Category Archives: prayer

Recent Events…

HOLY COW… another month GONE! 

Facebook has definitely taken my attention away from my blogging.  I don’t even know where to begin to catch up. I still have so many pix from my trip home to NY this summer that I want to share, but haven’t managed to make time for it.

The past month in a nutshell…

Being photographed by Hanson Fong was a lot of fun. I haven’t received portraits from him yet, but then again, I haven’t asked him for them either! I keep “meaning to.”  I wrote to him on Facebook right after the convention, but then never followed up.  For those of you who aren’t on Facebook, here’s a couple pix…

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Here’s one of my favorite images that I shot of Ryley while everything was going on during Hanson’s workshop…I just couldn’t stand watching everyone else photograph her and not get to myself! SOOOO glad I did, because this image inspired me to update my look… this is something I’ve been playing around with.         Whatcha think?   I’ll use these for my children’s portraiture business card. This is the front and back of the card, plus a new logo I’m considering. Feel free to give feedback

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Ryley turned THREE on August 25th, the day after Hanson photographed us. What a blessing to have Hanson Fong create her 3 year portraits!  The image I saw on the back of his camera was phenominal…competition quality.  He’s such a great person & teacher.   Jerry said, “Now I know why you like to attend these photography classes so much!”

The school year has gotten off to a GREAT start. I’m busier than ever… working solely with 4th grade this year. I thought I’d be less busy, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. It takes A LOT of planning time and extra hours outside the school day to make our inclusion program work successfully. On a lighter note, Jerry & I are now both official business partners for my school John N.C. Stockton Elementary. We’ve been helping out through our businesses by volunteering our talents over the past 2 years, so this year we made it an official commitment.

Finally, this past weekend, I walked in the Inaugural Stop Child Trafficking Now Walk. I never knew that Human Trafficking is the SECOND largest criminal industry in the world, second only to drugs! The number of children trapped in sexual slavery is staggering. Florida is the 3rd ranked state in the nation for it’s number of child sexual slavery cases.  To learn more go to http://www.SCTNow.org .   Also, check out my pix from the event on FACEBOOK!

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I’ve never done any kind of fundraising before that I can remember…and I signed up only 5 days before the event. So I set my goal at $100. I met my goal and have continued to receive contributions this week! I’ve almost doubled my goal!!!  That’s pretty exciting.  I believe in this cause because when I was young, my mom taught me about ‘bad people’ who do this sort of thing to children. It’s stuck with me my whole life…every single day children are sold and forced into prostitution and VERY YOUNG CHILDREN are raped to create pornography.  This organization is the first of its kind, because its focus is AWARENESS of the problem and CONVICTION OF CRIMINALS through Special Operative Teams. Other organizations focus on rescuing children only, which does nothing to DETER and PREVENT this from continuing.  “The efforts of a single operative team will do more to save children than millions of dollars put toward rescuing victims!” 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uMbE5bvV2c Link to a good, short video explaining exactly what the Special Operative Teams do & how:

http://www.sctnow.org/contentpages.aspx?parentnavigationid=5813&viewcontentpageguid=503caffe-d8d0-498b-996a-9a01134b898c

In the picture I have a SCTNow.org sticker on my shirt, because they only printed 400 registration signs for participants to wear.  There were a BUNCH of people wearing a sticker instead, so that shows how good the turnout was for this inaugural walk! Next year, I imagine it’ll be at least twice as big. Go to this link to view my donor page &/or make a donation

Please help me in praying that this organization will continue to grow and succeed!

Love & blessings, my-signature-75dpiweb

PS…I have lots more photos from the walk in my  Facebook photo album 🙂

please PRAY!

My friend Tracey who lives in Gloucester, VA sent me this message request for prayer, and I just had to share. If you are a parent, have family with young children, or know anyone with small children you have to read this! Stories like these are becoming more and more frequent, so we need to keep building awareness and also pray for those who have experienced this horrific tragedy!

