Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I can't Boogie -

but that doesn't seem to make me stop trying to, especially if I'm rocking out in the car with EmilyCase to Country Music. It just makes it more epic that I have no idea what I'm doing. ;)
This was shot back in April, the day after Barberville. :)

I get to see her tomorrow, and I AM SO EXCITED. Here's a clip of what will happen. A repeat, only it'll be with more people. I can't WAAAIIIIIIT. :D hahahahahah.

Enjoy!!! Hahahahahaaa.....

In case you missed it, EmilyCase wrote probably one of the best birthday posts ever to date on her blog. If you either laugh hysterically or start sniffling, then you are like me. :) She's a special and wonderful lady, and I'm so blessed and glad to be her sister!!!

God has been so very gracious and kind to me!!

With love, the 23yr. old that is so so thankful for the best friends ever!!
Thank you for all your happy birthday greetings to me, they all meant so much!!
Love ya'll,
~ Jean Marie ~

Monday, June 27, 2011

"55 minutes before 23" -

At the time this was shot, it was 55 minutes before I turned 23. :) Becs told me to do it, and I thought, "hey, good idea. might be fun!" and then I realized how hard it is to concentrate on looking at the green dot and thinking of how you want to sum up your entire 22nd year of life in under 5 minutes. Which, I failed, btw. It's 5 minutes and 23 seconds long.

And I said "Um" 32 times. Clearly, something to work on. However, due to statistical guessing by Math Genius Becs (my brain shorted out on this one), I only said "um" about 1-5% of the time. So that's....good? ;) And then I started thinking too much and almost burst into tears, because ya'll are just too special to try to sum up that fast. ;) I love you guys, I mean it.

This is unedited, in the dark, and I was whispering so I wouldn't wake up the family. :)
But it was spur of the moment, and it's special anyways. Because it's from Me to You!!! :D

So I guess something new already ... vlogging. Two vlogs on this blog before I'm 53. that's what my fingers typed out....hahahaa....I mean TWENTY THREE. So here's to vlogging and here's to ya'll!!! :)

With love, from the still 22 yr. old as of this moment, ;)
~ Jean Marie ~

P.S. 3 minutes left!!! :D Hahahhahaaha....Becs is counting down with me. I love ya', Becs!

The Secret Project revealed! -

So what did THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, and THIS have to do with anything? :D What did they build up to be? And WHAT does it have to do with THE SECRET? the secret!!! The mystery! Actually, I'll tell you who knew all along. Besides my family, that is. And Cameron. :)

THIS is who knew. She knew the secret, and she kept it for me! Muwahhaha!! I know. She's downright pretty, ain't she? *lookit that, I said "ain't!", Momma's gonna have somethin to say 'bout that, but I'm writin' this real real small so she can't read it! *hee hee!!*
Did you SEE what I did with that picture? It's SQUARE. I've been dying forever to try to find the perfect time to introduce my "pretend polaroids" to my blog, and viola. In love. It doesn't help that this is the cutest "vote yes to blueberries" and the adorableness of Becs picture. :)

So the SECRET. is really a GIFT. from myself. to ME. ;) hahaha. Yes, yes, it's true!!

and HERE is what the secret is: my secret surprise birthday present to myself.

It's a gorgeous light green solid wood curio cabinet!!

The door opens on the side, so that's the reflection you see on the right. :)

I want to tell you the story about it. :) A couple of weeks ago, our favorite furniture store run by a Christian family and awesome people was closing out, due to retiring. And newer- non-awesome-and non-USA stuff was moving in, along with the new owners. *rolls eyes* SO. Our family went over to see about finding some wonderful things before they went invisible. *blink* I mean, before they were sold.

Momma found some lovely plates that we hung in the kitchen, and I had seen this cabinet that I was dying to show Dad how gorgeous it was. I'd been looking for a curio cabinet for little things ever since I was ... I don't know, 10? So. A long time...well Daddy saw it, said it was lovely, but overpriced. :( It was a quality piece made in Virginia, USA. Well, without realizing it, since a few days earlier, I had been inwardly planning about all the things I was going to put in it, and where it was going to go, etc. Fully planning to buy it myself, for myself. Needless to say, I was very disappointed.

More than I thought I would be! In fact, I went home and cried for a half hour, and cried later that night .... I hadn't realized how much it meant that I could fill it up with things of my grandmother's that I had. Things I hadn't seen for 8 years .... I was sooo sad about it, but trusted Dad that he knew prices and quality and furniture much better than I did. :)

Well Dad went online and looked other cabinets, how much it would cost to ship it, the prices, etc, and when he realized that this was quite a good cost, actually, he changed his mind. :) I was happy with the price, and since I was buying it, I was all for it. I left for 3 days with John and Audra to work FPEA, and fully expected it to be in the house when I returned. I came home, and it wasn't. My heart sank. I thought - "oh no. Someone bought it!". But they hadn't .....

And so we bought it. Or rather, I bought it. :) I'm pretty sensible about what I need vs. what I want, but the fact that this had three of my favorite things just made me fall in love with it. A. Its color. It's this light green that screams "The South" to me. I adore - adore the color. It's what caught my eye in the first place. B. It has paneling on the back, which makes it old-fashioned and plantation looking. C. It has a light inside and glass shelves.

