"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you..." Psalm 63:1
May you delight in Him today!
"Amani Children's Home is dedicated to the protection of Tanzania's most vulnerable population: street-children and AIDS orphans. Since its founding by local Tanzanians in 2001, Amani Children's Home has rescued over 290 children from the perils of life on the streets, where children face a high risk of HIV transmission and malnutrition. We welcome donations from all who want to help us give these precious children a haven from neglect and abuse." (Quoted from www.amanikids.org)
Want to get involved? Click here to change the life of a precious child. May His grace abound!
I wasn't able to stray very far this year to take photos (darn stomach and esophagus), but as Dorothy said, "There's no place like home." These are few shots taken within a one-mile radius of my house.
This is my town's newly renovated library. It's beautiful!
This is an early autumn view from the library in the town next door.
Here's Emma collecting autumn leaves for her room.
This is a sugar maple tree~absolutely stunning! As much as I love these trees, I am thankful I don't actually have one in my yard. The leaves are beautiful on the trees, but once they fall they are a huge mess requiring many days of raking and burning. So I am lazy and happy to see them all around me without having to clean up the leaves. I know~shame on me!
This is the same tree, just zoomed in a bit. I love the contrast of the bright leaves against the dark bark.
These were taken at Bolton Beach, the small lake in my town.
I love the colors reflected in the water!
It really is a blessing to live here, surrounded by the majesty of His tapestry...
Thankfully, the autumn colors didn't peek before I could get outside and take some photos. These are the ones I shot from my front porch.
I love the contrast of our flag against the autumn coors.
And here's my favorite view of all: Miss Emma's autumn toes! Her mommy painted them orange and made her big toes look like pieces of candy corn! The only not-so-cute part is that she keeps telling me to kiss them to see if they taste like candy corn! LOL
Just a few shots from our annual trip to the local pumpkin patch a few weeks ago. The pumpkin patch is part of a local apple orchard (my small country town is full of and known for its apple orchards) where you can pick and eat the apples right from the trees. Yum!
Emma leading the way...
My beautiful girls!
The ugliest pumpkin I have ever seen! Even Cinderella's fairy godmother would have had a hard time turning this ugly pumpkin into a handsome carriage! LOL
Miss Emma had to check every pumpkin...
..until she finally found the perfect one! Too bad the wind and sun wouldn't cooperate for my photos. She'd either squint or be blown around like crazy!
Papa, the Mighty Pumpkin Carrier! LOL
We bought two others the same size, which Brittany and I carried. We had to haul those pumpkins a long way up an inclining dirt path to get back to the car, where we paid too much for them. Later we swung by Lowe's and saw pumpkins the same size for $4 each! But there wouldn't have been any adorable photo ops at Lowe's, nor would there have been any bracnhes for me to photograph! LOL
This is the produce store at the apple orchard/pumpkin patch. They serve the best fresh apple cider doughnuts rolled in cinnamon sugar, which is our annual treat after hauling those ginormous pumpkins back to our car. I only took a bite of one because of my GI junk going on~but if I get better before the season ends, I am soooooo going back to get one of my own! I am quite sure Emma will want to go with me!
This is the "picnic" area at the orchard. I love these rock walls that are all over my town. Granite is plentiful here~and these huge rocks surface in yards, fields, etc. as they are gradually pushed up by water. People clear the rocks/boulders from their property and build fences with them. Cool, huh?
...to two very special friends, Cheri and Karen! Cheri's was on the 16th. Met her when she married a friend I've known since 7th grade, Mark Ranieri. Here's the card I made for her. Notice that I gave this Bella red hair like mine? Too bad I don't look anything like this when I bake! And seriously...who bakes in heels? For me, that alone would be a recipe for disaster! LOL
Karen's birthday was on the 17th. Karen and I met when we were 3 years old and have been friends ever since! Karen married Bob Cyffka. Rick, Mark, Bob and I are high school friends. Kinda cool that those 3 guys got such 3 awesome girls! LOL The picture I took of Karen's card didn't turn out, and I forgot to check the photo before I mailed the card. Grandma moment! But it featured a really large chocolate cupcake~yum! You can see the Tiddly Inks image I used here. It's a digi-image~you can download it, print it, color it, and voila! Of course, I used almost an entire bottle of chocolate colored glitter as the icing. At least it was fat free!
So...bet you've been wondering where I've been hiding. I would love to tell you that I've been cruising the Caribbean or eating my way through Italy. Ahh, if only! Unfortunately, I've been dealing with some upper GI issues which have grown significantly worse over the last month or so. I've had some tests run and am still waiting for some results. We don't think it's cancer or ulcers, but we are still trying to accurately diagnose and manage the issues. It looked I was getting a little better over the weekend, but things are starting to flare again. All that to say that I haven't had much energy to be crafting or on my computer, but I am hoping and praying that changes soon! Life is just better with crafting and computers!
Anyway, happy belated birthday to Cheri and Karen! Hope your days were delightful in every way! Love and miss you..
Rick traveled to Japan last week on a business trip. When he travels out of the country, he always returns bearing gifts! He knew he wanted to get me a kokeshi doll for my collection~he looked and he looked and he looked, but he said that I already have every one that he saw. (Hmmm...didn't know that was possible. It's ALL Christy's fault. Really, it is!) Then he spied this lone Samurai and thought that my beautiful collection of girls needed at least one man, and a warrior at that!
Rick has developed quite the artistic eye for accent pieces of decor. He found this vase and knew it would complement our new family room. It's made in accordance with an ancient form of Japanese pottery (I have all the info somewhere...probably with all of those things I put in a "safe" place so I won't forget where I put them. Not working too well. My mind must be hiding there as well! LOL) I put the vase on the mantle of our new fireplace, and its color is almost an exact match to the new paint. That's Mt. Fuji painted with real gold. I have no idea what the sign says, i just like it!
At the airport, Rick's flight was running late so he decided to take a quick stroll. He came across an "historical arts" gift shop and found this wooden box. (I do know where the info is for this. The only problem is that it's written in Japanese. Silly me~I took four years of Latin. That doesn't help much!) Rick knows how much I love boxes. Guess he's seen one or two around the house. I photographed this on the mantle because that's where the best lighting was, but it really looks stunning on one of our new black tables.
The lid comes off to reveal another lid and chamber.
Of course, Papa never comes home without a surprise for Miss Emma! She loves kokeshi dolls, too, and has her own small collection. He spotted these two "little girl" dolls~how sweet are they?
I love the look on her face when she first saw them!
Since she was at our house, Emma immediately ran into my office so that her dolls could hang out with mine. As you may recall, I have three shelves of these dolls. It took her all of one or two seconds to spot the new samurai! She wanted to know what he was doing at the girls' party! If you look closely, you can see how she mingled her two dolls in with mine.