PLEASE read the message below.  I’ve joined a group on Facebook – We Love
Katie
– Katie is 15 and the daughter of Kristi Milby Vann and David Vann
(Helen Vann’s son).  Since Jan. Katie has been in a wheelchair and is now in
Boston for evaluation to see if she qualifies for treatment for a very rare
disease known as RSD or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (chronic, painful and
progressive neurological condition that affects the skin, muscles, joints,
and bones.  Her injury is a direct result of a broken ankle she suffered in
Jan. 2008.  Through all their visits to CHKD, they are hearing and sharing
so many other stories of people in need of prayer.  This family is in
NEED!!!!!  PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM AS WELL AS FOR KATIE AND THE VANN FAMILY!
Thanks,
Tracey

Butch Holland sent a message to the members of We Love Katie.

——————–
Subject: We were sent this and just feel led to ask for your prayers for
this family

Since we already have a huge prayer chain, we would like to ask for your
prayers for a family in Farmville, as they are going through an unthinkable
tragedy.

The Williams pastor a small church in Farmville, and they have three
children and 6 grandchildren.  On Saturday, Mr. and Mrs. Williams were
keeping all of their grandchildren for the day and were outside playing at
the church.  Mrs. Williams got in her car to go get lunch at McDonald’s, and
as she pulled out onto the street, she didn’t realize that her nearly- three
year old grandson Addison had run out to the car.  Pastor Williams had tried
to catch him, but wasn’t quick enough.  Little Addison was struck and killed
under the back tire of Mrs. Williams’ SUV.  Not knowing what had happened,
Mrs. Williams continued on to McDonald’s, while Pastor Williams frantically
called for emergency services while trying to keep the other five
grandchildren (ages 4-9) from being so traumatized.

I attended the visitation/wake for the family last night, and I can say with
certainty that I have never in my life seen such heart-breaking grief.
Pastor Williams and his wife are absolutely broken and defeated.  They both
blame themselves.  The other grandchildren are having nightmares and the
oldest one is angry at God for “allowing this to happen.”

The funeral for Addison is today around 2.  Please pray that divine peace
that can only come from Christ be poured out onto this family.  They are an
important part of the Farmville community through both their church and
their business.  (Ironically, Rex Williams owns the main towing business in
Farmville and is the one who cleans up wrecks.)

Thank you for praying for this family.  I simply cannot imagine what they
are going through right now.  Please feel free to pass this along to any
other prayer warriors you know.

Happy Birthday Dad & Blessings to Meg

Hey Everyone and Happy Birthday Dad!

My Dad, Fred Preisch:

 

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This is my friend Meg Young. She left yesterday for a missions trip to Africa! Her mom hired me to create a family portrait just before Christmas, so she could have it done before Meg left. After the family went inside, Meg and I created a bunch of portraits of her to surprise her Mom & Dad.  This is one of their favorites. She won’t be back until December of this year, so the portraits were a very nice surprise.

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Inspired by the Lord, Meg has recently created a new non-profit ministry for abandoned babies & children in Africa. Check out Meg’s blog for They Are Not Forgotten Ministries, Inc. !  You’ll love her banner at the top of her blog. Since it’s brand new, it’ll be fun to read all her posts of her experiences in Africa and watch her ministry grow. Please keep her  and this awesome new ministry in your prayers. Add one in for her family too please. I know they’ll miss her tremendously.

You can subscribe to her blog while you’re there, or just click on the link to it on the right side of my blog.

Love & Blessings,my-signature-75dpiweb

 

Marriage, and the Slow Fade

Sunday was our 6 year anniversary…

We started the day by going to church where Ryley learned that Jesus lives in her heart. Since we conceived Ryley on our 3rd anniversary, we decided to celebrate her this year and took her to Chuck E Cheeses for the first time. We had a ton of fun….

 

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 the Thinker…

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 Haven’t you always wanted to do that?

 

 

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Ryley talked about Chuck E “Cheeses” all the way home. When we were getting her ready for bed and talking about her day, I asked her to tell her daddy who lives in her heart. She said “Chuck E CHEESES!!!”… turns out ‘Cheeses’ sounds an awful lot like ‘Jesus’ when coming out of the mouth of a toddler. Isn’t that a good one!?

Being a parent is an amazing experience!

