Odds and Ends, Praises, Traveling

Anthony and Kameko’s Wedding Decor

I just wanted to share some more photos of the beautiful wedding decor and setting for the festivities. This gives you an idea of the set up, with the vertical lines on the left where the chairs were set up for the ceremony and the tables for the reception on the larger lawn to the right.


When I ordered the white paper lanterns, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them but the tree near where the guests sat was the perfect backdrop for them.

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They look so pretty in the photos of people walking down the aisle!

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After the ceremony, the chairs were moved around the tables that were already set up underneath the icicle lights.

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As the wind kept knocking down the table centerpieces, we just ended up laying the greenery in the center of the tables (they are still standing in the photo below).

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Under the lanai, we set up the drink station, guest book station, favor table and appetizer/dessert table. (The dinner buffet was set up inside the house.)

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Instead of a guest book, there were wooden hearts for the guest to sign and place into a frame. So cute!

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Kameko made little pots of succulents from her grandma’s garden for take-home gifts for locals and Hawaiian honey pots for those that were traveling.

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This photo from later in the week shows the pretty lights that Carl hung around the lanai. The pool fence and patio tables/chairs had been moved to open it up. I also bought a box of floating candles to place in the pool during the reception.


Everything was really so beautiful and we couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out.

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I have to admit that when Anthony and Kameko were still transplanting succulent pots on the morning of the wedding or when they were shopping for her wedding ring on Saturday morning one-hour before picking the grandparents up from the airport or when they were having her wedding dress altered on the Friday before the wedding, I had my doubts. When Carl and I were driving those 10 and 12-foot cemented posts sticking out of our rental van at 8pm at night down the winding, country road out to the wedding house on Friday night before the wedding, I had my doubts. When we placed the first bucket with the post on the ground and it promptly fell over due to the uneven ground, I had my doubts. When Carl was out there for hours and hours trying to get the lights just right and prevent them from toppling onto the heads of our guests, I had my doubts.

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But in the end, everything came together perfectly. It turned out beyond our expectations and was the most beautiful, lovely wedding we could imagine.

Congratulations on a job well done, Anthony and Kameko!

Florida Life, Odds and Ends, The Family

Summer Fun

Hello? Are you there?  I thought that I’d take a break from floating around my swimming pool with my Kindle and a cool cocktail to share some random summer tidbits.

We have been enjoying a lot of time in the pool this season. We have been trying to invite various friends over each weekend, including hosting about 20 friends from our church home group this past weekend. I failed to get any photos then but this was our home group after we won our church’s “Summer Spiritual Olympics” by completing various tasks to earn points during the month of June (such as listening to sermons, reading the Bible, volunteering as a home group, sharing the gospel, etc). IMG_8992

Those two girls in the red and black shirts were carrying our team, earning about 500 points each week, determined to win the Gold Medal. I’m glad for their sake that we did because they definitely earned it!

I love my husband’s servant heart. Carl spent one whole Saturday helping friends move into their new house and he even dragged Zack along.


Carl even took another day off of work to help at Youth Camp one day. Part of youth camp including hosting a Vacation Bible School for inner city kids for three afternoons.


Don’t worry, he has found time to enjoy himself when he’s not serving others. He enjoyed a day excursion to Pompano Beach for some scuba diving and saw some ship wrecks and lots of sea life.


For Independence Day, we drove down to our neighbor’s beach house for the day for lots of relaxing by the pool and catching up. We even made Zack come and hang out with us all day and rewarded him with a cocktail or two.


Afterwards, we were able to watch some fireworks on our friend’s, John and Michelle, dock on the river.


After having Zack drive around without a door handle for the past 6 months, Carl finally went to a junk yard and found a replacement and taught Zack how to install it. Way to go guys!


I hope that you all are enjoying your summer. Back to the pool now!

Florida Life, It's About Me, Odds and Ends, The Husband

The Socialites

We’re famous….we made the newspaper!


Granted, it was just the local Resident Community News but we’ll take any press we can get!

Scan2It was interesting to see the 100-year old Casa Marina Hotel and all the cool, old photos lining the hallways but the event itself was kind of lame. Mainly because there was hardly any food and what they did have was eaten in a matter of minutes. But we are always happy for a night out together checking out new places (to us) in Jacksonville. Thanks Jaguars for these fun experiences!



It's About Me, Odds and Ends


Recently, I kept seeing an ad that caught my eye on Facebook for a company called Chatbooks.


Chatbooks will automatically upload all of your photos from your targeted social media account and create full-color 6-inch square books with 60 photos each for just $8 each.

The covers of my books.

