I have always been such a fan of the song Mary Did You Know, it makes me smile thinking about how Mary must have felt when she found she would be carrying the son of God. When I found out that Cee Lo Green would be performing this song in his new Christmas album I had my doubts that I would be enjoying it. But "WOW" did it blow me away, he lends so much emotion to this song that I was litterly in tears. This song will not only be on Cee Lo's upcoming Christmas album it will also be featured in the upcoming miniseries...
Produced by Roma Downey from "Touched By an Angel" and Mark Burnett, producer of "The Voice", "The Bible" is a 10-hour miniseries that features a dramatic retelling of the Gospel from Genesis to the time of Christ, and premiers on March 3rd, 2013 on The History Chanel, and will be made available on DVD and Blu-ray.
I went to bed with an Ocular Migraine last night, 1 Imitrex and 4 Excedrine Migraine tablets did not seem to be helping in any way shape or form. But surely a good nights rest and morning would bring the relief that I was so desperately seeking. After all I was just on a plane for 19 hours with no sleep for almost 30, I am sure that is what triggered the pain that I was now experiencing.
[Ophthalmic (eye) migraines... The vision symptoms accompanying painless ocular migraines are not related directly to the eyes. Instead, these visual symptoms occur as a result of the migraine "activity" in the visual cortex of the brain located in the back of the skull.
As described above, your vision and visual acuity will be affected significantly during an ophthalmic migraine attack or episode.]
"Jayden, stop it!" "What? I wasn't doing anything to you!" "Jayden and Gracen stop your fighting before you wake up mom!" OF COURSE THIS IS ALL BEING SHOUTED IN THE HALLWAY NEXT TO MY BED...DID THEY THINK I WAS SLEEPING WITH MY Peltor 97079 Combat Arms Earplugs IN MY EARS?
The sun is now intrusively shining its rays thru the holes in my curtains, like an unwelcome guest in my bedroom. The dull throbbing in my head has obviously not passed during the evening hours, the hole in my vision, still ever present. "Great, I think to myself I have to be to work in 2 hours, I can't call in sick as I have been gone for 10 days already." I guess I shall crawl unhappily out of the warmth and protection of my soft warm bed and down comfortor to see if I can locate some more Imitrex and 2 more Excedrine Migraine tablets.
Work went pretty well, desipite the ignorance of Chase & Suntrust Mortgage who decided it was in their best interest to not waive a deficiancy balance on a client of mine who is in desperate need of a Short Sale on her home. One of the few who are actually qualified and experiencing a "true hardship!" By 1:00 PM I have my full vision back and can finally concentrate on all of the characters in my 100's of emails that accumlated while I was in Heaven for the past 2 weeks. Well, I guess Kamalaya, Koh Samuhi is my version of Heaven...it is perfect in everyway and I miss it terribly!
As I pull into my driveway I almost drive my car into an extremely ginormous hole that has been newly dug in my driveway. It apparently used to be the resting place of a large Mulberry Tree that has resided there for many years. I can't even recollect a tree being there before..."how can I not rememeber a Large Mulberry Tree that was planted next to my driveway for the past 5 years?" Further more who dug it up, but more importantly why wasn't the hole filled back in? As I back up my car from the edge of this ginormous hole I find a new parking spot for my car. As I walk across the rock driveway my subconscience reminds me that I am wearing 3 inch spiked heals. I switch to walking on my tip toes and try to balance the weight of my computer laptop bag, my cell phone and the 32 oz McDonalds ice tea in my hands as I carefully traverse against the unevenly shaped rocks beneath my very expensive and way to high, dress shoes.
10 steps into the door I see the Leaded Crystal Vase with the most perfect curves that would put any Rolls Royce to shame, it is centered perfectly on my very worn Oak Dining table. The long stemmed ivy green stems are standing perfectly upright with only their thorns to distrupt their perfect beauty. The delicate velvet red petals are slightly opened as if lovingly smiling down on all that walk by. My breath hitches for a moment as I reval in the thought of receiving such a gift. My subconsious slowly rememebers a poem that I had to memorise in one of my English classes...
