I like taking pictures with my iPhone (and with my iPod Touch before that). I don’t pretend to be good at it, but it is a fun handy way to capture memories. The apps I have been using most frequently are listed below. If you have a favorite iOS photo app not listed, tell me about it in the comments. I like trying out new ones!

  • Camera+ to take photos instead of the built-in Camera app
  • Diptic to create windowpane-type arrangements
  • Pic Collage to create more free-spirited arrangements than Diptic
  • Over to add text to an image
  • Instagram to add filters and post photos I want to share on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Photo Sync to upload to Dropbox, a computer, or another device without using cables

Since it is relatively new, I am often asked to explain Pinterest to people who have heard about it but not seen or tried it. Naturally it was one of the first topics I had in mind when my professor assigned me to create a structured, informational presentation on any subject I chose. If you or someone you know keeps asking, “But what is Pinterest?” Take a look at this short explanation (seriously, it had to be under 3:20!).

Pinterest 101

This one time when I was six years old, Mom was cleaning the kitchen and asked me to check on my four-year-old sister, Sara, at the other end of the house. I found Sara in the bathroom with the door closed, sitting beside a pile of hair and holding the haircut scissors. I looked at her, closed the door, and went back to the kitchen. Now, I had been learning not to tattletale, so I said carefully, “Mom, I don’t want to be a tattletale but if I were a mom, I’d want to go look in the bathroom.”

The first thing Mom saw when she walked into the bathroom was the pile of hair.

“Oh, my, she must be bald!” she thought.

“Sara, why did you cut your hair?”

Sara calmly pulled her fingers out of her mouth and replied, “It was bodderin’ me.”

In my family, tradition dictates that the Christmas season kicks off with listening to Christmas music on the way home from wherever we celebrated Thanksgiving. I have nearly 200 Christmas songs in my music collection so I don’t always listen to the same ones repeatedly, but I get tired of most holiday songs by about December 15. Last year, however, there were 16 songs that I still liked when Christmas Eve rolled around.

You can hear most of my Christmas Eve soundtrack at playlist.com: Christmas Eve Playlist 2010. Songs that were unavailable there are linked on YouTube.

Joy To The World – Point of Grace
I Celebrate The Day – Relient K
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – Mannheim Steamroller
Handel’s Messiah – Relient K
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Mannheim Steamroller
O Come, All Ye Faithful – Celtic Woman
We Three Kings – Mannheim Steamroller
One King – Point of Grace
The First Noel – Josh Groban (and Faith Hill)
Angels We Have Heard On High – Point of Grace
O Little Town Of Bethlehem – Frank Sinatra
Not That Far From Bethlehem – Point of Grace
O Holy Night – Celtic Woman
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear – MercyMe
Silent Night / Away In A Manger – Relient K
Carol Of The Bells / What Child Is This? – Point Of Grace

What songs are you listening to this season?

I spotted this sticky note posted in the bathroom of a fast food restaurant in Hays, Kansas. It says, “You are more than the make up on your face. Your’e beautiful.”

I was in the midst of an eleven-hour road trip and had been awake since 4:30 a.m. but was still in good spirits. Seeing the note made me smile a little brighter, though!

Have you ever heard of Operation Beautiful or seen a note like this?

As many of us head into the holidays with plans to see family or friends, I offer two bits of advice for getting along:

“If you can’t say something nice… don’t say nothing at all.”
-Thumper, Bambi


Do everything without complaining or arguing.”
-Philippians 2:14

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a smart playlist on my iPod that automatically compiles the 25 most played songs. I listen to a lot of different playlists and albums but it is fun to see which songs and artists I listen to most. Based on data gathered over the past 13 months, I have definite favorites. What songs or artists have you been listening to lately?

Plays    Song – Artist
407      On a Night Like This – Dave Barnes
320       I Have and Always Will – Dave Barnes
208       Beautiful – Bethany Dillon
156       Shadowfeet – Brooke Fraser
153       Beautiful One – Jeremy Camp
122       Twilight – Shaun Groves
119       Long Live the King – Aaron Shust
105      Me & Mrs. You – Michael Bublé
98         Can’t Grow Tired of Your Love – Dave Barnes
96         What Am I Gonna Do – Dave Barnes
89         Love at First Sight – Michael Bublé
81         Someone’s Somebody – Dave Barnes
75        Nothing Fancy – Dave Barnes
66         Try a Little Tenderness – Michael Bublé
62         Alejate – Josh Groban
58         How Sweet It Is – Michael Bublé
57         London – Brandon Heath
57         Wonderful Maker – Jeremy Camp
54         Beautiful of Heaven – Charlie Hall
54         Tell Him He’s Yours – Michael Bublé
51         Save the Last Dance for Me – Michael Bublé
49        Call Me Irresponsible – Michael Bublé
46        Something Beautiful – Needtobreathe
43        All I Ask Of You – Andrew Lloyd Webber
43        Love Never Fails – Brandon Heath

Artist                   Song Count    Total Plays
Dave Barnes               6                    1077
Michael Bublé           7                    472
Jeremy Camp            2                    210
Brandon Heath         2                    100