The light -

The paneling and glass shelves -

aaaaand the boxes and boxes of memories and keepsakes and legacy

That first night that I had been very disappointed originally about not getting it, I remember being very teary in bed that night and realizing that it wasn't necessarily the fact that I didn't get the cabinet (very little of it, in fact!), but more that I had been dreaming of having my Grandmother and Grandfather's things out that had been packed away for 8 years, and then not being able to do it. The loss squeezed my chest into hurt and hurt into tears.

When I unpacked all those boxes, it was what Godly grief looks like after 8 years. Some tears, some sweet longing, lots and lots and lots of memories, and lots of joy. As I unwrapped things that held memories and smells and senses of touch that I'd missed, I could feel my heart re-breaking and re-mending every time I put a figure or vase or memento on those glass shelves.

It's more than legacy and beautiful pieces .... its memories of Grandma's face in the mirror around which some of these pieces sat. It's Grandpa's desk with the treasures on it that held all the paper and his favorite pens that I would draw with, and the piano I would play the tune that holds all the memories if I only just close my eyes and go back. Back to when they held me in their arms and pressed kisses to my cheeks and said they loved me. Back when they were here.

So when you come see my curio cabinet - see LOVE in there. and see JOY in there!!! :) All filled with joy!!! (for those of you who have never seen my room, that's my bookshelf on the left, and my sister's on the right. :) We are a family that reads and loves books. :) )

Remember this little guy? :D Here's where he'll stand for now, instead of being in a box. :) I played with these little people, (in fact, Kim has an identical set) when I was a little girl.

The little piano music box. I can go back 8, 10, 15 years, just by winding it up and letting myself remember.

A handmade blue glass pitcher from my grandparents house, and a teacup and saucer that I had packed away in my hope chest.

These were my Grandmother's....

This beautiful teacup and saucer were also in my hope chest. It's tiny and I adore it, but I can't remember where on Earth it is from. :)

I always thought she looked like Martha Washington. She's a little bell.

All my Cherished Teddies that I've collected over the years. :) SO fun having them all in one place now!! They've been scattered over 3 places in my room.

The best for last, maybe. :) Glass roses in a vase with my Grandmother's name etched on it, another vase with dried baby's breath in it, that I've saved from bouquets. That dog is from the 1960's at least, and since I can remember, since back when I was probably 4, I've played with it. It always was in the shelf between the twin beds at my Grandparents' house. At night, if I couldn't sleep, I would run my fingers along the grooves in the iron, romping it over my covers in its countless hunts for birds and coons, chasing bears away, leading the hunters around. I'd gaze at it in my droopy with sleep eyelids as I dozed off, and in the morning I would look at it, watching the sun stream in and glint off its coat. Of all the things I wanted unpacked, it was this dog. I ADORE this dog. I grinned and lifted it to my cheek when I unpacked it.

It was a little like coming home. Home to my second heart. The one I left in GA.

So you can maybe say this is the best birthday present to me. :) Memories and joy and precious reminders of what life was with them. Childhood and growing up and dreams. Saying goodbyes and letting go, and having the best grandparents in the world. Unwrapping gifts of memories and putting them out where I can see them more often is so joyous to me!!! :) I love it.

When I got the cabinet, I was sooo excited, I danced around with Lucy Mae saying "Happy Birthday to meeeee!!!" Hahaha. :D Thank you, Mom and Dad for letting me get it!!

There's lots more in the cabinet, but you will just have to come and see it in person ... ;D

Tomorrow I turn 23. :) *faints* Don't worry. I shall recover as soon as I have some Tapioca Pudding. ;)

With much much love, quite a few smiles, and a joyous heart,
On the last night I will be 22, I can say -
"The Lord has been gracious and faithful!! He has been Enough, He is my Father and Lord,
Holy is He, and perfect are His ways, in His timing and through His glory all things will be made beautiful.
From our ashes, beauty will rise."
~ Jean Marie ~

"The Lord, Your God is with you,
He is mighty to save,
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love.

He will rejoice over you with singing, He will rejoice over you with His song,
He will rejoice over you with singing, He will rejoice over you with His song! Yeah.

And through the night, (in your darkest hour)
When you are tired (and you've lost all hope)
He will hold you tight.

He will rejoice over you with singing, He will rejoice over you with His song,
He will rejoice over you with singing, He will rejoice over you with His song!"
~ Trevor Morgan ~

"The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."
~ Zephaniah 3:17 ~

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rain, Rain, please stay -

It has rained for two days in a row now. Good, heavy, blowing, strong, long rain. It's been wonderful....blowing through my soul and soothing the cracked earth, coming down heavy upon the green branches bowed by weight and creating small lakes of mud in the grass-less yard. Finally there is water underneath my bare feet when I walk outside on the pavement.

It hasn't rained like this since at last year (which is at least 6mo.). We are so thankful to see it and hear it, and revel in it. :) It is a great blessing, to be sure. We hope all of FL gets a lot!

With thankfulness to our God who gives forth the water to us!
~ Jean Marie ~

~ Job 37: 5-6 ~
"God thunders marvelously with His voice;
He does great things which we cannot comprehend.
For He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth';
Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength."

~ Job 38: 25 - 28 ~
The Lord speaking to Job -

"Who has divided a channel for the overflowing water, or a path for the thunderbolt,
To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one, a wilderness in which there is no man;
To satisfy the desolate waste, and cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass?

Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew?"

~ Job 38: 34 -38 ~
The Lord revealing His Omnipotence to Job -

"Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that an abundance of water may cover you?
Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, 'Here we are!'?

Who has put wisdom in the mind?
Or who has given understanding to the heart?
Who can number the clouds by wisdom?

Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven, when the dust hardens in clumps,
and the clods cling together?"

~ Job 41: 11 ~
The Lord speaks -

"Everything under heaven is Mine."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Twice as Yummeh -

:D Oh my.

Lucy Mae is 8 months old today!!! She's so special....and I don't feed her people food. EVER. but I've dreamed of sharing ice cream or a popsicle with a puppy for forever long....and I thought it would be a special birthday treat. :D

With love,
~ Jean Marie and Lucy Mae ~

P.S. I only would do this with my doggie. ;) hahaha

Happy Fathers Day 2011! -

Ya'll may remember this (totally unstaged picture). :) Well after Dad laughed for awhile, I thought it was time to get one of him "looking over the range". :D And I totally love it.

I love so many things about my dad, but one of the things that I've realized since I was young is that my Daddy can make friends with basically anyone. I guess that trait was passed down. :) I've rarely seen him out of his element in a social or business world....because he did a lot of differing jobs, colleges, etc, he can bring up basically any topic and draw the other person into conversation. Now this is very entertaining to watch. I sort of stand there, biting my cheek so I stop grinning and watch the person unravel from quiet to excited ambivalence that someone gets their work or their passion. :)

When I was little, I always knew that Daddy could make friends, or relate to anyone. That time we got a flat tire on a weekend in the dead of night when we were traveling in GA? The wrecker guy came and his wife came with him in the truck, and Dad was laughing and talking old times with the rough and ready wrecker man, talking LIFE with these folks, while I went to sleep on Mama's lap. :)

Or the countless times when we are at bluegrass festivals or concerts, and all Dad can see is technique and movement and fingering and all he can hear is the music bursting on his soul. Another trait passed down - a deep love for music. It moves us in a way that nothing else does....and we love to share it. From 40's and 50's to old Country to bluegrass to classical....well, he taught me what I love about music, and Mrs. Drobnick taught me everything else. ;) I grew up hearing him play his guitar, and to this day, nothing calms me down like some instrumental guitar. I adore his playing, and wish he could play more. :) *hint hint*

Daddy displays not only an easiness with people that allows them to talk and encourages them to be comfortable and explain their passion of work, or Christ, or life, etc., he also is able to come around to JOY in about 5 minutes. Which is....crazy, because it takes me like an hour. I need to start setting new goals! haha!

Daddy is not a complainer, He knows God's grace is huge and deep, and he will willingly tell people that he plumbs those depths and that his Savior is a mighty One. Dad is humble before God, a passionate man of prayer, and he continually and consistently reads the Holy Word.

What I have come to realize the more I have gotten older ... is that this openness and willingness to share life with basically ... anyone from any low paying job or high paying job, or anything in between (as long as it is honorable, of course. ;)), his acceptance of them is mindblowing to these people. Them. Not their life code or their beliefs, but of them. Just because you are a different religion or have a horrible background doesn't mean that Jesus cannot save you, or love you, and that is what my Dad lives out.

What a testimony. The GOSPEL. This is what we live and strive to show, right?


I must strive harder and harder to be more like Daddy, and much more like Christ.

I am so honored to call you my Daddy - Happy Father's Day, Dad!!!
I love you to the Hubble Bubble, to the Moon and back, and all the stars in between.
With love,
~ Jean Marie ~

~ Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." ~

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Momma! -

After spending a week blogging about little things, here's something that's not so little. :)

Today is my Momma's birthday!!! :D And I had planned it all out, this long, lovely blog post. It would be sweet and sappy and long and make everyone all teary and sniffly. Well....I didn't factor in the lightning and the tornado warnings or the fact that my Mac shut off. Sooo. ;)

This is a shorter post. We are grateful for the rain, for ANY rain!! YAY God!!

To Momma:

Happy Birthday, I love you so much!! I think I wrote everything my brain has been thinking over the past couple of months on your card, but maybe I can write just a little more. ;D

We've spent some extra time, just the two of us, these past few months, and it has been wonderful. I can't wait to do even more!! I have loved being with you so much! We've become more than mother and daughter, and closer as best friends. :) I love feeling that way. You are so special!!!

However I still love you first and best as Momma. :) You are adorable and beautiful and if I look like you by the time I am half your age, I will be very very happy. :) Seriously.

(these 2 pictures taken in March at St. Andrews)

What can I say other than I LOVE YOUUUU!!!!

(next 2 pics - April 12th, 2011 Kennedy Space Center)

~ Keith Urban ~
"Well I know there's a reason, and I know there's a rhyme.
We were meant to be together, and that's why.

We can roll with the punches, we can stroll hand in hand,
and when I say it's forever, you understand.

That you're always in my heart, you're always on my mind.
But when it all becomes too much, you're never far behind.
And there's no one that comes close to you, could ever take your place,
'Cause only you can love me this way."

Seeing the way you love, serve, care for, and submit to Dad makes Wifehood look EASY. Which is why it more than slightly scares me about my own future wifehood(Lord willing), because everyone says it's so hard, but you make it look seamless and joyous! Guess I'll be calling you a LOT. ;) You truly love Jesus with devotion, and you truly love Daddy with all your heart, and you are one of the most Godly and loving women I know of, and I know you always will be!!

You always have Daddy taken care of, meals for him everyday, lunches for him everyday for work, and you say that you aren't a great cook! You are an excellent cook!!! I learn from you everytime I bake or cook, whether I think I need the knowledge or not. ;) Sorry. hahaha.

