Saturday, December 12, 2009

27 Christmas Questions


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper but this year gift bags and LOTS of them!!

2. Real or artificial tree? Artificial. I haven't had a real tree since I was a kid and I'm not quite sure why.

3. When do you put up the tree? Thanksgiving week or the first of December.

4. When do you take the tree down? The first week of the New Year. I love to leave it up an extra sad taking down the tree.

5. Do you like egg nog? EWWWWWW. No.

6. Favorite gift as a child? Chatty Cathy doll, Mrs. Beasley that talked when you pulled the string, bright red apple that made music when you shook it, Cabbage Patch doll way back in the early 80s.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, I have a small nativity but would love a large scene for the yard.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My Dad definitely.

9. Easiest person to buy for? The kiddos.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? Probably a fruit cake.

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Mail.

12. Favorite Christmas movie? It's A Wonderful Life...the best ever.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Some time around October.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Mom's homemade fudge, punchbowl cake and ham.

16. Clear lights or colored? Both.

17. Favorite Christmas song? I can't choose just one! I love Christmas music.

18. Travel or stay at home for Christmas? We are on the road a big part of Christmas day visiting family.

19. Can you name Santa’s reindeer? Yes, thanks to a screensaver at work on Pam's computer that periodically yells out their names...ha.

20. Open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Both...since we travel to family on Christmas morning, we do our gifts on Christmas Eve but with our parents and extended families on Christmas Day.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People who say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas and when people call CHRISTMAS trees holiday trees.

22. Do you have an angel on top or a star? Neither.

23. Ugliest Christmas decoration ever invented? Wal-mart's inflatable Santa, reindeer and snowman that's shaped like an egg.

24. Which looks best; theme trees or homey trees? I love them both!

25. Gingerbread or sugar cookies? Sugar with icing and Christmas sprinkles.

26. Favorite kind of Christmas cookie? See question 25.

27. Do you like fruitcake? Most definitely NOT.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Revelation in Lenox

This is an unusual post for me but I feel I have to share this. I feel like there is someone reading this who may feel hopeless or like God isn't listening. I want to assure you that there is hope even when it seems out of your grasp and God is listening and hears every prayer you've whispered to him.

I'm just going to be open and real and share my raw emotions with you. I stepped away from blogging for a season as I just felt like I had lost my inspiration and my joy. I found myself in a place where I didn't wish to stay. I prayed and sought the Lord for answers and felt like there were none to be found for me. Sometimes when we least expect it, the sun breaks behind the silver clouds and the overcast sky is chased away by the intensity of the light.

One of my favorite things to do is get in my car and just drive the backroads with my camera and my music...especially on sunny, warm days with my windows down. This particular day, the sun was out and I felt riding would lift my spirits. I ended up in a very small community on the edge of the Mississippi river called Lenox. As I rounded the corner toward the river's side of the bluffs, I saw a tree that was stripped and bare and like a flood God's presence overtook me with revelation in the form of words in my soul that wouldn't stop. I knew I had to pull over and write them down so I pulled into a church parking lot and began to write. These are the words God gave me:

Like an Oak tree in the dead of winter,stripped down and bare for all to see, revealing what's underneath the layers that so often hide the core. They hide the innermost core of who we are. What makes us who we are? Who are we really? What makes us happy? What do the peeled back layers of our souls reveal? Are we really what onlookers see on the outside?

This season of winter that's gripped my soul and stripped off the layers has revealed to me that I am not always what I appear to be.

I struggle, I fall, I hurt, I cry, I feel. I smile even though I'm not always happy. I smile.

Revelation....maybe not new, but new again to my soul is that it's not in the things of this world that I find my joy, my peace or my future...but it's only in that closeness with my Heavenly Father, the creator of all things, that I truly know who I am, that I feel, that I live, that I am, that I know and that I love.

HE is the smile that you see. He is the joy that I seek. If only for a season I forgot where my happiness came is THAT revelation of HIM that reminds me HE is all I need to "just be." It is God who makes me "me" and I love the me that I am in Him and despise the me I am when I build the walls and hide from the sun(SON).

He is my life force. My very being is from his Grace. I revel today in the revelation that regardless of what I feel or what you see...I am HIS child, made perfect in His love. SPJ

I must have sat in that church parking lot for half an hour with tears flowing. It was as if God was washing away the sadness and heaviness that had settled upon me. I felt hope again. I felt renewed. One week to the day, God answered a huge prayer for my family and sent the right job across my path. Thank you Lord for answered prayer and renewed hope. Don't stop praying....never give in to the despair or hopelessness that tries to settle in your spirit. Keep looking up and know that you are HIS child, made perfect in his LOVE. He has a plan for you and didn't bring you this far to let go of your hand.

