Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What I'm Using

In the Last post I shared with you of the photo challenge Kianna and I are hosting. If you want to join us read that post for more details. 

In This post I shared why I chose my new point and shoot instead of a DSLR. For the photo challenge, I will be using my new Canon Power Shot SX 260 HS. It has some really great features, some that I have yet to discover! 

So far these are the lovely ladies that will be joining us in the challenge. Besides Kianna and I, we have: Kathryn, Arianna, Monica, Ruby, Hannah, and Laura!

Thank you for joining us!

Monday, July 30, 2012

August Photo- A- Day Challenge!

Kianna and I are hosting a photo challenge. For the month of August, we will present you with a different object, technique, or trait that you must capture. The catch? Each photo must be artistic and creative. If the object is a shoe, you won't take an ordinary photo of it. Your photos must show creativity and technique.

We'd love it if you would join us. The challenge begins August 1st and you can post your photos on your blog (or Instagram account @ #apadchallenge) every Friday, so you won't have to post everyday.  Leave us a comment so we know where to look out for your photos:)

Will you consider joining us? 

Here is the list of challenges and a button that you can add to your blog to spread the word.

Happy Snapping!

Picture 19

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sweet 15- Photo Shoot

As a little girl, my mom used to take me to professional photography studios to get my portraits done. All the photographers used to say I was a natural and so easy to work with. That was about 10 years ago, and I am so rusty with this posing thing. Anyhow, I had a blast doing this photo shoot with my mom.

I still have many miles and different roads to take in life, but I'm traveling hand in hand with the Lord, and He will see me through everything.

Birthday Blessings

Time has been flying. It feels like it was just the Fourth of July. Now its my birthday, today. Fifteen years of blessings, growth, love, and much more... Yesterday (Friday) my parents took me on some pre- birthday fun!

This is the story why my parents are the greatest. For some time, I've really wanted a camera. Since I wanted to learn the basics of photography, I wanted an upgraded point and shoot camera, from the one I already have.

For my pre-birthday my parents took me to B&H to buy me a camera! If you think my story is done, it's not. We looked at the model I had wanted to buy myself. Then my mom steered me towards the DSLR cameras! I was looking at the Canon T3 and was so surprised that my parents were actually willing to buy me it. Any other person would have discarded the thought of the point and shoot and gotten the T3, but here is why I did not choose it. First, my new point and shoot has the same qualities and even better zoom than the T3 with the standard lens. Lastly, even though a DSLR camera takes better quality photos, my mom has the T3i so I can use that one. Neither my mom nor I know how to mess with manual, so there would be two big DSLR on trips and events shooting in automatic. This point and shoot allows you to mess with ISO and aperture, so I can learn on my camera and my mom's. When I am fully ready I can buy a nice "big" camera.

I love my parents, and am so grateful that money is no object to them when it comes to surprises. I love the fact that they were willing to buy me what ever camera I wanted. I love that they totally surprised me. I LOVE my parents!

More birthday presents from parents and lil' sis.

Monday, July 23, 2012

iphoto Ramblings

Lately, I've been really busy and at a dry streak writing here! This post is a rambling of some past photos I found while looking at iphoto.

Yes, we double dutch!

Here I go...

My funny face expression, while literally DOUBLE dutching:)

and more jumping in

Concentrated turning face

Me and my mom messing with ISO and Aperture and all that, here's the automatic photo

,and here is the somewhat fixed version. We had a blast messing with Manual mode. Manual mode did not like us, however. I never thought it was that hard!

Some old pics of me

5 more days until my Birthday, so excited!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sanctified Speech- Impropriety & Pagan Homage

More from the Rod and Staff pamphlet, Sanctified Speech. More info to hit you hard:)

As we mingle among others, we often are exposed to words that are catchy or improper for a Christian's vocabulary.
Have you ever heard the term "Have a good one"? Such an expression has an immoral connotation. The sanctified will avoid using it.
Another expression is freak out. This term generally refers to drug users who are doped to withdraw from reality and can also mean a gathering of hippies. This term is heard sometimes when referring to neither of these, but is borrowed from a sin-laden people and used as a catchy, high- sounding expression.
The Scriptural call is to be an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).

Pagan Homage
"Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:10).
Have you ever heard or used the phrase "knock on wood"? Those who study human behavior say the idea came from a pagan superstition that said that the phrase would prevent a confident statement from bringing bad luck." Today someone may say, "The business is doing good- knock on wood." Why not give God first place and praise Him for success? "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sanctified Speech- Slang

In continuation with the Rod and Staff Sanctified Speech pamphlet, here is another type of speech to avoid.

The encyclopedia says that slang s informal language in which words and phrases are used in new and unusual ways. Many people use slang because they want to be fashionable and accepted by their peers. The Christian is called to rise above the applause and acceptance and praise of God, the One to whom all will give an account for every word spoken.

Here are several examples of slang.
blast- "an enjoyable time, a party"
buck- "a dollar"
Goof off- "to loaf or be idle"
Cool- "excellent, sophisticated, and self- controlled"

Individuals who seek God's approval should avoid the casualness of slang expressions. The Scriptural call is to come apart from the world and its system ( Revelation 18:4 and 2 Corinthians 6:17)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sanctified Speech

Recently I received a Rod and Staff pamphlet that totally ministered my life. This one spoke on how a Christian should speak. Many times we grow careless with the way we speak, like saying the new hip and modern sayings. This pamphlet is a great reference tool for the Christian. I hope you will be ministered by it as I share it with you by parts.