Your girls are 24 and (going on) 23, and you are steadfast in your teaching of us. And yet, we have such a crazy family! Oh wait. Maybe that's just me. Anyways, I'm so thankful that YOU are my Momma. I call a lot of people Momma, because it's just not easy calling out "Mrs.___" when I'm somewhere with another Momma, so there's Momma Case and Momma Foster and MamaLala, and etc.....but you are the Momma of my heart forever. I'll never love any other Momma like I love you. :)

(picture taken in Pigeon Forge, TN May 2011)

You are so precious to so many people. I love how my friends adore you, and laugh hysterically when I repeat things you've said, and how when I ask if you can come too, to events, I get more enthusiasm back than when I said I was coming. And even with dessert! ;) ;)

I just really really love you. I'm so thankful to our Lord that He has given us YOU!!!

You are the beautiful thread that God uses to hold our family together. Don't ever forget that you are loved to the brim and beyond, and remember that God will do more than we could ever ever dream with our dreams. :) We are a forever redeemed family in the light of His grace!

Happy Birthday to you!!!
With love from your youngest, the redhead ....
~ Jean Marie ~
& Lucy Mae, the puppy that loves you.

P.S. Leave a Happy Birthday comment for my Momma!! :D

P.P.S. I will post next week about the last Little Things Day from today, ok? :) Priority tonight is spending time with Mom and Dad watching Hogan's Heroes, and listening to the rain fall.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Little Things Day 5 -

HI. :)

first ... the Secret photo ....
A very good clue. Becs knows what this is. ;) And I will tell you what the project is ... tomorrow!
(um, heh heh. Next week)

So today did not start off well. Actually, this morning was horrible. I was actually dizzy and disoriented somewhat this morning, and my leg was hurting quite a bit. I woke up out of nightmares in terror and then walked around the house trying to get ready to leave to go to Palm Coast with the family, but the nightmares wouldn't go away. I could barely eat, it was so bad. :/ I later realized this was the sort of gut feeling prompting that the Holy Spirit induces that reminds me to pray and pray now, but because it was only for 30 mins, I wasn't realizing it yet.

Then I got on FB, and read that our friend's dog had died that morning. And *clink* the pieces fell together. This dog and Mopsie had been best friends once, and the family loved that dog. Please do be in prayer for them.

So add that and everything else together, and all I wanted to do was turn off my brain. ;)

God's sweet grace allowed Paulina to stop by (and where was my camera?) and she brought me my favorite chocolate bars to make my leg feel better. Now if that isn't a bestfriend sort of thing, I don't know what is. Plus, I hadn't seen her in weeks, so it was wonderful to see her.
I love you, Paulina!!!! :D

Thankfully though, after that ... the day got much better. Especially after I took painkillers at 3:30, and after I drank some coffee, and after I hugged Lauren and got to take pictures with her outside. Yes, the day was much much much better after that, and it turned out to be a lovely evening. :) She gave me my early birthday present (after I told her 30 times I wanted to wait to open it), and I read her card and cried. It was just the last straw to me holding in the tears of the day. :) Not to mention, it was a very special card and present. aaand I'm losing it. *sniff* I'm so tired.

However, I am exhausted in every part of me, and tomorrow is a special day, and it's also going to be busy, which is why I just put together some of the "little" shots from today, and left out majorly most of our time with the Hope's and our special dinner out. That will be in tomorrow's slideshow. Ok? :) Okay. This week has been fun, but it's stretching me a little. O.O

Or maybe that's just my leg that is still bummed out. I want crutches.
*throws minor pity party for self*

In Christ's abounding grace, with love,
~ Jean Marie ~

~ P.S. I talked to EmilyCase today, and we exchanged lovelies comments, and on that note, here is her 5th day post for the project. Ta- DA! Celtic Thunder + Bokeh, she must love me or something. ;) jk.

~ 2nd P.S. We got some rain today! Palm Coast and Flagler and Ormond got more than we did though ... but it was great getting the amount we did! We are very thankful for it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Little Things Day 4 -

Hey ya'll. ;D Well, good news and bad news.

Good news is - Joseph, Dad and I had a wonderful day together at the conference, and spent all our time oohing and ahhing and eating candy and laughing and talking Tech stuff and generally having an awesome time being together the 3 of us.

Bad news is - my leg did not hold up as planned. By 2pm, my painkillers had worn off from the morning take, and at lunch I took 2 more, and they did nothing. Lets just say that trying to lift your foot 1ft. off the floor and not succeeding, and instead almost succeeding in doing a faceplant is not helpful. Dad and Joseph were very kind and walked slower than usual for me, and gave me much sympathy, but let me just say honestly....when 5pm came, and the show closed down, I was in some serious pain. This tendon or whatever did not like 2 days of solid walking and standing on it. By the time we got to the car, I was seeing black spots and guzzling water and stole the ice pack out of the ice chest to ice my leg on the way to dinner. ;)

Good news is also that .... I still enjoyed the day. ;) And also good news - Joseph has seen me tired and out of it before, so he wasn't offended when I got quiet and totally out of it this time. Hahah! All in all, even with the pain, it was a great great day, and I'm so glad I went.

I just wish I could have stolen a pair of crutches to use. :/

So here's my secret photo for today - any guesses as to how this all adds up? :D I'll reveal it at the end of the week what I've been up to ... maybe I'll even have the project finished! :)

Oh and Yes! I took pictures inside! I was not arrested today either, thankfully, since I was not in the mood today for arresting. I took some, but as the day wore on, and the painkillers wore off, it simply caused too much stress to hold my camera and also have my bag over a shoulder, not giving enough support to actually lift my right leg more than a few inches off the floor.