A rose can say I love you and want you to be mine,
A rose can say I thank you for being so very kind,
A rose can say congratulations, whatever the occasion may be,
A rose can say I miss you and wish you were here with me,
A rose can say I'm sorry if I've hurt you in any way,
A rose can say get well soon, May God bless you today,
A rose can say I wish you happiness, and the best for you each day.
A rose can say farewel when someone goes away,
A rose can say hello, I'm thinking of you today,
There's just so many wonderful things that a rose can say,
A rose can say goodbye when a love one is laid to rest,
No matter what there is to say, a rose can say it best.
My subconscience and I are fondly rememebering our High School days when all of the sudden Raygen interupts my pleaseant thoughts. "Don't you just love the Roses Kyle bought for me today?" "Ummmmm, yes love they are so delicatly beautiful, you are so lucky to have such a warm and thoughtful boyfriend who loves you so much!" I exclaim in my most loving mommy voice, trying so hard not to show the dissapointment of the realization that the glorious flowers standing perfectly upright in the Leaded Glass Vase are not for me.
But really "WHAT WAS I THINKING ANYWAYS!"
I am so happy that my daughter has found someone that takes such wonderful care of her heart and loves her for everything that she is. He is a true gift to her and I am one lucky mom to know she is being taken care of so well! I love you Raygen and Kyle!
BREAKING NEWS: BRITTNEY HENSLEY and her brilliant team of young environmental scientist proves they have what it takes to catapult their ARIZONA ENVIROTHON WIN for the NATIONAL TITLE.
AAEC Team Captain, Brittney expressed enthusiastically, “We’re going to play our A game [at Canon Envirothon in Pennsylvania] and take the whole thing.”
Brittney added, "my strength is water ecology (aquatic ecology is her planned career), Brandon is best in wildlife, Yorke is good in economics and wildlife and a good team player, Bethany was the leader on NPS pollution and Maggie was good in wildlife."
To say the HENSLEY FAMILY is proud of their young scientist and astute team leader is an understatement! "Brittney has worked so hard to prepare her team for this competition, remarks her proud Mama, Lisa Hensley [currently on a photography assignment on the exotic island of Koh Samui, Thailand]. Lisa quickly added, "If there was ever a time to put ARIZONA on the map, it is now, as these bright science students have proven they definitely have what it takes to win the NATIONAL TITLE!"
In the meantime, you can read their entire story below:
ARIZONA AGRIBUSINESS AND EQUINE CENTER HIGH SCHOOL WINS
A team of charter high school students who focused on using buffer zones to prevent water pollution for a hypothetical future housing development captured the 2012 Arizona Envirothon championship Saturday at Horseshoe Ranch near Cordes Junction, Ariz. The team from Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center High School – Paradise Valley will compete against other state and provincial champions for the Canon Envirothon championship in July.
Twelve Arizona teams demonstrated their expertise in field science skills and problem solving to address how best to develop an area while minimizing nonpoint source pollution (pollutants that originate from multiple sources, but combined can have an effect of the environment, including humans).
The five-student teams tested their environmental field skills on Earth Day at Horseshoe Ranch State Wildlife Area along the Agua Fria River on April 20-21. Other schools competing were from Glendale (Grace Christian Home Schoolers), Buckeye(Youngker HS), Tucson (University HS and Ironwood Ridge HS), Vail (Cienega HS), and Prescott (Tri-City College Prep).
Teams tested their skills in water quality assessment, hydrology, forest management, wildlife identification, ecology, agriculture, soil sciences, and waste management at sites along the Agua Fria River.
“Envirothon is one of the most rewarding programs that I have the privilege to work on,” said Rodney Held, Arizona Envirothon Executive Committee Chairman. “Over the past few years I have seen a tremendous improvement in the knowledge and skills that all students are bringing to the competition. This is especially exciting, as it indicates that Envirothon coaches are spending more time teaching about natural resources and preparing their students to deal with real world issues.”
The Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center students (Brittney Hensley, Bethany Patton, Brandon Reiser, Maggie Hanley and Yorke McGillivray) and coach Shelly Petersen will receive an expense-paid trip to represent Arizona against other state and Canadian provincial champions at the Canon Envirothon in July at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
Second place went to another Arizona and Cienega High School from Vail, Ariz. placed third.