As a spring flows from an unseen fountainhead, so the words of man have a hidden origin. Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" Matthew 12:34
Sanctified means "set apart to a sacred purpose, freed from sin." Jesus Christ, the Son of God, shed His blood to provide for our sanctification. "We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ" (Hebrews 10:10)  
The devil, the great deceiver, seeks to gain control of hearts many times by the process of gradualism. He desires that disciples of Christ become his slaves. Little by little he encroaches upon and ensnares his prey. Many times the Christian is tempted to become like the world, even in speech. 
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh" (James 3:10-12)

Types of Speech to Avoid
A euphemism is the substitution of an agreeable or less offensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant. For example, "the departed" is a euphemism for 'the dead'.
The words God, Lord, Jesus are words worthy of highest respect; they should never be used carelessly. But there are words of lesser value, which mean the same. Gosh, golly, and gee are euphemisms for God and Jesus and should not be used by a sanctified individual. To use them is using God's name in vain. Exclamations such as, "oh, my goodness" or "for goodness" sake could fall into this category. Some dictionaries may have God as one definition for goodness when used alone, or with other words in various emphatic or exclamatory utterances.
Using the phrase "praise the Lord" at inappropriate times or in a lighthearted or careless way is sacrilegious. "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain" (Exodus 20:17)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Count Your Blessings

On Monday, I started the Summer Photography class. So far it has been fun.  Here is my last assignment on focus:

Focus on the back leaves

Focus on the front leaf

Wednesday I finished Living the Surrendered Life devotional. We had a yummy dinner of baked-ziti and dinner rolls.

We have a garden in our church and I got two cherry tomatoes on Thursday!

No homeschool today means a day to relax, blog, and relax some more! Today there is officially 15 days until I turn 15!

Litfuse Book Review- Inescapable

About the Book:

Lizzie Engel is used to running away. At eighteen, she left her Mennonite hometown, Kingdom, Kansas, with plans never to return.

But five years later, the new life she built is falling apart. Lizzie knows she's being followed, and she's certain the same mysterious stranger is behind the threatening letters she's received. Realizing she'll have to run again, the only escape Lizzie can manage is a return to the last place she wants to go.

Once she arrives in Kingdom, Lizzie is confident she'll be safe until she comes up with a new plan. In reacquainting herself with the town and its people--especially her old friend, Noah Housler--she wonders if she judged her hometown and her Mennonite faith too harshly. However, just as she begins to come to terms with her roots, Lizzie is horrified to discover the danger she ran from is closer than ever. 

No longer sure who to trust and fearful for her life and the lives of those around her, Lizzie finds she has only one place left to run--to the Father whose love is inescapable. 

My Review:

Inescapable was a nice read. Having never read a "Mennonite" book it was an immediate change, that I liked. I enjoyed having an inside view to their lives. They shared many similarities with their Amish cousins, such as setting themselves apart from the world and abstaining from "worldly" pleasures just to name a few. However, in this book we see that change has arrived to the Mennonites. They began to feel the yearning to show the love of Christ and His mercy not just stress strict regulations and Gods utmost demand for holiness upon the people. They begin changing their ancient ways and opt for the modern. I immensely enjoyed the change of hearts process. 

Writing in first person has its ups and downs. I did not enjoy the first person writing style in this story. I would have loved to see what the other characters were thinking and feeling during key points in the story. First person is supposed to acquaint you well with the specific character, but at times I felt like I was merely reading not being emotionally drawn to the characters woes and sorrows. 

The author did a good job at totally keep you aloof to the villainous behaviors of some characters. If it had not been for a friend of mine who spilled, I would have not guessed who was behind the sinister plot. Nancy built your suspense level to full peak. Writing in first person was to the writers advantage in keeping the suspense, because there was no way you would know what the other characters were thinking.

Another very refreshing aspect to this book was the continual ministration sessions of the heart. Throughout the book we repeatedly see Gods loving hand and gentle persistence with Lizzie. As mentioned earlier we also saw how God even touched the hearts of the Mennonite congregation. 

Overall Inescapable was a pleasant read. I enjoyed the humorous parts of this book. I literally Laughed-Out-Loud more then once. The writing, though not my favorite was easy to read and you were still able to enjoy the story plot. I give Nancy's Inescapable a 4 out of 5.

I received Inescapable for free, from Litfuse, in exchange for my honest opinion.

You can purchase this book at CBD.

About the Author:

Nancy Mehl, the author of 12 books, received an ACFW Carol Award in 2009 for her novel For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Wichita, Kansas, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their puggle, Watson. Visit her website at www.nancymehl.com

One winner will receive:
A Handmade Mennonite Quilt
A copy of Inescapable by Nancy Mehl

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 25th. Winner will be announced at the "Inescapable" Author Chat Facebook Party on 7/26. Nancy will be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills (how much do you know about the Mennonites?) and giving away some great prizes!

So grab your copy of Inescapable and join Nancy on the evening of the July 26th for a chance to connect with Nancy and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Camp!

Yesterday I started camp! We live in such a virtual world that, my camp exists right on my computer. I have really been wanting to take action in my desire to learn photography. I took action before that became another unfinished thing on my list. I found this class on one of the blogs my mom reads. It looked so interesting, I decided I want to do it. Most online photography classes are super expensive (I have seen some for $500 to $1000)

For some time I have been saving for a camera. Throughout the saving process, I have changed the model various of times. I had a recent unplanned "disaster", that set me terribly behind in my goal. Now, my attitude is why not spend some of my money to actually learn photography. It is pretty useless to have a camera and not know how to use it. So the mere $36 did somewhat effect the little I have saved but in the long run it is worth it.

Day 1 and Day 2 have been a blast. Here are my first and second assignments:

The importance of holding your camera level



Horizontal and Vertical Lines



I have learned some great stuff so far! Can't wait to see what is in store for me yet! Unfortunately, the classed is already booked up so you can not join, but maybe you can try it next season.