So glad you came to visit today! Here at my little corner of bloggy world I share a little bit about everything--family, parenting, goals, struggles, photography, recipes, n more! So curl up with a cup of hot tea {or not} and feel free to peruse around my site! Check out my sidebar for links. And come back again!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Photography: Emma, 4 yrs

The last of Nikki's kids' pictures, Emma!  She was in Eli's preschool class this past year and this is how I got to know her family.  What a BLESSING that was!  Wonderful, wonderful family and Nikki has become a dear friend to me!  

I had fun doing Emma's pictures. I spent more time with her just playing and getting her warmed up so her smiles didn't look fake. 

 I love this next one, a MOMENT captured and THAT'S what photography is really about...

 so sweetly resting...
 just kidding!

 Emma requested one on the swings, so here we were.  Hard to get one that wasn't blurry or the chain wasn't in the way of her face!

Photography: Megan, 14 yrs

{Continuation of my friend Nikki's kids.... Click to also view Katie, Brian, and Olivea.}

I'm not for sure that 14 is right, but that gives you an idea anyway.  Sweet Megan is special needs and I was a little nervous about how she would do for me, but SHE DID GREAT!  And I think we came out with some pretty good pictures! I wish I had the gentle spirit she has! 

 These next two are the same picture basically taken from different angles. Couldn't decide which I liked better.

Still one more post with Emma's pictures!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Meanderings - Jun 20

Bible Study... Exodus!

Memory Verse... Psalm 86:11-13
"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth, give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart. I will glorify your name forever."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Be on his side.
♥ Clean up house.
♥ Be his helper any way I can with the bunk bed project.
♥ Pie. (still haven't done this!)

Train Them Up...
* Not sure what's going on with #1??  He's been really mouthy and arguing a lot about little things.  Not sure if it's the change in school routine, if he's bored, if he needs some one on one attention or just time alone, or if it's just his age??

Personal Goals...
* Run at least 3x this week.

New Habit of the Month...  {JUNE} Get up before kids. (doing pretty well with this... except for today.)

MUST Do...
* Get photos on a disk for Nikki.
* Schedule Eli's eye appointment.
* Get last beach pics uploaded and on the blog.
* Bills out.
* Return Netflix.
* Wash pool towels.
* Clean entire house for tomorrow!!

Zone(s)... dining room and kitchen. But really everywhere is going to get majorly cleaned.

Menu - 

M - toasted sandwiches, chips, apple
T - French dip, Suddenly Salad, fruit salad
W - hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad
Th -pizza
F - cheese quesadillas, carrots
Su - TBD

* Family is coming and going to see our house for the first time on Tuesday. Staying the night and heading out Wednesday.  Can't wait to show them our place and spend some time with them!!
* We've started building Eli's (and Carter's) bunk bed for their room! Kevin's off til Thursday night so this is our work week!
* I just got a plane ticket to visit my friend Lisa, BY MYSELF, the last weekend in June!!!

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. Father's Day and the great man by my side.
2. A fun weekend celebration at our town.
3. The race is over and I can relax!  =)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 86:11-15

Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.

The arrogant are attacking me, O God;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life--
men without regard for you.
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate
and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love 
and faithfulness.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My first 5K race!

I slept terrible.  Grandma came to watch the kids so Carter was in our room for the night, and I don't know if he always does this, but he woke up a lot of times,  just making noise in his bed and then falling back to sleep. At one point I saw lightning and thought, Uh Oh.  When I finally got up in the morning it was raining.  "Rain or shine", the event said, so I figured we were still on for the race.  And we continued getting ourselves ready.

before the race

And now for the details...

The good:
* My new sports bra finally came in the day before the race. Was so excited to not have to just layer up old bras as I had been doing!  New bra worked wonderfully!
* The sprinkly rain stopped just before the race started and it felt wonderfully cool out!
* While we were waiting I was talking with another young mom of a 4yo who lives right near us.  Would love to have gotten her name and contact info, so I hope we cross paths again soon!
* I could see Kevin the whole way so I knew I wasn't TOO far behind him.  That made me feel good.
* I ran almost all of the race only walking a few feet of the last hill toward the end.
* Downhills were very good.  Tried to lengthen my stride and just let the hill give me a break.
* I finished strong sprinting in the last 100meters or so.
* My time was 28min50sec, several minutes faster than what I'd been running on the treadmill! Was very pleasantly surprised!
* Carter was happily clapping and squawking at everyone as they finished!
* Both Eli and Hannah are saying they want to run the 1-mile race next year!

