Hey there friends, I have been staring at the last post for much too long and I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, so here’s a little sumthin’ for your summer inspiration.
I know, it’s way past time to bring out the summer decorations. It will be Independence Day next week, after all! Can I confess that I still have my Easter decorations on my branch in the living room? Yowzah! Hopefully, I can switch them out for summer decor this weekend.
Things have been quite buzy around here with a bunch of changes happening, as well as more on the horizon. Sadly, my time to concentrate on the transitions are limiting my time to post. No worries though, there will be more news and posting to come.
In the meantime, here are a few photos of my Summer Centerpiece. I happen to use mine in the guest bath. Yes, a centerpiece in the bathroom! As you know I try to trick myself into believing that I live near the water, especially in these hot summer months when our temperatures are consistently in triple digits (this week it was up around 113 degrees F)!
I keep this simple centerpiece in the bathroom where I get ready every morning. It fills my mind with memories of sandy beaches, coastal breezes and the sound of waves lapping on the shore. Which reminds me…I may have a chance to visit my little hometown on Lake Erie in September and I can’t wait to walk on the beach and hear the sounds of the waves as I drift off to sleep! I never realized what a blessing it was to live just steps from the shore until recently.
For this fun candle arrangement, just find a rustic container, fill it with sand, shells, a candle (or 3) and things that remind you of summer. Try one yourself and post a link here so we can all see it?
Thank you everyone for all your support in helping me raise the funds for my upcoming trip to the Arab World!
With your financial gifts, as well as your donations of items for our yard sale, the Lord brought in enough to cover all of my trip expenses, and then some! I was able to pass along the extra monies to the Global Training Institute to assist others in the group who hadn’t reached their fundraising goal yet.
We had a great yard sale, even though it was over 100 degrees last weekend. Thanks to all of you who donated items for us to sell…you know who you are. Special thanks to Terry and Diane for getting up before the crack of dawn to help set up and sell and to Chuck for helping to put stuff away in 100+ degrees. This is what the garage looked like before we moved everything out to the driveway for the sale last Saturday.
We had a steady stream of folks on Saturday despite the heat so I didn’t have time to take any photos after things got started. And although there were less visitors on Sunday, we still had some good sales.
On Sunday we set up our cashier’s table in a shady spot right by the front door of the house. The quiet pace made it almost relaxing. The income from both days were a huge addition to the fundraising goal. Thank you!
Shredder even decided to come out and hang with us for a while. She couldn’t quite decide if it was too hot to lay in the sun. In this shot she’s right next to my chair, half in and half out of the sun.
Also if anyone’s interested we still have a lovely 18 place-setting set of 1961 vintage Kayson’s Golden Rhapsody china for sale. It has lots of extras and serving pieces as well. You’ll see vintage china like this being used for the latest wedding or baby showers or even a wedding reception! For more photos and info visit my ad on Craig’s List
When I sell them, I’ll be putting the funds in savings to start an account for future short term missions trips, with the hope that the Lord will allow me to go again sometime.
Thank you again to all of you for your support financially, through yard sale donations and your continued prayer and encouragement for the trip.
By the way, GTIW is still raising funds to pay for the travel and training expenses of the women from the Arab World that will be attending the sessions. You can still donate here.
Have you ever been touched by the vision and goals of a particular non-profit and struggled with the fact that you didn’t have the money to write them a big check? I have. I’ve also wondered what I could do with my life and limited resources to help so many of the worthy causes that I encounter.
Early in our marriage, when our growing family was trying to stretch every penny I realized that in many cases my time and talents were just as important as my dollars. It was then that I committed to give a portion of my time, gifts and talents to serve and assist at church and various non-profits that were close to my heart. It was and still is the LEAST I can do!
With that in mind, a few years ago I was given the opportunity to go on a short-term missions trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina through our church. Short-term missions was something that I had always wanted to do. I love to travel and love to help people, but circumstances had prevented it in the past. Now God was opening the door for me to be able to “Travel with Purpose“. My first trip was with my husband and another couple and because of my photography hobby I was asked to participate on the trip using that skill set. I had the privilege of:
documenting all the details of the outreach and ministry on the trip in pictures to share with others when we returned
taking photos of the children that were sponsored by our church so that their sponsors in the U.S. could see how they were coming along
taking photos of a missionary family, along with their home, neighborhood, church etc. so we could report on their progress to those supporting them at home – Soon after our visit they had to return to the U.S. unexpectedly for medical reasons and the photo book that I was able to create was a tangible reminder of their time serving in Bosnia.
What a thrill it was to be able to contribute out of my gifting! If you’d like to see a few of my favorites, you can check them out at Flickr here.
