Filed under: babes,baby barden,bardenisms,family,holiday,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my family,my town,parties,RAY,word of God — admin at 12:29 pm on Monday, February 19, 2018

My mom has had this nativity for as long as I can remember – and she let us borrow it for our Christmas Eve service!

Our Christmas Eve service had cookies and hot chocolate and some cookies and fireworks and bonfires and cookies – did I mention the cookies!?

That guy – he wants to be a hunter like his Pa!

My bestest – she’s the bestest!

Those boys love their Mara!!

That gorgeous little guy – he’s super sweet!

That special bond between a grandmother and her little guy!

I love witnessing the world through a child’s eyes! Everything becomes so MAGICAL!

Enoch really didn’t LOVE the fireworks – he ended up inside – away from the BOOMS!

I hope your Christmas was spent with the ones you love – we LOVE our church family!


Filed under: RAY — admin at 10:09 am on Wednesday, July 15, 2009


On Thursday we went to Rock Run with the youth group – RAY!

The girls didn’t want to get in all the way – I can’t blame them ‘cus neither did I!


*K* wanted to jump at least 50 times throughout the day – he made it to 55 – complete with blue lips!



the 50th jump!




Mara – their fearless – and I mean FEARLESS – leader!




RAY sleepover.

Filed under: RAY — admin at 7:55 pm on Thursday, October 23, 2008

This past Friday night – PM was trying to figure out how to get the kids from RAY together for a wake-up time of 4:30 AM the next morning. They went to a Missions packing center. Jared and I had offered for the kids and her to stay the night at our place. We had PM – 2 boys – 3 girls – which meant a fight for the showers in the morning – 4:30 in the morning – not happening – so they just got them the night before. We tried to give *K* a mohawk but his sister made him fix it.


They got up at 4:30 AM all without making a peep – Jared and I woke up at 7 Saturday morning with no evidence that anyone was ever even here.

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.

Funtivities with PM …

Filed under: friends,RAY — admin at 8:55 pm on Thursday, September 4, 2008

Monday PM took RAY – the youth group – to Rock Run for some jumps and swimming. She asked Jared and I to come along.




Jared (after 1 jump) and *K* after 10 jumps.


I love the self timer option.





The whole gang.





Usually I don’t get in water unless it’s a pool. PM convinced me to take a jump – I wussed out the first time – but got in eventually. We had a great time. I lost my lens cap for my smaller digital camera though. I had it in my hand while I was taking a picture of the kids in the water and it slipped out – down into the dark abyss – never to be found again. We went to PM’s for a cookout and a stupid bee stung me right on the collarbone. It was  all I could do to have the sense of mind to not take off my shirt right then and there.


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





Excitement …

Filed under: contest,RAY,seniors — admin at 9:53 pm on Monday, August 18, 2008

I am so excited for my senior shoot on Sunday – I can’t wait to try out the new spots that I have in my head to work with – alleys – phone booths – police stations and old fire departments – and much much more – be on the lookout for a new post ASAP after that session.

An update to the RAY challenge – seeing as how I have had NO submissions for the contest – that FREE photo shoot which could have be a senior shoot is drifting off into the wind. The deadline is August 20th – this Wednesday – by 9 PM.

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





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