Award winners for ecostation field testing skills were:
Soils & Land Use – 1st and 3rd AAEC teams, 2nd University High
Aquatic Ecology – AAEC, 2nd University High, 3rd Ironwood Ridge High
Wildlife & Forestry – 1st and 2nd AAEC teams, 3rd Cienega High
Rookie Team of 2012 – Ironwood Ridge High
Notable Quotes from 2012 Arizona Envirothon:
Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center High School (Paradise Valley, Ariz.)
“We’re going to play our A game [at Canon Envirothon in Pennsylvania] and take the whole thing.” Her strength is water ecology (aquatic ecology is her planned career), Brandon is best in wildlife, Yorke is good in economics and wildlife and a good team player, Bethany was the leader on NPS pollution and Maggie was good in wildlife.
Brittney Hensley, AAEC team captain
"All journeys lead to secret destinations
of which the traveller is often unaware."
I find this quote to be so fitting for me right now, I honestly had no idea the life transforming journey that was ahead of me when I was asked to accompany Mel Henderson, on her ESCPAESEEKER Reasearch assignment to Kamalaya Koh Samui Wellness Resort and Spa.
Kamalaya's creation is best described in this quote...
"Kamalaya's creation was inspired to bring together diverse traditions of healing, culture and spirituality in a nurturing environment from which people can explore and embrace life's infinate potential."
- John Stewart
- Chairman and founding partner of Kamalaya
As my alarm went off this morning, I was keenly aware of the excitement that was pulsating thru every cell in my body. Today is the first day of my Wellness experience at Kamalaya, I guess I could honestly say I was a little nervous as well.
I am nervous at the prospect of learning new terms such as Trikonasana - the Triangle, Warrior I I - Virabhadrasana II, Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana & Mountain - Tadasana. I have never done Yoga before, you know those commercials where there is your Good Self on one shoulder and your alter ego on the other? Well, my Alter Ego was working on me double time today.
As I adjust my Buckwheat Pillow under my head and pull my Luxury Duck Down Comforter slightly over my shoulders more...I try to decide if perhaps I shall start my Wellness Program on Thursday. I am after all not excited about climbing out of my luxurious bed to send my body into shock while the 19C temperature chills my body and causes it to contract my small involuntary muscles, errector pili thus creating goose bumps. I think it is written somewhere that you should always crank that Thermostat as low as possible while staying overnight at a Hotel. I heard once or maybe I studied it in a magazine that Women sleep much better in a room with a chilled temperature of at least 19-24c (Since I am in Thailand, I only feel it fitting to use their terms of measurement, if your reading this post you have google and can figure out how to convert it...don't you just love having vasts amount of knowledge at your finger tips?")
Well long story short my Good Self won and me and my Alter Ego climbed out of our toasty warm bed into the frigged cold of my Villa Suite and found our way to my open air "Sauna Room" that is called my Indoor/Outdoor Bathroom. You definitely don't spend a very long time in there as it about 40c with around 65% humidity. So needless to say I didn't stay cold for long.
With my teeth brushed and my brand new Asics tied on my feet I head out the door with a renewed smile on my face and gratefulness in my heart as I head down to Yoga Hall. Perhaps a better description should have been, up 400 flights of stairs at a 90 degree incline. I am already tired and I have only climbed 50 of those steps so far, I turn to Mel and say "I thought I was in really good shape before we came here, I am just exhausted and out of breath. I explain embarrassed..."it must be the Elevation?" She turns to me and smartly replies "Lisa, I believe we are at Sea Level!" Don't you just hate when you have no excuses to use and are forced to suck it up and just "keep on trekking?"
"390, 391, 392, 393, 394...400!" Please don't think that I am joking in any way about the amount of stairs we climb up and down every day. They want you to think that it is actually the freshly mowed wheat grass that is being cut every morning outside of my window at 4:00 AM that is juiced every morning for breakfast (Wheat Grass Shots) and presented to us in tiny little shot glasses that are oh so cute and enticing, that are helping us to detox and loose weight. But I really know it is the heat, humidity and those ridiculously steep stairs that we traverse every hour.
