Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A little Christmas Blessing

So, one of my absolute favorite things to do during the holidays is sponsoring a Guardian Ad Litem child for Christmas.  There is nothing I love doing more than searching for that perfect gift for the child that I've been given.  I may not have met this child, but for a small amount of time, I'm allowed to dote and "spoil" them in some small way. :)  I try to picture what their face will look like when they open my gift on Christmas morning.

I, myself, have been very fortunate in my life.  Growing up, I may not have gotten every single thing I asked for on my Christmas list to Santa, but I was very fortunate.  There are so many kids out there these days that aren't even having their NEEDS met, much less having any of their wants met.
I ask y'all, that this Christmas you take a moment to thank God for all your blessings and take the time to find some way that you can give back to those who might not have ever experienced the kind of Christmas that you have grown accustomed to.
I promise you, it will bless your heart.

I'm attaching a copy of the Guardian Ad Litem Sponsorship flier.  If you have any questions, or would like to sign up, please contact Jenni Ellis at jenni.ellis@gal.fl.gov.

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Contest Winner

So, y'all after a really hard decision...I've finally named a winner....but first, here were all the participants in my contest.  Remember, it was supposed to capture "what fall is to you."  I loved all of these entries :)

Chana’s Photo Description: This is fall to me..my baby in a pumpkin. Lol my first October as a mama :)
Chana’s little boy, Waylon, is the cutest thing ever.  Put him in a pumpkin and what do you have?  Absolutely-fricken-adorable!  And it was really sweet that this is what comes to her mind with Fall.  Her first year of motherhood.

Christy’s Photo: Chana submitted this photo for her sister. It was taken while she was on a walk in New Mexico.

Chana actually submitted this for her sister, Christy.  And this photo was spectacular.  I loved the landscape, and the colorful autumn trees.

Charon’s Photo Description: I think of the mountains, leaves changing colors, hunting season.....
Charon encompassed what comes to mind for so many around here.  For so many, hunting season and Fall are almost indistinguishable in their minds.  What a beautiful photo. 

Chris’ Photo Description: My “Fall” is Bird Hunting. I remember growing up my dad always had a bird dog: Fran was a German Short-Hair, Sue was a Black Lab (and mother of), Syd which was a yellow lab, and the last bird dog he had.
Chris...Chris always surprises me (always has, as we were coworkers for over 6 years).  When he said that he was going to submit something, I had no idea what to expect.  I loved the fact that bird hunting was what he thought of when he thought of Fall.  This was a really cool picture, I loved the dog :)

Lanie’s Photo Description: This is fall to me...fun,family,and fall leaves!!!=)

For those of you that haven’t gotten the pleasure of meeting Lanie...Lanie was a Chiefland girl that got married last year and moved to Alaska.  From everything she has posted, I am absolutely chomping at the bit to go.  But Alaska experiences Fall quite a bit earlier than we do here.  I thought this picture was beautiful, with all the colorful leaves in the background.  It completely caught the spunk of her three kids too!!  Such a fun family!
Whitney’s Photo Description: The air was crisp, I was an independent college grad with the world at my fingertips. For the first time in my life, I was completely confident in my own skin. I was free of a 'man' who was anything but that---and the hole in my heart was finally healed. My skin was flawless, my smile was contagious and SO real, my highlights were incredible. I was in Nashville - my favorite city, living my dream and truly happy, falling in love with the man I would marry three years later. The leaves......they were the prettiest I'd ever seen. And this me, the me in this picture? It's who I've been every fall since then. No matter what I look like, whether my hair is highlighted or not, if I'm in shape or out - - I am the girl in this picture eVeRy fall. It's my favorite time of year for one simple reason: I fell in love with it, it defined me, and I will never forget the way it made me feel.
This photo was gorgeous.  Whitney looks beautiful, and the leaves are gorgeous.  What really struck me was her description.  How could that not be inspirational?  I just loved it.

Quite possibly one of my all-time favorite photos in the history of ever, my friend Krystle submitted.  However, she asked that she not be part of the contest as it might seem biased if she won.  But let me tell you, this is my computer screen saver at the moment, and is absolutely a "muse" photo.  I love it.

So, who wins??

I loved all of these photos.  Every single one of them.  But quite possibly the one that inspired me the most, inspired me because of it's photo but also because of it's caption.  F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall."  With her caption and this photo it captured that for me.  With Fall, everything takes on a different tone, things take on a whole new vibrancy.  We take on different attitudes...and sometimes these new attitudes continue to last.
So, Whitney is the winner of this contest.

But, wait, there's more.  Each of those that took the time to enter will also receive "one of Aleta's favorite things."  Thank you so much for submitting.  I loved them all.  I truly did.