Since I’m on the topic of anniversaries/marriage, I want to encourage everyone to see the movie FIREPROOF. It’s an awesome movie about love & marriage, and how easily we fall into the destructive cycles that all too often lead to divorce. Please take a few minutes to watch this short video about the inspiration behind the song Slow Fade from Fireproof. You will be glad you did! Then watch and listen to the music video SLOW FADE by Casting Crowns (click on the underlined words above to their links).

Jerry and I are about half way through a marriage class at our church with several other couples using the video series Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and his wife Sarah.  It is by far the BEST information available on marriage and the needs of men & women. He explains in a humorous way how God designed us to be DIFFERENT. It is absolutely amazing and eye opening.  It’s SO GOOD that I want to stand on a mountain top and tell the world about it. When you hear it, it makes SO MUCH SENSE. AND it’s the way God made us to be, so you don’t feel like such a lousy person/spouse after you realize why the differences lead to conflict.

The divorce rate is so high because it’s so easy for husbands and wives to get trapped in the “Crazy Cycle” of miscommunication, misunderstanding, hurt, anger, and bitterness. This is information that our sons and daughters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, friends, etc. etc. need to know so they don’t go through all the pain and heartache that we’ve experienced in our own relationships.  You can see all kinds of stuff for FREE just by going to the website (www.loveandrespect.com)… like this little snippet on the “Crazy Cycle” or check out these FREE video segments… like the one called “Pink & Blue”

You can get the entire Love and Respsect video series through download for only $40, and I promise, it’s worth it!!! Click here. OR you can purchase each segment separately for $10. So if you’re skeptical, you can just watch the 1st segment to see if you like it. 

God’s timing is perfect. I am a child of a bitter divorce and years of resentment between my parents. I know the scars this can leave in people. We need to help others not put our children and ourselves through that!

It’s no accident that I saw the movie Fireproof, found the video & inspiration for Slow Fade, AND am in this awesome marriage class all in the same time frame. PLEASE take some time and check out the links above!

I love you all,

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an awesome article about angie…

I forgot to include this article in The St. Augustine Record (or click here) that Angie had hanging on the wall in her exhibit (see previous blog entry).

The trip to Niagara Falls she refers to was with me. When Ryley was only 4 weeks old, Angie went with me to help me on the plane trip so my family could meet Ryley for the first time. She was a huge blessing, because I had no idea what I was doing!  I remember her taking that photograph while we were there! I thought that was pretty neat. Also, the little angel she refers to was my niece Makaila who is also the image on my blog banner & business card that you all are so familiar with. It’s fun when you get to see how your life can have an impact on someone else!! God is good 🙂 

Love & blessings,

Infant Loss Awareness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryley was born through an emergency Cesarean. Her heartrate suddenly plummeted, and a rush of people came into my hospital room and started prepping me for surgery before I even knew what was going on. Of course, all the emotions and ‘what ifs’ start racing through your mind, while trying to trust in the Lord and have peace that everything will be okay. I can barely write this wihtout choking back the tears even to this day.  She was born 20 minutes later, and I’ll NEVER forget the feelings of relief and GRATITUDE that washed over me the moment they brought her over that curtain to introduce her to me……. many aren’t so fortunate. I can only imagine the agony I would have experienced if it had gone the other way.

With that knowledge, and the immense gratitude that I feel each and every day for having my daughter, I decided to use my photography to bless others in need. I was honored when NILMDTS reviewed my photography and accepted me into their organization!

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is a non-profit organization that sends a professional photographer to hospitals for families experiencing the loss of an infant or child. This service is completely free to the families we serve, and we do not receive any monetary compensation for our work. The NILMDTS photographers provide each family with a beautifully designed, black & white slideshow of the photos they take at the hospital. The images are truly priceless, and greatly help families through the loss of their infant/child. 

I am honored to be involved with NILMDTS ….especially knowing the profound impact it has upon the families that need this service!

Please keep reading & consider the gift of preserving a family’s few brief moments with their precious little baby…… for a Lifetime!           YOU   can help provide that!!!

Love & Blessings,

            

    

    

 FROM NILMDTS HEADQUARTERS:     

With an average of 2-million hits per month on our web site, imagine if everyone contributed just $5 to the organization!

