Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Howdy all! We took a lazy Saturday afternoon before Christmas (IS there such a thing?!) to make homemade ornaments out of playdough (flour, salt and water) and any kind of crafty stuff we could find. Natalie, Hannah, Sophie, Bess and I played for about 3 hours.
Here's Sophie posing for the camera.
Hannah and Natalie hard at work.
Bess made the cutest ornament for Jake! It looks just like him! Awww....
Here are a few close ups while they were drying outside. We sprayed 'em down with acrylic sealant and then repainted some with Mod Podge to make sure those beads didn't roll off. The blue and yellow angel is mine! :)
Some of Hannah's....
More of Hannah's....
And more of Hannah's! Hers were really nice and varied. She gave the musical one to Mary Nell.

I LOVE this star made with tissue paper. Natalie did it.
And here are Natalie and Hannah getting some love after we're done! Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope you're enjoying a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Hey all,
Hope everyone's having a nice, peaceful Christmas. It's COLD here! It even snowed one a week or so ago (didn't stick or anything). Just wanted to let folks know I've got all but $200 of my plane fare for my trip in April. Woohoo!! Only $2500 or so to go for the entire shebang.

This is a photo of Chuck and Mary Nell with me and Lanier at Chuck's 60th birthday party. Mary Nell threw him a surprise party; it was the first surprise party he'd ever had, he said. Anyway, it was very attended and we had a great time.

I discovered a cool magazine last night at Borders called "JPG." It's obviously a photo magazine and I registered as a photographer this morning. You can upload photos and if they print one they'll give you $100 a free subscription to the magazine. I can do that! I posted 6 from my trip to Cd. Valles, Mexico and hope that I get enough votes to have one printed in the next issue. Go vote for me!

Have a Merry Christmas and stay warm!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hi all! Well the long awaited, much anticipated Art on the Loop event was this past Friday night from 6:00 to 11:00pm. Wow!! It was a HUGE success! We had at least 100 people attend (I could've kicked myself for not figuring out a way to count attendance) but we might have had closer to 150 at one point.

These are just a FEW of the images I took that night. There were LOTS of cameras! All of the artists were so excited and thankful for the opportunity to be in a show for free! And there was no cost to the public either! Everything was free. Even the musicians played for free. Our good friend, Aaron Blanco of BROWN COFFEE CO donated coffee and had whole bean bags for sale.
Above you see Mikie Farias running sound. He and I basically put this thing together and promoted it around the town. I designed and printed about 100 posters and we plastered them everywhere, even Texas State in San Marcos!
This is Lindsey Hasbrouck and Hannah Rushing singing. They are amazing! Their harmony is so pure and sweet. They play often at Two Rivers Coffee so if you're in New Braunfels, you should definitely check them out!
Here is lovely and talented Stacy with her work. Stacy's a Vineyard member, but we had about six different churches participating in this event, even Holy Family! Below, you see Scarlette with her work.
I heard the day of the show that Maximus had prepared some paintings as well! I couldn't wait to see his work!! Here he is with his art at his very first art exhibit. He elected to do a series on "Transformers" and depicted are (L-R, clockwise) "Bumblebee," "Megatron" and "Optimus Prime." His fourth painting (bottom) was a scene of his "Aunt Steffy" getting married (which will actually happen in January).
Here you see Hannah busy selling her hand-stamped notecards. She racked up, even taking home custom orders.
My darling husband, running sound for the latter half of the exhibit. Mikie really needed backup so he could move around and mingle, announcing bands and also overseeing his own art work for sale! (Incidentally, those are my paintings in the background.)
Jona sang songs he'd written himself and also played keyboard later for his roommate, Matt Drake. All bias aside, we really had some top quality musicians and artists. You can hear Jona's songs at
Here's Aaron with our pastor from River City Vineyard Church, Scott Tjernagel, and my bro-in-law, Jake. We had a huge turnout from the Vineyard crowd! They love music and they love free coffee! Especially Brown coffee!
My favorite feature of the night was the fact that several of us artists got to announce the different musicians. Here's Sarah Joy, introducing Chachi Diaz, a gifted singer/writer. Chachi's music is also on myspace:
I didn't get many crowd shots but here's one. It doesn't fully show how many people were there but it's a good shot of the place.
The artists and musicians were so enthusiastic--they can't wait for the next show! I was so exhausted Saturday morning (we got out of there by 10:45pm that night) from breaking down and returning all the stuff I'd borrowed (I'm picking up my artwork today, Monday) that I'm happy to wait a couple of months to do it again.