Does that sound pathetic or what? seriously. and I even have a high pain tolerance.

So here is the video from today! :D I hope you love it. I love Yo-Yo Ma music, btw. :)

Oh, and Joseph, we are SO GLAD that you came with us! We had triple the fun with you along. :) Thanks for spending the day with us!!

~ HERE is EmilyCase's Day 4- I just love LOOOOVE her pictures. She has a great eye for detail! Well, two of them, if you count the other eye. Fine. She has two great eyes. for detail. and also for looking at. and.....I'm so so so tired of this explanation now. It's over. ~

~ Press Release in which I personally respond to comments ~

*MaKenna - Thank you, darling .... I go to the City Beautiful about once every 2 weeks, and I even get tired of looking at the same things, but then I take a picture of it, and viola! new view! :) I suppose I would love anything teal, so perhaps that's a bit of biased-ness of those hand rails. *

*Sereina - I don't think I've ever thanked you for reading or for leaving comments - thank you so much! I love hearing your feedback. :) Yes, one of these days, I will put music that completely does not go with the pictures, and everyone will wonder what on earth has possibly happened to normality on the blog. Wait. Has it ever been normal? ;) I enjoy making the slideshows, and I'm getting .... fast (er) at it.

My lens is a 35mm 1.8, and I ADORE IT. Never take it off, in fact. Unless I need to take a picture of a shuttle launch or something. But it's a fabulous piece of glass. Seriously awesome. Thanks for asking!*

~ Press release is over. ~

One more thing - when Dad and I drove over this AM, we drove through smoke in the same area AGAIN, and I was amazed at how quickly my stomach flipped from fine to awful in minutes. I suppose maybe it's just all those bad memories trigger a physical reaction, even if I'm not worried or anxious. I talked to Dad in great detail about all the articles and research I had done the night before, talking about graphs, charts, maps and soil dryness and parallels of the 1998 fires and on and on. (you get the picture), and right then and there Dad said "Let's pray a minute", and so I closed my eyes and he did NOT close his (he was driving) ;) ....

and then he prayed specifically for Mr. Case and Cody and also the other firefighters. He prayed for about 5 minutes, and I thought about how wonderful and tenderhearted my Dad is.

I am so blessed. I love you Daddy!
... and that was my day. :)
With love,
~ Jean Marie ~

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Little Things Day 3 -

Hooray for Day 3!!

What a long day. My feet are aching, and so is my jaw - from either smiling or talking too much! ;) Daddy and I had a wonderful time together at the InfoComm Convention, aaaand we are headed back there in just 9 hrs. HAH. :) Tomorrow will be extra special because Joseph H. will be meeting us there ... I think Dad might be looking forward to being all "techy-talky" with someone who actually gives feedback other than "oooh." or "um. what?" or "wow!" like me. ;D Whatever the case may be, we are looking forward to tomorrow. Should be great like today!

A few notes about the convention before you watch the video -

~ I did not get arrested. Thankfully. Even though "Photography is prohibited" a.v.e.r.b.o.d.y. (if you are confused, think Southern accent) is standing in front of some exhibit going "click" with their point and shoot or "bing" with their Iphone or taking photos with cameras twice my camera's size and dollar value .... so, I'm thinking tomorrow I'll be more brave, and take pics. ;) ~

~ I saw a man wearing purple corduroy jeans. PURPLE. JEANS. they were ugly, that's all I have to say. ~

~ I saw a man with dreads that were longer than my hair. WOW - long....and I saw two other guys with hair longer than mine!! What can I say, I was at a convention that caters to musicians! ~

~ A man who worked at the convention center waved me to go first and said "After you, Gorgeous!", I was rather...surprised, and replied with a quiet "oh thank you". hahahaha. ~

~ I met a man who lives in the town next to us, and discovered that when I learn that someone lives close to me, I immediately assume that person is awesome and my brain thinks and talks like we are old friends. This is strange, and sometimes .... alarming. It's how I roll, though. ;) ~

~ Dad and I were worn out from all the walking. This convention is HUGE. unbelievable. also, chocolate, candy and free stuff is everywhere, because if you go up to their table, they get to talk to you about your product, and then you get reeled in, and then they get to scan your badge to send you free stuff about their amazing product, and what they don't know is that there is no way I'm buying it. But I still appreciate the chocolate. and the friendliness ~

~ I pulled a muscle in my leg from 2 weeks ago on a beach trip getting out of a nasty rip, and today it gave me heck. I took painkillers, but they wore off way too soon. I ended up dragging my foot or limping the last 2 hours. No one looked at me weird, though, so yay me! :) ~

~ We drove through smoke on the way home, and it made my stomach queasy just thinking about fires. Please be praying for Mr. Case, Cody, and all our firefighters, and for RAIN. It really is so important .... we are way overdue for our wet season to start. ~

Ok! So here's Day 3!!! :D Enjoy the video -

aaaaand here's the secret photo from today. Even though I don't get to work on my project today or tomorrow, I still am posting pictures, because in my mind, I keep working on it. :)
Oooh! Secrets! Mysteries! Muawahahahaha!!!

Hey, ya'll - just came up with a brilliant idea.

