A New Camera and Birthday Happenings - Collage Friday


It's been a week of interesting highs and lows... but before I go into all of that let's start with something fun.

I bit the bullet and purchased a camera this week. 

It's actually my Christmas present from my husband - but I really wanted to have it before I leave for Ecaudor this Sunday. 

A lot of camera research was done before I bought this Canon Powershot. I wanted a camera that was better than my iPhone, but one that did NOT require a steep learning curve.

It needed to have WiFi connectivity and take great pictures.

I had set a budget for $400, but was pleasantly surprised that I could get what I wanted for about half that price.

Score. I love my Canon Powershot SX 510 HS. It has just enough for me.

Hopefully you will be seeing better pictures here on the blog. I've been playing with it all week (I was able to hook up the WiFi within 15 minutes - I was shocked it was so easy!) in the hopes that I'll be good at taking pictures in South America. 

Yikes! I just said "South America" - I'm VERY VERY excited about my trip with Operation Christmas Child

More about that later - there's a week to wrap up in collages, so let's go!

Bowling for a Birthday

My kids always have one friend over for their birthday - usually a sleepover or special time together.

A few times I've done birthday parties at home, but having a birthday party somewhere else was  HUGE treat this year for Grant.

He enjoyed an afternoon with 11 of his buddies - bowling, eating pizza and cake, and playing in the arcade.


It was so much fun! Most of the parents stuck around and we ordered extra pizza and enjoyed ourselves for the afternoon. 

I think the gift of choice this year is NERF guns. Grant now has quite the collection! Who knew they make NERF guns with revolving chambers that require batteries. My child was so excited he couldn't see straight.

He also got an awesome Z Tek Bow and Arrows

Life in my house this week was anything but DULL, that's for sure! 

Christmas School

With Grant's birthday this week and Anna's Challenge A midterms completed on Tuesday, we did very light Christmas schooling the rest of the week.

I mean, really light.

I'm so thankful for Professor Carol's online Advent Calendar, because that started each day for us. With this I felt like the kids were getting some good "meat" in their days, know what I mean?

Beyond that - just fun. 


One the most rainy and cold day I let the kids watch Elf and do melty bead ornaments. They made many more rubber band bracelets for the children in Ecuador, too.

I made them Crockpot Nutella Hot Chocolate (and yes, it's as good as it sounds!) and general laziness ensued. 

A Fun Day

We took Grant's actual birthday and spent it at Target (spending birthday money) and talking a long nature walk by a local lake. 

It was a good day. 


Sometimes there are things I can't write about in this space - things that might violate my family's privacy.

I can share with you, though, that someone dear to me is facing a difficult road ahead. We are entering a season that is going to be difficult and possibly very painful, yet I know God walks before me and WITH me every step of the way.

The blessings of so many people sending me rubber band bracelets for the children in Ecuador, the covering of prayer I have felt - all of these things are tangible evidence of God's love for me and all his children. 

There have been so many different emotions going on in my head this week - it's hard to put it all in words. And while I am often "Susie Sunshine" here on the blog, sometimes the everyday stressors of life and the bigger obstacles of life weigh on me. 

I covet your prayers as I travel on Sunday - I will be trying to keep my Facebook and Instagram updated, with a possible blog post while I am gone (but I'm not promising!). 

I'd love to hear about your week!!  How was it?  

Please join me for Collage Friday!

If you'd like to link, you can do so in a couple of ways:

  • Enter your link below. Be sure to link to your post with photo collages and link back to this post (or include the Collage Friday button on your blog).
  • Share your photo collage(s) on Instagram, FB, G+, or Twitter - use the hashtag #collagefriday so I can find you!