Crafty Christmas at The Railyard in Opelika

Crafty Christmas at The Railyard
Band Plays Christmas Music Outside at the Crafty Christmas in The Railyard
Crafty Christmas in The Railyard
Band Plays Christmas Music Outside at the Crafty Christmas in The Railyard

Tonight we went over to the Crafty Christmas at The Railyard in Opelika. This was the first  “Crafty Christmas Craft Show,” which is a fundraiser for BigHouse Foundation, a non-profit ministry in Lee County, AL that supports foster care families. The show was held Thursday, November 29th from 6-9pm at the Cotton District on Railroad Avenue in downtown Opelika, and of course, they had some of my favorite live local performs to bring an extra bit of excitement only they could accomplish.

The turnout looked great, and it was the first time I had been able to get over to The Railyard, a really neat venue just across the railroad tracks from the main downtown area. Above are just a few of my favorite shots of the band, and yes, this was a fundraiser in the form of a craft show, so there was a lot more there than just the guys pictured above, but they were my favorite crafted art. Have a good weekend wherever you might be this November 29.

Happy Birthday Dad from 10,000 Miles Away in Uganda

So today is my dad’s birthday. He was born the same day as Dottie West and Eleanor Roosevelt, (but just a few years later), is an aficionado of all things Auburn, a lover of clean cars, freshly cut pasture grass, is great at being a grandfather to many, and today I want to wish him a long distance Happy Birthday! I just happened to be in Africa today, so, sorry dad, I’m going to miss your birthday party, but I didn’t forget it (as I’m sure your thrilled to see haha). I looked through all kinds of different shots from way way back like the Throwback Thursday photos from the 1950’s but I couldn’t find anything any more appropriate than this photo above. There’s always something about fall when our family can just hang out on a Saturday and watch Auburn football.

It’s so hard for me to even understand or describe the difference between being here in Uganda and being at home in Auburn, but my dad is a big reason why I am able to do what I’m doing right now and I’m so thankful for that gift. Happy Birthday, can’t wait to see everyone again when I get back home.

The Fillmer Birthday Party from October 1953 :: Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday today is from October 1955 and would be Larry Fillmer’s 7th birthday party. I just love these old black and whites. Apparently back in the mid-50’s you dressed up for a birthday party since one of them is wearing a suit and bow-tie and I love the card table, which was probably literally used as a card table. I’m not too sure about any of the history behind this photo, and the only reason I am saying the date is 1953 is because there are 7 candles on the cake, otherwise, there was no date or anything else on the photo. I’m sure someone in the family will tell me a little more about the image, but I’m almost 100% sure that’s my dad as the birthday boy from the way he is dressed, watch and all… always a snappy dresser. Pretty sure that is his brother Les Fillmer standing to the right of Larry.

So it seems, I’ve now been told, the photo was taken in Birmingham in an area called Oak Hills in Central Park, the puppets were Howdy Doody Puppets, and yes, they apparently played cards on that card table.

Happy Birthday Deborah and Another Year to Celebrate

Saturday was Deborah’s birthday, and yes, she was born on Saturday the 14th (she has enjoyed pointing out to me this year it is the same exact day as it was 45 years ago). This was a special birthday for her, since she loves markers in years, 45 years was a small milestone for her, not to mention everything that happened health wise last year and early this year, we all felt blessed to be able to celebrate this birthday with her. We went out to eat and watched The King’s Speech but in general had a nice quiet day at the house. My mom made Deborah a quilt of her very own. I am pretty sure this is the only quilt anyone has ever made for her. Since she makes quilts, and all things knitted, I guess everyone just thought she could just make her own. I know Deborah can’t wait until it’s done so she can use it.

I love the shot of Deb walking home from my parents house to our house around sunset. It was abnormally cold and windy outside and even though the sun looks warm, it’s freezing for May. The lamp is just because I love taking photos of lamps (or light… it’s a my lamp is the light of the world thing).

Apple iPad Goes Mainstream with Mom's Birthday

I haven’t posted any normal family fun stuff in a while so last night I thought I would grab my camera, take a break from studying for a while and do a birthday photo shoot. Last night we had the privilege of getting to celebrate my mom’s birthday with her. My dad did decide about a month ago that he was going to get her an iPad for her birthday, so I was quite looking forward to the unavailing myself.

Being one of those early adopters I was really looking forward to helping her get it all setup, and get to see how easy (or hard) it would be for someone totally unfamiliar with the iPad to get around at first glance.  So I guess you could say that Apple’s iPad has gone mainstream now.  Thrilled to see my mom giving it a go, she was thrilled to be able to get her email and had no problems at all getting around.  She was downloading apps and books within minutes.

We all piled in the car and headed to the local county diner (very elegant for special Birthday parties).  They happened to have live gospel music on Friday, wasn’t even aware they did live music, and then home for some GiGi’s cupcakes (which just opened up in Auburn) and presents.  Besides being over 100* outside for the umteenth week with 100% humidity, it was a wonderful evening, and it felt great to take the camera out again. Happy Birthday mom, hope you enjoy your new fruit.

