Welcome

This blog is about two friends, miles apart, striving to pattern our lives after the Proverbs 31 woman. Here you will find our daily journeys, whether serious, funny, practical, or inventive. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you'll stop by often!

~Lauren & Page

Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!


Well, I'm sure you can guess that Page and I have been busy. In fact, busy is putting it lightly!! We've decided that we need a break and we're not going to clean, cook, work, or blog till next year. ;-) hee hee..... Seriously though, we had a great Christmas and hope you did too!
As 2010 comes to a close, we just wanted to blog our LAST post for the year and thank all of you, our readers, from the bottom of our hearts!! When we started this blog back in June, it was simply a fun way for us to keep in touch with each other, though miles apart. We never dreamed it would grow to this magnitude, and we're just so excited for all that 2011 will bring! We've been blessed to share our hearts, devotions, recipes, laughs, thoughts, crafts, and just random ideas with you. Thanks for listening. :-)

The Lord has blessed us so much this past year, we just want to give Him all the praise and honor for all that He has done for us! We are undeserving of his love, mercy, and the multitude of blessings He gives daily. May we enter this New Year, striving to become more Christ-like and with the desire to serve Him even more in the months ahead.

Psalm 126:3 "The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad."



We have much more in store for the blog in 2011 and we can't wait to get to blogging....next year of course. ;-)

Happy New Year, everyone!! May this be one of the best years ever!

Your friends at AP31,

Lauren & Page

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Matthew 1:18-25

18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

20But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.


Luke 2:1-14

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


Matthew 1:21 "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."


John 4:42 "And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world."

This is what Christmas is all about.


Wishing you all peace, love, and joy from our Almighty and Awesome God this Christmas,


Lauren & Page

Thursday, December 23, 2010

TT: Our most precious gift...

Matthew 1:21 "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins."


I look at this verse in awe. These words are pure power. This is Christmas. An ALMIGHTY, INFINITE, ALL-KNOWING, ALL-POWERFUL, GRACIOUS GOD sending His Son to earth to save us.

Please don't miss this!! Sometimes we look at these things, and because we may have seen them a million times before--we loose just how incredible this historical, life altering event really is! Not just a story. Not just "The Christmas Story". This IS WHAT EVERYTHING IS ALL ABOUT!!

God's Son, miraculously sent to earth--to bear the sins of the world--and save our souls from hell.


Thank you, God. I am awe struck and soul stirred this morning.

Psalm 147:18 "He sendeth out His word, and melteth them: He causeth His wind to blow, and the waters flow."


Jesus paid the ultimate price. His death for our lives. Gift your life to Him--and receive eternal life from Him. It will be the best Christmas you've ever had.

Isaiah 53

1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


~Page

Monday, December 20, 2010

Beloved of the Lord

Here's another wonderful devotion written by Pastor Thomas Smith from St. Clair, MO. We pray it'll be a blessing to you all as you begin your week!!


BELOVED OF THE LORD

Devotion for December 19, 2010

"And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.’"
II Samuel 12:25.

David had confessed and repented of his deplorable sin with Bathsheba. Their first child died, then Bathsheba bore a son that David named Solomon. The name Solomon means ‘peaceable.’ David certainly needed and wanted some peace after the turmoil his sin had caused. The Bible says of Solomon that ‘the LORD loved him,’ (II Samuel 12:24), and He sent Nathan the prophet to give Solomon another name. The name the Lord gave him was Jedidiah, which means BELOVED OF THE LORD.

What a comforting thing this must have been to David and Bathsheba! He had been chastened for his sin, and David’s grief over his transgression is well known. What would God think of this new baby born to David and Bathsheba? Would the child be accepted? Would it be blessed? God loved Solomon, and wanted David to know that He loved the child. We cannot be sure we understand all the reasons God does the things He does. But surely this was a message to David that God had accepted his repentance and forgiven him of his past. David would not have to continue to pay for his disobedience. God loved the child born to David and Bathsheba.

What an important lesson this is for us. God certainly does not approve of our sin, but He does extend forgiveness and mercy when we sincerely turn from our wrong. We can start over again. We do not have to live in a constant feeling of regret over past failures. God wants to restore fellowship with us, and He wants us to know that we are loved. Many of us have been through the experience of correcting a disobedient child, and after he has been disciplined, we have held him in our arms and assured him of our love. God does the same thing for us. He confirms His love to us. God loves us. How could we ever get over that wonderful fact? In spite of our failures and blunders, His love remains strong. Looking at this Scripture from the viewpoint of the child, we see another important fact worth our consideration. Solomon grew up knowing that God called him ‘Jedidiah,’ THE BELOVED OF THE LORD. Throughout his life, he would be reminded that God cared for him. It is important that children be secure in the understanding that God loves them deeply.

