12/13/16

Christmas Letter


Yesterday, I sent out some Christmas cards which stated our Christmas letter was posted here.

 I better get to writing a Christmas letter.

Christmas Past: It's all in the archives, {still in the process of moving everything} but I've linked last year's video ... and had these morbid thoughts.

2015 video 

... what if eBlogger goes down?  I still have my iWeb app where all the archives are stored but not available except by me. But pretty sure eBlogger is only accessible by internet.

Maybe it's better that way.

Maybe I shoulda kept a written journal.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda


Christmas Present:

The kids are doing great, and we still really like them, but dang it, if being a grandparent is not one of the best jobs ever, I don't know what is.





















I'm retiring from the wedding photography business.
Mark retired from UPS 8 years ago.

Retiring is one thing, slowing down is completely another.

And that brings us to Christmas Future.

Here, I could vow again to keep this blog updated, read thru the bible in a year, or hint at some big changes coming down the pike.

I could invite y'all to come visit Remington, Bradenton, and/or Muskegon {sleeps 33}

I could promise another year end video by 1.1.17.

I could mend fences and paint the barn.

I could show you my tub full of books I'm fixin' to read on my snowbird porch.

I could do all of the above, and I may, but Christmas Future will be Christmas Past, next year, and the fact remains; coulda, woulda, shoulda.

Have yourself some merry and bright holidays and remember, Jesus is the reason for every season.

God bless you.

Christmas letter circa 2009:

I’m not sure where or how I’ll spend the majority of my time next year.  Michigan or Indiana?  Selling or renting? A retro camper at the edge of Monument Valley, or dorm parents in Kenya?  Sitting on my Art Van sectional tapping out stories, or backpacking through Europe?  Sharing the VW and viewfinders while telling wedding day stories? Fundraising for a struggling mission in the slums of Nairobi or starting a small town ministry for fragile families? A farmer’s market or photo editing? Always documenting in word and pictures, to be sure, but no worries because truly, home is where my heart is. I’m excited for what is around the corner, whether it be all of the above or something entirely different. 

I like to name stuff.  I name houses, years, weddings, vacations, and so I’ve officially named the 2010 journal, “The Novel” not only because I hope to finish one, but mainly because I hope to write more, read more, give more, worship more, see more, live more, pray more, be more.  There, I’ve said it.

I’ve been LAX here. (the journal, not the airport) Whether it’s through a chat by the fire or on a facebook pop-up window, I hope to stay more connected to you.  I need you. You need me.  And so we continue.  Continue to live one day at a time.  Sometimes, by the hour.  Trying to find happiness in the moment.

Where is the joy in your life?  And by ‘your’, I mean ‘my’.  Are you happy? Am I happy? Can there be peace in your heart in a troubled world?  

In 2009 I’ve learned two biggies and hope, in 2010, to practice the third.
  
Happiness cannot be 24/7 because then you wouldn’t feel the joy when it does arrive.
True peace and joy will almost always come on the far side of sacrifices, sorrows, trials, disappointments, and lost opportunities.
Generosity is giving up my “It’s all about me attitude.”  It’s being lavishly wasteful on others with my time, my talent, and my money.  Real generosity is not giving ‘till it hurts,  it’s giving until it’s gone.

At the end of today and everyday, this is my hope; “Remarkably, slowly, and surely my selfish heart will become amazingly transformed by my ridiculous giving.”






11/18/16

Stuff



I'm embarrassed to say that this is mostly my "stuff" in the above picture, so I'm not judging anyone here. "Stuff" can kill ya. At the very least, it can strangle and leave you gasping for breath.

I've started following a blog called "Becoming Minimalist" and that is what I'm fixin' to do.

I am not a fan of clutter, never have been.  But my minimalist friend said something that will be my new motto for 2017; "don't just declutter, deown."

Listen to me when I say, "stuff" costs way more than what you paid for it.

I've already taken down one household, so I am qualified to take down some more.

After all, you can't take it with you.

Stay tuned, and keep an eye out for eBay, Craig's, and Airbnb listings, a household auction bill, a barn sale sign, trailer for sale or rent, and a rustic venue realtor may or may not be involved. 

It's time.  

We're movin' on up.



11/13/16

God Bless America


This will be all I say about the 2016 Election:

And I will say it here because I've already blocked/restricted/defriended the disrespectful and blatant babbling off my newsfeed. Both Trump and Clinton friends and even family.

1. The popular vote is just over 1/2 a million difference. Gary Johnson received over 4 million votes... MY VOTE DID MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

2. A 2 party system... 2 choices ... really America? Get your shit together.

3. Here I am above, in front of the white house and the capitol building.  I chose red on purpose. I'm thinking about going green.

Here's the kind of Republican I was/am even tho I didn't vote R for president.
I was/am the kind of republican:
  • who doesn't believe in abortion, but I would never in a million years believe that there are "abortion lovers" out there. 
  • who would never vote on one issue
  • who does not live in fear
  • who believes that black lives matter and who has a staunch respect for police officers
  • who would invite refugees from any country into my home
  • who loves this planet and does my part to take care of it
  • who would photograph anyone's wedding
  • who thinks it is wonderful that a girl wearing a hijab is now a "cover girl" girl
  • who will still and always has used the bathrooms at Target
  • who believes our veterans deserve more
  • who thinks there is way too much government in our lives
  • who has some ideas and thoughts on social security overhauls and a flat tax
  • who has always referred to the current president as President Obama
  • who is extremely patriotic and stands up (sometimes even in my living room) when the National Anthem or the Hallelujah Chorus is played)
  • who cried when George and Barbara Bush walked down the stairs to leave the building
  • who has always had a great respect for President Bush W and, still to this day, believes that maybe there WERE WMD's but they somehow got moved before inspections
  • who strongly believes in government fiscal and social responsibility
  • who will always vote policy over personality
  • will call Mr. Trump ... President Trump ... and will NOT listen to anyone's disrespect of the office of president or first lady
  • will keep praying for the Obama family and will start praying for the Trump family

What does it mean when it says;
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." Romans 13:1




10/15/16

Late Summer Antics


A Sailor Salute



A Boat Ride

A Bridal Show and 
A Birthday




 Two Grandparents Days



























And A Baby Shower


























10/12/16

Middle Summer Antics

Even tho this is a before and after ... I'm not sold on one being better than the other.



Before tower with the grandkids.

Before and after ice cream

Before and after bedroom
New windows to the world.
New theme: Sand Water Sky and Earth 



Before and after middle room ... again, not sure which one I like... totally joking here! (Kinda, love the memorabilia)


Before and after kids at their childhood schoolyard
Max's first trip to Pic-n-Pac (craft beer store)





Sunset anniversary cruise on the Madam Caroll Monticello
Before and after wood floors
\
Lake house color scheme
Happy birthday big guy!
Everyone lives in GR but us

Family is everything

Friends for life

Before and after Splash Pad bucket ... Remington


Still have the big bird yellow but at least the windows open