Tuesday, February 21, 2012

8:53 | Hands

This week's topic for the One Every Seven challenge was hands. With no other rules, the possibilities were endless. We use our hands for so much...helping, comforting, tickling, cooking, crafting, cheering, building, cleaning, opening things, blowing kisses, picking flowers...The list could go on forever.  Honestly though, this was one of the easiest of all of the past topics. When I saw the topic, my mind went straight to my kids at bedtime. Every night when we say prayers, my kids fold their hands. It's precious to me, and it's one of my favorite times of the day. I love recounting the day's blessings, and I love presenting prayer requests to God. This is the image I saw, and I knew it was what my submission for this week would be.
Here it is...
8:53 | Hands

I love this in color, but I also love the simplicity of the black and white. To me, removing the color draws the focus to the action. I just adore these images.

  "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

Monday, February 20, 2012


My husband and I are going to Ecuador, and I am excited to get to experience this mission trip with him. We have sent support letters out, and we are now praying that our financial support need will be met, for safe travels, for the safety of our team, for the success of the mission, for our relationship with Christ to be strengthened, for our kids while we are away, and for a good home for our dog while we are away. I don't think it's possible to pray too much or to have too many people praying for you, so I am sharing our support letter here and asking you to partner with us in prayer as we prepare for our trip. :)

Our letter...

"Dear Friends and Family,
As many of you know, last year I (Lauren speaking) had an opportunity to be part of a mission trip to Curia and San Jose, Ecuador. It was truly an awesome experience to be part of a team that's goal was to help jump-start a movement of Christ in this unreached area. Since last year’s visit there has been more regular church gatherings and many people who have dedicated their lives to Christ. Before this trip I felt a call to missions, and after this trip, I knew it wasn’t just a one-time thing. That trip strengthened my faith and showed me that I had something to contribute.
In June, Chase and I will both be a part of a mission trip returning to Curia and San Jose, and I can’t wait to serve alongside him! Our team’s focus will be to help strengthen and grow the ministry that has begun in this area, and we will again be working with our ministry partners, Carlos and Jeanette Guerrero. We will be doing many projects, but I have to admit that I am most excited about going back to serve in the school. With this trip we hope to again show the love of Christ, see God’s Kingdom grow, and the lives of the people of Curia and San Jose changed forever.
I (Chase speaking) am looking forward to stepping out by serving God in this way and being a witness for Christ. Lauren and I are presently preparing ourselves both spiritually and mentally for what is certain to be a challenging yet rewarding trip. But, in order for this trip to be possible, we will need to raise $2,800. This cost includes transportation, housing, food, insurance, and project materials. We would ask that you prayerfully consider the opportunity to participate financially in this mission trip. However and just as important, we are also asking for your prayer support for our family and our team as we prepare to travel.
If you feel led to contribute (In any way. Even $5 or $10 will help us meet our total), please let me know. Any monetary contributions will be GREATLY APPRECIATED, and they will also be fully tax deductible. (I have a form I can give you to send to the church with your contribution). All money is due April 20th, and a third of the total is due by Feb 26th.

You may never see the people you are helping to support, but my prayer is that you will meet them in heaven. How awesome it is to know that you are impacting lives and growing His Kingdom. (The next to last picture below is of a baptism that was done our last night in Ecuador last year.) Teams like this can only be made possible through the generosity of those who want to see the message of Christ spread throughout the world. You gifts and your prayers matter. Thank you in advance for helping make it possible.

God Bless,
Chase and Lauren"

And, because pictures make blog posts more fun, I am posting some from last year's trip.

This was our 2011 team. I am so excited that so many of these great people will be apart of the 2012 team as well!
I love these people!

Want a fun way to support us? I am doing a morning of mini sessions to help us raise the funds we need. Information is on my facebook photography page. (Link here:

Friday, February 17, 2012

One Every Seven

I love projects. Especially ones that I am pretty certain I will finish. :) Last year I really had fun with The Adventures of Max (Here's the link to his album:, and he seemed to get more popular as the year went along. This year I am doing the One Every Seven photography challenge (Here's the link to that album:, and it has been a lot of fun! The new specific topics and rules every week push me to be creative. I love it! We are already on week 7, so I will catch you up. But....before I do, I will share a few of my favorites from last year.

  I loved going back through these! Now...let me catch you up with the first six weeks of the new challenge!
1:52 | Happiness - Happiness is waking up to love notes from my daughter.
2:52 | New - New Day

4:52 | Close
3:52 | Circle - Circle and a rainy day.

5:52 | Old - 3rd generation "old" diamond.
6:52 | Fresh (with humor) - Help! I am getting berried!

And now......Week 7! 
This week's challenge was about getting up close.
7:52 |  Detail (Up close) - A sand dollar I found in Ecuador last year while on my first mission trip.

I had a few other images I liked too, so I am including them also.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Every day should be Valentine's Day

"It's Valentine's Day! It's Valentine's Day!" This is how my daughter woke me up yesterday morning. She LOVES Valentine's Day. Absolutely loves it. If you ask her why, she will look at you with a giant smile and say, "Because it's a pink holiday." All day long she wished me happiness, gave me hugs, and told me she loved me. (Not that she doesn't do that every other day. This just happens to be a special day for it.) Handmade heart cards and songs also added to the day. My daughter is precious, and there is no doubt that words of affirmation and hugs are her love language. Valentine's Day is a day both of those things get the attention they deserve. Plus, it's a pink holiday, and that's the best color, isn't it?! :)To really drive home how much she loves this holiday, I'll quote her, "I just love Valentine's Day. It's the best. Oh, and I like Christmas too." So, for all of you that consider it a fake holiday, she will have none of it.

I love that I celebrated this wonderful day with two of the cutest little people ever. Let me tell you about my Valentines...  

My daughter, Rylee.
I would describe her as silly, sweet and loud. (I'll admit that she gets the loud part from me.) She talks with her hands, loves to laugh and has the cutest dimples. She loves music, singing, dancing, art, using her imagination, telling stories, pink, anything princessy, jewels, and  making up words. (She gets that from me too.) She's smart, is a planner, and is quick to come up with ideas...or reasons to do or not to do something. She can be impatient and bossy, and she's been known to pout when she doesn't get her way. But, she has a beautiful heart, loves to pray for people, loves our church, and loves Jesus. She is wonderful, and I love being her mommy. 

 My son , Laden. 
 He is always making me smile. He's silly, cute, happy, and he loves his sister. He's shy, doesn't like being the center of attention, and will hide when people he doesn't know try to talk to him. He has beautiful eyes, a crooked smile, a sideways run, and his hair always looks messy. He's strong willed, super smart, and likes to do things independently. He LOVES dogs, and he has about 25 stuffed animal dogs in his room. He barks when he talks, sings, and tells me good night. He isn't super cuddly, but it just makes every hug he gives me really special. He loves to use his imagination and pretend he's different characters from his favorite cartoons. He turns everything into drumsticks, and he brings me joy daily. I love being his mommy.

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day as well!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Giustino Family | Savannah GA Family Portrait Photographer

This was my first session for 2012, and I couldn't have imagined a better way to start off the year. They were sweet and fun, and I must add that I thought the outfit choices were perfect. I loved meeting this family, and watching mom and dad interact with their precious little people. It might have been chilly, windy, and overcast, but when the session turns into an exploration and a play date, who notices? :)