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NEW Release | 30 Tips for Perfect Family Photos eBook

The date has arrived for the photo session, and you and your client have met at the appointed location. You watch as your client’s family unloads from their mini-van. All sorts of “what if” scenarios run through your mind. You begin to have a surge of fear run through you. Where do you begin?

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I love my family. I grew up having pictures of everyday life taken all the time. The 8-year-old has a funny hairdo. We take a picture of it. Dad is working on a plumbing project under the kitchen sink with a toddler trying to help. We take a picture of it. The 5-year-old climbs into the dryer: not quite what we consider normal, or acceptable, but memorable nonetheless, so…you guess it. We take a picture of it.

We take pictures of everything: of our house in all four seasons of the year; of the fort made in the yard; of the little girls playing dress-up and re-enacting a wedding; of the young people working tirelessly on their computers; of the land-clearing project in the backyard; of the dessert that was made for supper last night; of….every day happenings in every day life.

All of this to say, family is important to me, and so are pictures. Why? Well, for me it goes deeper than just finding pleasure in taking pictures. For me, it is enjoying the family God gave me. It is living in the moment. It is savoring the beauty God has placed around me in the precious lives I get to watch grow up around me.

All too often, a family doesn’t take time to capture the moments. The joys of family-life are overlooked. With the increase of technology, cameras are readily available, and are now being carried in almost everyone’s pocket on their cell phone. We should take advantage of this technology, taking dominion of it, and using it to encourage the body of Christ.

I’ve had a hard time finding conservative, wholesome resources that I can recommend to other Christian photographers who ask me about tips for photographing families and children. Because of this, the Lord laid this project on my heart, and then He gave me the main points to start with. I took that to mean I should write. Then James Staddon of Lenspiration graciously offered to partner with us on the project. After years of waiting, the vision has become a reality. May Jesus Christ be praised!

Maybe you’re a homeschool mom with a point-n-shoot camera. Maybe you’re a student with an SLR. Maybe you don’t own a camera of your own yet, but are still interested in photographing people. Whoever you are, whatever phase of life you may be in, and whatever equipment you may or may not have, I hope this little book will be a blessing to you and will give you fresh ideas. I am not an expert; just a photography enthusiast with a heart for the family and a desire to capture the present to preserve it for the future.

 

Click here to purchase the 30 Tips for Perfect Family Photos eBook, with a new release price of only $6.00!

Mini Pumpkin Pies

It’s the time of year for spicy, pumpkin sensations, and the girls and I had fun putting these little pies together for a ladies event at our home. The recipe measurements should be done a little ad lib (the pie filling is adapted from our family favorite Paradise Pumpkin Pie from Tasty Traditions), but that makes it all the more fun. Enjoy!

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Fahrenheit. Line 3, 1 dozen, muffin tins with papers.

Prepare the crusts:

2 c. graham cracker crumbs

3 Tbsp. sugar

1/3 c. butter

Combine all three in a food processer and process until well combined, then press about 2 Tbsp. of mixture into each muffin cup. Set aside.

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Make the filling:

1 large (29 oz.) can of pumpkin

1/2 c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. ginger

1/4 t. nutmeg

Dash of salt

1 c. evaporated milk

2 eggs

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined.

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Assemble the pies:

Using a large muffin scoop, drop one scoop of pie filling into each crust.

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Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until the tops are golden and starting to crack slightly.

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German Shepherd Puppies

The past several weeks have been a delight as we welcomed our new litter of pups into the world. The joys of raising this canine family have been myriad. I’ll let the pictures tell you the rest…

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Introducing: [a new arrangement for] The String Quartet

We at Neely Marketplace would like you to meet four of our very dear comrades from the music department: Miss 1, Miss 2, Mammoth V, and Big C. We hope you enjoy your time with them.

 

Violin 1: Almost everyone has heard of the string quartet, haven’t they?

Cello: Probably; everyone has heard of you and your assistant, and most everyone has heard of me (thoughtful contemplation)

Violin 2: Yes, and I believe most everyone knows specifically what role I play, and is familiar with the expression “2nd fiddle…”

Violin 1: And nearly as many could tell you that it is formed by four members (though not the four) of our amazing relations. In fact, many weddings today are gracefully offset–

Cello: Ehem. Excuse me, Miss 1.

Violin 1: Yes?

Cello: Before you expound on our primary occupation in the 21st century, we should remember our companion.

Violin 1: That’s an excellent point, Big C.

Violin 2: Yes, many people think that our fourth player is just a random “3”.

Viola: Most don’t even know my name.

Cello: I do hope our audience will forgive the interruption, but now that we have him hear, let us introduce you to Mammoth V. We’re ready to proceed with your introduction, Miss 1.

Violin 1: Thank you, Big C. We certainly operate the best when we are all accounted for and playing together. Let’s see, I was just opening up the second phrase of my solo… As I was saying, many weddings today are gracefully off-set by the lovely sounds of our quartet, and if you didn’t have them at your wedding, well, you probably have a family member

Violin 2: or friend,

Violin 1: who did.

Cello: But how much is commonly known today about the history of this versatile and altogether charming chamber group? Take a look at our trivia questions below.

Viola: They are sure to test your knowledge

Violin 2: of this amazing combination we call

Unison: The String Quartet

Coda: Answers are at the end of this post, but DON’T peak.

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Violin 1: Lovely ending, everyone. And now to you, our valued audience, we offer a souvenir program of inquiries with which to test your knowledge of our history, and also by which you can remember tonight’s performance. Thank you for lending us your attention.

 

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Trivia:

  • During which musical period did the string quartet become well-known?
  • Who is considered to be the “Father of the String Quartet?”
  • Who commissioned the work that became one of the earliest string quartet compositions?
  • How many movements are there in traditional string quartet form?

 

We hope your visit with our special guests was both educational and enjoyable. In their honor, and for the first time, we are pleased to make available a string quartet arrangement of “Blow, Ye Golden Trumpets, Blow,” a little-known Christmas carol, but one that can certainly claim our attention. Please click here for details.

 

Trivia Answer Key: Classical, Franz Joseph Haydn, the Baron Carl von Joseph Edler von Fürnberg, four

NEW Christmas Sheet Music, and more to follow!

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School may only be in its first official week for your family, but for musicians, it’s time to start considering the holiday season. As our family plans the calendar of events for the Christmas season, we look forward to a myriad of opportunities to minister through music. It’s always a joy (and challenge!) to find, prepare, and perform arrangements that will meet the needs of our audiences. Because we understand the struggles of searching for God-honoring music that’s “just right” for the occasion, especially at Christmas, we are excited to bring you several options for fresh arrangements suitable for a variety of instruments, ensembles, and skill levels. Stay tuned so you can be sure to take advantage of the arrangements and sales that are to come! But for now, come over to the Marketplace and take a look at the 3 arrangements of the heart-warming German carol, Silent Night, set for solo violin, viola, or cello, each on an upper-elementary level.

New Release | Promise Fulfilled

It’s here! Just in time for Christmas, Promise Fulfilled is now in stock! With seven arrangements for solo lever and pedal harp, this new release by Aubrey Elliott and Victoria Neely features songs that reflect the coming of the Messiah.

Also, the offer for free shipping on all books and music has been extended until November 30, so don’t forget to apply the coupon code PromisesShipped2016 at checkout!

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