Let's all head over to EmilyCase's latest blogpost - HERE, and leave "Thank you!" comments to Mr. Case (who is "Mr. Command Central", so to speak of Firemen ((best way I can try to explain it)) and to Cody (who's a paramedic/fireman). Kk? They really deserve our thanks, even if you don't live in that county! (leave some love for EmilyCase and Mrs. Case too! and to Tricia, Cody's wife!) Plus, I think it would cheer up the Case family - living in smoke and watching ash in the air, and having fires come closer really just gets hard to live with day after day of that threat. :) I know.

I love you all!!!
Hugs and kisses,
~ Jean Marie ~

To tell you how recent one of these fires is, the fire started on Monday and I drove through Osteen, FL last Sunday, when I went to Sanford. So from Monday to today, Wednesday, it has burned 1,000 acres, and this time - it has burned homes, cars, trailers and hunting camps. From the winds to the lightning from the thunderstorms, plus the extreme dryness and heat index of 100 degrees, the fire risk is almost as high as it can go. Please keep the firefighters in prayer!

A quote on a fire in Osteen, FL from this article -

~ "(This is a) firestorm", said Timber Weller, of the DOF.

Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said he is more than concerned.

"You have fires in Flagler County, Pierson, and this one we had in Maytown. You have fires everywhere. We are very worried about it. We have a major issue." said Johnson. ~

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Little Things Day 2 -


Today, my friends ... today. WE HAD RAIN!!! Praise God, Who giveth the rain!! We had an afternoon of off and on rain, high winds, and lots and lots of lightning. *winces* Please be praying that the lightning didn't set off very many fires. Today's lightning was severe. But I don't want to diminish the joy over getting rain, we are very very thankful!!! :) It was wonderful hearing rain, real heavy rain and wind. I heard that Flagler got rain as well, but please just pray for a soaking week, with less lightning. :) I know EmilyCase asked for prayer for rain, please pray for their area specifically, and for Mr.Case who works so hard as a fireman. Thank you!!

So now to the secret photo hint, Day 2 of the Mystery Project - is he not so cute?

and then today's photos. I cannot tell you how FREE of myself I felt today. Does that make sense? I would go to take a picture, then laugh rather mischievously and purposefully take it in a way that I wouldn't take it otherwise. :) I found myself shooting everything today. Slicing carrots? take a picture. Lucy Mae? *clickclickclickclick* Bubbles? yes. Sucker? take it. I found myself humming and singing and walking around with new eyes ... I find that I like this more and more, and realize this is what it is supposed to be like - enjoyable!

It doesn't mean it can't be art too ... like the pic above, it's more artistic, and I ADORE IT, but I also would have never taken a picture of him had I not just been shooting un-ordinary things. :) I'm loving this so much ... I may never go back. ;)

So here's Day 2 of The Little Things Photo Project -

A few notes ....

I found out today that pitching pinecones into a trash barrel is NOT like pitching a softball into a waiting glove, and also that it is a lot harder to project where they are going to end up.
(this did not harm any animals or cars or humans, thankfully)

Also, have you ever wondered what pinecone sap tastes like? Oh, you have? Well, I know what it tastes like, and I will tell you. It tastes like ..... SAP.

Tomorrow and the next day I will be with mah Daddy at a Tech convention where I will wear a badge and appear to be smart in all things digital, computer, sound and needs electricity. I may or may not be able to take pictures, but please be assured if anyone tries to take my camera from me for illegal picture taking of not-yet-released products that I will cause a ruckus louder than when Carrie spotted that huge manta ray right above me when I dove through that wave at the beach. Aka: someone come bail me out of the CIA jail.

This problem may cause ... issues with the photo project for the next 2 days, but we shall see!! :D

Oh, and one more thing - here's EmilyCase's Day 2, which seems more productive than mine, but lacks the sappiness (I had to throw that pun in somewhere!) that mine does. HAHAhahaa!

With love from the Calvin & Hobbes fan that reflects occasionally in her writing -
and a love for all things water and rainy smelling -
~ Jean Marie ~

Wed.note: Here's the scoop/article - 12 fires started by lightning and our area got 1inch of rain from yesterday. *winces again* So. :) Please keep rain for us in your prayers, minus the lightning!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Little Things Day 1 -

I know. Ya'll are thinking ... didn't we just read that title over at EmilyCase's blog? And the answer is YES. :) Last night she let me know that she was going to blog about just shooting and not thinking about it, and going to do it the whole week, and of course I was like "oh. great. I want to do that too!!". But I stayed out of it because ... well, I have other things to blog.

and then I picked up my camera and shot everything that I did this afternoon. Oh, the irony. So I was thinking ... if I took pictures, then I might as well enjoy them and join in on the weekly fun! and I'm soooo excited about that. I just couldna' stay out of it, see. ;) You know I couldn't.

... however, the thing that I did all afternoon is ... a secret. *ooh suspense!* I feel like Lauren. So I can't blog about that, now can I? :D Maybe I'll turn this into a mystery/little things photo week. Muwahaha. ;D

Here's the post. Read it, and join in!! "An Inspired Photo Challenge" by EmilyCase.

So here's what I did this afternoon - and that's all I'm showing you.

But after my secret ... event ... my Momma and I went to a dear friend's house for their Spring String Orchestra Recital. After hearing the lovely concert and applauding and calling out a few "Bravo!"'s, and "Hurrah!"'s, and "Encore!", and eating ... sugar, we, the children, went outside.