I pray blessings over everyone who reads this and finds themselves in a similar place. Just remember, in one single moment God can change everything. (....and then SUDDENLY) Pray for your "suddenly" moment. It will come.

Many blessings,

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blog Slacker & Tennessee Ice Storm 2009

Oh me, what else can I say? I've been seriously blog slacking over the last few weeks. We've had one of those crazy months where everything that could go wrong did go wrong. A lady from our church said we should write a book about all of our mishaps...ha. It's been very trying to say the least. We've had both cars in the shop, Stevie was in a 4-car pile up on the ice covered Mississippi River bridge on the way to work, etc. It just goes on and on but....we are still smiling.

Sometimes a lot of smaller things pile up on you and can become so overwhelming. We are still blessed though. We have our health and our family. We know it could always be worse so we've just thanked God for our blessings. You just hafta' praise him in the good times AND in the bad times.
Photos I took during the ice storm of 2009. We fared much better here in Dyer County than my family and friends just north of us in Obion County and also over in Southeast Missouri and Southwestern Kentucky. My brother and his family were without power for almost 2 weeks. It literally looked like a tornado had come through in the winter. The weight of the ice broke branches and tree tops, power lines and even entire trees and thousands of power poles just snapped in half. I don't remember ever seeing anything quite like it here in Tennessee. We had an ice storm when I was a kid but NOTHING at all like this. Our kids missed so much school here they are talking about taking away part of their spring break. Keeping our fingers crossed that they don't lose their break!
I loved the contrast of the pop of red against the ice. I nearly froze but it was worth it to capture these shots.

This photo was taken last weekend....what an amazing contrast from the ice and snow the week before. It was 72 here yesterday and is supposed to be the same today. Tomorrow they are calling for severe storms and a change of tornados...UGH! The weather here is crazy!
Have a happy and blessed Monday!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God Bless America!

God bless America! We are all Americans living in this great nation of freedom and opportunity. I will never forget the statement made by my high school Civics teacher, Mrs. Catherine Roberts, who said "Democracy at it's very best is not good but it's the very best that anyone has to offer." She said if you never remember anything else about my class remember that statement....well, Mrs.'s now 22 years later and I never forgot.
I SO appreciate the blessing to live in a free country, to be able to freely worship our Heavenly Father, to be able to raise my son to be a man of God and to be able to freely chase my dreams...and even fail and get up and try again. Amidst all of the economic hardships, the negativity in the news and the economic bailouts, I'm so thankful and so proud to be an American. Regardless of who we all voted for, we have an obligation to support our leaders in prayer. Pray that God would grant them wisdom as they make the tough decisions for our country and that the lawmakers would seek God first as they face the days ahead and pray for the protection of our leaders and their families. May God look upon us with favor and bless this land once again.

As I scoured through images of the inauguration events this shot caught my eye. I love the thumbs up from a very proud daughter.

Much love and blessings! ~Sherri

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Art Quote of the Week, Favorite Paintings & Art Finds

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.
~Andre Gide (1869-1951)

I love the above quote so much. I recognize that the more I let God lead me the better EVERYTHING is whether it's my artwork or just my life in general. I had this lightbulb moment and thought I would start a new weekly or bi-weekly post featuring an art quote that stands out to me and some favorite art pieces and links to the artists as well. Something fun for me and hopefully you guys will enjoy it too :-)

The painting below is from an artist that I've admired for quite some time. She loves Jesus and isn't afraid to tell you so. She has such a soulful artistic style that is unique and inspiring. She truly has a God given gift in her ability to convey her heart through her work. I've bid on several of her pieces on ebay in the past and haven't yet been fortunate enough to acquire one of her paintings.....someday. She is Jane DesRosier of Gritty Arts Studio up in Washington State.
Jane's ebay listings can be found HERE and her blog featuring her new art is HERE.

I also recently discovered these awesome designs by Lisa Leonard Designs..her jewelry designs are simple yet such statement makers. I have my eye on a couple of pieces for myself. Here are pictures of a few of my favorites....
You can find Lisa's website HERE.
Another recent find is Du Buh Du Designs by Christine Alvarado of Oregon. I love, love, love her art dolls. They are nothing short of amazing, life-like and exude such a cool style. Visit her blog HERE and her Etsy shop HERE.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday and Be blessed! ~Sherri

Fireproof Your Marriage

I really feel led to share this with you guys and I just can't seem to get away from posting about this. Our church is doing the Fireproof Your Marriage seminar. We are into the second week of the 6 week series. This is an incredible marriage strenthening tool and I've read so many reviews where people are saying this has literally saved their marriage. Using video clips, scripture and open group discussion this study allows a non-judgemental setting to understand each other and the issues you are dealing with............or choosing to NOT deal with. Denial is not a solution.

