a fabulous day. Happy hunting.

Peace and Joy,

Hebrews 1:1-2 (NKJV) 1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Days x 7 Players =

175 photos of Christmas. That's a lot of Christmas love. Wouldn't you agree? Let's meet the players.

Kat at Heart2Heart

Lori from Mountain Woman at Heart

Joyce From This Side of the Pond

Patti of Osage Bluff Quilter

Mary at Life in a Small Town

Amanda at Mandy's Marvelous Journey

If you don't know these lovely woman, please stop by their blogs to say "hi." Some of them already have a photo posted today.

Here is my Day 1 - Something Red entry. Not quite what you expected? It's red! This is my new luggage. I bought myself an early Christmas gift. I'm traveling tomorrow. To Las Vegas. Where I will be for a week. I'll be in a working conference during normal business hours. Even over the weekend.*sigh* Oh don't feel too bad for me. I'm going to have time to play. Here's today's photo:

To stay with the Christmas theme, I am also posting a photo of the centerpiece on my dining room table. The hubs and I gathered the materials last year at Hobby Lobby for this beauty. I'll get a better photo of it another time. Right now I'm using part of the dining room table as my desk. Hey....gotta work some where!

Posting daily pictures will definitely be a challenge for me since I will be at the conference and have limited internet access. My ability to upload photos will be restricted. You might have to catch them on Facebook until I can get them loaded here. But I'll do my best.

Want to join in the fun? There is still plenty of time. You can read about the challenge and view the list here. The linky is up and will be available through next week to link back to your posts and photos.

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting.

Peace and Joy,

John 1:1-2 (NKJV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Season's Greetings HodgePodge

1. Do you send Christmas cards? If so about how many will you send this year? How do you display the cards you receive? Or don't you? (gasp!)  There was a time when I would mail over 50 Christmas cards every year. Mailing out Christmas cards and the number of people on that list is directly proportionate to the cost of postage and the time available to sit down and write a note in each one. 

2. When do kids become adults? When they stop believing in Santa. I'm so glad not to be an adult. 

3. Does your 'beauty regimen' change with the seasons? My skin requires more moisture during the cold, dry winter months.

4. What's something you like to eat that might cause another person to turn up their nose? Brussels Sprouts. I can hear you saying.....ewwwww!

5. Gloves or mittens? I wear gloves for driving and every day stuff. Mittens if I'm going out to play in the snow and build a snow man.

6. What's the longest queue you've ever been in? Was it worth it? Queue=line but doesn't queue sound nicer? A line at the amusement park to ride the Batman roller coaster. It was so worth the wait. So much so that I got off and immediately got back in line to ride it again. You're surprised, yes? 

7. Besides Christmas, what is one thing you are looking forward to in the month of December? A trip to Vegas. In two days.

8. Insert your own random thought here. I'm hosting a photo challenge for the month of December. You can read all about it here if you are interested in playing along.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. Please hop on over to Joyce's to read other participants answers or better yet, link up with your own.

Peace and Joy,

Psalm 119:18 (NKJV)  Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

25 December Daily Photo Ideas

That's right. I said December. It's only a couple days away, you know. YIKES!!! If you are like me, your calendar is full of baking, gatherings, festivities, dinner parties, progressive parties, exchanges, and sharing.

I do not want to miss the photo opportunities of special times and people. So, this is my quest. Through the month of December, I will shoot a lot with my 50mm lens to help with low light situations. I will also grab my 70-300mm lens for stealth close ups and details from a distance.

I will shoot a lot on some days, only a picture or two on others. I want to enjoy the month and make sure I'm in at least a few photos. Must remember to set up the tripod.

Want to join me in my quest for 25 photos? I may not get every single one of them listed. But I'm definitely going to give it a try. Here's the list:
  1. Something Red
  2. A list
  3. The Christmas tree
  4. Presents wrapped under the tree
  5. Something warm and tasty
  6. A candy cane, or five
  7. A wreath with a red bow
  8. Stamped and addressed Christmas cards
  9. Santa Claus
  10. Away in a manger
  11. Ribbons and bows
  12. Something sticky
  13. Reindeer
  14. A decked hall
  15. Silver bells
  16. A hippopotamus
  17. Under the mistletoe
  18. A cup of cheer
  19. Toys in every store
  20. A winter wonderland
  21. Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
  22. Holiday greetings
  23. A shining star
  24. Children, sleeping
  25. The number "25"
I may or may not get a linky up for those who would like to participate. If any of you can help me with that I would be most appreciative. Happy capturing.

