Share Six | Restore

As I do every month, I agonized over what route I wanted to go with my interpretation of the theme over at Share Six.  After looking the word up in the dictionary, I chose to go with this particular definition of the word.  It seems to hit home for us and what we are going through as a family.


v. to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor

 Those who know us personally know that our son was diagnosed with Lyme disease over the summer.  It’s been an overwhelming couple of years trying to get to the bottom of the medical issues we’ve been dealing with.  It’s great to have an answer now, but choosing a plan of action has proven to be pretty difficult.  As with any treatment for an illness, everyone responds differently.  The bottom line is though, we want to restore health and happiness to our family.  I’ve decided to photograph some of the ways we’ve been trying to do this.

Rest/relaxation is one of things we’ve been trying to prioritize.  Thankfully we homeschool, so we have tried to adjust our schedule so that we can get as much sleep and rest as possible.  Hanging out in the hammock is one of our favorite ways to relax.

Another thing we love and that boosts our spirits is being out in nature.  We took a trip to my childhood vacation spot.  It is a little resort nestled in the Northwoods.  There are no phones and no TVs…just nature and relaxation.  Once it got dark we’d go out to the dock to view the stars and the Milky Way and listen to the call of the loon.  Trying to not get bit by mosquitoes added a whole other element to the evenings, but made for great laughter and memories….definitely healing for the soul.

Most of our days at the little resort were spent jumping in the lake.  You can’t get a whole lot more invigorating than that.  The sound of our kids’ and their cousins’ laughter echoing over the lake and through the woods was music to our ears.

Back home, we still love to get outside as much as possible.  It definitely has a healing/restoring effect.  Hikes and walks along the river are a relaxing way to end our day.IMG_5157_web

Through all of the stress this illness (and the illnesses the rest of our weakened immune systems have endured) has brought our family, we have tried to cling tighter to God’s promises.  Through Him there is restoration of body and soul.  Even though our bodies have been failing us (we’ve been sick with one thing or another since the middle of December), our souls are finding healing in God’s word.IMG_5208_web

Our biggest change we have made in order to restore health and happiness to our family is our diet.  We’ve never been very unhealthy, but we were eating things we did not realize our bodies were having a hard time breaking down.  (We have some genetic mutations.)  We are now dairy, gluten, msg, dyes, GMO, corn, wheat, soy, rice and refined sugar free.  I won’t lie, we occasionally cheat at special occasions, but otherwise our normal daily diet is free of the things listed above.  Our son is on quite a few supplements for the Lyme disease as well.  We have also taken great strides to eliminate as many toxins from our everyday environment by switching to all natural products and using glass containers instead of plastic.  It hasn’t been an easy task, but we’re hoping it will pay off in the long run and help us restore our son’s health as well as our own.IMG_5213_web

I hope you enjoyed my interpretation on this theme.  If you want to learn more about Lyme disease click here.  To learn about how it can present itself in children click here.  Unfortunately it is often misdiagnosed as other diseases and disorders, so the more people know about it, the better chance people have of being properly diagnosed.

Head over to Claire’s blog to see her take!  Continue through the circle and show our contributors your support by leaving a comment.  Don’t forget to post your own images on the theme and tag them #sharesix and #sharesix_restore !!

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Share Six | Music

It’s hard to believe it is 2017 already!!  Happy New year!!

I chose this month’s theme of music.  Music has been near and dear to my heart since I was little. It has been woven into the tapestry of my memories….from sitting in the pew as a little girl listening to my aunt sing harmony, to the weekly piano lessons my grandparents’ gifted me with, to the evenings spent listening to classical cds with my dad, to my very first job as an organist at my church at 15 years old. Music courses through my veins. It was my first love.  I remember years ago, my sister’s friend getting annoyed with me because she said I was always humming.  What can I say…there is always a song in my heart.  My grandpa always told me to never stop playing the piano.  He said, “You’ll make money playing the piano some day.”  I vividly remember him repeating those words when I visited him at the nursing home and played some music for him on the piano.  Well I don’t ever plan to stop and I AM making money playing the piano and organ.  Music just brings me such comfort and joy.

Your voice is an instrument you can take with you anywhere.  My family knows that well, as I love to live in a musical, singing about my daily activities while I’m doing them.  My daughter is following in my footsteps with a love of singing.  Over the summer she auditioned to sing the national anthem at our local baseball team’s game.  She was chosen, so we picked up this pitch pipe for her to help calm her nerves.  I just love how shiny and pretty it is.


Brass instruments are simply beautiful to look at, especially the french horn.img_4954_web

This is my grandfather’s tambourine.  He played the drums in a jazz band.  He was a big proponent of me getting into music.  He and my grandma insisted I take piano lessons, and they paid for them.  I am forever grateful for their influence and generosity.

As I mentioned back during our black and white theme, I LOVE the insides of pianos.  They are simply gorgeous.  Not to mention, they are my favorite instrument.  I could sit and play the piano for hours.  Here is a picture of some of the hammers.
img_4889_web Here is my daughter playing The Entertainer.  I asked her to dress up to do her piano practice so I could get some shots of her.  I have basically the same shot of her from a few years ago.  It’s sad to see how much she has grown up.  My how time flies!!img_5059sepia_web

Here’s another one from a different angle and some more creative lighting.

