2 Timothy 1:9 "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
Recently, we had the opportunity to attend a weekend photography class hosted by the Hynes family. Dad, Mom, and I were the participants from our family while Jonathan was away in Mississippi and Sarah and Granny held down the fort at home.
The agenda included an afternoon of photographic instruction packed into a few hours, then a day of outdoor shooting at the beautiful Sky Meadows State Park. Our time of learning began with setting our perspective on Scripture and reminding ourselves of what we are communicating about God's character and His creation with our pictures.
The park location included a historic house and outbuildings, fields of cattle, and hiking trails with creekbeds, snakes wildlife, and panoramic views of the surrounding hills. We also stopped to explore the nearby quaint town of Paris, VA (pop. 51).
We returned to the Hynes' home for dinner and critiquing of the images we had captured; everyone agreed that this part was a fun and helpful way of solidifying concepts we had discussed. I had a memorable time; it is always inspiring to glean from the knowledge and experience of avid Christian photographers.
Enjoy a slideshow below of some of my photos from the day.
Warmer days are finally here in Virginia, so are you ready for a SPRING giveaway? I am eager for this season to get underway, especially making my way outside to the garden! What better way to start off spring with a bang than by a giveaway! Go to my blog to find out how you can sign up to win products from Graceful Designs, as well as earn extra chances by passing on the news about the giveaway to your friends.
Graceful Designs carries a colorful array of unique nature stationery which can help get you in the mood for the spring days ahead. Sending one of these greeting or note cards is just the thing for spring birthdays, Mother's Day, or other special and everyday occasions. The cards especially make lovely gifts, and remember, the photo cards can be frameable!
You have the chance to win several of these cards until March 31st when one winner's name will be drawn randomly. Open to those in the USA and Canada.
Elderberries are known to be a wonderful preventative and remedy for colds and flu. This winter I have enjoyed experimenting by concocting this homemade elderberry syrup for our family's use. It is tasty taken alone by the spoonful, but I have also been drizzling a bit into our smoothies or occasionally into hot tea as a sweetener. Once we served the syrup over pancakes. "Medicine" can be delicious!
Below is the basic recipe I followed. If you don't happen to have your very own elderberry bush nearby, you can purchase the dried elderberries in bulk at places such as MoreThanAlive.com:
1/2 c. dried elderberries
2 cups water
4 cloves, optional
1 cinnamon stick, optional
1 T. fresh ginger, optional
1/3 c. honey, unheated is best
Bring elderberries, water, and spices to a boil; lower heat and simmer 20-30 min, reducing by about half. Mash berries, then strain liquid. Stir in honey until dissolved. Store in refrigerator for 2-4 weeks. Take by the tablespoonful for prevention of illness, or more often with onset of symptoms.
Believe it or not, the above image is a photo, not an unfinished watercolor pencil drawing. Today as Mom, Sarah, and I were driving up to the quilt shop in Dayton, VA, Mom suddenly yelled, "HANNAH, CAMERA!!" The reason being there was a horse and buggy crossing the intersection as we were sitting at a stoplight. I grabbed my camera from my lap, turned it on, and snapped a picture through the windshield.
Unfortunately, the camera was set on a slow shutter speed, and in the broad daylight, I knew the photo would turn out to be no good. Viewing the picture later, however, revealed that the overexposure had frozen the horse and buggy in time, capturing this soft painterly effect. Pretty neat?
This year I am participating in Project 365, the idea being to create one signature image every day, documenting your life over the course of a year. Mom reminded me of this photo "project" recently, so I decided to try it! She also hopes to attempt it along with me. We'll each be posting our photos to these photoalbums and occasionally highlighting random days here on the blog.
We had an exciting and edifying trip to Boston as a family for the Reformation 500 conference. We were grateful the Lord provided for us to go. Thank you, Dad, for taking us!
In addition to all the lectures and historic mini-tours, our family enjoyed meeting new people and reacquainting ourselves with others. From quick hellos to spending a meal together, fellowship with other families was a highlight.
Wednesday morning we had our first two tours around Boston before the opening ceremonies of the conference. Thursday was Mom's birthday, and after the day's talks, we spent an evening eating out for supper and ice cream and opening presents in our hotel room. Friday we had another downtown tour then attended the afternoon and evening sessions. Saturday the 4th we enjoyed a children's parade and many closing festivities. We then made our way to see the U.S.S. Constitution before joining 500,000 people that night for fireworks on the Charles River.
You can never take enough pictures. I've finally finished sorting through them all, and rather than post individual entries, I'm going to go ahead and link to the album full of a sampling of them for you to enjoy. Not much description, so if you have any specific questions, ask and we can expand a little!
Keep an eye on Jonathan's blog for thoughtful and/or humorous updates on our Plymouth/Boston experience, coming soon! The following are a few blogs that have been posting on the Reformation 500 in Boston:
Hello, faithful readers of Mountain Musings! We hope you enjoyed your short vacation from reading our blog--we are now up and running again after a wonderful time away as a family to Plymouth and Boston, Massachusetts for the Reformation 500 celebration.
At least, the blog will be somewhat up and running--after a week of recouping from our travels, Mom and Sarah are headed out of town again to visit Aunt Bet. So, it is my task this week to fill you in on highlights of our trip to New England. We will see whether holding down the fort and writing much of substance here can happen at the same time.
Our drive up north started on Sunday, June 28th. We decided to stop briefly in Connecticut to see family there for a couple of hours, which was a nice spontaneous visit before continuing to our hotel that night.
Today I'd like to share some of our pictures from the first two days of our trip, Monday and Tuesday spent in Plymouth. Vision Forum was hosting a special Plymouth mini-tour before the Boston conference, but our family took in the sights on our own and chose to visit the different historic locations on the opposite day as the large tour group! We still managed to run into them on occasion around town.
We saw the Mayflower replica, Plymouth Rock, Plimoth Plantation, and many monuments and landmarks in the historic downtown parts of Plymouth, such as Burial Hill where many of the Pilgrims were buried. We looked out at Plymouth Harbor from the top of Cole's Hill and the beach near where the Pilgrims first landed.
It was fitting to be in Plymouth before the conference, because we were able to see how the Biblical principles that were proclaimed during the Reformation influenced the Pilgrim Separatists and ultimately the founding of America.
To view the photo album for our 2 days in Plymouth, click here or on the banner above.