It was our first try, and based on how well it went, Mikie and I would plan to do more in the future. The trick is, Mikie's a snow board instructor in Beaver Creek, CO, half the year, so I have to find a new committee! But I had several offers of help that night.

Thanks everybody, who exhibited art, who played music, who helped set up and break down, who put up posters and spread the word, and ESPECIALLY thank you to Brian and Sally Leifeste, pastor of Northpoint Church, for opening your doors to the community and allowing us to host this show FOR FREE! God bless you!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. We'll be in Georgia with my family and then spend a (hopefully) quiet Christmas here in Texas. Our first Christmas as a new family!

Friday, October 31, 2008

After months and months of working, doodling, groaning and praying (begging), we have a new WIM logo! It was officially voted in by the Board of Directors this past week. Woohoo!!

It'll be a slow change but in a few short months this will replace the current logo which we've had nearly 10 years. Talk about elation.

Well, Happy Halloween! We're having a little get together tonight at our house so I'll try to post some photos over the weekend. Tomorrow I hope to watch the GA-FL game at my inlaws' (go DAWGS!) and then I'm off to a bridal shower tomorrow night.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

This Fall

Howdy, all. Cool weather is finally here, hallelujah. I had a quick photo session with my friend, Diana, last week! Here are a few pix from her shoot:

Diana and I traveled in China together back in 2005. She's a great friend and really easy to photograph despite her extreme dislike for being in front of a camera.

Below is the last painting I've completed recently. It was taken from a photo I got of my little 3-year-old cousin, Ruthie, while we vacationed in St. Augustine last July. I learned a lot from this painting and I think it's pretty successful, though I don't love it. It's too pastel for my taste. I usually use extremely vivid colors and lots of contrast. This is a huge departure for me!

Anyway, plans are coming along smoothly for Art on the Loop ( or We've got at least four musicians and bands commited to playing and seven artists. What's so cool is that the art ranges from painting to photography, jewelry, printmaking and textiles! I can't wait! November 21 seems so far away....

In other art news, I should start the next mural for our church, River City Vineyard, soon. I've got material to do sketches from and once that's approved, it's just a matter of getting into the building and getting it done! I'm sure it'll take more than two days like the first one did. :)

Thanks for tuning in and Happy Halloween. --R

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Exciting news! This week I met with Mikie and Mona from NPC to plan a community art venue called "Art on the Loop." It's going to be open to the public, no cover charge, and give folks a chance to exhibit their art, music and drink free coffee! We're so pumped!

My contribution so far has been to make this poster. We'll print and distribute Nov. 1 to promote the event. We really hope that this is the first of many, maybe even becoming a New Braunfels First Friday. It's a dream come true!

I also have another painting on view at Starbucks. It's the abstract one I'd been working on. It's finished. I do not have a photo of the completed work but will get one in the near future. My painting of Ruthie is also finished. Photo to follow.

The weather's turning a little cooler so at least we get a break in the evenings and mornings. It's still pretty hot in the middle of the day. Hannah told me they decorated pumpkins yesterday at school for something. Natl. Jr. Honor Society, I think.

Hope life is good with you, wherever you are, Reader!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


As promised, here are the photos of my new painting, "St. Augustine Souvenirs" and older stuff I have hanging at Starbucks. I grabbed Bess for a quick photo at the pick up station. She's a barista.

Here's the one I'm working on right now. It was a garage sale find that Julie thought she'd paint over but never got around to it and bequeathed to me. I covered it and started doing an abstract idea.
Here's a detail shot. The red paint is pretty thick and I wish you could see it. It's lovely.

Anyway, that's what's going on artwise.

