The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tea Talk -- And to Jesse, David

Welcome to my home!
Sit and share a cup of tea with me as we encourage each other in the Lord.
To participate, click on Ruth's button above.

I'm having...a cup of crème de citron rooibos, so lemony and invigorating!  I'm using my everyday Gibson china tea cup, with its pretty stripes and swirls.  Tea is so special in a special cup!

I'm feeling...pretty good.  Not so cold, but cold anyway.  Chicago still sits in the middle of the 12th coldest spring in the past 140 years.

On my mind...I just submitted my devotion to ICHE for their 30 Days of Devotion and Prayer, leading up to our annual state homeschool convention.  I'm always nervous before doing something like that; I want everything to be perfect!  I'm also going to spend the afternoon with my mom, photographing items that she wants to sell.  There is still lots of stuff on my to-do list, but I have knocked off a few items, and hope to get more accomplished this weekend.

I leave you with...a few verses from the book of Ruth, which my friend Helen shared from in our ladies' meeting this past Monday evening.  In this book, Naomi returned to Bethlehem with Ruth, because Naomi had lost her husband and both of her sons (one of whom was Ruth's husband).  Upon her return, she said,

Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara [bitter],
for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.
Why do you call me Naomi,
since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?
Ruth 1:20-21 NASB [brackets mine]

She didn't realize she had hidden treasure with her, in the form of Ruth.  Ruth believed in the Lord, followed Naomi's instruction, and endeared herself to a special man named Boaz.  After Ruth's marriage to Boaz and after the birth of their son Obed, the women said to Naomi,

Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today,
and may his name become famous in Israel.
May he also be to you a
restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age;
for your daughter-in-law, who loves you
and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.
Ruth 4:14-15 NASB

Who was this redeemer?  Who was this future king?

...and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.
Ruth 4:22 NASB

David, in the line of heritage to Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light... [Isaiah 9:2a NASB]

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Monday, March 28, 2011

Reflecting on My Week {March 26}

This is my own special time to reflect back on my week,
treasure up precious memories,
and acknowledge the Lord in the goings-on in my heart and in my home.
~         ~         ~

The Week's Happenings

We had a great time with the M. family last weekend, visiting, playing games, and sharing a meal.  I love good fellowship.

Playing Settlers of Catan with two of my borrowed daughters

We also helped the B. family pack up to move from their Chicago home out to the country.  They are renovating an old church and turning it into their new home.  Some day soon I'll get to see it!

As we headed home from the city, I got a phone call from Fernando.  Jacob had apparently not paid attention as closely as he should have, and he hit part of the curb.  So he learned how to change a tire.  He also learned that he better keep both hands on the wheel!

We also drove downtown for the second time in two weeks--almost a miracle for this suburban girl who travels into the city about once a year.  I explored the Chicago Cultural Center, which used to be the Chicago Public Library, in more depth, and its architecture is amazing.  Here is one shot of the Tiffany glass dome in Preston Bradley Hall.  Breathtaking.

The rest of the photos from my visit can be seen here.

Home and School

Joseph's attitude has improved greatly.  It is so hard to follow the Lord when you don't know exactly how to.  He is starting to trust that the Lord will guide him and show him what to do.

Jacob started his internship with the Lyons Police Department!  On his ride-along with an officer last night, he found out that the officer is a Christian.  They had an encouraging time together, and Jacob seems to enjoy what he's doing and learning.  I think he likes the ride-alongs the best.

Danny is plugging away at chemistry, and studying the Rules of the Road booklet.  I am trying to push him to get ready to take the written test so that he can get his permit.  Now that Jacob is frequently gone, another driver in the house would be appreciated!  He has been researching colleges online, so we'll see where that leads.

And Thomas is working steadily through his first official year of high school.  Attitude can tend to be a problem, but lately he has been more quick to straighten it out and get back to work.  Thomas is still my goofy guy, so we have a lot of fun.

My Kitchen

I have been in a cooking funk since I returned from Georgia.  I don't really want to cook, and have been doing simple things for meals.  I've skipped making breakfast more often than not, and the boys just forage for something in the fridge.  It might be a good thing, since they've always expected me to make them something!


Yeah, this is a slightly empty category!  There has been so much to do lately, I tend to just do none of it.  Which isn't good, either!  I am going to get back to making a list and checking items off as they get done.  I need to accomplish things!!  Goal for this weekend--make a list.

Behind the Lens

I attended a photography seminar all day Wednesday.  Talk about information overload.  It was really good, though, and I'm still processing ideas, tips, and learning moments.  It was great to meet other photographers and talk about my passion!

