Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving Break: Day 14

It's my final post of my Thanksgiving Break photo series!

I know, Thanksgiving is old news by now, and since November is now over the Christmas season is in full swing! I'm so excited for all the crafts and gifts I've been making. Some are Christmas related, some are simple gifts.

But as I mentioned, before I can get into any of that I need to finish the photo series. So here it is, my final (and favorite) picture.

Day 14: The Happy Bouncing Baby

Doesn't that picture just crack you up?? Oh, this boy makes my heart melt. Also, I love that you can barely see a glimpse of Bob's hand in the bottom left side of the frame. You'd might miss it if you weren't looking for it.

Alright, bring on December!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Break: Day 7

Day 7: Moonlit Beach

(I couldn't decide between these two, and because they're so similar I couldn't post them on different days. So here's two in one day!)

This is Rincon Point in California on Highway 101. We were on our way to visit family for Thanksgiving break and I'd been anxious to try some setting on my camera for nighttime photos. So we stopped here on the way up so that I could do just that. And I'm so excited about how these turned out!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Break: Day 1

Day 1: Green Autumn Oranges

Thanksgiving Break

With the holidays coming, I've been trying to get ahead on a lot of various projects and things, most of which are more chores than crafty, bloggable things. I'll be honest, I just haven't had the time to focus and keep up posting because I don't have much to post about right now.

But I do want to post still. So I have a solution.

I'm going to take what I'm calling a "Thanksgiving Break." It'll be a break from my usual posts, and instead I'm going to post a unique photo each day for the next two or three weeks. It'll give me a chance to play catch-up as well as practice photography.

I hope this isn't disappointing for you. I take pride in giving you quality content, and if I can't I'd prefer not to post at all. But I like this solution, and I hope you do too.

So enjoy my Thanksgiving Break!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Prayer Pebbles

I've been a part of our Young Women group at church for the past year. We always try to instill high moral standards and righteous attributes in these wonderful girls. They range from 12-18 in age, they attend various high schools, and have a wide variety of interests. It can be challenging to teach lessons on Sundays to these girls and have all of them really learn something, and it's far more challenging to help them plan and prepare activities mid-week that will encourage each young woman to learn a new skill, have fun, or build friendships with the other girls.

As leaders, one thing we wanted the girls to learn was to pray for specific people. There's something strong and empowering about praying to Heavenly Father for someone's welfare using their individual name, and it makes your love grow and confidence increase. I didn't learn that until I was an adult, and we hoped that we could help these girls to learn this lesson sooner than the rest of us.

After reading about some ideas and carefully contemplating what we could possibly do to encourage this, I had the inspiration to make what I call Prayer Pebbles.

I printed the names on plain paper, using colorful fonts. I included the names of all of our Young Women, those who actively attend church as well as those who don't, plus the Young Women leaders. Then I included our local Bishop and his counselors, the Stake President and Relief Society President, and The Prophet and his Apostles. Then I cut them into circles and ModPodged them onto these clear little stones. To keep them from being tacky and sticking together, after they're dry spray a coat of clear acrylic over the backs of them.

We also wanted to encourage the girls to pray for their own friends whose names aren't included. So I made two pebbles that have the question, "What friend do you know who can use a prayer?"

We keep them in a pretty glass jar in the Young Women's room, and while at church on Sundays or Wednesdays when someone stands up to offer a prayer to begin or end class, she grabs one or two pebbles and specifically prays for whoever is on that pebble sometime during that prayer.

I was the first person to do this, so I demonstrated how to pray for someone by name using one of these prayer pebbles. It was simple for me to do. But for our girls it was kind of awkward at first. The girls felt like it was weird to pray for a young woman who was in the room with them. What do you say as you pray out loud for one of the girls you don't even know, or possibly even like?

But we encouraged them to just try. Some prayers were (and occasionally still are) really quick and generic words used for the specific names drawn from the pebble jar. But as this tradition has become more established, the girls have gotten more comfortable with praying for each other. Often, they know more about what's going on in the lives of one another better than we as leaders do, and their prayers have reflected that.

They pray for each others safety, to do well on big tests at school, to do well in volleyball games, to have a successful surgery and speedy recovery, to be happy, to be comforted in hard times, and to come to church when they're not there. I get teary-eyed as I hear these sincere and heartfelt words coming from the lips of girls as young as 12. They may be prompted on who to pray for, but they decide what to pray for. It warms my heart and makes me happy to hear some of the words these beautiful young women say as they express their wishes for one another to God.

The most amazing part of all of this is the unity that's suddenly blossomed among our girls. It's not perfect, and some of them still don't get along well when they're in the same room, but they have definitely become more thoughtful of one another. I hope that this habit is slowly beginning to be used in their own personal prayers. I have a very sure feeling that it is. And I can't wait to see what these girls do with the strength, unity, and confidence they develop from something as simple as praying for others by name.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Latest Creation...

The most recent thing I've made is a little unorthodox for myself and my blog. But I did make it, nonetheless.

I've had a laptop for the past while. I bought it refurbished for pretty cheap and it worked really well for a while. But ever since I've gotten my Canon Rebel, and been putting hundreds and hundreds of pictures on it, it's been getting really bogged down. It's not made to handle that much stuff, or any PC games that I like to play with my brothers. It was time for an upgrade. I started looking at computers a few months ago, trying to decide what to get. I asked my brother, who studied computer science in college and has had a passion for it for nearly all of his life, and he suggested that I build my own.

I'd never even considered that. I don't know enough about computer to even know where to start. But that's what he was there for. I told him my wishes and needs for this new computer, and he told me what parts I should get. I bought them from Newegg and used a bunch of discounts.

The boxes arrived here the following day. And I got to work.

Making sure everything got shipped.

Reading manuals before taking anything out of its packaging.

It was much easier than I anticipated. In the past when I'd look inside a computer, my eyes would gloss over and I'd suddenly feel like everyone around me was speaking some language I didn't know. It always intimidated me and I could never understand how people did it.

So I did some research online, learning about how to build a computer. I looked up tutorials, DIY forums, and asked my brother a few questions I needed answered, and then I went for it.

Everything plugs into the power source and the motherboard, and it's impossible to plug something into the wrong spot because of how each cord and plug is made. So you can really only put it together the right way.

I'm quite pleased with it. Now I can install all the games I want, put all the pictures on it I want, and run whatever programs I need to , and it can more than handle it all.

Organizing wires is important for maximum airflow so that things don't overheat on the inside.
This is what the inside looked like right after I plugged everything in, before organizing it.

And this is the final product! Look at how clean and organized the inside is! 

Now my only problem is this slow internet connection. That's a problem for another day I suppose.

So, if you're considering a new computer and you're not sure where to start, consider building your own! And if you're not very experienced with that, I guarantee there's plenty of help out there.

What kind of computer do you have and do you wish it was different?