Peace and Joy,

1 Chronicles 16:8 (NKJV)  Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name;  Make known His deeds among the peoples!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Vacation 2011 - Part 3 Tampa, Florida

On the fourth day of vacation, we finally made it to Tampa. Normal people could have made it in a single day. Not us. We made a side trip here, a detour there; but, we made it nonetheless.

The main reason we are in the Tampa area is that both the hubs and I have family here. The aunt and family I helped move to Tampa from Charlotte back in April are here. The hub's sister lives here too. So in between visiting with them, we did a little sightseeing, found a delightful restaurant, and looked at real estate. It was more of a drive-by look, but a look. Here are a few of the photos from our Tampa visit.

This fella was "fishing" near a pier in Dunedin.

We didn't see him catch anything. Not even sure what he was trying to catch.

This is me and the hubs on the same pier. I set up my tripod, composed the hubs in the pic, pushed the button, jumped in the photo, and voila! Group shot! lol

Walking off the pier, I turned around for one last look and saw this:

Then we went into Dunedin. Such a quaint little town. Lovely shops. We decided it was time for a bite to eat and chose this restaurant. Cafe Alfresco. Delicious food. Exceptional service. We liked it so much, we ate lunch there. Then took the hub's sister there for dinner. We were delighted with both meals.

The next day, we were at Clearwater Beach enjoying family, sun, warm breeze, sand between the toes, and food. These are my two favorite pics from the day.

Riding on a jet ski sounded like fun, but didn't really have the time for that. I definitely had time for sitting on one of these enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face.

Three days in Tampa flew by. It was sad to leave but we had reservations and much more to see and do lay ahead.

Like this beautiful state park. This is Blue Spring. A fabulous winter resort of the manatee. They migrate up the St. Johns River to Blue Spring because the water at the spring stays a constant year round temperature of 72 degrees farenheit. We walked along the board walk taking a couple photos here and there. We didn't see any manatee, but we did see this handsome fella.

We also took the opportunity for another photo shoot of us. I love having a tripod.

The Thursby family acquired this property in the mid-19th century and built the large home you see below. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection acquired the park in 1972 to kick-start its Manatee Protection Program.

It was a leisure day of enjoying the park, the wildlife, and each other. Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting. Stay tuned. Next week.....Biketoberfest. Have a fabulous week.

Peace and Joy,

Colossians 3:16 (NKJV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In The Spirit of Thanksgiving HodgePodge

1. Let's start with something controversial...dressing or stuffing? What's it called at your house and what's included in your recipe...cornbread? oysters? sausage? chestnuts? I call it dressing, because I don't stuff it in the turkey. I'm a sage sausage and bread kind of dressing maker. It's delicious. The hubs is not a fan of cornbread and neither of us favor oysters.

2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to? Wow, Joyce. That's a loaded question. I wrote about that very topic at great length last month. You can read all about it here at Comparison is the Thief of Joy.

3. When were you last inside an airport? In April of 2011. I flew from St. Louis, Missouri to Charlotte, North Carolina. Drove from Charlotte to Tampa, Florida. Then flew from Tampa back to St. Louis. It was a crazy week of traveling. I'll be in airports next Friday. Vegas, baby! The Pistol Annies (Miranda Lambert's new group), NFR (National Finals Rodeo), Delmonico (Emeril's restaurant), Mesa Grill (Bobby Flay's place), Spa at Caesar's Palace.....can't wait.

4. What is one side dish that absolutely must be included in a turkey dinner? Mashed potatoes and corn. I'm pretty sure there would be a revolt if these two items were not included on the menu.

5. What Christmas song do you dread hearing? The Barking Jingle Bells. It was kinda cute the first time I heard it, but I'm so over it.

6. If someone approaches you and asks for money do you give it to them? Do you drop money 'in a tin cup' that belongs to a person on the street? Do you have a specific charity you support during the holiday season and/or year round? I do not like being approached by strangers asking for money. To me, it's just an opportunity for them to take advantage of you and your kindness. I do drop cash in the red pail for the bell ringers. Otherwise, I prefer to give to the charity of my choice.