Thank you so much for stopping by and seeing my take on this month’s theme.  I had a hard time narrowing down my images to just six.  As I said, I just love music.

Head on over to Sharleen’s blog and see her beautiful images!!  Then continue through the circle to see the rest of the contributors’ takes!!

Share Six | Bokeh

Well, we are at the end of the year.  What a fun time it has been so far!!  We’re so glad to have all of the guest bloggers join us on this last theme for the year.  There are so many talented artists here!!

As you know, this month’s theme is “bokeh”.

the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens.
“a quick, visual survey of the foreground and background bokeh of a variety of lenses”

Every photographer seems to be obsessed with it.  We love that creamy bokeh!!  With it being December and Christmas right around the corner, it only seemed fitting to get those twinkling Christmas lights in the bokeh.

While I didn’t think too far outside the box, I did have fun creating these images, and I tried to use a little variety in my lighting techniques.

My first image is basically just white Christmas lights out of focus.  It has turned out to be one of my favorite images though.  It just elicits that warm and fuzzy feeling.


My second image is of my favorite winter necklace with Christmas lights draped in the background.  I absolutely LOVE snowflakes!!img_4514_web

My third image is of my precious daughter.  My kids were such troopers braving the cold so I could get some pictures.


My fourth image is just some colored Christmas lights out of focus.


My fifth image is of some of my grandma’s books and a mug.  I saw this mug at the store a few weeks ago and it brought tears to my eyes.  As I read the words, I heard my grandma speaking them to me.  She’d always hold my hands and, because they were always cold, say “Oooh, your hands are so cold.  You know….cold hands, warm heart.”


My last image is of my son.  A while back my dad gave us his lanterns he had from Boy Scouts as a kid.  I’ve been wanting to incorporate them into some pictures, so this seemed fitting.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my images.  Head on over to Sarah’s blog next, then continue through to see everyone’s take.  Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Share Six | Texture

Wow!! How is it that it is November already?!?!  I hope you have been enjoying our monthly themes.  We’ve definitely enjoyed seeing all of your images!  Everyone has so much talent!!

I’m sure you’ve seen Kim, Tori, Sharleen and Kathy’s takes on this month’s theme “Texture”!!  Aren’t their images wonderful?

For my take on “Texture” I started out with an image of a fall leaf.  Fall is in full swing here in Illinois.  In fact, many of the trees have dropped their leaves.


I was going to continue with some more fall textured images, until our beloved Chicago Cubs won the World Series and I decided to get some images of the textures of some baseball items that I had been meaning to photograph anyway.  So the rest of my images are in honor of the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.  Way to go Cubs!!!

This is an image of one of my husband’s old baseballs that he played with when he was a kid.  I’ve never looked very closely at a used baseball to really see the texture.  I was completely fascinated by the character it has.



Here’s a vintage glove from a collection of old gloves I gave him for a gift one year.


Here is a vintage catcher’s mask I picked up for my husband as another gift one year.


Here is an old baseball bat that was from my Grandpa.


Not sure who the bat actually belonged to….I’m guessing Bill.  Who Bill is…I don’t know.  LOL  I loved the fact that on the bat, Bill had carved his name.


Thanks so much for checking out my take on this month’s theme!  I hope you enjoyed it!!  If you didn’t start at the beginning of the blog circle, click here to head over to Kim’s blog and see her wonderful images!!


Share Six | Time

I’m the last blog on your way through the circle, and I assume that you know the theme is “Time”.  So I won’t waste any more of your time and I’ll keep this short. 🙂

Here are a few photos that represent “Time” to me.  I tried to capture the passing of time.

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In case you missed it, head on over to Kathy’s blog and see her take!!

Aspiring to Something Greater | Superman Session

My family is the light of my life and my boy definitely does a great job of lighting it up.  From a young age, he has shown much wisdom and also much humor.  He delights in making people laugh and making them happy.  He is incredibly chivalrous, and is sensitive and sweet.  He is super courageous and full of energy.  He dreams big and has always loved dressing up and being a hero.  I know that God has BIG plans for this boy.  Being a mother isn’t easy, and I have made so many mistakes. I just pray that in spite of my mistakes, God will use this boy for His glory.

So back in 2013, I decided to take advantage of my son’s love of dressing up and go do a fun photoshoot with him.  We headed down to downtown Moline and I just told him to do whatever he wanted within reason.  Here is what we got.

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Share Six | Black and White

This month I chose the theme and as I’m sure you’ve seen, it is “Black and White”. I LOVE color…the color of gorgeous spring flowers, the color of the sunset, the color of rows of paint sample cards at the store. There is something about black and white though. All of the distractions are stripped away and the focus becomes narrowed onto your subject. For some reason, black and white photos seem to evoke more feeling.

Yesterday I came across a quotation by Ted Grant that fits perfectly for this theme – “When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes.  But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls.”