Lanier and I went to John and Camille's last night for our cell group meeting. It used to be a group for young married couples specifically about marriage, but then we took off during the summer and now it's picking back up. J & C aren't sure what the theme will be, if any, so last night the 4 of us plus Jake and Bess and James and Kristin hung out and just played guitars and sang. John has two guitars plus a mandolin, and Lanier grabbed the mandolin immediately. He wants one now, of course. But I think it's a lovely instrument and wish he had one. Anybody got one sitting in an attic somewhere??????

I made pumpkin bread this morning. Gosh it is SO yummy!! And Mom, I used applesauce, whole wheat flour, flax seed and raw sugar instead of refined so it's ALMOST healthy.

We have my car back now so Hannah and I are really enjoying having A/C and MUSIC! I've been blasting David Crowder for two days. Hallelujah. How do people live without music? I really missed NPR, too.

One last photo: here's Sophie, Max and Aleiah all scrunched together on our couch last Sunday night. Janelle came by that evening and Jona was there, and gosh it was just like the good old days of living on West St. in Guada Coma Estates. My Tree friends together. The kids had been tearing around the living room and playing Mario Cart (Max loved it) and we put in "Ratatouille" to calm them down. Worked like magic.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hi everyone. It's been a while, I know. Sorry for that. Sometimes life just keeps you so busy you don't take time to write.

A few weeks ago Hannah and I drove down to south San Antonio to visit Aunt Pam and Uncle Arnold. It'd been too long since we'd seen them AND both my cousins, Bonnie and Elizabeth, along with their husbands Joa and Wesley and kids were there! What a treat! Here's a photo of our cousins: Marlee, age 1, Zena, age 6, Dylan, age 3 and Zara, age 2. Aren't they precious? I wanted to snatch little Marlee.

I've also been working and trying for MONTHS to come up with a new logo. Yikes! Talk about change!! A professional design company offered to do it for us for $500, but I wanted to take a crack at it. Here are some thumbnails....

Thanks for reading. Pray for us: we've had tons of car problems and we're still getting used to each other and acting as a family. Hannah's doing great in 8th grade and participating in National Jr. Honor Society. She also bought herself another parakeet and named it Perkins. See her blog for details.

Oh! Oh! I also have my artwork up at Starbucks!! I almost forgot. Bess got me in since she works there. Pray that it all sells! It's there for the month.

Thanks, and God bless.

Love, Rachael

Thursday, August 28, 2008


It's a bright sunny day outside and I've been working on images for a new website. I've gotten ideas from different places: Urban Outfitters' catalogue, other's nice how you can find inspiration from different sources.

We've been tentatively planning for the last three weeks to drive down to Aunt Pam's and drop off Lanier's Crown Vic so Uncle Arnold can sell it for us, but something always seemed to come up. This week, my car had some health issues which finally came to a head and now she's going into the shop. Lanier's going to have her towed to the mechanic in San Marcos tonight. Two words: water pump. Two more words: timing belt. Well, it's about that time!

Lanier and Jake spent three days working on it themselves. They replaced the spark plugs and wires, a gasket which stopped oil from leaking into the gasoline, and the thermostat which wasn't working. Now the car just plain overheats but at least now we know, whereas before, the faulty thermostat was masking the trouble down below. Praise God I never blew it up!

Here's where I give kudos to Dave Ramsey and his "Financial Peace University"--because we went through his class, we had $1,000 in savings for our "emergency fund," so we're able to pay for the car without charging it! Woohoo!

Anyway, so it's been a hurdle to get over this week--sharing one car (translation: Lanier has to take us to work and school and then we catch a ride home), moving money around to pay bills and not stress over no time together because Lanier's been working on the car all evening after work. Good thing Jesse Blanco preached on Romans 8:28-30 last Sunday.

Meanwhile, I've been researching printmaking and scheming on how to assemble materials and sketch up designs to start relief printing at home and I bought another canvas to do a big painting of an ice cream sundae from TJ's Burgers for Hannah. I made a goal to do six paintings by the end of this year. I'm nearly finished with the first one and have begun the second. Hannah's ice cream will be #3.

Hannah's having a great week in school. She had her braces tightened yesterday so today she's in some pain. And they pushed back the date for getting her braces off to December. Rats.

Saturday I am hosting about 20-30 ladies for my friend Ginni's baby shower. It's a girl! Cynthia is the main one throwing it, I'm just letting her use my house. Ginni goes to Tree and has two delightful boys, Kurt and Kyle. Then Sunday we'll head on down to Aunt Pam's anyway for BBQ and hanging out with her girls and their children. I haven't even met Elizabeth's daughter, Marlie, and the child is a year old! (Mom I'll try to get photos.)

Monday we all have the day off. Maybe I'll finish my painting and get the other really rocking. One thing's for sure--we will NOT be on the Comal River! Everybody and their cousin will be there, tubing.

I'm reading "The Radical Cross" by A.W. Tozer right now. Good grief what a powerful book. Every Christian should read it; it cuts deep! Then I'll read "When Heaven Invades Earth" by Bill Johnson.

I watched more Olympics events this year than probably in the last 10-12 years. I was a huge fan of gymnastics and track. Watching the men and women run those 110-meter hurdles was amazing!! They barely had time to get themselves over those hurdles because they were running so quickly. Lolo Jones clipped that second last hurdle and it slowed her down enough for the entire pack to catch up and she finished in seventh place instead of the predicted first.

I thought about those races when Lanier, on the third day of car work, said, "Why is this happening to us?" I replied, "Baby it's just a hurdle. When you clip one you've got to jump higher the next time. And keep running!"

I hope you're doing well and enjoying life. We are, even while we're jumping hurdles!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Getting Creative

For the past few weeks I've been doing some creative projects outside of regular work. Since we went to St. Augustine this past July, I have had in mind to do 3-4 paintings based on sketches and photos I took there.

Yes, I did sketches. Aunt Evelyn and I went in search of a local art supply store which turned out to be nothing more than a custom framing shop (huge disappointment!). So we ended up at Hobby Lobby and I purchased a couple of pencils, an eraser, a pencil sharpener and a 8x10 sketch book.

What a blast, sitting on the beach, sketching kids as they ran around and did their kiddie thing on the sand! Why don't I do this all the time?? Because I don't live on the beach?.....

Anyway, painting no. 1 is nearly finished. Painting no. 2 is underway--I put the first wash of color on it after drawing it out. #1 is of seashells and measures around 20x30 inches I think, and #2 is smaller and is from a photo I got of Ruthie digging in the sand. She's three years old.

All of this is being done in hopes of having a small display of art at our local Starbucks. My sister-in-law, Bess, works there and can get me in. Hannah and I went by yesterday and got a banana chocolate smoothie (yum) and Bess told me she booked me for July 2009. That was the earliest date available. Well, no rush to get these paintings done, I guess! :)

Hannah and I worked furiously on a mural for River City Vineyard Church last week. We did a garden scene in the babies' room. There are two other classrooms and hopefully I'll get to them soon. It took longer to do sketches and come up with a game plan than it did to actually execute! Everyone loves the mural so I'm thankful to have made that contribution to our new church.

Meanwhile Hannah, in an effort to do her part in raising money to go on a mission trip, has begun making and selling notecards. Again, thanks to Hobby Lobby, we've found blank cards and purchased a few stamps and worked together in the evenings after work. You can see Hannah's blog about it on

Hopefully I'll get photos of the paintings up early next week or this weekend. Tonight I'm going to Night of Worship, an informal gathering a various believers in the area at Landa Park. Hannah is going to a Girls' Lock In sleepover at Tree of Life tonight. Fun! And we'll celebrate Bess's birthday Sunday (actual bday being Monday). Lots of fun things to do.

If you're interested in Hannah's cards, they come in packs of 4 and they're $5. It's a variety of designs and I need to photograph her newest ones. Check her blog for updates!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Letter from Hannah

Hey everyone! This may be my last blog on here, seeing as I have my own! To visit it just go to & check it out!

Ok, now what I've been up to this summer. Well, I was supposed to leave on June 13 for Georgia, but my mom put me on the last flight out of Atlanta, without knowing it, & Delta has a policy that doesn't let unaccompanied minors onto the last flight out of any city, in case it gets cancelled. So, we had to wait until the 14th for me to leave. Well, I flew to Atlanta with no problem & Mom had scheduled me a 2 hour layover, so all was fine, until I got to my gate.

