Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Good Story from the OBX

Earlier this week, I got to visit on the phone with my dear friend, Starla. We were reminiscing about our trip to the Outer Banks a few years ago and it reminded me of a good God story that happened there.

See those glasses lying in the sand? They belong to Dylan. He lost them on the first day that we were at the beach. He took them off and laid them on the blanket while they were building castles down by the water, but then he forgot about them. The blanket was taken up and the glasses vanished. We all searched diligently morning , noon, and night all around the spot the blanket had been, but after several days had passed, I became more and more convinced that they had not been on the blanket, but were, instead, laid down closer to the water, and subsequently washed away. He was a pretty sad little bloke the rest of the week, not being able to see well, and dreading the prospects of having to tell the bad news to Dad when he returned home.

On the last night there, after Dylan and his family left, the rest of us were out on the beach savoring the last precious moments, when Starla glanced over to the stroller and noticed Nicky's glasses laying in the sand beside the stroller. Indignant over his irresponsibility, and the prospect of losing another pair of glasses in one week, she summoned him, "NICHOLAS JAMES!!!" When Nicky looked up from his playing, his glasses were planted right on his nose where they belonged. Could it BE?!?!?!?! After a whole week out on the beach?!?!?! It was!!! We had found Dylan's glasses, just sitting there in plain view on top of the sand, not even scratched!!!! How they were hidden from our sight all week, and then suddenly revealed is a great mystery; or was it God's tender-loving care for a down-trodden little lad?

So here is another memory from that wonderful week: Isn't that surf magnificent!
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Really Wicked Cool Framed Artwork

That's what the label on the box says:EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just got "DUCKED" by the Pixel2Canvas folks, and it is freakin' awesome!!!!
I can't wait to see Christian's face when I give it to her. Now I want to make freight-truck size canvas prints of everything!
Go ahead; click on the picture to make it big.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Carrol County Special Olympics Basketball Classic

The Glory!

The Spirit!

The Stars!

The Passion!

The Thrill!

The Action!

The Smiles!

The Coolness!

The Team Work!

The Skill!

The Pride!

The Love!

Oh, the Love!!!

The Puzzle!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Morning Star

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Finding starfish on the beach in the morning is one of life's magical experiences for me. This one was in Duck one crisp April morning.

I know Coach Vickey will be trolling through here anytime hoping to see pictures of the great Carroll County Basketball Classic held today. I hate to disappoint her, but I haven't even taken the cards out of the camera yet. I've been fighting off a cold all week, and I'm heading to bed early to reinforce myself for the battle.(sniff)


Clickity Clack Jigsaw PuzzleClickity Clack Jigsaw Puzzle

Recently, we have been making some miniscule, but none the less, brave, attempts at removing some of the clutter in our house. Amy would be so proud! I could post up a picture of what our kitchen desk looks like tonight: my side, gleaming, pristine, and just as fresh and naked as a newborn baby's butt; and David's side packed 3 rows deep and towering to the overhead cabinets; but that wouldn't be fair. Because the truth is, he has been helping, too. He single-handedly, completely emptied the junk drawer, and streamlined the port-side cabinet over the stove, and now, for the first time ever, I have a place in my kitchen to put the dish towels. Truly a wonder!

So, what does this have to do with the puzzle of the roller coaster ride? One of the hidden gems that I uncovered today was a devotional article that I had saved from the Campus Crusade publication, Worldwide Challenge about a roller-coaster ride, written by Deborah Robbins. I hope she won't mind me sharing it Under the C.

    "Walking toward the mountainous twists of steel beams and magnets, my heart beats a little faster. With every step closer to a roller coaster, I get an incomparable rush.

    As I wait in line, I hear the shrieks and squeals of exhilarated riders. Then it's my turn. I jump into my seat, pull down the chest guard, and fasten the belt. The attendants double-check the locks. I know that I am safe, but my heart pounds even faster.

    Slowly the chains crank me up the first hill, and I leave the secure ground. I know the track continues beyond the first hill, but I can't yet see it. My heart continues to race.

I reach the zenith, and suddenly I'm flying. The coaster, twists, turns, flips me upside down. I never know when the ride will end, and during those incredible moments, I can't decide whether I want it to or not.

Sure, I can choose to meander through the park, watching others ride the rides, spending all my money on memorabilia. But then I would never feel my heart beat.

    Throughout life, God gives me similar opportunities to walk in faith, trusting Him through uncertainties. I can choose to ride the ride of faith, like when I initiate a spiritual conversation with someone. Or I could just stay on the ground, where everything appears stable.

    Without faith, it is impossible to please God. With faith, I please Him, experience His hand of safety, and I can feel my heart beat. What a ride."

I hope you are inspired, as I am, to risk experiences that allow us to feel our heart beat. And now that I have saved this story in a safe place, that's one more piece of paper that can leave my house! 