 

 

Your donation truly will make a significant difference  in the continued success of NILMDTS.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is recognized as an IRS 501(c)3 charitable organization (Tax ID#77-0656322) and your donations are always entirely tax deductible.  When you donate, you will receive a thank you card that serves as your receipt as well as an enclosed card you may to send to the family of whomever you made the donation in memory of.

 

  

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With the Month of October being recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, The Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation holds its Annual Fund Drivefor six weeks starting in mid-September and ending in October. 
 
President Ronald Reagan enacted Proclamation 5890 in October of 1988 to recognize that each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the United States alone end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of a newborn child.  Reagan stated, “A national observance offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn or newborn babies.  It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members… ”    

 
If you are in a place to make even a small contribution to NILMDTS, please know that doing so will continue to allow the organization to provide improved resources, training, communication, and other tools necessary in support of our amazing contingent of professional photographers who provide the gift of free remembrance portraiture to families in need.
 
Our next project we are working on is an online, interactive webinar version of our Formal NILMDTS Training taught by Co-Founder Sandy Puc’ allowing anyone in any country with access to a computer to complete the course online.  Donations help make programs like this a reality! 

 

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Your Donations Support the Organization in Many Ways –   

* By supporting the continued education of our volunteer photographers 
* By allowing us to further our outreach to hospitals and hospices across the world 
* By offsetting the costs associated with outreach efforts including Formal NILMDTS Traingin Seminars 
* By supporting the Family Forum which creates a productive and supportive haven for healing 
* By supporting the Photographers’ Forum which provides a helpful environment for our member photographers to express their feelings and receive advice on the various issues that they face in this noble work 
* By supporting the day to day operations of our Headquarters Offices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, HAPPY DAY!

Just a real quick post today to share some good news … 

I’ve shared a couple stories from my trip down to Orlando for the Florida Professional Photographers Convention.  What I haven’t mentioned yet, is that I took the Certified Professional Photographer certification examination while I was there. Yesterday, I received a much anticipated letter in the mail which read, 

“Congratulations, you passed the exam.”  Oh, happy day 🙂

Becoming a Certified Professional Photographer is essentially a three part process. First you have to submit an application.  From the time of acceptance you have 2 years to successfully complete the process. One part is passing a detailed examination of your professional photography knowledge, which encompasses a wide range of content, including an understanding of technical skills, composition, proper lighting, etc. This is the part I passed.

The second part is to have my images reviewed by a panel of experts and be judged Qualified. I will be going through that process this fall.

Just like teacher certification, you have to recertify every 5 years. This proves you’re continuing your education, staying current in your field and maintaining the level of expertise required to be a Certified Professional Photographer. It’s especially important now that the digital era has increased the number of inexperienced, low-cost photographers.

Currently, there are very few professional photographers in the United States who have earned this credential; only around 5% or less. For example, out of the hundreds of photographers at the convention, there were only 5 of us who took the exam; some who didn’t pass the first time.

So it’s a great way to stand out from other photographers, and help potential clients choose me over someone else 😉

I have to thank my mentor Mike (The Photography of Mike Permenter), and professional photographer friends Keely (Mikkean Photography), Kim (Kim Kirk Photography), Scott (Shutterly Perfect) and Tammie (Amore Studios) for motivating, encouraging and supporting me through this process!  And of course, I wouldn’t be where I am without my early start in Jacksonville at Gumps Sports Photography with Jeff, Karen, Lorrie, and Angie (who encouraged Jeff to hire me)!

You guys ROCK!!!

Here’s a quick pic of me and Keely during the conference goofing around outside PF Chang’s in Orlando, taken by Mike Permenter.

 

Goodness, this wasn’t such a quick post after all!  Thanks for reading!!

Love & blessings,

PS~ I wrote the post fast this morning and forgot some things. I remembered that the last thing I did before I opened my exam book was to thank The Lord for my talents that He’s blessed me with, and I put my exam in HIS hands. I thanked Him when I read the congrats letter, but HE should have been the first person I publicly thanked. 

Thank you Lord and please help me with my forgetfulness! Amen.