Sunday, July 15, 2012

New York

We're on the way to NYC!!!  Will upload lots of pics when our week is over :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I blogged this over on my new "photography" blog. You can find it here!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Introducing... Grandmother's first pineapple!  

She's had a pineapple plant(?) for several years now & when I was home a few weeks ago she wanted me to come by her house so she could show me something...

...and it was this baby pineapple!  

I'll go back this weekend, so I'm going to check & see if it's still alive ;)

Friday, June 8, 2012

All Boy || I Heart Faces

That's all I could think when this picture scrolled across my screen...

Head on over here for more fun "All Boy" photos! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The sweet view of victory...

For the last year & a half, I've been teaching in Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's Biblical Women's Institute.  And I LOVE it!! I cannot tell you how much I enjoy sitting down with women, studying God's word, thinking through it's truths, and just learning it's application to our daily lives.  I tell you, it is WONDERFUL!!

Anyway, because I teach subjects relating to doctrine/theology, I always have to assign my student's lots of reading...and a few small papers...and a bunch of study questions...

And so my house tends to get a bit messy as I plan & go through all the papers, etc.

But this time, b/c I had a small class, the grading was much easier! 

And that, my a desk with fully graded papers on it.  They have been read, they have been graded, they have been recorded.  Victory is mine!! 

Great timing...

Guess what came in the mail right after I did my last post on World Vision:

Yep, a letter from our little guy!  I'm telling's so exciting.  You've gotta try it ;)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Little things that bring us joy | World Vision

Last night, as I was walking by our refrigerator, I happened to glance up at all of the pictures on it.  Two on the top corner caught my eye.  They're pictures of our sponsored child, Ali.  We sponsor him through World Vision.  [This is not a paid post's just from the heart ;) ]  We help sponsor Ali for $35 US dollars each month, which allows him to attend school, receive school supplies, & have access to foods that are nutritious.  Our money also helps provide clean drinking water in his village as well as health care & education about HIV which is rampant in his country.  When we started sponsoring him, he was nine and couldn't even draw the number 1.  Now he is 12 years old, in school, and is able to count from 1-50.  We are so proud of him!    

When I was looking at his pictures last night, I realized that it had been a month or two since we had written to him.  So this morning I promptly went on the World Vision website & sent him an email. (Isn't it cool that you can do that!!)  Now, he won't get the email directly, as he lives in a small community in a small country in Africa. BUT...that email will be sent to their headquarters, printed out, translated & delivered to him by one of the workers.  It goes a little something like this:

Let me just tell you...each time we do this, we fall more & more in love with this little boy!  It is so rewarding to hear from him!  And the letters we write to him are so simple.  Here's what I wrote him today for example: 

Hi Ali!!

We hope this email finds you doing well :)

I looked at your picture just last night & realized how long it has been
since we've written to you.  We received your last letter in the mail, and
boy were we thrilled!! We always love hearing from you.  And I must say, your
drawings are getting better & better each time you write to us.  I'm hoping
that we can send you another package soon.  It was exciting to hear that you
are back in school.  I know it is hard for you, but we will keep praying that
the Lord will bless your efforts & allow you to understand well what you are
learning.  We are so excited that you're learning all about your home,
community and country.  And you are counting 1-50!  We are very proud!!

You mentioned that you are playing ball games at school with your friends.  I
know you are having so much fun.  We love to play ball games here too.
Cameron & I love to play a game we call softball.  It is similar to baseball.
 During the summer (which is almost here in the U.S.) we play in the  evenings
with people in our community.  We will get together & play several nights a's lots of fun!  What kind of ball games are you playing at school?

It is getting warmer here.  We are almost in our summer season, so the days
are long.  Cameron works long hours with his family, building houses for
people.  How is the weather in your community now?

We will send another fun package soon!

Please remind your family that we  love them & are praying for each of you!

Hugs & we hope to hear from you soon.

Love always,

Cameron & Carrie Gilliam 

I mean, really...something so simple, but it means the world to him.  And when we hear back from him asking us to pray for him so he can learn in makes my heart melt!  It truly brings joy to our hearts! 

If you've ever thought about sponsoring a child & haven't yet done it, I would encourage you to jump at the next opportunity.  I cannot tell you how much fun it has been for us to connect with a child on the other side of the globe and watch him grow.  We have been so happy with World Vision & would recommend them to anyone! 