Heart Thoughts

I wrote a short devotional this week about the God Who Sees.  I wrote it for our state homeschool organization, which plans to use it in a month-long daily devotional email leading up to our state homeschool convention at the beginning of June.  (I will post it once they've published it.)  I've been thinking about what I wrote, and, suffice it to say that He sees me, with mercy and compassion, and guides me through life's ups and downs.  This week certainly contained its ups and downs!  But God sees, and takes care of me.

The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry.
Psalm 34:15 NASB

Daffodil from my trip to Georgia--I'm longing for spring!

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another Trip to the City

Yesterday, we donned our coats, scarves, mittens, earmuffs and long johns for our jaunt into the city.  At the federal courthouse, Jacob conducted some research on criminal court cases.  Joseph and Danny came with me to Chipotle for lunch!  Serious yum, though I ate the whole Burrito Bowl instead of my normal half so we walked casually the rest of the afternoon.  :)

We walked to the Bean first so Danny and Joseph could see it (they hadn't been downtown in ages).  There are only so many images you can take of the Bean; here is the single one I took as a reflection.

At the urging of my friend Pamela, we revisited the Chicago Cultural Center.  The last time, Fernando and I made a quick run-through of the two galleries of Vivian Maier's street photography work, and then we left.  This time, we actually explored.  How could we have missed this??

Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center

This building used to be the Chicago Public Library.  I don't know how anyone could get any studying or book-finding done; I found myself walking with my face turned up toward the walls and ceilings.  My pictures in no way do any kind of justice to the grandeur of the tile work and domes in this building.  It was breathtaking.

Looking up at the Tiffany dome in Preston Bradley Hall

Danny wanted to see the Vivian Maier exhibit, so we made a quick visit to her gallery.

Vivian Maier's camera and equipment, Chicago Cultural Center

That was it; just a quick trip in.  We'll have to do it a time or two more, since Jacob needs to cover another court case or two.  At least I'm comfortable now driving in and getting around!

You can see all the images I captured of the Chicago Cultural Center here on my photography blog.

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tea Talk -- How Precious His Thoughts

Welcome to my home!
Sit and share a cup of tea with me as we encourage each other in the Lord.
To participate, click on Ruth's button above.

I'm having...a cup of coffee, which is rare for me.  I'm using my everyday Pfaltzgraff tea cup in the Ocean Breeze pattern.  I shot several images of bubbles in my tea and coffee cups, and here, I think, is the final one.

I'm feeling...just fine!

On my all the information from yesterday's photography seminar.  I'm thinking about lots of things to apply to both my business and my photography.  I met some very nice people and learned so much from several professional photographers who freely shared their time and knowledge.  I'm trying to process everything while on information overload!

I leave you with...a verse about God's thoughts, since I have been thinking a lot.  :)

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
Psalm 139:17-18 NASB

Chocolate biscotti, made by Miss Jo, a nice accompaniment to tea!

One more note--after reading the caption above, I realize that the phrase a nice accompaniment to tea is a misplaced modifier which should properly be placed next to the word biscotti.  But I'm leaving it where it is, because I think Miss Jo would also be a nice accompaniment to tea.

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Clothed with His Splendor

I love birds.

God's flying creatures are simply a reflection of His awesome power in creation.  They need no garments, but are clothed with His splendor.  I love nature-watching for this very reason.  As long as I have my camera in hand--so I can feel like I'm accomplishing something--I can sit for long periods of time, just being still and enjoying His world.

I normally post these kinds of images on my photography blog, but I thought I'd post them here for a change.  I've been spending a lot of time over there, instead of relating everyday life in our busy, noisy home.  The story behind the birds:

I was doing laundry on day this week, and at one point I hollered to the boys to bring down the laundry hamper for sorting into my dirty laundry baskets.  As I turned around in the laundry room, my eye caught movement through the door window.  BIRDS.  Lots of them.  Starlings, and a few robins.  What a great opportunity to shoot something that day!  I ran to get my camera out of the camera bag.

When I heard the boys tromping down the stairs with the hamper in hand, I shouted, "Don't go into the laundry room!"

"Huh?" one of them asked.

"Don't go back there!  Stay right here!  No!  Don't go back!"

"But you said..."

"Yeah, I know, but hang on a minute!"  (I really confused them.)

They just rolled their eyes once they saw me zip past them with my camera.  It must be a disease or something (my behavior, not theirs!!).  And here are the two birds I captured through the window.

 The starling

The robin

See?  I'm not so crazy after all, huh?

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Friday, March 18, 2011

Downtown Date Day

Fernando took a vacation day Thursday.  What a sweetheart, and so thoughtful toward his dear wife who is terrified at the thought of driving to downtown Chicago by herself.  No, I'm not really terrified.  Just terribly nervous.