(yes, I know I just included myself in the children category. it seemed easier that way)

Here's my favorite little man J. and his stick figure. ;)

the flowers abloom

a little maiden's hair. I want to do this to my hair soon!

the maiden herself, Miss. Caroline. What a sweetheart.

fun on the swings -

This just says Summertime and Childhood to me. At least, this is what mine looked like. :D

Weeping Willow

This fast-growin-up girlie that plays cello and then laughs hysterically when she sees her picture taken with a funny face - I love that girl!

The sunset and faint smoke clouds. Please send rain, Lord!

I.LOVE.these.kids. Love them. and their Mama and Dada and their Buttercup.

and that was Day 1! :) well, 1 hour of it, anyways. Here's EmilyCase's 1st day! She is welcoming ya'll to leave a comment and join in, so please do! It'll be FUN.

I gotta' tell ya'll - there are few things that better clear your head and remind you that photography is exciting and fun than shooting basically anything that pops into your mind. :)

I love it. and I love ya'll too. ;)
With love,
~ The Secretive Redheaded One - Jean Marie ~

Saturday, June 11, 2011

His Eye is on the Sparrow -

Today was a hard day. I don't really know why. :) Some days just are.
I'll bet you know what I'm talking about....

I wasn't discontent or worried or angry or anything - I've had a very wonderful week and a very wonderful past few weeks, and I've got little to complain about.

Still, I can feel myself shutting off. Not shutting down, just shutting off.

In fact, I'm typing right now, and when I write something out that is true and real, but sounds ... well ... odd to those of you removed from loss or suffering, I find myself hitting *delete, delete, delete, delete*. Because if you have not been there, in the valley, my dear friends, you know not of this. You know not of standing at the sink and gulping air just to BREATHE.

Lord, my breath and Wellspring of Life everlasting!

I find myself dreading the 1sts all over again. I hate firsts. I hate first anniversaries and first visits back and first emotions and first *delete delete deletes*. ;) I'm pushing through all of them, because, what else do you do? You breathe and you walk and you RUN until you've outrun everything except your own ability to breathe. I feel blinded, and panicked.

Lord, my Comfort of All, and the God Who knows!

I find myself lying in the dark after yet another bad night, and saying "It wasn't supposed to be like this!!! It wasn't supposed to be like...this." Searing pain. In my heart. Missing family. Missing grandparents, both by relation and by honorary. Deep desperate loss.

Lord, the Lover of my soul, Who holds me in every sorrow!

"It wasn't supposed to be like this!" .... but it was. And it is. And the God I love is holy.

I'm probably going to regret publishing this....often when I write things from the heart, I allow Satan to tell me that it didn't matter to anyone....or allow fear to overcome the joy I get from writing, and sharing with you! You who walk through suffering, or perhaps instead know of those who do. Well, no more for you, Satan. This blog is for Jesus, anyways. And God is glorified in my suffering and in my sorrow, because He is One who gives and takes away! :)

The God I love is holy, good, and giveth us more than good, He giveth the best.

Here's one of my favorite hymns -
"His Eye is on the Sparrow" by Civilla D. Martin (1905)

"Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for Heaven and Home?
When Jesus is my portion, my constant friend is He!
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free!
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me!

"Let not your heart be troubled", His tender word I hear,
and resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain -

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

Praise and bless the Lord Who is my Savior....for He watches me, knows me, and loves me.
.... and He will always be MORE than all of this.
With love, and hugs to my friends walking their deep valleys,
~ Jean Marie ~

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

O-town in June -

Today was an Orlando doctor day. ;) Dad had an appointment, so he took off work, and Mom and I needed the chiropractor, so we started off early, and set off across the dry wetlands for O-town. It turned out to be a fun, special, normal-awesome kind of day. :) Welcome June and Summer ....

Here's a quote of how some of the day went .... you can catch the laughing mood. ;D

At the Chiropractor's office (family Chiro. doctor for years)

Dr. to Mom : "So how are you doing today?"
Mom: "I have a mild headache and I'm not sleeping."
Me: "You're not? You didn't tell me that this morning, you said you were feeling off!"
Mom: "I'm feeling off."
Dr.: "Ok."
Mom: "I didn't sleep until 2am...."
Me: "I didn't sleep until 1am and then I slept for 4 hours. Before (the last appt.) I slept like a rock, but now I'm sleeping like .......... a hypertensive bird!!"

* Mom and Jean M. burst into laughter *

Dr. (totally used to this & my metaphors): "Okay ... "
Mom: "Aren't you glad we came and brought laughter with us?"
Dr: "...... yeeessss....." *laughs*

~ Dr. leaves and lets us rest ~

*Mom's cellphone goes off on low, but nevertheless a very very audible song ringtone*

*Mom and Jean M. start laughing again*

Mom: "It rings a loooonnng time...."
Me: *groan*

*cellphone bings as call ends*

Me: "Oh nooo ... now it's going to go to voicemail!"
Mom: "it takes a little bit, maybe it won't ring"
Me: "Waaaaiiiit for iiiiiit .... waaaaaiiiittt for it."

*Voicemail ringtone bursts into the silence in fully party island song*

Mom: "It's kinda' cheerful! Doot, doodle dooo!!"
Me: "It's a party! 'Cept it'd be party on an island like Maui and not stuck HERE."

