Looking up …

Filed under: bardenisms,family,friends,powerkidz,RAY,word of God — admin at 9:30 pm on Thursday, October 2, 2008

As most of you know – Jared and I work with the PowerKidz on Wednesday nights at church. PM works with the youth group, RAY. Last night her message was on mentors. I heard a few of the kids coming up to compliment her after the message and when we grabbed ice cream at McD’s I asked her about it. She said that she told the kids about the importance of mentors and had expressed her gratitude to her mentors, past and present. I didn’t even hear the message and I’ve been thinking about it.

I have a mentor. I’ll bet you can guess who she is. My dear Aunt L. My mom always used to joke that I must have been Aunt Lori’s kid and not hers. I credit a lot of my self confidence to Aunt L. I was a goofy kid – looks – personality – you name it – I was goofy. Aunt L always helped me to be proud of who I was. One of the most important things I remember her telling me was – Danielle – you can have a boyfriend any day of the week – all you have to do is lower your standards. I used to get bummed out about all my friends dating these cute guys that I wanted to date. L would always tell me that little snippet. She helped me have the self-confidence that is very rare at that age.

L used to be our youth group leader at church – when I was in 8th grade we signed True Love Waits cards. I remember that moment like it was yesterday – L talked about what signing those cards really mean – about the promise you are making to yourself, your future spouse, and to God. I wish I still had that card – but I had that reminder written on my heart. L took time to talk about the tough stuff with us – the things that might make you uncomfortable to talk about.

L is one of the biggest supporters of me and my journey to being a photographer. She has a God given gift with words. She wrote all the blurbs on my webpage – she even “helped” me write my editor-in-chief spot when I was in high school – and by “helped” I mean wrote. She researches for me – encourages me – pushes me – promotes me – supports me.

She started the TMJ Relief Fund – she sent out prayers and prayers for me. She wrote me encouraging notes – she believed with me that God would heal me.

She is a strong woman of God and a woman I can turn to when times are tough. She prays. She is outspoken. She is bold. She is a mother. A new grandmother. A wife. A daughter. A sister. An aunt. A friend. A teacher. She asks for help. She cries out to God.

She is one of the reasons that I am who I am today.

I encourage you to take a minute to think about your mentor – thank them – and remember that your mentor is preparing you for that day when someone turns to you and looks for advice – encouragement – love.

Thank you Aunt L.


Filed under: bardenisms,powerkidz,RAY,scenery — admin at 12:29 pm on Thursday, August 21, 2008





When the darkness closes in Lord …

Filed under: bardenisms,powerkidz,RAY — admin at 9:55 pm on Thursday, August 14, 2008

Still I will say –

Blessed be the name of the Lord – Blessed be Your name.




Filed under: powerkidz,RAY — admin at 9:53 pm on Thursday, August 14, 2008

Last night our PK moved up to RAY with PM. Jared had made the comment that we are sad to see them go but happy that they are in good hands. We have been doing PK since June of 2005 – and the kids that left last night have been with us since the beginning – which makes it harder to see them go.


We started the night with some worship songs and then Jared and I told a little about PK and how much it has meant to us to have these kids in our lives the past 3 years. They have changed our lives more than we can express. We prayed for the two (out of the four) that were with us and asked God to bless their paths.

PM then spoke about the seniors that she is saying goodbye to – and we prayed for the two that were with us and asked God to help their lights shine.


Jared and I wrote letters to the PK that are leaving us – which was something I put off until I couldn’t put it off anymore – it was emotional.

Then we had smores and some good quailty time together.




Strike a pose …

Filed under: powerkidz,RAY,strike a pose — admin at 12:46 pm on Friday, August 8, 2008





Practice …

Filed under: powerkidz — admin at 10:31 pm on Monday, July 14, 2008







Thankfully – I have a large group of wanna-be models to shoot at the moment. I think they have more fun than I do.


Filed under: powerkidz — admin at 10:05 am on Monday, July 7, 2008









Sisters …

Filed under: kiddos,powerkidz — admin at 3:19 pm on Saturday, June 28, 2008

I took this first shot a year ago –


This next one – last week …


Growing …

Filed under: kiddos,powerkidz,strike a pose — admin at 9:43 am on Friday, June 27, 2008