And it didn’t stop there! Last year I was working part time with a non-profit called Greater Reach Ministries (now Global Training Institute for Women – GTIW). They were in the planning stages of a training program that reaches around the planet to unleash influential women to impact their world. They were embarking on a vision trip to Israel & Jordan to meet with women and discover how GTIW might come alongside them to assist with encouraging, training, empowering, and releasing women to be all that they were created to be. Again, I was invited to join the team! I was so excited to be able to help with documenting the women and the culture in those countries so that we could bring back images to help convey the message of the ministry and the needs in the Arab world! And here’s a link to some of my favorites from this trip.
Now I have a new opportunity! This same ministry, GTIW will be conducting their first training session in May of this year in the Middle East and I’ve been asked to come along. This time I will document the sessions in pictures, as well as assisting the Team Mobilization Director with the many logistical and administrative tasks that will be involved in bringing the training team from the U.S. and about 20 women from 5 different Arab countries to the training location overseas. The photos will be used to raise awareness and funds for future training sessions and my administrative support should help this first session to run smoothly while lightening the load for the Director. I’m so thrilled at the chance to use what God has given me to help others.
How about you?
Have you found ways to use your gifts and talents to help where the need is greatest? Or perhaps you’ve been blessed with the financial resources to help others. We were not all meant to do the traveling. Some of us have the opportunity to help others fulfill their vision by responding financially. Is that your contribution to furthering these noble causes? If so, I would love for you to consider a gift to help me travel to the Middle East. My financial goal is only $2700 and $1000 has already been raised. This brings me almost halfway to my goal. Would you be willing to contribute $5, 50 or even $500? Every dollar really does count! None of it goes into my pocket. And the donations are tax deductible since GTIW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit!
If you’d like to help pay for the expenses of the trip, please go to the GTIW Support Page here and select my name (Nancy Hann) from the team member drop-down menu. Or if you’d rather mail a check, it should be made out to Global Training Institute for Women (or GTIW is fine), butPLEASE include my name in the address on your envelope or on a separate piece of paper so we know whose account it should be credited to:
8283 N. Hayden Road, Suite # 258
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Thank you so much for considering a contribution. Every little bit helps. Feel free to come back and see the progress on the blue thermometer in the sidebar!
Have you had a chance to “Travel with Purpose”? Where did you go and what did you do? I’d LOVE to hear about it!
Fun huh? Add this to your bookmarks or blog reader so you can come back anytime! If you have the old URL bookmarked it should redirect to the new one too.
Plus, in celebration of my new URL and Blog name, I’m giving away a”Tourist of Life” treasure box! Just a few things that you’ll need to be a Tourist of Life.
2 boxes of sparklers – what’s a celebration without sparklers?
1 mini suitcase filled with chocolates – So easy to fit in your carry-on and who doesn’t crave chocolate on a long trip?
1 spiral bound lined journal (8 1/2 “x 5 1/4”)- Isn’t this one a beauty inside and out! Spiral bound books are so easy to write in and great for documenting the details of your next trip.
And 3 cardstock luggage tags with travel themed graphics (there’s one on the top of the journal too). Add your contact information to the back, then get them laminated at your local print shop.
Maybe you’d like these for yourself or maybe you’d like to use them to fill a special someone’s Easter or Mother’s Day basket. I’ll be drawing the winner next Tuesday night, March 27th, from everyone who comments below. So…be sure to answer these two questions for a chance to win.
1. What is your most favorite place to visit and why?
2. Which of these countries (my most recent trips) would you like to learn about first? I just can’t decide where to start.
Just for fun, this is me having lunch at Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness in Scotland. It was taken by my daughter, Amy. Until I get around to posting it, you can find out more about our Scotland trip at her blog ThoseCrazySchuberts.com.
You can also find lots of tips and ideas for creative small businesses at Amy’s other site – LemonandRaspberry.com.
I promise I’ll start posting about my trips, so be sure to come back and see them. They were all so interesting… And don’t forget to come back on Tuesday or Wednesday to see who wins the treasure box!
Where have you traveled to lately? You don’t need to leave the country to enjoy a fun adventure.
I hope you had an extra special day with the ones you love! I hope you enjoy these photos of my Valentine Branch. Don’t you just love this sweet little owl. He was a gift from my friend, Sharon. The branch hangs in my living room throughout the year, all decorated for each season.
I also wanted to post a quick note to apologize for being MIA for a while. I didn’t realize how long it’s been. There’s so much to report and there has been so little time to report it.
This past weekend we were in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. It was the first time I’ve been there. The Catfish Hunters did a concert on Saturday night and we had a great time! Pictures to come soon.
More big news and probably a little bit of an excuse as to why I haven’t been on my blog too much. I just received in the mail the book that I created through Blurb.com! It was a (mostly) photo travel book about a trip that I was privileged to take to Israel and Jordan in October with a non-profit organization that I work with. The book is 12″ x 12″ and 200 pages (yes, you read that right). It turned out beautifully if I must say so myself! I’ll have pictures of that and a link soon too!