Oh, and for the record, I DO love a great coaster!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My favorite beautiful places

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Sunset at Corolla. It doesn't get much better than watching the sun slip away into Currituck Sound. This gazebo was transformed into the Bride's dressing chamber for Amy's Whalehead Club wedding.Current weather makes me long for the Outer Banks.

Friday, January 25, 2008


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I don't think I've put this one up before. This has been a handbell intensive week getting new music for the spring semester started, so I haven't been taking any pictures lately. But Amy has something good to see on her website: a beautiful birth slideshow. The baby's father is my friend's son, who is in Iraq. He was able to hear his son's arrival via cell phone.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


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What to do on a rainy vacation day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Koi

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sssssshhhh!!!!! I've been working all evening on creating a BIG canvas of these fish for my friend who saves me from my hair challenges. These are her fish and I can't WAIT to give it to her!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Youth Night at the Rex

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Last Night was the Youth JAM Night at the Rex. Folks, I'm here to tell you that the future of Bluegrass and Old-Time music is as bright as ever here in Galax! All the kids on stage were, as always, amazing and inspiring, but the incredible phenomena of the evening was the Snyder Family Band, composed of Samantha (age 9 on the fiddle), Zeb (age 12 on the guitar), and their dad, Bud, on the bass. There just aren't enough good words to say about these kids: they are incredibly talented, charming, sweet-spirited, delightful, and did I say talented enough??
Here are Zeb and Samantha at the Second Annual Jimmy Edmonds Homecoming & Youth Competition at the Blue Ridge Music Center where they each won the top prize in their category: handmade instruments by Jimmy Edmonds and Wayne Henderson.

(photo credit: David Weatherly)
Here's a link to read more about them and see them play:

Roy's Folks: Musical Kids Also, click on the link in the sidebar to read more about them on David Weatherly's blog and see another video.

Friday, January 18, 2008

One Day Tour

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Thanks to my able, coerced, assistants (Barbara, Larry, and Kim) we have a slideshow of the JoyBell Ringers' one day tour in Winston yesterday. You will see them playing for the seniors at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, then you will see them in the Wake Forest bell tower eagerly learning all about the grand carillon there. Mr. Ray Ebert, the carilloneur, was a kind, engaging host and gave the children a most memorable experience. He is also a magnificent organist, and with very little prodding, treated us to a short sampling of his skills on the organ in Wait Chapel. When the first notes engulfed the chapel, the majesty of it immediately brought tears to my eyes.

So, here's the slideshow: JoyBell Ringers' One Day Tour (see if you can spy the forsythia already blooming in Winston!)
And a couple of pics just in case you don't have time for a slideshow.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tower Ringing

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What a great day spent with my JoyBell Ringers!

And now the snow has finally started falling, so I can go to bed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dining with George

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George Washington has invited you to dine with him at Mt Vernon! But don't try to sit on these chairs: they are actually only a few inches high. This is a scaled model of the dining room in Mt. Vernon. It's as close as we got to going inside because we weren't willing to stand in the long line on such a sunny day when there were so many other interesting things to explore outside.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Orchids in Winter

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These delicate beauties were growing out on the patio at Cara's house in Florida. Imagine that!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Rich Pup

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What a cutie! I snapped this little pup's picture while we were picnicking in Palm Beach.

My daughter, Amy, had the blessed privilege to attend and photograph the birth of my friend's grandchild last night. Here is little Brian Michael and his mom.

His dad, Brian is serving in Iraq. I know that this family will be thrilled to share in little Brian Michael's birth through Amy's eyes. Read all about it on her blog:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Reason Why

Jupiter Lighthouse Jigsaw PuzzleJupiter Lighthouse Jigsaw Puzzle

"When you look back on a lifetime and think of what has been given to the world by your presence, your fugitive presence, inevitably you think of your art, whatever it may be, as the gift you have made to the world in acknowledgment of the gift you have been given, which is the life itself...That work is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition, or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your gratitude for the gift of life." Stanley Kunitz

Well said! I found this quote in a signature line on an email I received today. A long time ago, Paul Keller button-holed me with the question, "Why do you take pictures?" and I couldn't think of an answer to give him. I just knew that I had to make photographs. So, Paul, wherever you are, This is my answer.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Another Page from the McPherson's Memory Book

Christmas Palms Jigsaw PuzzleChristmas Palms Jigsaw Puzzle

Johnny told us about Floridians lighting up their palm trees for Christmas. Coming from the land of Christmas tree farms, we were greatly amused by the quirky tropical themed decorations.

It was a great joy to share our graham cracker/gingerbread house tradition with new friends. We had the house-building party outside on the patio at night. The tables were continually getting covered in dew from the humidity; the crackers were getting soft, the candy was sticking together, and the icing wouldn't dry; all construction hazards I had never considered before since this is an indoor, wintertime activity here in Virginia.

Amos' lovely Cara and her masterpiece:

Michelle, who is a bride today (Congratulations!)