Jacob wanted to visit the federal courthouse in Chicago to sit in on a criminal trial, and take notes for a project for one of his college criminal justice classes.  So, Fernando and I drove him downtown to the federal building on Dearborn Street and dropped him off.  Literally.  Fernando simply pulled over, and Jacob scooted out with his phone, notebook, pencils, and $20 for lunch.  And we drove off.  Sigh.  Jacob is becoming quite the young man.

Since Jacob was going to be occupied for several hours, we had those hours FREE, so we headed out to find a parking garage (another interesting experience).

 View from the roof of the parking garage

From there, our first stop was to visit the Chicago Cultural Center to have a look at the Vivian Maier exhibit.  It was interesting to read her unique and mysterious story, and to see her photos from the 1950s and 60s, especially the ones from New York and Chicago.  I took one quick shot.

Vivian Maier's cameras and other personal items

Since we were so close, we walked on over to Millenium Park to see The Bean.  Can you see it in the image below?  This is not a photo of the cityscape; it is the reflection of the cityscape in The Bean!

The Bean, with the reflection of the Chicago skyline

For those who have never visited Chicago, the next few images give you a better view of what the Bean looks like.

I realized just now that I never did get a side photo of the Bean, which looks like, well, a big ol' kidney bean.  It was fun hanging around snapping photos and watching people.  What was just as nice was enjoying the 60-degree temperatures for the first time this year!  At one point, I stuck my telephoto lens on and captured this little guy having fun.

A boy and his reflection

And I actually took a good self-portrait!  It took me only four or five tries.  This is one of the best ones I've done, too.  Okay, I've tried to do it only twice.  I'm so proud of myself.  *cheeky grin*

Dear hubby and I

After a while, we walked across the street to Caribou Coffee, where Fernando was able to get some much-needed coffee and a snack to tide him over until lunchtime.

We walked around a bit, I took some shots of interesting buildings, we had lunch--and a long chat session--at Panera, we walked around some more, then picked up Jacob and drove home for a simple dinner started by Danny.  All in all, a very nice day.

An old building

The clock at the Chase Building plaza

My dearie at the plaza

Tile mural at the plaza

Looking down the street from the Berghoff Restaurant

You can see Fernando in the lower left corner.  He led the way back to the parking garage, while Jacob walked with me and told me all about some gang leader's criminal trial.  I'm so glad Fernando remembered where we parked.

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tea Talk -- God Who Sees

Welcome to my home!
Sit and share a cup of tea with me as we encourage each other in the Lord.
To participate, click on Ruth's button above.

I'm Earl Gray tea.  I found a tin of it at Whole Foods, and it is the best Earl Gray I have ever tasted.  Mmmm...

Another shot of my regular tea cup with rooibos tea and bubbles

I'm feeling...good.  You all know this generally does not change!

On my writing a devotional about one of the names of God.  I was asked to do this just last night, and have been thinking about it all day.  My first thought was You are a God who sees.  For I know He sees me and is with me through all of life's trials, throughout all my journey, within all peaceful times and painful times.  I will continue to think on this before I start to write.

I leave you with...The verses surrounding that same name of God:

The angel of the LORD said to her further,
"Behold, you are with child,
And you will bear a son;
And you shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction...
Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her,
"You are a God who sees";
for she said, "Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?"
Genesis 16:11, 13 nasb [emphasis mine]

He sees--even the tiny seeds within this flowering grass!!

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Adventures in Springtime Georgia Part II

I think I made it halfway through Danny's and my trip to Georgia a few posts ago (click here to read "Part I").  I thought I'd try to finish up our adventures with another post.  So here we go, back to Georgia for reminiscing about wonderful friends and warm weather!

Danny and I were supposed to fly home Monday night, but a tornado watch and severe weather took care of that for us.  We had one whole extra day in Georgia!  Though it made the rest of the week slightly off-kilter, I think both of us were happy.

Extra time in Georgia means more fun, and more tea, and more Scrabble, and more trips on the golf cart.  We fit it all in.  I made tea for myself Monday night, and since I couldn't reach the mugs, I asked Danny to get "that green tea mug down for me, please."  He came in to the dining room and set the "mug" down in front of me:

After a good laugh, I happily drank my tea out of the creamer and continued with our cut-throat game of Scrabble.

Danny spent game-time regaling us with hymns!

I'm not a pet photographer, though I now have four pet albums, two of which were generated by this pair:

I like to experiment with my camera however possible, so Talbot and GK presented some good opportunities for practice.  Here are the results.

I love the light in the image below.

On our last day, my heart-sister Dee had one big golf-cart adventure left.  We went south.  South sounded good!  Below is a synopsis of our trip.

My heart-sister Dee!

What a great trip we had, on so many levels.  We will see them again really soon, too!  This makes me happy.  :)

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography