My favorite easy to use video editing software for mothers and total beginners

My favorite easy to use video editing software for mothers and total beginners

It is about time I wrote my first review. This is an honest and unbiased review of a video [and photo editing software – PhotoDirector] perfect for beginners or serious hobbyists – Cyberlink PowerDirector. If you are here then are you probably looking for an easy to use video editing software for mothers and total beginners – I was too!

My favorite easy to use video editing software for mothers and total beginners because:

A favorite because it was my first (semi) professional video editing software willingly purchased. It had a non-linear timeline that allows you to have creative control over the editing process! It was exactly what I needed in that season of life.

Who would benefit from a video editing software program? 

Someone looking to edit their favorite smartphone videos and photos into a family keepsake film that everyone will love AND enjoy. [Let’s be honest – not all photo slideshows are created equal.]

Parents of young ones capturing day to day activities

Parents of teenagers capturing the multitude of events and sports

Grandparents doing the same thing

People starting a new adventure like retirement in an RV  

Missionaries sharing their story

Small startups creating engaging video content

MLM/Direct salespeople making video content 

Teachers creating lessons, promos and a year in review

And whoever else wants to create something but doesn’t want a steep learning curve

If you are considering this an easy to use a video editing software for mothers and total beginners, just like I was in 2016, then you are probably asking yourself several questions like: 

 

#1: Why do I NEED this easy to use video editing software?

 

After falling in love with video storytelling in 2008 through a very simple and free software [insert post about windows movie maker] I knew that I WANTED to create a more detailed and engaging film. 

 

Fast forward eight years, I was a wife and mother of three adorable children and my smartphone and computer were quickly filling up with images of our life together. Again, it really was the best option for an easy to use video editing software for mothers and total beginners.

 

One day, while scrolling through social media I noticed a beautiful film – and I mean film – that someone created by piecing together home footage from a smartphone! 

 

GASP! I was in awe!

 

I just knew I needed this in my life! But my budget was in no place to pay someone else around $500 to create a family film.

 

SOOOOOO, I started to research video editing software. Days on days and weeks of research that ultimately led to purchasing CyberLink PowerDirector 13. It fit the bill in all the right places for this Stay-At-Home-Mom in the market for making family keepsake films with smartphone footage.

 

 Ready to give it a try? Click Here for a 30 day FREE trial!

 

 

#2: Does it have everything I DESIRE?

Easy to use – CHECK

Non-linear timeline – CHECK

Cool transitions – CHECK

Multiple timelines for music and voice over – CHECK

Add graphics ON TOP of my images and films – CHECK

Save in high quality – CHECK

ONE TIME PURCHASE!!!!! – CHECK

If you have children or family members or pets that you have captured in a media format then you have the stuff to manipulate just like I did (and still do). 

 

I had different types of footage and images that once pieced together into a Non linear time frame would produce a family keepsake film for, at the time, my grandmother. 

 

The program needed to be able to slow down, speed up, scroll and pan through images AND control the focus points so she knew where to look and when. 

 

HOWEVER, if time is short or you have a limited knowledge base, artificial intelligence can do basic movements across the image and create stunning effects as well. The creative control is in your hands, OR NOT, it is your choice.

 

#3: How user-friendly is this software?

Right out of the box, the video editing software PowerDirector gives you choices on how to startup your project. 

 

You have the option to let the software guide you through a simple photo/video slideshow that will ease you into the editing process or you can start from scratch with the FULL timeline option. Without a doubt, PowerDirector is easy to learn if you have a basic knowledge of video editing. If not, I am here to teach you some tips and tricks on how to use it or where to find other people who can also help.

 

Check out this guy to get you started: How to Make A Video That Doesn’t Suck | CyberLink PowerDirector 18

#4: Does the price justify the purchase?

PowerDirector is a robust user-friendly prosumer video editing software. You have the choice to buy it one time and keep it forever. It is yours. No strings attached. However, currently they are offering a subscription-based package that is similar to Adobe’s plan.

 

For me as a stay-at-home mother who wanted to start knitting together all the video footage, photos and memories I was creating with my growing family – it was a lifesaver. I had tried free programs but I found their limitations to be stifling once my knowledge base started expanding. 

 

So if you too have hit a creative wall with the “free” software programs then I highly recommend this as your first “big” investment for video editing software.

It does exactly what YOU need in a beginner software and more. 

One caveat, it is only available on Windows, Android smartphones, and now, Chromebooks. Again, for transparency reasons, I am only reviewing products I have used and can share an honest review to SERVE you in finding the best product.

In Summary

I enjoy photography and videography. I knew I wanted to create family films that we would enjoy and want to sit down and watch together. I wanted something much more than just slideshow photos that faded slowly and lacked the sounds of our children.

 

I wanted a new and innovative “family keepsake film” that included music with fancy transitions. I wanted to control the focus points and guide the viewer’s attention to our children and our love and joy and laughter together.

 

A legacy for my family that was more than just smiles and portraits of one another but a story that needed to be shared. A testimony of our love to pass down to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren because let’s face it, today’s digital age means we have a digital footprint that stays longer than we ever expected it to. 

 

Between our Facebook photo albums and YouTube videos, the memories can’t deteriorate like a book or photo sitting on a shelf that will slowly degrade. It is something that will last through the ages. Therefore, we should carefully consider what is being posted of our children and family. 

 

So in my honest opinion, Cyberlink PowerDirecotor is a tool to create an intentional legacy.

Try it for free for 30 days. Click Here.

Save up to 30% Storewide. Click Here.

What story do you want to share with people?

Please leave a comment below about the stories you would like to create and/or questions you have about this program.

 

CyberLink Storewide offer - Save up to 30%

Motherhood in 2019: A Titus 2 Perspective

Motherhood in 2019: A Titus 2 Perspective

As a Christian mom, I rely fully on the Word of God to direct my steps as a mother. It is literally the toughest and most fulfilling job I have ever had. There are no breaks, no vacations, no time-outs, it is 24/7. And I love every second of it (even if I need a little “me time” just so that I can better serve my family).

My four littles have taught me how to be selfless, patient, kind, and to find strength in my weakness. I know that everything is ultimately out of my control. #Godisincontrol

To do it right, I personally love to go to God’s word where he gives explicit instructions on how to grow and mature in my role.

However, with the advancement in technology and the instant availability of information, my generation (yes I am a millennial) have been gifted an opportunity to access vast arrays of knowledge that was not available to our parents.

The internet.

It is a marvelous thing and I adore most of Google’s products. But gone are the days of checking out library books and scouring encyclopedias for facts.

If you are reading this can you recall reading an encyclopedia? I do!!!

It is a glorious memory. My grandmother ordered an entire set A-Z. She didn’t have a full bookshelf to house them all so she lined them up along the wall and across cabinets.

I would wander down to her house through a little pathway in the woods to research a new topic. Most of the time, it was about animals.

“Nanny, what kind of snake is this?”

“What kind of tree is this?”

“Why do the catfish eat everything in our pond?”

“How do you distinguish a poisonous snake from a non-venomous one?”

Have you started to sense that we lived in the woods? LOL

She would pull out the magnifying glass for her ailing eyes to scan over the tops of each page searching for the right topic word in alphabetical order. Together we would read about the marvels in our backyard and sometimes travel farther across the world learning about exotic birds and famous people. It was always an enjoyable time learning from my grandmother’s encyclopedias and HER.

She was my elder. An older woman that could share her life that consisted of a  depression era upbringing, two marriages, four children, and long hours in a shirt factory.

She encouraged my faith by living an example of trust, kindness and unending mercy with humility and respect for others.

Titus 2:3-5 says

3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Teach the older women

As an older woman of God, she had learned a proper way to handle herself and pursue the Word of God. She embraced the duty to learn so that she could pass down that knowledge. My grandmother and mother did their best to transfer what they knew was the best instruction for us.

Teach what is good

During our childhood, my mother and grandmother pressed into Pro 22:6, therefore, creating a “Mary” mentality more than a “Martha”. Personally, as a young mother, I struggle with homemaking – staying on top of laundry, dishes, and the chaos of keeping an orderly home. Yet, my heart always chases after the PEACE in God through understanding because, though homemaking skills are important, they can be taught, but a heart reliant on God is groomed through Bible reading, fellowship and seeing faith in action. My grandmother ALWAYS had her Bible handy beside the big fluffy recliner and a church hymnal to sing praises to God. Hallelujah!

Urge the younger women

Not only did my grandmother encourage fervent Bible reading so did my GREAT-grandmother! What a sweet thing it is to pass down through multiple generations a passion for Bible reading. The word “urge” is means to try earnestly or persistently to persuade someone to do something. My grandmothers were creating a strong desire in my heart to pursue the Bible. It wasn’t a forceful judgemental instruction but one of loving tenderness that was felt through their kind words and gentle urging. I never felt shame for not reading or when I slipped up. Forgiveness and mercy was also a character trait passed down through their actions. I am grateful for their influence.

Instructions

The verse clearly outlines:

  1. love your husbands and children
  2. be self-controlled and pure
  3. be busy at home
  4. be kind
  5. be subject to your husbands

Now for my SO WHAT WHO CARES?

As a mom scouring the internet for information about biblical marriage and motherhood advice I would find entire articles for each of the five instructions above. For today, I am not going to elaborate on each of them. However, I will offer what I have found to be true in my marriage and motherhood journey thus far.

  1. Loving my family comes first even when things get rough.
  2. I attempt to pray before I speak out in anger, therefore, practicing self-control (through a whole lot of help from the Holy Spirit).
  3. As a married couple, we set up boundaries and restrictions to enforce purity.
  4. We made the decision that I would stay home to pour into the children during their foundational years. (I didn’t even start blogging until my oldest was seven years old.) The work wasn’t satisfying in the beginning though my heart and mind simply needed to mature. NOW, I can see the fruit of my labor in our children.  (Wanna know more about the first years leave a comment below).
  5. And finally, YES, I am subject to my husband because he is the head of our household. He doesn’t govern or dictate me nor use me as a doormat, etc. My husband is a loving man of Christ who cherishes ME like Christ loves the church. He is self-sacrificing, caring, kind, and understanding. He provides for us spiritually and physically. He leads us through the valleys and rejoices with us on mountaintops. Is he perfect? No. Neither am I. We love Christ first then each other than our children. We understand the unity we have in Him and the covenant we made with one another. So, Yes, I am subject to him because HE is subject to us through Christ Jesus.

If you are a new mom or a hurting mom I would encourage you to turn to the best instruction manual, encyclopedia, and Google search available – the Word of God. It is a wonderful book full of stories that will encourage the weariest heart. And if you need prayer please do not hesitate to reach out.

 

Additional reading:

https://articles.titus2.com/titus-two-encouragement-for-young-mother-part-1/

A book list: http://titus2mentoringwomen.com/books/

Start a mentoring program: http://titus2mentoringwomen.com/

The Good Fight: Preparing your heart for cancer from a wife’s perspective

The Good Fight: Preparing your heart for cancer from a wife’s perspective

Many of you may not know that my college major was Sport Management. Crazy huh? You should also know that I was NOT an athlete and a lukewarm sports fan. (Recently became a bandwagon fan for some NY teams because I love the game.)

WHY the major then? BECAUSE…

I love SPORT.

Sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

Sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

You see, I enjoy the sportsmanship which is an attitude that strives for fair play, courtesy toward teammates and opponents, ethical behavior and integrity, and grace in victory or defeat.

The game or sport (baseball, football, and rugby are a few that I enjoy watching) involves physical exertion and skill. It requires more than just walking onto a baseball field with a ball and bat. The player must learn how to hold the bat, swing the bat, and read the pitch. All of that is skill and it is learned through time and repetition. Along those same lines, you cannot just warm a bench or sit in the grass waiting just hoping that when the day comes for YOU to perform it will just magically happen. NO! There is a conscious effort that must be made to gain success. To lead you to victory.

My favorite verse – ok not really, I have several favorite verses – but one verse by the apostle Paul that has always stirred up my heart is:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7 NIV

Immediately, I see a boxer in the ring. The desire and passion to win the fight. Another fun fact, my husband is a trained MMA fighter and we met training in a Muy Thai Kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu gym. So yeah, I get it to small extent. You have to TRAIN to WIN a fight that you earned with your own GRIT.

But what is a GOOD fight? I will get to that in a minute.

I am then attracted to the race. In this sentence Paul says that he has finished the race. Once again, it is easy to relate to a race. Running on the playground against your classmates or competing in track meets you have more than likely competed.

In middle school, I ran track (again not an athlete so enjoy the mental image of my goofy running gait and ALWAYS being one of the last people to cross the finish line).

However, I didn’t run because I thought I was fast and would win but because it was thrilling and worthwhile to put forth the effort into training for the race. The comradie with my trackmates and other teammates throughout the years bring back fond memories even in defeat.

“Not that you won or lost but how you played the game”

Yet, I know deep in my heart that I didn’t give it my all. It would be thrilling in the beginning but over time the luster would wear off and my discipline would as well.

But that is the sweetest part of Paul’s message. The GOOD fight isn’t about my skill or physical exertion but my faith in Jesus Christ.

Right now I am facing my biggest opponent ever. The biggest fight of my life thus far. It is watching my husband battle for his life against cancer.

But I have acquired the skill and physical traits needed to fight this by reading the Bible, praying incessantly, not giving up in meeting with others, and leaning into GOD and not my own understanding (in everything not just this situation). I have kept the faith. My foundation is built on rock. A solid ground that cannot be shaken. The wind and storms may try as they might but God has already overcome. He has won.

With that knowledge and promise in my corner I can face this fight with hope. With JOY. Even in defeat I can face the result of this physical trial with grace.

Carry the Load: Teaching our children about their father’s Large B Cell Lymphoma Diagnosis

Carry the Load: Teaching our children about their father’s Large B Cell Lymphoma Diagnosis

On Feb. 20, 2019, we found out what had been plaguing my husband for the last few months.

It was now time to share the news with our four children. I know sharing “the c word” with young children isn’t easy, and oftentimes, families are unsure if they should share such heavy information with wee little ones.

Here is why and how we shared with our children through simply teaching them about how to “carry the load” throughout my husband’s Large B Cell Lymphoma Treatment (a sub-type of Non-Hodgkin’s’ Lymphoma).

What is the role of a husband and father?

The bible mentions father 998 times and husband 120 times (and just for fun, wife is mentioned 397 times).

*Side note: Blue Letter Bible is a great bible study tool to help you dig deeper into God’s word that is available for your desktop, tablet or smartphone.

  1. Husbands are to love their wives-like Christ loved the church with a sacrificial love and not be harsh with them. Col 3:19 and Eph 5:25
  2. Provide for his family and head of the household. 1 Tim 5:8 and 1 cor 11:3
  3. Love his wife as himself. Eph 5:33
  4. Imitator of God that walks in love. Eph 5:1
  5. Instruct, teach and discipline his children. Pro 22:6; Deut 6:5-9; 1 Tim 4:10-11

Reasons to be transparent as a father

My husband has dutifully performed his role with love, compassion and a teachable spirit. Together we have created an environment of love, security and understanding. Our children understand that our counsel is wise and respect sound discipline.

Our children look to us for comfort and security not fear or judgement.

Our instruction errs on the side of grace and mercy.

It is our duty to love and share truth with them. Even if the truth isn’t pleasant because life isn’t always going to give them roses and sunshine. Life is difficult to navigate and throws you a curve ball.

As parents we are to train them up. Training them up includes preparing their hearts for the hard times.

Additionally, children are much more aware and observant than they get credit for therefore we would be doing a disservice by NOT trusting them with the knowledge of their father’s diagnosis. However, it does not warrant us to paint a picture of gloom and doom.

It gives us an opportunity to share the gospel! Hallelujah!

We are able to share that this is all part of HIS plan [Rom 8:28]. To surrender our lives to HIM. To trust HIM. Our children see our faith in action as we practice it through this dark valley. As the Lord lights the path at our feet our children will be intently watching as we navigate these new circumstances – failures, successes, despair, and joy.

What a blessing! Yes, I said blessing, because it is an opportunity to share Christ with our children at a delicate phase in their lives that will train them up in the truth.

How we conveyed the truth to children

Our marriage and family has been built on a rock [Matt 7:25]. A cornerstone of faith and trust. We shared the bare bones.

“Daddy is sick. He needs medicine that will take a long time to take and will probably make things worse before it gets better.”

They listened attentively and understood better than we did.

Practical application:

The first task was to gather wood as we normally do in these upstate NY winters.

As we approached the wood, my oldest daughter asked why Daddy didn’t join us.

I held up a piece of our firewood and explained that Daddy could no longer carry a load over 10 lbs. I asked her if she would be willing to carry his load.
She looked right into my eyes and held out her arms. “Mom is that piece of wood ten lbs?”

She looked right into my eyes and held out her arms. “Mom is that piece of wood ten lbs?”

Knitting Our Story

In weather below freezing she went out again and again gathering firewood asking “is this ten lbs?”

How my heart and eyes filled with awe! In the Bible, Jesus says in Luke 18:17, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” She demonstrated faith and understanding beyond our reasoning and with JOY!

Sharing is Caring

We trust, obey and love our heavenly Father.

We trust His plan through this new circumstance of cancer.

We instruct our children through sharing truth, even hard truths, because it is our job to teach them. To train them up.

Blogging through Cancer

Blogging through Cancer

On the 20th of February in the year of 2019, our world changed with a single phone call. A tumor was located in the center of my husband’s chest.

 

A consistent blogging routine had yet to be established with Knitting Our Story however I chose to continue to write throughout the process even if I wasn’t sharing it publicly. Writing was cathartic and pleasing to my heavy heart. Also, it would be a wonderful legacy to share with family and friends after the chemotherapy was said and done. After the eyebrows grew back. After the scars had faded and the tumor had disappeared. Here is an excerpt from my ramblings in February 2019:

 

In December 2018, my husband started complaining of mild chest pressure, not pain just pressure, that originated in the right side of his chest and moved into his arm. After two primary care and three urgent care visits that involved a strep throat infection it seemed his symptoms were worsening along with a rapid 15 lb weight loss. He struggled to breathe at night that forced him to sleep at an incline. Any strenuous activity, including lifting our six month old son, caused his superior vena cava vein to swell and bulge in his neck. 

 

Finally, we received an answer for all these symptoms on Feb 20th 2019.

 

My husband’s perseverance with medical staff in addition to the persistence of loving family members we did not give up on seeking a prognosis. Eventually, we compiled an entire list of all his symptoms:

 

  1. #1 symptom for us: persistent cough
  2. #2 symptoms for us: unexplained difficulty breathing and pressure in chest
  3. Fevers and strep infection for a normally very healthy person
  4. Unexplained weight loss (15 lbs for my husband)
  5. Lack of energy (sleeping constantly yet never fully rested)
  6. Painless swelling in neck
  7. Superior Vena Cava syndrome (we had no idea why the vein in his neck was bulging)

 

According to Sloan Kettering and Boston Children’s Cancer Blood Disorder Center, Peter presented all the symptoms necessary for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma BUT they were also symptoms of very benign infections as simple as Strep Throat. WHO KNEW?

 

In the span of minutes our world flipped upside down. 

 

Without flinching, we held tight to the promise we have in Christ Jesus. We will both affirm that He carried us through the first 48 hours of this devastating news. 

 

In 48 hours, my husband underwent a chest x-ray, CT scan followed by an ER visit, overnight hospital stay and a thoracic chest biopsy (chest surgery).

 

Then we waited. And waited.

 

What would the results say? Is this really cancer? 

 

Yes.

 

This is day 12. This is fresh. This is new. This is us. This is our story.

 

We are trusting the Lord with cancer. 

 

I am also trusting the Lord with this blog. 

 

Here are three reasons why I am STILL writing during this time.

#1

My blog is titled “Knitting Our Story”. With all my heart, soul and strength I love the Lord and this intricately knitted story HE wrote while I was still in the womb.  It has always been my heart’s desire to share our story. Cancer is just a chapter being woven into a much longer novel.

#2

I am my target market. Again, my heart’s desire is to share knowledge with others by providing them with concise and practical ways to capture their story with today’s technology BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE! The intent has not changed. If anything it has placed a fire in my heart that capturing our story is more than ever paramount. I want to capture every single moment with my family. (OK, not every moment, I want to engage as well) My husband’s diagnosis has fanned the flame in my heart to be better and become obedient. To stop making excuses and run the race marked for me. The Lord is still encouraging me to share. To help. To serve. 

#3

What was once a long term goal has become a short term goal which is to make this blog an investment opportunity through monetization so it can contribute to our family income. I do not know what is to come and it is fully in the Lord’s hands. However, to be a good steward and to have a farmer mentality, I need to start sowing into this passion project, my blog, to reap benefits that will serve my family with financial gains. Here is my full disclosure policy. In advance, thank you for any contribution you make through any of my affiliate links and for just visiting my blog. Thank you.

 

SO WHAT WHO CARES?:

The practical application is that NOBODY is promised tomorrow. What are you doing TODAY to make the most of it? What could you do today to start creating a legacy to leave for loved ones? How would you handle something like this? Are you prepared to withstand a storm of uncertainty?

 

Share your insights below.

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