We finally arrive at our HATHA Yoga Class (which is 400 flights of stairs above Sea Level I remind Mel)...5 minutes late mind you and roll out our mats, gather our block and a long strap that "I would like to tie around the idiot who put all of those stairs in between my Rock Top Villa Suite and the Yoga Pavilion." With Yoga accessories gathered I try really hard to follow along and not call any unwanted glances in my direction. We flow thru all of our poses (not to be confused with Flow Yoga, which I will be attending tomorrow morning) in about 55 minutes and finish off with my favorite position of the class, it is called the Shavasana (corpse pose)...
(one of the many massage huts that over look the Sea)
" It is one of the best relaxation poses and if practiced correctly and with full efforts, can relax every body part, relaxing not only the body but also the mind."
I might have even fallen asleep for a few minutes as the other women were in a different pose when I opened my eyes. I gently reminded all that it did require the use of 400 steps to get to the class in the first place, and it was my first class after all. I have decided that I really enjoyed the class, it felt so good to stretch all of the muscles in my body and to connect myself to Mother Earth. I think I will definitely be attending classes with my Yoga Buddy Ce Ce when I get back home to Arizona.
Tomorrow, I shall tell you about my next appointment at the Wellness Sanctuary where I had a Body Bioimpedance Analysis (BIA). There was some good news and some bad news, some crying and a custom tailored Wellness Program just for me based off of my test BIA test results. "Has my Pa-leo diet really done what it had promised in the books I have read, am I healthy, am I dehydrated, are my cells full of energy?" It amazes me how many thoughts can run thru ones head while a little white piece of paper is inked in a printer with all of your test results on it. I try to read her face while she is writing numbers down and scribbling all over the paper. "How am I supposed to read what it says with all that scribbling on it, this can't be good!" She tells me I way 55 killos, this means nothing to me becuase I was scribbling on my paper, and checking out how cute the boy in the chair next to me was, when my 5th grade math teacher was telling me what to multiply kilo's by to convert to lbs. Curse you TMobile for not allowing me to have an affordable International plan...if I had my cell phone I could have googled that information, knowing in an instant if I too was happy with that Kilo measurment....
story continues tomorrow...
A Big Decision
Every so often, a series of events seem to occur & force me to stop what I am doing & really think about my intentions. I am having one of those moments. It started last week while I was laying in the grass of someone’s home that I truly wished I owned. It was a Victorian Cottage that looked just like a dollhouse, I once wanted as a small child. The thoughts continued to rush thru my mind as I watched children playing with their parents in a Park later that afternoon. I came to the realization that almost 22 years ago my first child was born and then 2 years later another one, and then 2.5 years later one more. For those first 6 years of being a parent, I think all I thought about was how excited I would be when Bre could crawl or when Raygen could hold her own bottle on her own. Then when Brittney was born all I could think about was how nice it was that Bre would be starting Pre-school that year and I would only have two of them at home with me. I remember thinking how happy I was I got the three of them to bed at night and how that was the best part of the whole day. Please don’t get me wrong I loved my babies, I loved everything about being a mom. I was fulfilling a life long dream, however I think I spent more time thinking about “when they were going to be capable of this or that” then I did enjoying each moment of their precious lives.
I went on to have 3 more beautiful daughters who are now 13, 11 and 9. Samantha will be graduating from 8th Grade this year and Gracen will be starting Jr. High. I never got to be at home with the younger 3 girls. I have been working for the better part of the last 12 years at a Real Estate Office. I never got to attend very many class parties, never attended any PTO meetings or sold cupcakes at their Bake Sales. I come home after work and cooked dinner and helped with homework. On the weekends it is all about cleaning and running errands (but only if I didn't have a Photo Shoot) that I couldn’t do during the week because I am working. I feel as though I am just a part time parent silently going thru the motions.
My oldest daughter is now living on her own and my 2nd oldest not too far behind her. Brittney will be leaving for College next year after she graduates from High School. That only leaves a few years left with Samantha until she graduates from High School in 4 years and Gracen & Jayden are just about ready to enter the phase where they hate mom.
Wow, how did 22 years of parenting just fly by like that? I spent so much time wishing away their childhood and now it is gone and I want it back! I want to play in the park again with BreAnna and listen to her beautiful laughter. I want to spend more time at the Zoo with Raygen and watch her eyes light up when she sees all of the animals. I want to sit on the floor and read with Brittney and watch her little expressions as she tries to figure out the story line.
