You may remember this POST before Christmas. Well, I got so busy during the holidays and we took some much need time off and I forgot to make the announcment about the winner! We got several nominations so thank you so much for those that took the time to think of someone else. It was a true blessing reading all the stories and we wish we could photograph them all. Keep reading our blog as we plan to do many more giveaways and feature various opportunities for you to give to help make a difference in the lives of others.
Here is the nomination that stole our heart. We actually received two additional nominations for this amazing family after we had already chosen them. We just decided to give all three of the nominees a $250 print credit if they choose to hire us to for portraits in the future. I wanted to share a little about THE JONES FAMILY so that you may be as blessed by their strength and perseverence as I have. I asked Ashley’s permission to share her entry as it was so heartfelt and beautiful.
I didn’t even have to think about this one– the perfect person came to my mind immediately!
My sweet friend Sheree Jones exudes the joy of the Lord everywhere she goes. She is always smiling, always cheerful. She has volunteered with AWANA for many years (kids Christian bible-study club) at our church in Denton, and has also volunteered with Friends of the Family, a Denton non-profit that aids battered women and their children.
But if I had experienced the last few years in Sheree’s shoes, I don’t know how cheerful I would be.
Sheree experienced a back injury that causes her debilitating pain and left her unable to work for a long time. One day I was walking through the church with her on our way to our MOMs group meeting, and she confided that once in a while her nerves would just get cranky and she would end up on the floor without warning. “It’s kind of embarrassing!” she laughed.
During this time, her husband Watt also experienced an injury that required him to quit working for an extended period of time. Through it all, she never lost her faith or her joy.
Then, a few weeks ago, another setback: the Jones’ home burned down. They lost everything, including family photos. Our homeschool community was quick to come along side them and provide for them, but I can’t imagine how devastating this must be for them, especially in light of the fact that they are still not back on their feet financially.
Sheree is a homeschooling mother of four, and I know it would be a wonderful blessing to this family to be able have these photographs during this bittersweet time of their lives– a time when out of hardship they were strengthened, when out of tragedy they learned how much they are loved by their friends. As you say so beautifully on your blog, photographs tell our stories, and though they have lost many treasured photos, to begin to chronicle their story again starting now would be a beautiful new beginning.
Thank you for considering the Jones family.
After we chose the Jones Family, we also learned that Watt (the dad) was hositalized because of a heart attack! More than their tragedies though, what I want you to know about the Jones family is how full of LIFE they are. They certainly didn’t act like a family who had just lost everything. They were fun and joyful and such a delight to be around. It truly was such a blessing to photograph them and while I cannot replace all the photographic memories they lost, I sure hope that these pictures bring some joy knowing that they can start chronicalling their memories once again. That is why we have also decided to give the digital negatives to the Jones family so they can have peace of mind that their memories are always safe. Plus, they are getting a DVD slideshow of all the images, a beautiful Coffee Table book and $350 additional print credit to fill their new home with pictures!
Thank you Sheree, Watt, Zachary, Elijah, Alyssa, and Ayden for a fun filled session! It was a pleasure meeting all of you 🙂
OK, Here are several favorites from the session.
After our crazy fun! (bet you never had your kids rolling down a hill for a session 🙂 we decided to head over the their new home they had closed on THAT DAY. I was thrilled to make the drive. I was so excited for them and could just smell the joy that surrounded them as we pulled up. I can’t imagine what it feels like to lose EVERYTHING and then to sign papers on a new place to turn into home. Bittersweet I am sure. Sheree said the house needed lots of work and that they would be moving in 30 or more days later. I think it was just beautiful and perfect. Here is how they feel about it!