Pastor Smith's daily devotions may also be read by visiting www.straightpaths.mzbc.com.

Friday, December 17, 2010

CC: Cute Hand Print Ornament for Kids!



This Christmas has definitely been one of the best Christmases ever... Biggest reason being: Little Red!


He has been so much fun this year! His big, blue eyes just light up over all things Christmas... We spot every Christmas tree and decoration as we're driving. He asks to stop at Lowe's to see the "Kipimees" (Christmas Trees) and marvels over of those big, "blow up in your front yard" things. He asks to turn our tree lights on anytime we're at home. And he loves Rudolph...


Presents this year should be a blast! : D
(Last year was more about eating the paper...)

Anyways, this year was his first time in his class at church to get to make his own, handmade ornaments. I'm. So. Excited!

So, in the spirit of being crazy about Christmas ornaments (which you'll get to see in an up-coming post), I wanted to share an idea I got from a very, incredibly, creative gal at our church who passed on this ornament idea to me, either for your tree or as gifts (of which I did both...)

Here's what you'll need:

*Plain, 3 1/4" or bigger sphere ornament(s)
(I got a box of 4, glass ornaments at Hobby Lobby for $2.50)
*Craft paint that is safe on skin
*paint brushes
*your kids hand
*and maybe an extra set of your own hands...

Step 1: Wrangle down your child.

Step 2: Practice where you'd like to put their hand print. Be quick, because this will only be interesting to your child for about 5 seconds.

Step 3: Release child temporarily.

Step 4: Get your paint ready. I did a very light blue, almost white color.

Step 5: Repeat step 1.

Step 6: While gently holding child's wrist, paint very wiggly child's hand. Asking very lovingly for them to be still. They will like this part.

Step 7: In one fail swoop--while never loosing the painted hand, put down your brush--grab an ornament quickly--and gently place the painted hand on the ornament (try to keep fingers slightly spaced) where you had practiced in Step 2.

Step 8: Press on fingers slightly to make sure the little print made it completely.

Step 9: Remove hand from ornament.

Step 10: Again, while never loosing the still-painted hand, put down the newly--extremely cute hand printed ornament to dry, and grab the brush.

Repeat Steps 6-10 for as many ornaments as you plan to do. (We did one for us, and some for grandparents.)

Step 11: When hand prints are completed--all while still holding the wet, painted hand--rush to the bathroom, wash and rinse hand thoroughly.

Step 12: Sigh of relief. The hardest part is now over.

Step 13: When handprint is dry, paint on the snow men effects. And maybe a "to" and "from". Definitely a name and year.

And here is what you'll end up with:







Snow can be added with a paint brush, or flicked on with a tooth brush. I think I might add a spritz of spray glitter? Just considering it...

I just love these ornaments! I love his little hand print. I can't wait to give them to the grandparents!

Let me know how your ornaments (and/or experiences) go! ; )

~Page

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Studio and Family

Luke 1:46-49 "And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden:...For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name."


Yesterday, I did a write up about our studio. I really am truly and deeply thankful about how the Lord has worked everything out. I'm sure on days that I have more time, I'll get more into details... But as it stands right now--our plate is pretty full today, and I need to get busy! : )

1 Samuel 12:24 "Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things He hath done for you."


Also, I'm so thankful to Scott and Little Red. Scott has been incredible getting everything going and built. He's an AWESOME business manager! And L.R. has been such a good boy--considering all the time we have spent working at the studio... : )

God, Thank You.

~Page

Psalm 126:3 "The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Studio!


Well... You've been asking... And now it's finally here! Pics of the studio! (Ok--so maybe just Lauren and Jes have been asking--but still...)

A little background: Our studio is located in historic, Downtown Dandridge, TN. If you live 'round these parts--you'll hear our studio called the "Old Ford Building". Built in 1945--it's so cool.


Anyways, Scott and I had been praying about what to do in regards to our photography business. A lot. And, long story short--the Lord led us to and blessed us beyond measure with this building!