All of these thoughts are weaving thru my brain and forcing me to think about things differently than I have before. Because I only have a few years left with my 3 little girls before they leave my arms and venture out into the world on their own.
I have been trying hard to work 3 jobs, to stay on top of all of my obligations and in doing so I have neglected the most important role I have, the role of Motherhood!
Over the last few days I have clarified exactly what it all means to me. My family must come first & I have made some pretty conscious decisions lately to let some opportunities go, because I am afraid that my family would pay the price. As for my photography business I have decided shut it down. It turned into something that I just loved to do as a hobby into something that stole time from my family. I need to find a way for it to be my little place of happiness again. Something I can do to express my appreciation for the world that God created for us. Photography is such a passion for me, I see the beauty in everything around me. It makes it so much sweeter when I can actually capture it in an image and make that moment mine forever. I have found that I am starting to resent that little black camera in the corner of my bedroom and I never want to feel that way again. Hopefully some time apart from each other will be good for us.
So to everyone that has supported me up until this point I want to say thank you! Thank you for your love, thank you for building me up, thank you for making me feel as if I was an important part in your life for that small amount of time we spent together.
If I could share just one piece of advice to all of my fans, please remember that each moment we have with our families and friends is a precious gift. Children leave our lives to quickly; moments pass without a care in the world and relationships change in a moment’s time.
Enjoy life, enjoy every moment and give every second you are given “your full attention!”
I love each and every one of you!!!!
So 2 weeks ago I got a call from an old friend and past Co-worker inquiring about hiring me to do a photo shoot for him and his wife. It was their Anniversary and he wanted to surprise her with a Couples Shoot. I was so impressed at his love and thoughtfulness for her, men think we "women" are so complicated! When in reality we are really "Simple", it only takes a few thoughtful gestures such as this one to bring us to tears...that is "tears" of JOY! He had asked me if I had ever shot at the Lake by our house...oh that is when the panic set in! Not only was it a very special GIFT...but in a location that I had never shot at before. Of course I have been to the Lake thousands of times, but I was only ever looking for a place to park my boat or to set up camp along the shoreline for a day trip! After some pre-scouting and on the tip of a good friend and fellow Photographer we managed to find the perfect location! Boat Docks, Mountains, Saguaro Cacti and an amazing shore line were definitely going to make for some spectacular photos! All I was in need of was some fluffy clouds, a spectacular Sunset and my couple! To say the least I was not disappointed, well I didn't get my clouds but the joy and love that these two showed thru-out our photo-shoot, brought a smile to my face! Thank you Greg and Erin for reminding me that "Engaged" couples aren't the only ones that can "ROCK" a couples session!
My daughter Brittney Hensley is going to be a Senior this year...she is the most amazing and gifted child and I am so blessed to have earned the title of "MOM".
She will graduate with 39 college credits and currently has a 3.7 College GPA. She is an Author, Singer, Christian, Big Sister, Little Sister, Aunt, Student, Mentor and Daughter! This year she is required to do a Senior Project on something that she is passionate about, well right now she is passionate about the enviornment and how invasive species are killing our streams and creeks. My friend Jenny Hansen has offered to do a video for us and I am so excited to think of the possibilites that Brittney will have showcasing her passion on film.
It is no secret that Seniors and Babies hold a special place in my heart and I can't wait to see how this project can be incorporated into my photography and then turned into "Senior Project!" Thank Jenny from the bottom of my heart!
One Family can make a difference in so many people lives! You just have to get up and make it happen!
This is my Super Large Family, doing what they each do best!
Check out this video Jenny created for another wonderful young lady on Service. Because of this short documentary I want to go buy 10 boxes of Otter Pops and head out to our poorer neighborhoods and make some people [SMILE] This was called the "Shine" Project.
Have a blessed day everyone!
"The proper function of man is to live - not to exist." - Jack London
I read this great article last night and I thought I would share it with all of you in hopes you might enjoy today to its fullest!
Too often we go though life on autopilot, going through the motions and having each day pass like the one before it.
That's fine, and comfortable, until you have gone through another year without having done anything, without having really lived life.
That's fine, until you have reached old age and look back on life with regrets.
That's fine, until you see your kids go off to college and realize that you missed their childhoods.