We're looking forward to the next time we hear back from our little friend :) 

"But grow in the grace & knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.  Amen"  2 Peter 3:17

Monday, May 28, 2012

No greater love | Memorial Day

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."  
John 15:13

To all of our fallen 
and to those who may,

We are grateful.

For you were not required to serve,
You volunteered your service.

You were not required to give,
You gave anyway.

You were not required to fight,
Yet you fought and protected regardless.

You are our friends, our comrades, our soldiers, 
Our heroes.

And we are grateful.

We remember these today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Give-away opportunity!

Picture edited with Florabella's Ambrosia

If you're into digital photography & love to edit your've most likely heard of Florabella.

Well, Florabella is releasing a new collection & is giving away 5 FREE sets of this new "Color Matte" action pack.  

Go here for your chance to win:

Good luck!! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

[Reflection] and Re-purposing...

Ever have those times when you feel as though you are moving forward in one direction, only to have that direction changed?  I do.  I am totally there right now.  

At times I feel as though I am a GPS system trying to re-calibrate itself but not getting any signal with which to do so.  So here I sit...just blank.  

Blank with no clue where to move my chess piece next.

When this happens, I tend to crawl into my hole & think.  A lot.  

During this thinking process, this morning in fact, I realized something.  I have been praying that God's truths would become very real to me.  That His truths would in fact shape my view of life on earth rather than life here determining my views of God.  And I have been asking Him to make me dependent on I am so often a very independent kind of gal.  

And it hit me...

My feelings of "loss of direction" are most likely the first steps in the process of my prayers being answered.  It is when I have no clarity in myself that I am FORCED to depend on the one who made me.  Oh, that my heart might depend on Him all the time, not simply when I'm left with no other option.  

In truth, all things depend on Him...  

"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness of thereof, the world and those who dwell therein..." Ps. 24:1

"These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.  When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.  When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.  When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground."  Ps. 104:27-30

"All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men."  John 1:3-4

"...and He upholds the universe by the word of His power..." Heb. 1:3

I know these things.  In fact, I teach them to the ladies in my Christian Doctrine classes.  But oh how my heart often forgets them; too often forgets them. God has recently changed my direction, I am asking Him to redefine the elements of my life for me.  Once such element is this blog.  I will be re-purposing it.  In the's had no real clear point...just a place for me to link up pictures for photo-challenges & such.  I believe it is now going to become an outlet for personal thoughts.  I exciting!!  Believe me, you do not have to read this if you don't want to :)  I don't expect to gain a large readership this way.  In fact, much of what I'll type...pertaining to "spiritual matters" often turns people off.  If you feel that way, then no harm no foul.  This blog probably isn't for you.  I'm sure I'll still post pictures as I'm an avid photo-nut.  But just realize that this is now going to be used primarily as "Carrie's avenue for expression of thought."  

Truthfully, I'm excited about this shift in direction.  I read this excerpt this morning.  It's from a book I'm reading right now called Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secrets.  It completely fascinated me when I read it.  And, honestly, it reminded me of how silly it is that I would ever argue with or distrust God and His plans for me.  Surrendering my will isn't giving's letting go to receive something better. 

"'I never made a sacrifice,' said Hudson Taylor in later years, looking back over a life in which that element was certainly not lacking.  But what he said was true, for the compensations were so real and lasting that he come to see that giving up is inevitably receiving, when one is dealing heart to heart with God."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

{Hey Girl} I Heart Faces, May

{Hey Girl} I Heart Faces, May

This month's I Heart Faces photo challenge is "Hey Girl". I tend to take a lot of pictures of children...and my subjects of late have been mostly male :) So I knew I would have to go back a few weeks in order to find one with a girl in them. The  photo I chose is a picture of my best friend from childhood. I am submitting this photo because I feel as though it not only captures the essence of her, but because I believe it captures a major part of what it is to be female...class, sophistication, poise, grace & beauty. Hope you enjoy!

Photo Challenge Submission

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday, Friday!

Guess who gets to shoot this little chubster again today?


He'll be in his super cute Easter outfit.  I can hardly wait to see it!!

Doesn't he remind you of Winnie the Pooh in that picture?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Little moments like these make my world go 'round...

My days lately are consisting of editing pics, studying for a class I'm teaching, and all the daily duties of running a house. I will be a good multi-tasker!! It's what I keep telling myself ;) I've got my to-do list & I'm attacking it as fiercely as I can!  

In the mean time...when I come across pictures like these, it just makes me love the opportunity I have to capture them on "film" if you will ;)  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!! 

Happy Wednesday to you. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Still alive?