A Real Nikon D700 Birthday Cake is Amazing

I was sent this (the info not the cake) from Deb this morning and I just had to do a blog post about it.  For any of those spouses of photographers, especially those Nikon freaks, it is time to step up to the plate and buy him or her that cherished Nikon D700 Birthday Cake.  This thing is a replica of a Nikon D700 DSLR camera body with a carrot cake and vanilla buttercream (see Surprise Camera Birthday Cake and Camera Birthday Cake) insides.  The attention to detail is wild but it sounds delicious too.

What was even more funny about the cake was the party was Maggiano’s restaurant in Bridgewater, NJ, one of my hometowns for more than some 4 years growing up.  I would love to see some photos from the birthday party if any were uploaded to flickr.  In the mean time, check out these awesome photos of the Nikon DSLR and NIkon D700 DSLR birthday cakes.  I didn’t see how much these cakes cost, but I am fairly certain they won’t put you back the $3,000 that the Nikon D700 costs and it looks far more tasty.

Thanks to Pink Cake Box for the cake images. I love seeing businesses go out of their way to help their customers and the likeness of the D700 is just incredible.  I am still finishing up Tribes by Seth Godin and he talks a lot about building a following like Pink Cake Box seems to have done with their masterpieces of sugar and flour.  I spend a lot of time with my D700 and the likeness is great.  Check them out if you are in the market for a wild looking cake.

Nikon D700 SLR

Nikon D700 Cake

Nikon D700 Cake

Nikon D700 Cake

Happy Merry Birthday Christmas Sarah

Sarah Fillmer Marchio

Scott, Sarah, and Dale Fillmer

Anyone else have a birthday on or near a holiday like my sister?  Everyone seems to think that because you have a birthday on or near Christmas that it is always just lumped in with everything else, but not so in our house growing up.  We always had a birthday party two days before the ultimate birthday party on the 25th.  I am sure some people get gypped out of a party but I can’t ever remember that being the case when I lived at home.  Of course now, she and I would rather not remember the fact that we are yet another year older so it has a little bit different meaning than when we were 12.

The simplicity of being 12 is long gone now but in my mind, a lot of the time, that is how I think about the two of us.  Unaffected by the scars of life and complexity that comes from being almost 40, waiting for it to snow so we don’t have to go to school, relaxing summers when it never seemed as hot as it does now, and of course waiting up all night for Christmas to finally arrive the next morning.

So, happy birthday Sarah, I love you. Yes, you are now one year closer to 40, just like me.

And the Winner of the Dell Desktop Giveaway is…


Wow this month went by fast.  Yes, today is the day we are giving away the Dell Desktop that we originally posted on November 1st (see I am Giving Away a Free Dell Dimension Computer and 17″ Flat Panel in 29 Days) and we waited all the way until 12:01am on November 29th to announce the winner. All in all we had about 100 responses on the blog directly, with approximately 5-10 of those being qualified entries. I really appreciate all the people who have contacted me directly and I wish I had enough spare computers laying around to give one to everyone, but I only have one.

The Winner is Lisa Pierce with Alabama Rural Ministries (ARM)

Alabama Rural Ministries has a great program and their post (seen here Not Thinking of Myself Today!) is the winning entry.  The mission work for ARM is shown on their website as:

Our Mission

We believe Christ’s love must be expressed in action to people in need. ARM is a hands on ministry, responding to people through Christian love with an emphasis in housing repair and children’s ministry.

Alabama Rural Ministry coordinates home repair efforts and children’s day camps in rural parts of Alabama. We are interdenominational but are connected to the United Methodist Church. All denominations are welcome to come and serve!

For the service that you give is not only supplying the needs of everyone but is an expression of many thanks to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11-12

ARM has focused its efforts in sharing God’s love in two primary areas:

Home Repair – The ARM staff assists teams coming to do home repair by purchasing materials, introducing teams to their families, and serving as technical assistants. Typical ARM projects include repairing and/or replacing roofs, ceilings, floors and walls. We also build steps and wheelchair ramps for elderly or disabled individuals. We match our projects with the skills of our volunteers, maximizing the services we are able to provide. Our service extends to plumbing and electrical work when our volunteers are able to do such work. If you are involved in a group with any of these skills, please consider a trip to ARM to help the elderly and disabled families of rural Alabama.

Day Camps – Teams working with the day camp work with the ARM day camp staff to plan Bible studies, songs, recreation activities and much more! Day camps are run similarly to Vacation Bible Schools and other day camp programs. Our volunteers are able to enhance the children’s experiences through interaction, whether it be fellowship, playing games, going on field trips, or presenting Bible stories and devotions. The children of the Sonshine Day Camp are truly remarkable in their ability to show love to so many volunteers that come in and out of their lives each summer. We invite anyone with a love for children to join us for this amazing experience this summer.