I'm just gonna be real with you here.....with Steve and I we have seemed to always struggle with communication. I think if we are honest with ourselves we will recognize that communication is an issue for most all of us. It is one of the single most important qualities within the marriage. It's so easy to misunderstand or assume what our spouse is thinking or feeling or what they are "really" saying to us. Through Fireproof Your Marriage and Love Dare, we have been able to communicate on a whole new level.

If you are struggling with issues within your marriage, have a wonderful marriage or even on the brink of divorce, I so strongly urge you to get Fireproof Your Marriage. It will literally change the way you view your marriage. My husband made a profound statement in our group discussion last night......he said often we search for an EXIT rather than a SOLUTION. How true that statement is.

Get the study or recommend it to your church as a couples seminar. When marriages are strengthened, the church body as a whole is stregthened as well.

I would love to hear from those of you who have done this study as well. Comment me!

In Christ, Sherri

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Super Fast Weekend

Ok, so our Titans didn't win against the Ravens...there's always next year! They still had a great season this year.
We've had a great weekend but one that FLEW by...don't they always? We pulled out our new Totally 80s Trivial Pursuit, watched some football...ok, LOTS of football, shot some photos, had my hair done by the fabulous Michael O., drove around for an hour on Saturday trying to purchase ONE single postage stamp in this town and had an awesome service at church this morning. Let me just say that being "of the 80s" Stevie and I thought we would be aces at 80s Trivial Pursuit. Those are some tough questions! We can't wait to break this out at our next TGP game night at the end of the month. We have a competitive bunch and it's always a blast!
I love those vintage game pieces featuring a Trapper Keeper, Tender Heart Care Bear, computer and cd. Yes, I did have a Trapper Keeper...ha.

Oh, and back on the subject of the postage stamp......Have you guys ever seen a post office without a stamp machine? For some reason ours no longer has one so we proceeded to drive all over town in search for one tiny little stamp. No one that we found had one either so....if you are from the Dyersburg area and know where there is a postage stamp machine then by all means please comment and let me know. Or maybe I should just plan ahead and buy stamps before the weekend :-)

Photo of my new hair cut and color. I used one of my cool new Adobe Photoshop actions on this pic. Those of you who know me well know that I like to mix it up. I can only handle a certain color or style for so long and then I move on to the next. Michael O. (my good friend and hair stylist) has come to expect this from me and no longer questions my crazy weird ideas...hehe. He thought I was on acid or some mind altering drug the first time he did my hair. I like to express my artistic side and often times it's through some strange hair color combination. It keeps things fun though. It's only hair and it does eventually grow out. This time I went with lots of week it could be purple...ha. I can hear my Mom now She hated the red I had last time which I loved by the way. I say BE ADVENTUREOUS! You only live once!
I hope you've all had a great weekend as well...until next time...Be Blessed! ~Sherri

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Go Tennessee Titans

Go Titans! This has been the most brutal and nervewracking football game. I've seen more trash talking, injuries and smackdowns than in a WWF match. The Titans and the Baltimore Ravens have a bit of a "history" to begin with and it has made for an interesting game. I'm not a "die-hard" football fan but I do love our Titans. I can't blog and concentrate on the game at the same time...ha. I'll be back with scores :-)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! What an exciting time of new beginnings and fresh opportunity with the new year! I don't make resolutions per se but I do tend to step back and think about the past year and look at how I could be better. I will be 40 this year and I have a few things I hope to accomplish before I get there.! I'm not sad at all...I'm actually rather happy that I've made it this far...ha. I'm thankful for all that God has brought me through to get to this point.

I have loads of pictures to share as I'm trying to play catch up on posting....

Hanging out on New Years Eve...of course you won't see me in any of these shots since I'm always behind the lens...hehe.

New Years Eve.......I think we pulled into our driveway just as the clock hit 1:00 am. I'm still trying to catch up on lost sleep. I'm not as young as I used to be...see above...ha.

My baby celebrating his 11th birthday on December 27th. He is growing up WAY too fast.

Reed painting ornaments before Christmas and of course the cat has to see what's going on for himself. He and Reed are big buddies.
My niece Avery checking out my art supplies in my studio area. She is quite the budding artist.
Stevie and I just a couple of days before Christmas. It's funny how we are color coordinated with the room. I promise you we didnt plan it that way!!! Ha.
I love, love, love this picture of Stevie. I took this on his parent's property a month or so ago.
My step-daughter Ally who just turned 10 in November. She and Reed are 11 months apart. She has such a sweet personality and throws out those funny one-liners just like her Dad.
Stevie with his baby girl........who has grown up SO much. This was taken on Christmas day in Lexington at the James' home.
Last but not least, I snapped this photo of my nephew Lane on Christmas Day. I think it's one of my all time favorite pictures of him. I had it printed to place in a this one.
Until next time, Happy Monday and be blessed! Sherri