May 26, 2011

The Colors of Spring

I love Spring. As soon as you step outside the front door you can see color all around you. 

The brightly colored flowers blooming in the flower garden...

 The blossoming trees...

 Color is everywhere!

  Isn't God so creative? Every detail is perfectly arranged...each little delicate flower has it's own uniqueness and beauty.

I have come to the conclusion that you can not fully capture the glorious beauty of God's creation through the lens of a camera. Yes, we can get little bits and pieces of it, but never the complete fullness of it's splendor.

 - - - - - - - - - - - -

You have probably noticed that there are a few changes on this blog. What do you think of the new design? I liked the previous design, but I was wanting to try designing a blog on my own. You never notice how much data is in a blog until you dig into the HTML - it's actually pretty cool. There are still a few little things that I need to finish up, so some elements may look a little weird at the moment...

May 22, 2011

My first DSLR

After waiting for a very long time...

I got my first DSLR camera!!!!
- A Nikon D3100 -

Over the past several years I have been using a point-and-shoot Sony Cybershot, but I've been wanting to upgrade to a nice DSLR. The Sony was a great tool to learn photography basics on, but there comes a point where there is only so much you can do with it. I've heard a lot of great reviews on the Nikon D3100 and have been doing a lot of research on it ever since it was released in November of 2010.

{I just had to go try it out this afternoon...}
I originally thought that I would need wait awhile longer until I had saved up a bit more, but yesterday I found a lightly used one (less than 800 photos taken) for an extremely good price on Craigslist. It also included a lot of accessories, including the standard lens (18-55mm), a 55-200mm lens, and a camera bag. It was within my price range and it sounded like a good deal, so my dad and I went and bought it last night. I'm starting to think that it's one of the best investments I've made.

It may take me awhile to figure it all out (there are so many things to learn...), but I've greatly enjoyed it so far! I can't wait to go out on some photo shoots with friends and practice using it. There will be plenty of pictures coming in future posts!

I'm just a little bit excited about my new "toy"...can't you tell?

What type of camera, lens, and equipment do you use??

May 18, 2011

One of those days...

Today was one of those days.

One of those days that starts off well.
One of those days that you get almost everything done on your checklist.
One of those days that seems to be going well.

At about 5:30 this evening Sarah and I went out to the round pen to work with her pony. The riding went fairly well, and I was pleased with how it ended up. I had my camera along, so we decided to take off Misty's tack and let her graze in the round pen while we went and got some pictures. When we came back to get Misty I was able to get her lead rope on with little trouble, and took her out of the round pen so that we could tack her up and get back to the barn. Misty decided that she didn't want Sarah to put the saddle on, and she started to dance around. I was holding her, so I handed her to Sarah so that I could try to get it on. Misty decided that this was the opportune time to head back to the barn, and she took off at full speed before either Sarah or I could catch up with her. It's about a quarter of a mile walk (or shall I say run...) back to the barn, but thankfully it wasn't hard to find her as she went straight to Flash. Let's just say I was not very happy with a certain little pony...

After that little incident I realized that the tack was still out at the round pen. I decided to drive the truck out, as that would be a lot quicker...right? What I didn't realize is that long, slightly damp grass does not mix well with a rear-wheel drive pickup. Yep...I got it stuck out by the round pen. By that point I was fried. I was frustrated. I was ready to give up. Time for another 1/4 mile walk back to the house to get my dad. I started praying that the Lord would show me what He was trying to teach me through this :)

By now it was 8:30, chores weren't done, I hadn't eaten supper yet, and I was tired. I was unloading the tack from the truck, still slightly frustrated at the events that had taken place, and it suddenly hit me.  If these little things were the only "trials" of my day...I am blessed. Those things were so minor compared to the things that so many people around the world go through every day.

I have a roof over my head.
I have religious freedom.
I don't have to worry where my next meal will come from.
I have wonderful family and friends.

God has blessed me in more ways that I can count, and He continually provides for my needs. These little things that came up today were so minor.

So the next time I have "one of those days", I must remind myself that the things that get on my nerves are sometimes the things that God uses to show me just how blessed I am.

Misty...our sweet and adorable (and ornery and mischievous) pony

May 17, 2011

My life as of late

I don't think that "I've been busy" is a valid excuse anymore, as I use it too often.
Life just seems to be getting crazier by the day, so I hope that you don't mind my scattered posts.

It's been awhile since I've done much on the internet, and a lot has happened since my last blog update. Here's a little glimpse into what has been going on in my life recently...

{The colors of Spring...}

I finished driver's ed at the end of April and I now have my intermediate driver's license! I've enjoyed having it, and my parents like having someone else that can run into town. Now I can run errands, drive kids to activities, or drive myself into town when I have something going on. With this new "freedom" also comes a lot of responsibility :)
- - -
This year I got a "summer job". Ok, not really...but sort of. I've really been wanting to get a Nikon D3100, so I'm going to do the local farmer's market to help save up for that. Several years ago our family had the opportunity to buy large (very, very large...) quantities of daylilies and iris, with the intent of eventually turning it into a family business. We ended up deciding that wasn't what God had for our family at this time, so now we have over 60 varieties of daylilies and a large field of iris (probably a couple hundred varieties) just sitting there. My parents told me that if I did all of the work this summer (weeding, digging, mulching, etc.) I could take them to farmer's market. So that is my summer job - iris and daylilies. I'll have to admit that I'd probably rather be working with animals, such as raising hogs on pasture, but since I have this opportunity I'm going to take it :)

{One of the many varieties of iris}
I ran my first 5k a couple weeks ago! Yes...I made it across the finish line, and did it with a fairly average time. I'm hoping to run several other 5k's this summer, though I need to start running on a more regular basis...
 - - -
Last week we had a Bright Lights Mother/Daughter tea to wrap up Set One, and also as our final meeting before the Summer. There was a small devotional, a time for mothers and daughters to spend one-on-one time, a variety of games, and, of course, tea and horderves. I've really enjoyed seeing how God has worked in and through Bright Lights over the past year, and look forward to see how He works in the future.

{Mothers and Daughters enjoying an evening of fellowship}
{Flowerpots filled with little goodies make wonderful prize baskets!}

 As usual, I've been doing quite a lot of photography, as I rarely leave the house without my camera. Here are my photos for the 52 Challenge...

{52 Challenge - Week 15}
{52 Challenge - Week 16}
{52 Challenge - Week 17}
{52 Challenge - Week 18}
That is a tiny glimpse into my life over the past weeks. I have several other post ideas, and I'll try to blog again as soon as my schedule permits. I'm not sure if it will be a few days or a few weeks...but I will be back.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know that this love surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of the all fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19