Anyone else out there too, too busy?  I sure am :)

Maybe I'll get to come back to the blogging world soon...
in the mean time, here's what's been happening around our house:

While I'm snapping away at the blooms in our yard, someone else is snapping away at his own project...

Happy Tuesday :) 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Project MCP

Another blog I love is MCP Actions.  They have the best tips & tutorials.  I go there all the time & was a apart of their themed photo contests last year in Project 52.  This year, they originally changed their weekly photo challenges to "Project 12" which would be a monthly challenge.  I think with the difficulty of getting submissions in on time, etc...they decided to revamp it & have finally come up with Project MCP.  And I love the idea.  They give you four themes for the month (one per week) and you have all month to submit them.  So, basically you can work at your own pace & still be a part of the fun.  I finally submitted my photos on the Flickr page today.  I thought I'd share them here as well.

Week 1:

From a high vantage point-

Week 2:

Natural Light- $10 to the first person to guess the brand...jk.

Week 3:


Week 4:

Abstract/Guess what- you take a photo of something at such an angle or or close proximity to the object that the identity of that object is no longer clear.  Anyone know what this is? 

Check out the Project MCP Flickr page to see more great interpretations of these words! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

To encourage you...

I read the following passage this morning & was so encouraged.  I thought it might encourage someone else too.

I am so thankful for a rock-solid, absolute in my life.  The words of Scripture touch my heart like nothing else can and remind me of this truth in life: all wisdom and knowledge and anything good, comes from God.

1 My Son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
2 making your ear attentive to wisdom 
and inclining your heart to understanding;
3 yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
4 if you seek it like sliver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8 guarding the paths of justice 
and watching over the way of His saints.
9  Then you will understand righteousness
and justice and equity, every good path;
10 for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 discretion will watch over you, 
understanding will guard you,
12 delivering you from the way of evil...

Proverbs 2: 1-12

Thanks be to God, for His grace to us in our Lord Jesus Christ!  


M4H submission for week 3:  Imperfection

I used this photo because of the state of the horse...matted hair, looked like he hadn't had a bath in a while, bits of grass all over him.  Even still...he's absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Does anyone else read the My Four Hens blog?  I fell in love with it after I stumbled upon it sometime last year.    Sarah Cornish offers so much great information & I absolutely love to stop by there each week! 

So, M4H's has a Flickr group as well & they do a Project 52 challenge.  So far, they're on week 12.  I've decided to join in on this weekly challenge.  I've got some making up to do, since I'm starting a little late in the game, but I think I can catch up :) 

Here's what I entered on the Flickr group for this week's challenge, SPARKLE:

There's a couple of other challenges I'm going to try to do as well...we'll see if I'm able to keep up ;)  Happy Wednesday to you! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

I just finished reading this blog post entitled 10 Common Photography Mistakes and How to Fix Them from over at I Heart Faces.  This particular post is the first in a series of four that they'll be featuring this month. (They actually just posted the second one this morning.)

I have got to be honest...I love I Heart Faces.  I love the fact that a group of professional & hobbyist photographers would be so generous with their time, knowledge, and experience as to run a website where they share that information with folks like me.  I am so fortunate to have a professional mentor who is located about an hour from me.  I go sit with him once every two months or so & we discuss, critique, etc.  But there's something about having day to day or even weekly interaction with someone in relation to photography; having someone to gently guide you as you strive to grow and sharpen your skills.  And for me...places like I Heart Faces provides some of that guidance.

So...back to the article.  I found it so helpful!  It offered some of the greatest "little tips" to keep in mind as I go out shooting.  I'm noticing already when I shoot, that I am becoming more conscious of little things like color casts, composition, the rule of thirds...but one thing I still have trouble with is..... tilt!!  I do not know why I am like this...but I will tilt my camera in a heart beat...and then I end up with pictures in that people are having to turn their heads to look at.  I know that at times camera tilt is appropriate...even artistic.  But I also know that there are plenty of people out there who don't like crooked pictures.  I think I've got to find a balance.  I try to take one horizontal or vertical for every "tilted" shot that I do.  But sometimes, I tilt that camera and don't even realize I've done it.  Here are a few examples:

I think it works in the first two images:

But I don't think it works in these next two:

And again...I think it works in these two:

But not in this one: 

So, I'm curious to know anyone else's thoughts on camera tilt.  When it's best to use it & how to use it without having little Zeb (in the pic above) looking like he's about to slide out of the photo.  

Thanks in advance to anyone who might comment :)