Volunteer teams come from all over the country to do either home repair and/or work with day camps for area children. At select sites, groups may choose to do both types of ministries at the same time!

If anyone has a desire to get involved with them I am sure they would love to receive as much help as they can get, and it is a very worth ministry.

I am Giving Away a Free Dell Dimension Computer and 17" Flat Panel in 29 Days

Something just a little bit different for my blog today.  Today is November 1st, 29 days away from my birthday, and this year, on my birthday I am going to give away this Dell desktop computer plus 17″ flat panel monitor (and a bunch of extras) for free!  You don’t even have to pay the shipping.

It is a free computer, monitor, keyboard, wireless mouse, speakers, and an HP printer, to be given away on November 29th.  Yep, that’s right football fans, my birthday is on the same day as the Auburn vs Alabama game this year (if anyone wants to send a pair of UA vs AU tickets my way for my birthday that would be cool too), so this giveaway date should be easy to remember if you are the slightest bit familiar with Alabama football.

Every year when your birthday rolls around someone will always ask you what you want for your birthday, and I always liked to do something different instead of opening presents.  I like how Brad Ruggles celebrated his birthday yesterday by asking for his readers to donate to Compassion, a fantastic international children’s charity.  I may do the same thing, but I am also giving away this Dell desktop computer.

Details About the Dell Computer

Free Dell Computer Giveaway

The setup will consist of the following:

  • Dell Dimension E510 Desktop Computer
  • Windows XP, Service Pack 3
  • Microsoft Office 2003 (Excel, Word, Powerpoint and all that)
  • It has a 3.00 GHz Intel Processor, 500mb of RAM
  • 17″ Flat Panel Monitor
  • HP All-in-one Printer, Scanner, Fax PSC 1210v
  • Speakers
  • Keyboard
  • Microsoft Wireless Mouse
  • cables, wires, and plugs needed

This does not include any software discs as I can not find them at this point, but everything is up to date and works fine.  It is not a brand new computer of course, but it is a good working system for someone who needs a computer.

To Enter to Win the Dell Computer Contest Giveaway

In order to be eligible to win the contest, you will need to do the following simple steps below.  Preferably I would like to find someone or some organization that is in need of a computer but can’t afford to buy one.  Anyone can enter, but it would be nice to find a home that is in great need of a computer and I will only ship this computer within the CONUS, I am sure you can understand that.

To enter, you will need to do a blog post on your blog that links back to this blog post.  Somewhere in the post you just need to use the link to this post, here, and then come back here and leave a comment to let us know where to find your blog post.  That’s it, but, don’t expect to win by spamming my blog or leaving comment spam, you will need to write a blog post linking back here to be eligible to win.

If you know someone who doesn’t have a blog and is in need of a computer and would like to enter for them, just do a blog post saying so.  The blog post can be very simple and short but it would be nice to read what you need the computer for or how it will help, or who you would like to give it to if you win.  I would ask that if you win, and you do not need the printer to let me know so I can save a little bit on shipping.

So there you have it.  Simple.

  1. Write a blog post linking back to this blog post right here
  2. Come back here and leave a comment so I know where to go find your post
  3. Tell your friends so they can enter too

If you don’t have a blog, find someone who does and just ask them to enter for you.  Any questions at all please feel free to contact me, you have 29 days and counting.  The winner will be announced here on my blog on November 29th so you might want to subscribe to my blog or make sure you visit again in 29 days. Good luck.

Free Dell Computer Giveaway

Free Dell Computer Giveaway

Have a Very Happy Birthday, Deborah, I Love You

Yes, it is May 14th again, your birthday, so I wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, my wife and best friend. Looking back a little bit over the last 15 years or so, it is really incredible how much we have done together, how much we have been through, and where we have gone.

The time in history from May 14th 2007 to May 14th 2008 has been an interesting one for us, but each year is always different and you can always find the positive as we go through life together. Through that year, we have watched, and gone to, a lot of sporting events together, went through a few losses, took several trips, and I just noticed, your birthday present from last year is sitting high atop some boxes of books on the patio (we will have to see if some less fortunate soul might need that).

I don’t know what May 14th 2008 through May 14th 2009 has in store for us, but I know, with you, it will be the most wonderful year. Below you will see 20 photos I picked out (in no particular order) just from thumbing through some of the last 10 years or so (when we got our first digital camera). You are never at a loss for expression, words maybe, but your 20 different faces below are only but a snap shot of who I know and love. Each one reminded me of places we have been and some I hope to go back to again. I hope you have a wonderful day today, I love you.

Deborah on her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

Deborah for her Birthday

So there you go, 20 photos of times, places, events, happenings… I hope you enjoyed all those times as much as I did taking the photos of you. Have a wonderful day today.