Archives for July 2012

Taking an Online Break

Hey all, before the summer gets completely away, I’m going to take an online break for a bit. Everyone needs a vacation at some point, right? And that point for me starts today :)

I plan to be back with another Summer Photo Fun blog post on August 8th. I hope you’ve been enjoying the photo posts the past few weeks. It’s fun to change things up and do something a little more relaxed during the thick of our summer activities. And photos can provide just as much refreshment and nourishment as words sometimes, can’t they?

As the summer begins to wind down, take some time to take a break (online, in life, or both!) if you haven’t already. May God bless and keep you!

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us.” Psalm 67:1

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out August 8th. Sign up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by return to the sun

Summer Photo Fun: Vintage Baby!

How about some more baby pictures as we continue on with Summer Photo Fun? This time I thought I’d show you some vintage baby shots. In other words, pictures of me when I was a baby :) And yes, I’m afraid that qualifies as vintage :)

As you can see from the photo above, I loved to read even as a baby :) But from the expression on my face, it looks like The Night Before Christmas scared me to death!

These won’t be nearly the quality of photos as I’ve been showing you the past few posts. After all, they’re vintage :) And the baby is not nearly as cute as the ones Emily shared with us, but there’s not much I can do about that. I is what I is :)

Hope you get a kick out of these. You might even see some things that brings back memories of your own!

If what I’m holding in my hand is any indication, I guess I’ve always been a little rattled :) (Anyone else grow up with blond end tables?)

Did everyone’s parents make them take a naked picture on the kitchen table? :)

I still enjoy laughs with my sister Debbie. Yay for big sisters!

I don’t mind being tied in with a dish towel as long as I can have my toys! :)

“Mom, does everyone else have a cardboard box for a toy box?” :)

I wonder why I’m not more troubled by my lack of hair? :)

And finally, I’m not the baby anymore. Welcome, baby sister Janice!

Hope you enjoyed a peek into my vintage baby life :) See any reminders of your own growing up years?

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:2-3

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in August. Sign up is free and to the right!

*Be sure not to miss the artwork and photography of Jana Botkin, Jeneal Rogers, and Emily Wilson!

Photo Fun: Photographer Emily Wilson

Ready to be treated to more creative talent? I’m ready—and excited—to share again!

Emily Wilson is an online photographer friend I met through blogging. She is a kind and sweet person and an amazing photographer to boot. I know you’ll love her work as much as I do.

In fact, let me just go ahead and say “You’re welcome!” because I know you’re going to want to thank me for what you’re about to see. After all, she sent photos of babies for our viewing enjoyment! Have I mentioned lately how glad I am that Summer Photo Fun Is Back? :)

I’ll let Emily tell you about herself in her own words:

“I am a natural-light, on-location photographer serving the Northern New Jersey area. I specialize in photos of newborns, children, and families. My style is natural and relaxed with the goal of capturing genuine reflections of each family.

I have always loved taking pictures and am daily inspired, humbled, and challenged to be a better person and photographer through my work with each family. I particularly love photographing the sweetness of new babies and the joy of their family as they meet and fall in love with this new little person.

There is so much joy and love in newborn photos and it is a privilege to be a part of these fleeting first moments. I look back on the photos of my two boys when they were just days old and marvel at how much I can see of them in their newborn faces as well as how much they’ve grown and changed in such a short time period! I love being able to capture that moment in time for my clients as well!”

Here are Emily’s photos. Enjoy!


Are these great or what?! Which is your favorite? Thanks so much, Emily, for sharing your work with us! You can check out more of Emily’s work at

“People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:15-16

*Be sure not to miss the work of Jana Botkin and Jeneal Rogers.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in August. Sign up is free and to the right!

Summer Photo Fun: Artist Jana Botkin

I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad that Summer Photo Fun Is Back! I’m having such fun sharing the work of a few of my artist and photographer friends. I’ve enjoyed their work so much over the past couple of years, and it makes me happy to feature them here on my blog. I hope you’re enjoying meeting some very talented ladies!

Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to Jana Botkin, an amazing artist I’ve gotten to know through blogging. You may have noticed her comments here on some of my posts. Isn’t it great how the internet makes it possible for us to meet people we’d probably never meet otherwise? That’s how someone like little ole me, a gal from the Heartland, can connect with a west coast gal like Jana. Gotta love it, right?

Jana is a studio artist from Central California. This means that she carries her camera around with her, continually gathering ideas for new oil paintings and pencil drawings. She and her newly retired husband spend much time at their cabin in Sequoia National Park. Jana refers to herself as a “Regional Artist from Quaintsville.” She blogs regularly about her art and life at Outside of her profession as an artist, she is a knitter, dark-chocolate fiend, might have a bit of a cat disorder, and is a follower of this blog :)

Today Jana is sharing some of her flower photography. She has assigned some personality descriptions to each. Enjoy—and consider which ones you most identify with! :)

Indian Paintbrush comes early and stays late. Can you relate?

Perhaps you are always a little bit tired, like these Languid Ladies.

Ranger Buttons – do you like to hang out in a group with people just like you?

Perhaps you think you are successfully masquerading as something else, like these Elephant Heads.

The Leopard Lily has the most stunning smell – are you giving off a sweetness?

Are you always cold? These are called Blue Lips.

Maybe you are beautiful but prickly, like this Thistle.

Are you a Wallflower? This flower is. Really.

Knotweed is a delicate and detailed little blossom. Are you complex?

Which flower do you identify with the most?

Jana, thanks so much for sharing your work with us!

“Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come . . .” Song of Songs 2:12a

*Be sure to visit Jana’s website and take a look at her art work. I especially love her work in pencil. The painting at the top of this post is called Farewell Gap. It’s a 6×6 oil painting on wrapped canvas and sells for $50.

*Be sure not to miss the previous post Summer Photo Fun: Artist Jeneal Rogers!

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in August. Sign up is free and to the right!

Summer Photo Fun: Artist Jeneal Rogers

As promised in Summer Photo Fun Is Back, I have some special treats lined up for you over the next few weeks, and the first one is today!

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Jeneal Rogers, a talented artist and my dear friend. We’ve been friends for around twenty-five years now, but we haven’t lived in the same community for nearly twenty of that. We’ve just worked at keeping our friendship close.

Jeneal is a writer as well as an artist, though she’s been more active in art than writing the past few years. She was one of my encouragers early in my writing career and was even my critique partner for a time. Her story “An Old Fashioned Kind of Gal” took first place in the Armchair Interviews Second Anniversary Contest, and she was also awarded first place in the Siloam Springs Writers Christmas story competition for her children’s Bible story “God’s Great News.”

Today we’re focusing on her art, though. Jeneal enjoys creating art in a variety of styles and mediums. She has worked in pencils, charcoals, pastels, polymer clay and oils, to name a few. Many of her current works are in acrylics, and watercolor is a favorite. She is an amateur photographer.

She enjoys painting everything from fanciful abstracts to realistic portraits. Besides portraits, she has done work by commission for an interior designer, a corporate housing company, and several writers.

A Missouri native, Jeneal was born in Poplar Bluff and grew up in the small town of Piedmont. She moved away from the area about thirty years ago, and lived in various places with her husband and two children. Recently she “came home” to S.E.MO and now resides in Jackson.

Enjoy Jeneal’s creations below and then check out her website at to see more of her work!

Flower Girl


The Morning After

Life Takes Flight

Mollie Flowers


Sample of Jeneal’s amateur photography.

Hope you’ve enjoyed a taste of Jeneal’s work. Which one is your favorite? When you visit Jeneal’s website, be sure to check out TheLastPage—I have a piece featured there this month!

Thanks, Jeneal, for sharing your work with us! 

“and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts — to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.” Exodus 31:3-5

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in August. Sign up is free and to the right!