Apparently, the pilot & crew were late coming from another flight, so we had to wait. We were originally scheduled to leave at 4:06PM, but the crew still hadn't shown up, so they kept putting off our time of departure. FINALLY, 4 HOURS LATER, we left. So I was on my way to valdosta. Yay!

I arrived in one piece, spent the night at my dad's parents' house & we (me, my Papa, & my cousin, Nicole) left the following morning to get to Crystal River. While at Crystal River, we swam in the pool, kayaked, went on the boat, snorkled in the springs, & I even scuba dived once in the pool. We didn't get to scuba dive in the springs. I wish we had, but there was only one set of gear, plus I couldn't find my PADI license so, no scuba diving. But we had fun anyway!

We stayed at Crystal River for about a week, then went back to my Meema & Papa's house for 1-2 days. I can't remember. Nicole & I spent the night with Aunt Jenny for one night too! She makes the BEST banana pudding!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After that, we drove to Savannah & stayed with Nicole's parents for one night. We went to my Meema's parents' house & stayed there for the remainder of our time.

We went shopping on one day, crabbing on another day, so we stayed busy. While I was there, my Granny taught me to crochet! I'm getting pretty good! The day we left Granny & Papa's house, Meema dropped me off with my Grandma (my mom's mom). My best friend, Megan, lives next door to my grandparents, plus my great grandmother (my grandma's mom) lives next door too, so i've been keeping busy. :)

My mom will get here Friday morning. We leave for family vacation on Saturday. Finally, after years of asking, Megan is coming with us! Yay!!!!!!!!

We'll stay at St. Augustine for a week, then come back here for a wedding. Remember, check out MY blog ( for a more detailed account of my "adventures with Meema & Papa". :)

I'm sorry that there are no pictures, but there should be on my next blog.

Love, Hannah

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hall Family Reunion, Part 2 Howdy again from south Texas! The party's over for 2008 but it was fun while it lasted. Above, you see Chuck and Mary Nell's 7 grandchildren in order of age (Hannah is the only one not pictured). Jade, Eve, Josiah, Sophia, Allie, Sara and Katherine (aka "Kaken Rose" as Sara calls her)
Here are the proud grandparents with their crew.

Then I thought, seize the moment and grab some family photos, no matter how rough we looked. So I did. Krissy yelled at me to go outside where it was prettier, but I retorted, it's a million degrees outside.
I'm a fan of candid pictures; the ones you don't see framed and hanging on the wall.

Jonathan and Lisa with Eve, Josiah and Allie

Ben and Krissy trying to get Sara to cooperate while Katherine sits complacently
And, the nice pose!

Jade's always ready for her glamor shot so there's no "before" pictures for them. Jessica and Alcoe with Jade.
The newlyweds! Aw, how special. I'm sad Hannah's not in the photo. :(

Bess, Jake and Sophie should have a photo here, but, Bess was actually home asleep when those photos were taken. She worked at Starbucks that morning.
Here we have the Last Night Together before folks started heading home. It was my favorite night! Here is Lisa, Krissy, Mary Nell and Bess.

Finally some pictures of me!! Krissy took these of me with the kids.

I bribed the kids all week with icecream and cookies. They like Aunt Rachael.

I wanted one picture with my sister, Jessica. I love Jessica! (Ben, galivanting in the background)

Sara wanted to play poker so they gave her some chips. It's around midnight, here.
I grabbed this quick one of Bess and Josiah.

The in-laws goofing off for the camera.

All the kids sacked out in front of a movie while the adults played poker or Scrabble.

The Last Day was Saturday, and Ben and Krissy were flying from Austin back to LA with the girls by 5pm. Jonathan and Lisa & Co. left around 6pm to drive back to Georgia. So, we decided to surprise Mary Nell with a late birthday celebration. I made Mom's German chocolate cake and it rocked!!

Mary Nell was very surprised and grateful for the never-ending birthday celebration (it's been going on for a few weeks now). Chuck prayed a blessing over the family and thanked God for the food, and we all dug in! Man what a meal.

So ends the week long Hall family reunion. Next year the plan is for Colorado Springs the first week of June. It's too dern hot to do it in Texas again!!
Guys, we miss you already.
Love, Rachael

  © Blogger template Webnolia by 2009

Back to TOP