7. Share a favorite Thanksgiving memory. If you live in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving share a favorite memory associated with food. The last Thanksgiving meal we shared at my grandparents home, when all my aunts, uncles, and cousins were there.

8. Insert your own random thought here. I saw this on my sweet friend Gigi's blog, Afterthoughts, and immediately loved it. The message applies to anyone, regardless of denomination.

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting. Blessings to you and your family as you celebrate Thanksgiving. 

Peace and Joy,

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV) in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shabby Apple Winner!

This morning I found this subject line in my inbox:

You won the Shabby Apple giveaway on The Blog Guidebook!

Followed by:

Congrats, Susan! You won the Shabby Apple Giveaway on The Blog Guidebook. We will be sending your info along to Shabby Apple, and they should be contacting you directly. Please let us know if you have any problems at all. And thanks for being a loyal follower of the Guidebook! Enjoy your dress. :)

So, I went to the Blog Guidebook blog and saw this:

And, which dress did I win? I'm so glad you asked. I won this dress:

Isn't it gorgeous? And so flattering. Perfect!

If you are not familiar with Shabby Apple, hop on over to their site and take a look around. They carry beautiful dresses, swim wear, active will not be disappointed. One of my favorite lines is Tinseltown. Be sure to have a look.

Thank you, Lyndsay, Sarah, and Shabby Apple.

Peace and Joy,

Colossians 3:15 (NKJV) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vacation 2011 Part 2

After our exciting day at Ruby Falls, we decided to call it a day, find a place to stay for the night, and get some grub. There were several hotels along the interstate, so we found one to our liking and checked in near Dalton, Georgia. Let me just add, I love being in the south. 

I found a flyer in the "attractions" brochure holder at the hotel. For those of you who travel any, you know the display I'm talking about. They are usually positioned near the front desk in the lobby so travelers can have easy access to information on local attractions. I always look at these stands. Just to see what's in the area. My eyes scanned the hundred or so brochures and fell on one for Stone Mountain. Hmmmm, this looks interesting, and it's close. Not too far out of the way. Let's google it to see exactly where it is and if it's worth the side trip.

Holy cow! I'm sure glad we went to Stone Mountain. It was amazing. So much fun. Great food. Family atmosphere. We ended up spending most of our day here. This place is truly a treasure.

I love the above picture. I had such fun getting it taken. What you can't see is the fence I had to climb over to get to this guy. Nor can you see the people laughing as they pass behind the hubs while he is trying to get the shot. I did not care one bit.

Needless to say, we did not make it very far down the road on our second day, but we sure had a lot of fun. It was a leisurely day with great food, laughs, a ride in a gondola to the top of the mountain, just enjoying the day.

Aren't those some of the best times, though? Unexpected joys from unplanned adventures. I love those. Have a fabulous week and thank you so much for stopping by.

Peace and Joy,

Psalm 95:1-2 (NKJV) 1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

What is a Daguerreotype?

It's one of those words you look at and go...."Huh?" That's what I did when I saw today's Google image. Today happens to be Louis Daguerre's 224th Birthday. Happy Birthday Louis!!! But, ummmm, who are you? Why are we celebrating your birthday? A click on the Google image and voila!

Today’s Doodle on Google‘s homepage is a tribute to Louis Daguerre, the French physicist who invented daguerreotype, the first commercially successful form of photography.

 Louis Daguerre was born on Nov. 18, 1787 in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France. Today’s Doodle celebrates his 224th birthday.

He began his career as a designer and painter, but his breakthrough came in 1839, when he announced his invention of the daguerreotype, a photographic process which produced a single positive image, which could not easily be replicated. It experienced a few decades of commercial success and influenced later photographic processes.

Daguerreotypes were usually portraits, and Google’s Doodle is reminiscent of a classic family portrait from the era.

Basically, the "father" of photography as a business. Can I say that I'm just a little embarrassed that I did not know this information? Thank you, Internet, for providing so much knowledge at our fingertips.

Have a fabulous day and weekend.

Peace and Joy,

John 17:17 (NKJV) Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.