We had a lot on our plates! Lots to do inside to make this, once car dealership, a photo studio--and yet still retain the history and richness of the building.

Here is what it looks like right now. We still have so many plans--but all things in His time! : )


This is what you see when you walk in the front door. Scott built two rooms in the studio for changing and an office. The black door here goes to a changing room.


The closed door is the office. The open door is the changing room.


Here is our Christmas tree just for the studio! It's black and silver--and I'm crazy about it! : )


And some special ornaments "MJP". Awwww.... : )


View from the picture takin' area. Lots of wonderful, huge windows...


Our sitting area. The couch and tables were a gift. I am so thankful, grateful, and near speechless... Thank you!


Here is where some of the magic happens... : )


Where the viewing happens after a shoot.


While you sit here.


Some table decor.


I love these checker board looking things. Actually, they're place mats I found at Pier 1 on sale!! : D


This is in the changing room. I found this old window on the side of the road and fell in love! I want one for home.


The vanity and rocker in the changing area.


All of these things we found on sale in various places...

I can't express how grateful I am to God for all He had done and helped us accomplish. I am also ever so thankful to my husband and family for all they have done and helped with.

And that's pretty much it! Hope you all enjoyed!

Call and book an appointment soon!!!!!! : D

~Page

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Devotion in 1 John


I love 1 John, it's a convicting book of the Bible, but one that is sure to illuminate hearts. For this "Monday Meditation" I wanted to share a few verses from 1 John that I read in my devotions the other day. I pray they're a blessing and cause us to really meditate on them.


1 John 1:8 ¶ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

2:1 ¶ My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

There are so many people who have a hard time truly being honest with themselves and in humility, seeing themselves for the sinner that they are. The Bible says that all have sinned, but if we confess our sin, Jesus Christ is faithful to forgive us!! What a blessed thought!

3 ¶ And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

True salvation changes a person, you have a desire to walk after God, to keep His Word/Commandments, to live holy and set apart unto Him. Why then are so many professing Christians not living this way??

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Sobering verses, but crucial to prove our life by. Does our life match up to the Bible? If not, why not? Is there sin in our life? Have we ever truly experienced the forgiveness of sins? I challenge you to meditate on these verses and draw nigh unto God.

Happy Monday, Everyone!

~Lauren

Friday, December 10, 2010

Festive Fabric Flower


If you can't tell by now...We LoOove Fabric Flowers! Today, I am going to show how to make this fun and festive flower headband! Make it for yourself to wear or make it as a last minute Christmas gift!

I am using this gorgeous silver and red sequined fabric, but any fabric will do. I wanted to use both colors of fabric so I cut a 1 1/2 x 22 inch strip of both fabrics, placed the pretty sides together and sew a 1/2 inch from the edge down the entire length of fabric. The length of fabric you will need will vary depending on what size flower you want, but my strip of fabric measured 2 x 22 inches after I sew the two colors together.



To make this headband you will also need:

* A Hot Glue Gun
* Elastic
* Pipe Cleaners
* Felt


For my flower I twisted the ends of two pipe cleaners together to form a longer pipe cleaner. Begin by hot glueing your fabric strip to the end of the pipe cleaner. Start wrapping your fabric around the pipe cleaner and hot glue in place after a few twists.


Your fabric doesn't have to be wrapped perfectly. In fact, I think the messier the better : ) Keep wrapping and glueing your fabric until you run out of fabric. Cut off the excess pipe cleaner if you have any.


Start at one end and begin twisting the fabric into a spiral. Glue in place ever so often to keep things from untwisting.



After twisting the entire length secure in place with hot glue.


Next I made an elastic headband for the flower.

Cut a piece of felt out that is slightly smaller than your flower.


Stretch your elastic around your head to measure out the fit you want. Cut your elastic to size and place the middle of the elastic in the middle of your felt. Secure the elastic to the felt with a line of stitches. I am using a bright color of thread so you can see where my stitches are place but you should probably use matching thread : )


Now overlap the ends of your elastic and stitch together.


Before gluing the flower to the felt I glued down some ostrich feathers.


All that's left to do is to hot glue your flower onto your felt!


Here is what the back of the headband looks like...


And here is what it looks like on my head! :D


If you decide to make this flower or any other fabric flower we have previously shown you how to make (here), we would LOVE to see it! Send us a pic and we'll put it on the blog!

Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend!

*Jes*