Archives for August 2011

"Back At It" Giveaway 2!!

Can anyone guess what mid-August means here on the blog? It means it’s time to say good-bye to Summer Photo Fun and for me to get busy concentrating once more on “refreshing spirits and nourishing souls”—though I’m guessing the photo fun helped refresh your spirits occasionally, too :)

Even so, it’s time for me to get back to more focused writing now that Don’s vacation weeks are behind us, and we slip back into our normal routine. Like last year, I thought it would be fun to get back into gear with a little giveaway. Since sequels can sometimes be lots of fun, how about another “Back At It” Giveaway?

I’ll offer a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card to one lucky commenter once again. Nothing like a new book, journal, or notebook to get back into the spirit of books, writing, school, and learning, huh? To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment on this post by noon (CST) Aug. 28th. If I don’t know you personally or cannot contact you via your own blog, be sure to leave your email address in your comment or you won’t be eligible for the drawing.

To add to the fun, tell me one of your favorite memories from this summer. For me, it has to be our family vacation to Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park. Don’t ask me to narrow it down to just one memory from that special week, though. Too many great ones to decide on just one. Suffice it to say, it was a week I’ll never forget. One I will treasure always.

How about you? What will you remember fondly from the summer of 2011? Can’t wait to hear about it!

“Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.” Psalm 40:5

*Flickr photo by striatic, Creative Commons License

*It’s still not too late to receive the current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter/ezine. If you’re not already a subscriber, sign-up is free and to the right!

Colorado Vacation Beauty

Mom & DadIt’s time to bring Summer Photo Fun to an end so let’s do it giving God glory, huh? While on our family vacation to Estes Park, Colorado/Rocky Mountain National Park in July, God blessed us with the magnificent beauty of His creation, and I’d love to share some of it with you. The pictures don’t do it justice, but you can click on each photo to see a larger version where the beauty can be better seen.

Since our daughters and their husbands vacationed with us, many of these photos belong to them. Please remember that photos as well as the written word on my blog are copyrighted.

Now on to the beauty :) Hope you enjoy seeing some of God’s best work! :)

Behind our condo, this trail ran alongside the Big Thompson River. Such a beautiful and relaxing spot!

Lily Lake

Lily Lake outside of Estes Park, CO.

One of many chipmunks we enjoyed watching while in CO.

We spotted several deer in the wild as well.

Lily pads

Nymph Lake in RMNP.

KristinKristin surrounded by an aspen grove. She has loved aspens since she was a young girl. (Taken on the trail to Alberta Falls.)

An area lush with fern, also on the trail to Alberta Falls.

Spectacular Alberta Falls. We were told by a local that it’s wilder this year than he’s seen it for 30 years. A good year to see the Falls!

One of the many amazing views from Trail Ridge Road. Can you spot the little mountain lake?

Lots of elk

And wonder of all wonders, we happened upon an entire herd of elk grazing in meadow alongside Trail Ridge Road. I’ve heard of things like this but have never seen it before. We felt beyond blessed. Take a closer look with me:

Elk 2
Elk 3
Elk 4

“Well, hello there! Thanks for coming out to see us!” :)

What an amazing world we have. What an amazing God!

“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:1a

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter/ezine, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. If you’re not already getting it, sign-up is free and to the right!


Vacation Family Fun


How about one last week of Summer Photo Fun here on the blog? Maybe a peek into some of the Barker family’s vacation shenanigans? I thought you might be interested :)

We had major fun making classic memories together in Estes Park, Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park. Three couples equals three cameras and lots of great photos (many of these are Kristin and Shawn’s or Kelli and Jake’s) so today I’ll share some of our fun moments, and in my midweek post, I’ll post pics of some of the beauty we encountered along the way. Believe me, there was no shortage of that. Calgon, take me back to Colorado! :)

The shot above shows us on first hike in RMNP (Bierstadt Lake Trail) on our first full day there. You can’t really make it out here, but I spent most of that hike gasping for breath :) Can anyone say altitude adjustment? Oh well, we still had fun — as we did the entire week. Hope you enjoy a glimpse into our vacation family fun!

The hungry hikers chowing down that night at Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ. Yum!

Of course, we shopped as well during our trip, and Kristin fell in love with this little hand-blown glass pumpkin on the very first shop we entered.

While we were downtown, we Barker ladies had to test the waters of the Big Thompson (flows through town). Super cold, by the way!

We ran across three male models during another day of hiking (Lily Lake Ridge trail). They bear an uncanny resemblance to Shawn, Don, and Jake, huh? :)

One of the many timed photos we took (also taken on Lily Lake Ridge trail). Always fun to try to get into position and pull off a timed photo :)

Later that same day, we hiked up to Alberta Falls. After making it to the top, we all had to dip our toes into its icy waters.

When we took a day out to go to the rodeo in Cheyenne, WY, Jake turned into a cowboy. Thank goodness he still played games with us city slickers :)


Got to play on a designated snow field along Trail Ridge Road in RMNP. These girls never did know how to dress for cold weather :)


Jake grabbed the snow sleds/boogie boards from the garage in our condo hoping for just such an opportunity. Two very happy guys :)


The boys got to have their fun before threat of storms sent us hurrying back down to safer territory. The girls and Don all gave it a whirl, too, but not me. If anyone could break something, it would be me :)

CO 2011

At Forest Canyon Overlook on Trail Ridge Road in RMNP. Our family on top of the world — in Colorado and in our hearts as well. Thank You, Lord, for such a special time together!

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:2a

*If you’d like to see an entire album of our vacation shots, friend me on my Facebook page. If I won’t recognize your name, be sure to mention that you’re a reader of my blog.

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter/ezine, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. If you’re not already getting it, sign-up is free and to the right!

Looking Back: A Wedding Party!

Are you up for one last Kristin and Shawn wedding related post as we continue Summer Photo Fun? I thought you might be :) There’s something about wedding pictures we never get tired of seeing, huh?

Sit back and enjoy a peek at our joy as we partied down after our little girl’s wedding on May 27, 2006. So much work went into the celebration, but it was so worth it. One of the best days of my life!

The mother and father of the bride arrive — ready to celebrate and enjoy the party that took months to plan and a few hours to unfold!


The new Mr. & Mrs. make their entrance to cheers and a room full of smiling faces — not the least of which is theirs!

A precious look of love during the dvd slide show depicting their lives and their love story. So glad the photographer captured this sweet shot.

Our girl — so happy! And no one deserves it more. She’s a sweetheart, if I do say so myself :)

Beautiful and delicious cannot begin to describe wedding cakes by Emeline of Nibbles Cafe. Definitely the highlight of the wedding feast.

The groom’s cake, featuring Shawn and Kristin’s Alma mater, fulfilled our dreams of chocolate indulgence. Absolutely divine :)

Shawn’s expression says it all. This cake sent you straight to heaven :)

Shawn managed to pop the cork a good one. Boys gotta have their fun, huh?

There was dancing and flirting… :)

There were photo ops…

There was shared laughter… And I love how Kelli’s laugh bubbles up with such inhibition. She’s my other sweetheart :)

And finally, there was a dream coming true… There was love, sweet love… And I’m happy to report they’re still in each other’s arms today. So proud of them! So happy for them!

“They ate and drank with great joy in the presence of the LORD that day.” 1 Chronicles 29:22a

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter/ezine, came out this week. If you’re not already receiving it, sign-up is free and to the right!