Here are my images for this month’s theme. I decided to photograph a variety of things, hoping to stretch myself to find emotion in each “subject” I photograph.

This first picture was taken at our local baseball team’s game that our daughter sang the national anthem for. Later in the game, we decided to walk the perimeter of the park and I decided to try to get a picture of the bridge even though I had no tripod.  I was surprised to see that it turned out better than I expected.


Here is my son having fun running through a tunnel we found.IMG_1240bw_web

Music, specifically playing the piano, was my first passion.  I would play for hours on end growing up. I think the insides of pianos are a work of art, so it only seemed fitting to capture the beauty that lies within this wonderful instrument.IMG_1547bw_web

Flowers. As I mentioned above, I love flowers.  I hope to someday live on some land and have a big field of wildflowers.  Not only are they gorgeous in color, but they are pretty stunning in black and white too.IMG_1554bw_web

Here is my daughter.  We did an impromptu photo shoot by a gorgeous patch of flowers. The sunlight was bothering her poor eyes, but she was such a good sport!

And here is my son.  He is my goofy, jokester boy, who is also so sweet and sensitive.  I made him stand for a shot and he flashed me this look.  I think he was trying to get a rise out of me and was waiting for me to ask him to smile, but I didn’t.  I actually loved this expression and thought it was great.IMG_1612bw_crop_web

Thanks so much for stopping by and seeing my take on this month’s theme.  Head on over to Sarah’s blog and see her take on the theme.  Don’t forget to click through to all of our contributor’s pages and leave them some love.  We look forward to seeing all of your images on our Facebook page and Instagram page!

Share Six | Minimalism

This month’s theme was very difficult for me.  Portrait and macro photography are more of my thing.  So, spur of the moment I decided to invite my photographer friends out for a photo walk, figuring that I could hopefully get some pictures that would fit the “minimalism” theme.  Thankfully I was able to get one taker, despite the late notice.  My friend Faith of Faith Rebekah Photography joined me, and it happened to be her birthday too.  We walked around the district of Rock Island for about an hour and a half and enjoyed some coffee at Theo’s.  It was a wonderful morning!  I had so much fun!

Here are my six pictures for this month’s theme.

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Head on over to Sharleen N Stuart Photography to check out her interpretation on the theme.  And once again, don’t forget to stop back at our Facebook page and post your takes on the theme, or tag your photos using #sharesix_minimalism !

Share Six | Kitchen

Kitchen – the heart of the home.  I’ve lived in 5 different homes throughout my life, 4 of which have been since I got married.  While I wouldn’t say that the kitchen has always been the heart of our home (most times it was the dining room because meals, discussions and memories were shared there), I am trying to fill our kitchen with more heart.  Unfortunately, for us the kitchen is the hub right now.  It’s where papers and broken toys get dropped on the counters and left to die.  I’ll admit, I’m not always the greatest at just pitching things.  Maybe one day I’ll finally admit that the broken toys will never get fixed and just pitch them and finally file the papers.

I do have fond memories in our kitchens though.  Growing up at home, many memories were made around our kitchen table….family get togethers, games of bunco, coloring Easter eggs.
Once I got married, we moved into a little two bedroom home, the childhood home of my grandma.  My most vivid memory of that kitchen is the many evenings spent making dinner for my new husband That first fall there, there was one particular evening I just quit.  We had Asian beetles infiltrating our house, particularly the kitchen.  A few started to fall in the pot cooking on the stove.  I gave up, shut the stove off and just left.  I was so tired of vacuuming them up and more would come.

Fast forward to our move to the Chicago suburbs and our first apartment.  My fondest memories there were working in the kitchen while our little girl rolled around the kitchen in her walker.

Then fast forward to our current kitchen (don’t remember much from the 4th), where we remodeled it into my dream kitchen and have watched our kids learn to make meals.

For my take on the theme, I photographed some random things from our kitchen and some special things.


Any clue what this next item is? ?


In this next picture, I included a cabinet door from our first kitchen (my grandma’s childhood house) and an egg whisk we got as a wedding gift as well as an egg tray my husband recently bought me.


A macro shot of a common kitchen utensil.


Here I wanted to include some vegetables from our outdoor kitchen (garden) and an enamelware bowl that belonged to my grandma.


Another macro shot of something found in a kitchen.


Hope you enjoyed my take on this month’s theme.  Head on over to Kim’s blog and check out her interpretation!

Share Six | Earth

Hope you enjoyed Kim, Debra, Sharleen and Erica’s takes on this months theme!

It’s hard to believe that it is June already!!  Another month has flown by!  Being that this month’s theme is “Earth”, naturally I set out to our garden for inspiration.  We have a sad little garden this year though.  I didn’t plant much.  So I had to scrounge for things to photograph.

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I found a dead “earth”worm and was taking a picture of him, but thankfully I looked a few inches away and saw some other crawly critters that were much more photogenic.  So I photographed them instead.



I then scrounged some more and found this feather.


Hope you enjoyed my take on this month’s theme!

Head on over to Brandi’s page and see her take!!