It's not fine! If you want to truly live life, to really experience it, to enjoy it to the fullest, instead of barely scraping by and only living a life of existence, then you need to find ways to break free from the mold and drink from life.
Here are a few of my favorite ideas on living life to the fullest...come up with your own list and start working on it...
1) Love...Love family members, friends, anyone -- it doesn't have to be a romantic love. LOVE all of humanity, one person at a time.
2) Take chances. We often live our lives too cautiously, worried about what might go wrong. What do you have to lose?
3) Turn off the TV. How many hours do you waste away in front of that boob tube? How many hours do we have to live? Do the math, then unplug that darn TV.
4) Rediscover what is important. Take an hour and make a list of everything that's important to you. Now cut that list down to the top 4-5 things. This is what matters, focus on these little things. Make time for them.
5) Be positive! Learn to recognize the negative thoughts you have. Then stop yourself when you have these thoughts, and replace them with positive thoughts. You can do this!
6) Get Outside. This is my most favorite of them all...Don't let yourself be shut indoors. Go out when it is raining. Take a walk on the beach. Hike through the woods. Go someplace you have never been and explore. Bask in the sun. Just get out there and have fun!
7) Open your heart. Is your heart a closed bundle of scar tissue? Learn to open it, have it ready to receive love and to give unconditionally.
8) Exercise. Get off that couch, or out from in front of that computer and at least go for a walk! Whatever you decide to do, get active, and you'll love it!
9) Create a morning or nightly ritual. I am a moon child, I prefer to be up late at night. For me my renewal starts at sunset, there is just something so spiritual about a sunset! For you it might be the sunrise, whichever you prefer...welcome the day or night with prayer, solitude or thankfulness. Tell yourself that each day is a gift and it is not to be wasted!
10) Just eliminate everything else. What's going on in your life that's not on that short list? All that stuff is wasting your time, pulling your attention from what's important. As much as possible, simplify your life by eliminating the stuff that's not on your short list, or at least minimize it!
This article was taken from www.dumblittleman.com I love his blog and try to read from it everyday. Check him out and see if you enjoy him too!
And because one of my most favorite things to do to live life to it's fullest is to watch the sunset...I wanted to share an image with you that I captured last night! I hope you got to enjoy it as well!
Photography is such an outlet for me, I love the way light can reflect off an object and it can completely change your perspective, in an instant! I love how a couple gazes into each others eyes and for a second they become one! I love how a mother looks when she holds her newborn in her arms for the first time! I love that all of these types of moments can be forever preserved to remind of us of how lucky we are, every time we look at "that" image hanging on the wall.
While flipping through some old photo albums the other day, I found my Senior Photo that was taken by the local School Photographer. I was so sad to think that the creative options that are available to today's teens weren't even an option when I was a senior! We didn't have "skins" available for laptops or cell phones, we didn't have "wall riders" and we didn't even have slide shows!!! Just the boring Cap and Gown photos...although I "rocked" my Cap and Gown photo!
I loved taking Coury's Senior Photos, she is so cute and her smile is contagious! She brought some fun outfits, her amazing personality and her equally gorgeous Mom to her shoot! I was so glad to have the extra set of hands to work the reflector and keep an eye on my gear! She was an amazing Assistant and I am thinking of hiring her full time!
Even with 300 little kids running around, 98 degree temperature, no water and full sun, Coury wasn't fazed! She just kept on smiling and in my opinion "Rocked" our Photo Shoot!
Congratulations Coury on your 2011 upcoming Graduation I am quite sure you are going to have a bright future ahead of you!
Doesn't she just have the most infectious smile ever! Oh and those Brown Eyes are just Beautiful!
Press Play to see some more of Coury's Photo Shoot
...if you or someone you know are need of Senior Portraits please refer them to my website!
I love this Senior, she brought so much Attitude and Personality to her Photo Shoot! She made me smile, laugh and brought me back to my own Senior Days. I wish her the best in life and I know with her amazing personality she will go very far! Congratulations Bailee!!!
Click on this link below to view Bailee's Slide Show
(The information on this announcement is not real, it is just to show the potential of an open house card! This could be for a Senior Party, the Announcement to Graduation or simply to just announce the Graduation or as you see it here as an Open House Invitation)
I still have openings for Senior Shoots if you are interested please contact me via email at email@example.com