I also had the privilege of planning a celebration for a dear friend of ours…of course there are photos of that on the way too!
See, I really do have a few good reasons for not being online. Just sorry that it kept me away from all my friends here. See you soon. I promise.
It’s been a busy and somewhat non-traditional month for us. As you’ll see from these photos, there’s been a good amount of time spent with those we love, but somehow things were busy in other ways too.
We also went to the Musical Instrument Museum (the MIM) for our 34th wedding anniversary on Dec 9th, celebrated the holidays with a few of the non-profit groups that I work with and had a lovely evening with some other dear friends. All of those activities don’t have pics posted yet, but hopefully I’ll get to it.
I’m not quite sure how the month got away from me, but we didn’t decorate inside the house until December 19th which is VERY LATE for me! Originally we weren’t expecting to have any gatherings at our house this year, so I guess that gave me the freedom to put it off. Then we found out that we were hosting our family gathering, so I got busy and did a few things.
We still have at least one more celebration to come with our son, Kevin when he returns from being overseas in early January. That will be a special time to have him back home and in the U.S. hopefully for a very long time.
Here are links to a few photos that I’ve posted on Facebook over the last month. I hope you enjoy them! (Note: I was told that some of these links didn’t work for those that aren’t on Facebook, so I’ve updated them.)
I’m interrupting my stories about Scotland to celebrate my 600th post by doing a little catch up on what’s going on in my life at this moment.
Today I’m in downtown L.A. I’m here to attend BlogWorld Social Media Business Summit & New Media Expo (#BWELA)! I’m really excited about the avalanche of workshops that I will encounter over the next 3 days and can’t wait to get started sorting out which ones I’ll attend in person and which I’ll listen to after the conference.
BUT, before I dive into the conference I wanted to share a little of what inspired me today. You see, not so very long ago I lived in a suburb of L.A. In fact I lived just about 40 miles north of here for 18 years. And while we didn’t come into the “city” frequently, we did have a chance to enjoy the benefits occasionally. I’m not really a city girl, I’m fairly certain that I wouldn’t want to live here, but I love visiting. Something about the soaring skyline and bustling traffic energizes me. I get the feeling that important things are happening here. Deals are being brokered, historic decisions are being made and ideas emerge here that are changing the world.
These are just a few of the things that inspire me about L.A.:
Passing billboards about new TV shows and movies (do you see that in your town?)
Enjoying dinner outdoors in November
Landing on radio stations in 7 or 8 different languages
The city skyline – it’s breathtaking
Exit signs for Little Armenia, and Historic Filipinotown
Realizing that the Pacific Ocean is just minutes away.
Appreciating all the sculptures and great architecture in downtown
Remembering that they have an “all news-all the time” radio station (AM1070). I miss that.
Celebrating the fact that the L.A. Philharmonic plays regularly at two awesome venues – The Walt Disney Concert Hall (see below) and the Hollywood Bowl (one of my absolute favorites). I miss that too.
So here’s how my day went in this inspiring city…
I drove from the Burbank airport this morning and met my daughter and son-in-law for breakfast (which I don’t get to do nearly as often as I’d like). Amy and Andrew are a couple of inspiring people too, but that story will have to wait for another time. I enjoyed a few hours with them, then headed down to the hotel where I’ll be staying for the duration of the conference.
On the way there, I passed the AMAZING, Frank Gehry designed, Walt Disney Concert Hall just a few blocks from the hotel. After checking in, it was such a gorgeous day that I decided to walk there. If you’ve never seen it in person, you really should make a point to go. I would love to take a tour and would especially love to attend a performance there. I understand that the acoustics in the auditorium are nearly perfect. Another fun tidbit is that there’s a small theater and gallery space in one corner of the Hall, called REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater). I used to work at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) when REDCAT was being built and the staff and student body were anxiously awaiting it’s completion, so I have a bit of a vested interest in the place.
Anyway, here are a few photos of this awe inspiring complex.
The amazing thing is not so much imagining the building, but actually making it come to life with all those curves and waves. It’s spectacular!
While there I stopped in the gift shop because these places are just dripping with culture and creativity. I saw this great T-shirt and a bunch of other inspirational items, but it wasn’t really a shopping day for me, and I can’t really afford a $120 scarf no matter how beautiful it is, so I had to pass on all but a couple of little things that I picked up for Christmas gifts.
After dinner, I had a chance to go out and play a little with my camera and here’s a fun shot.
So now, it’s off to bed to rest up for 3 days of inspiration and information to come.
Have you ever been to Los Angeles? If not, what do you find inspiring about your own town?