*cell phone shuts off after forever*

*Dr. walks in just as it shuts off and Mom and I burst into laughter all over again*

Here's the slideshow of the day .... I took a break from ART, and just shot whatever I wanted! I can't tell you how good of a break that is sometimes....just stop thinking and SHOOT. This works when you are holding a camera, but not a gun .... just for the record books. ;)


Another little glimpse of today .... we are heading home, Mom is driving, Dad is co-pilot and I am ... in the back. Drinking my peach-raspberry swate tae and thinking I need an IV of liquid gold into my veins of the stuff. SOOO goooood!!! Wait, where was I? oh yeah ... so we are listening to The Beach Boys, and the song "Barbara Ann" is on -

Dad: "You know, that's actually a hard song to sing...."
Mom: "Really? I can sing it!!"

*Mom and Jean M. burst into song simultaneously*

"Baaaarbaraaaa AAAAAANNNNN pleeeease take MY HAAAAAND, Barbara AAANNNN!!!
You got me rockin' and a-rollin', Rockin' and a-reelin', Barbara AAANNN!!!"

*Mom and Jean M. burst into laughter for the umpteenth time that day, and Dad is probably thinking that the Swate Tae has taken over finally*

aaaaaaaand that's what our day was like. A wonderful time was had by all. :D Hahaha...
Much love to you and yours!
~ Jean Marie ~

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Closing the distance -

From a distance is the IHF challenge this week. I just love entering these challenges! It really stretches my mind, and my thinking about the next time I go shooting ... bring uniqueness to what you are capturing! Bring yourself and uniqueness and then you'll love it even more. ;)

This picture was taken on a beautiful beautiful November Sunday morning, my dearest friend Lauren was walking towards me after church and the sun was spilling through the columns, creating shadows on the stones, and dancing her own shadow past the other columns.

It just seemed like the perfect time to take a picture, and so I did. :) She is so tiny in that archway, and beside those huge columns .... she's such a dear, precious friend to have!

Something else I love about this ... her blog name has the name "pillar" in it, and her header has columns as the picture! :) So neat. I love you, Lauren!! :)

Enjoy this weeks' entries over at I:heart:faces...they have some doozies!! :D So awesome.
With love and thank you for stopping in!
~ Jean Marie ~

Sometimes she saves me -

As silly or dramatic or as unrealistic as it sounds .... sometimes in the mornings when I awaken from the sound of crying in my nightmares .... I can feel her little self pressed against me in warmth, eager for a hello and a kiss .... I can feel calmness settle upon my soul.

and when I really awake to the morning's light and her kisses draw the giggles out from locked boxes, and I realize that it was me - laughing, I realize ....

Sometimes she saves me.

I look at her and see God's gift of joy.
Mama loves you, Lucy Mae.
~ Jean Marie ~

Friday, June 3, 2011

To Gabi -

I am so so so blessed.

What? You wanted a reason why? oh, hmm...I have several for you, I suppose ....

I have such wonderful, caring, loving brothers and sisters in Christ!! :) God has very much blessed me in that department .... and one of the guys in our "gang" is Gabi. :)

He's really Gabriel Acevedo, (yes, Lydsie's little bro), but due to GabeBraddahLynn, it's simply impossible to be laughing at one, and yelling at the other on the same chat on the internet and not get everyone aaaaaall confuzzled. NOT to mention yelling across Barberville for "Gabe!" gets two guys swiveling around .... so Gabi is much easier. ;)

I tell you what is also easy ... being friends with him. He's one of the most open, welcoming, down-to-earth, easy-going, laid-back dudes I know. :D He's also incredibly fun to be around and do nothing with .... not that we don't do anything, we usually are spending time screaming around a speed track or soaking everyone in a 1/2 mile radius on a canoe trip, or dancing at Barberville. Goodness, the good times we've been blessed with!! Can I get a "YEAH!"?

He believes in God, Family, Country, and I do mean Country. He's True Wetland FL Cowboy. He's the guy who laughs at the Yankees sayin' FL isn't Southern. Oooh yes. He's a gentleman that doesn't stand for anything less than ultimate protection and respect for the ladies. Trust me, I've been on the protected side! :) He's also an awesome dancer, and can SPIN you on that wooden floor. Is he crazy awesome or WHAT. Seriously.

... and I'm barely telling you anything ... He knows Country music and he and his bro, Obi, have a band that plays awesome music, and they kin RENDER, ya'll. They are makin' their first CD, check out their website heah ... yes, yes, shameless plug. ;)

But I know the thing I love the next best to hearin' "Big Sis!" and getting a huge cowboy hug is the way that Gabi encourages me and our friends on a continual basis. Man, on our huge-long-extended-crazay threads on FB, he is like the ray of Sunshine that won't go out. haha. :) He is just so darn encouraging and uplifting sometimes you wonder why on earth you were sad in the first place! He'll tell you God is in control, and that He has great things in store, and when you are having a really, really bad day, he'll feel sorry for you and listen, and offer advice, and if the advice didn't turn out, he'll laugh and then try again. ;)

You need prayer, these friends on this thread, and especially the Acevedo boys will have your back. Wow, do you know how special that is?

Gabi, thank you so much for being one of the most awesome, incredible, special, kind, protective, gentlemanly, caring, all-around-great guy and little bro's EVER. :D

Happy 20th year to you, and God's great blessings upon you, Gabi ... Happy Birthday!

I love ya'.
~ Big Sister ~

P.S. If you know Gabi, you are most likely sittin' there yellin' "YEAH!" or "AMEN!", because you know I'm not just sayin' this stuff - it's true! :) Leave a Happy Birthday comment for him!