The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world - stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas.
Henry Van Dyke
May your Christmas be filled with unexpected blessings, the sweet fellowship of family and friends, much love and laughter, and a renewed appreciation for the most amazing gift we have ever received - Jesus.
Merry Christmas from all of us here at The Production.
As you can imagine, life in a family of nine reaches pretty high decibels. Somedays I feel like my head going to downright explode from the noise. So I cherish this magical time, though too brief, when quiet descends on our home like a warm blanket and cuddles us with it's warm embrace. That magical quiet called naptime.
Today Photo Hunters are posting pictures of their favorites. I wonder what different kinds of things we will see. The theme is so broad.
Tonight we decorated our Christmas tree. Of the hundred or so pictures we took of the process, this one is my favorite. It's a nice picture of our Christmas tree (which as you can see, lists to one side) but it's my favorite because of the two little people captured in it: Shorty, my almost 7 year old son and his little sister LemLem (3). You can click to enlarge the photo for a better view.
The Photo Hunters were looking to photo something "metal." What an interesting theme. So make sure you stop by TNChick's place for a look at tons of creative ways that metal can be displayed.
The metal I've chosen for my photo is more than just stainless steel. I'd call it metal with a mission.
While we were in Ethiopia picking up LemLem and Bear, we took several containers of donations to an place called AHOPE. "AHOPE for Children is a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve the children of Ethiopia, with a primary emphasis on caring for orphans infected with HIV. In Addis Ababa, AHOPE's two pleasant, well-staffed Children's Homes care exclusively for orphans who are HIV+ and have no extended family to care for them. Many of these children are now finding their forever families through adoption. AHOPE's Community Outreach Program enables orphaned children to remain within their extended families and culture, while receiving medical care, education, food, and other services."
This summer, in order to raise awareness and financial support, AHOPE began selling these stainless steel bracelets. Right away, we ordered one for each member of our family old enough to wear one.
Photo Hunt - Metal
"Each stainless steel AHOPE bracelet features the AHOPE logo, the first name of an AHOPE child, and the Amharic word for "hope." The bracelets serve as a reminder of the special children at AHOPE, and raise awareness of the plight of HIV+ orphans in the world. By wearing an AHOPE Bracelet, you join our efforts in caring for these children."
Carmi's Thematic Photographic Challenge for the week was "broken." Carmi and his Thematic Photographic contributors have come up with some very creative photos expressing the theme. For instance, check out Barb's amazing sea shell pictures! The ocean sure is rough on shells before it tosses them upon the beach.
Sometimes life can be rough on us and toss us around too.
"Reflection" is the Photo Hunters theme of the week. Today I thought I'd showcase the photography skills of my two older daughters. Sweetly(13) took the first photo of her brother #1Son and Sweetanlo(16) took the second one of Bear.
Photo Hunt - Reflection
reflection: am image seen in a mirror or shiny surface.
Carmi's Thematic Photographic Challenge for this week: Autumn!
Note: I've included the pictures of hot air balloons because they truly are a sign that autumn has arrived here. The cooler weather offers prime conditions for the balloons to go up. When we start to see the balloons in sky in the mornings, it's a sure sign that autumn has come.
I decided to do something easy this time so I'm giving away a
$20 Starbucks giftcard
And you know, you don't have to drink coffee to like Starbucks? Try a chai latte or one of their delicious new hot chocolates (just in time for cold weather!)
To be entered in my giveaway, just leave me ONE comment. The giveaway is open to anyone with a valid email address. Just be sure that I have a way to contact you should you win. I'm closing comments on Friday, October 31st at 12AM & I will use a random number generator to select the winner. Good luck!
Oh, and by the way, Inspired Bliss is having a great little giveaway too. Click on over there and enter!
My thanks to Chilihead for organizing the amazing Bloggy Giveaways!
I'm thinking of making Carmi's Thematic Photographic Challenge a regular post each week. I appreciate his encouragement to look at and capture life's moments in a different ways. This week's theme is "happy." So many ways to look at happy.
My photo's from last week's Photo Hunters actually fit pretty well. But with Carmi's challenge in mind, I looked through my recent photos for some that spoke "happy" to me. These are the photos I've chosen.
Last Sunday afternoon my oldest daughter, Sweetanlo, celebrated her Sweet 16 Birthday with four of her dearest friends and her younger sister, Sweetly. We planned an old-fashioned candy-making party; complete with taffy-pulling, fudge making and homemade lollipops. While the fudge was cooling, there was time to go out in the backyard and take some photos. Here are just a small sampling of the pictures I took that afternoon. I suggested some poses and then let them decide what to do. Once they got started, I just kept snapping photos. There was much giggling and laughing. I love how I can "feel" the laughter in these photos, especially in the photos that were actually "in-between" the posed photos. These girls have know each other for nearly their whole lives and love each other deeply. Being together makes them happy. Seeing them together makes me happy too.
(click on a picture to make it bigger so you can really see their facial expressions!)
I'm a homeschooling SAHM to 7 children - 5 homemade children (19, 17, 15, 12 & 10) & 2 seven year old Ethiopian treasures. I married my college sweetheart, Pastormac, back in 1989. I like Coke Zero. I was grafted into the True Vine at age 13. I want others, especially my children, to see Jesus in me.
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