It even includes the captions and dates for each photo if you want (or you can exclude them if you don’t want them).


First you create and order your Chatbooks Series using Facebook, Instagram, or your Favorites from your Camera Roll. Then every time 60 new photos load to that photo source, a new Volume in your Series Subscription is created. You’ll get an email notifying you when you have three days left to edit your new Chatbook before it gets printed and shipped. You pay only $8 and the shipping options are: Slow & Free, Quick & Trackable, or Fast & Spendy.

This is another fun way to document our family life. My new books look great on the shelf with my other blog books and special books that I have created.


I’m so grateful to have all of these special ways to collect my photos and stories for my family.

It's About Me, Odds and Ends, The Husband

Dance Recital Season

  • It’s that time of year again! For those that don’t know…my husband and I have been videotaping dance recitals for the past 11 years. We used to tape weddings and funerals/memorial services and create celebratory photo slideshows as well but we’ve gotten away from those events since we get more bang for our buck with dance recitals.
  • When living in MN, we did the annual recital for three different studios. After our move to Florida, last year Carl flew back to MN for all three dance recitals. However, since one studio was always difficult to work with, we decided to drop it after last year so we are down to two MN studios.
  • Last fall, I sent out promotional information to dance studios in the Jacksonville area and picked up a new studio to replace the one we dropped. Yay…God is good!
  • Carl went to MN on Mother’s Day weekend for the first recital. Since he was returning the first weekend of June for the other MN recital and the last recital in JAX wasn’t scheduled until Father’s Day, he left all of our equipment there. And then Friday, I got a call for a second recital in JAX…and it’s next Monday. Great!! God is good again. However, I suddenly realized we have no equipment. Kelly was gracious enough to pick it up for us and is sending it via Fed Ex this week. Crisis adverted.
  • For the past four years, I have suffered with horrible computer issues that have made me hate video editing. So three years ago, I bought a new computer for personal/bookkeeping use, reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled the operating system and video editing software on the powerhouse editing computer that I had. And I still had the same issues. Arghhhhh! This year, after again trying to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the operating system, the computer finally told me that there was a problem with the hard drive. After a quick trip to Best Buy for two new hard drives (one for operating system and one for the video data) for a mere $100 total, my system is finally running like the champ it was always meant to be. I am so relieved. I had considered dropping $3,000-4,000 on a new Mac computer system to finally be done with these issues and for $100 my problems have all been resolved. God is extremely good!! I just wish I had known it was a hard drive issue 4 years ago to save me years of aggravation but I really am just grateful that things are finally working again.
  • If you need me, I’ll be sitting in front of the computer working on dance recitals for the next month :).
Odds and Ends

Home Sweet Home

  • The bad part of having company up until the day you leave and then leaving yourself right after New Year’s is coming home to a still-decorated Christmas house. Thankfully, my sweet husband removed the ornaments from the Christmas tree and took down a bunch of decorations (placing them all on the dining room table), making my clean-up job a lot easier.
  • I’m happy to report that Christmas is put away and the house is all clean and shiny again.
  • The other bad part of having company up until the day you leave and then leaving yourself right after New Year’s is coming home to piles of dirty sheets, bath towels and beach towels from the previous two weeks of guests.
  • I’m happy to report that the 4 loads of laundry are done and everything is put away.
  • I’m grateful that the local grocery store, Winn-Dixie, accepts Apple Pay and that I had it set up on my iPhone. So yesterday when I forgot my wallet at home on the counter, I was still able to pay for the groceries that I just spent 30 minutes selecting.
  • Speaking of grocery shopping, do you realize that when you are eating low-carb, you rarely need to venture from the perimeter of the grocery store? I can buy 85% of what I need from a quick lap around the outside walls…produce, deli, meat, dairy, eggs and I’m done. No aisle walking for me.
  • After taking off of work from December 22nd until my return from Arizona on January 10th, I am now working my “steady job” every Monday and Wednesday until further notice to get caught up and begin working on tax preparation. Two whole days a week of getting up, showered, dressed and out-of-the-house before 8:30am!! How will I cope?
  • Zack is working 4 nights this week from 5pm until 10pm and then again on Saturday. We are THRILLED to see him being a productive member of society and not sitting in front of his XBox every waking moment. He isn’t complaining and seems to enjoy having spending money which immediately burns a hole in his pocket. Luckily we are taking half his earnings and putting them aside for him to teach him some self-discipline and budgeting.
  • Winter has arrived in Florida, finally. It’s dropped down to the 50s/60s and I am currently wearing socks and long-sleeves. Brrrrr! It will be back up to 70 by the weekend so luckily I don’t have to tough it out for too long.
  • That is all.