The not so good:
* Much of the path was on gravel on the outside of town, which means I was trying to find the less muddy part of the road to run on. And being out in the open instead of zooming past houses made the race feel slower.
* Compared to the treadmill, I felt like I was trudging along slowly.  So I was very surprised at my time!
* I was just running by myself, following a cluster of three teenage girls and a young boy something like 11 yrs old with no one close behind.  Was a pretty relaxed run though I felt tired for much of it.  Not the adrenaline rush I was expecting, but that's okay.

So it's over!  Went well, did well, and now I'm happy it's done!

after the race
As for more races?  Maybe.  But I'll stick with 5Ks for now before even thinking about moving up to anything longer!

Friday, June 17, 2011


...is my race day.  I know it's only 3.1 miles and I have several friends who run half-MARATHONS, so this really should be no big deal.  And it's not really.  But I'm nervous.  I hate the whole race feel, always have and probably always will.  And I'm nervous about what it will be like NOT on a treadmill that sets my pace for me and stays on zero incline and has a fan blowing on me with a towel it holds for me whenever I need it.  I don't really care what my time is, won't be surprised if it's longer since there are slight hills n such, but I do hope it's somewhere in the vicinity of 35 minutes. My mom is coming today to spend the day with us and watch the kids during the race tomorrow.  I'm excited for THEM to watch and be a part of it.  And I'm excited to support our community and PARTICIPATE in something, as that's a rare thing being Mommy.  And I'm excited Kevin will be running "with" me.  It will be a fun morning! And as for the run, my hope is that running outside WILL be far more enjoyable than running on the treadmill.  The weather should be pretty nice and hopefully still a somewhat cool morning!  Wish me luck! I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Photography: Brian, 12 Years

Continuation of Nikki's kids... I was also excited for Brian's pictures and some (pre)teenage boy action!  He's a sweet, quiet boy and so handsome!

Had to get a couple pics with his new puppy Daisy that he got for his birthday last month

 For each of the kids I used most of the same photo spots but tried to use it in a different way for each of them.  For Brian the brick (cement?) wall was his background. For Olivea I used it for her to sit on and walk on. For her sister Emma, which you'll see coming up, I used it for her stand on and jump from.  Though I didn't get a great one of her jumping, it was a fun activity that helped her get loosened up for real-smile photos. But anyway, more on her later...

this was the furniture piece he picked from his room

this is his favorite tree he likes to climb

Journey to the center of the earth Bible

One of my 30 before 30 goals is to read through the entire Bible, as I've never done that before.  I don't care what time frame it takes me, I just want to read ALL of the Bible.  So, soon after my March birthday I printed a Chronological reading schedule, picked an empty notebook to use for notes and thoughts, and I started.

I can't say that I'm flying through it, but I can say I'm making my way and just a couple days ago finally passed through Genesis into Exodus.  I'm piecing together many things I'd never understood before.  I didn't even know I didn't understand before but reading through ENTIRE stories has helped me get the whole picture.  I wanted to share a tip that's greatly helped me....

In my journal I draw family trees and as I'm reading I add to the tree.  When my page starts to get full, I start a new page beginning the new tree with another leading Bible character.  {My first tree is Adam>Noah, second tree is Noah>Abram, then Abram>Joseph, Jacob>David, plus a separate tree just for Levi(tes) where you'll find brothers Moses and Aaron.}  It gives me a visual and helps me remember WHO the people are that I'm reading about instead of it just feeling like a whole bunch of names I can hardly pronounce! {And it helps me get through long "father of.. father of..." passages.}

(click to view larger)

And now I understand why Joseph was Jacob's favorite son. Because Jacob wanted to marry Rachel and worked the 7 years but was instead given Leah.  He worked another 7 years and was given Rachel.  And then there was the big who-can-have-more-babies-battle between Leah and Rachel, but Rachel didn't have her own for a long time and finally had Joseph, the first-born of Jacob's real love. Rachel only had one other, Benjamin, and she died in childbirth.  And now I understand that Jacob also was called Israel.  And that's why later in Exodus God's people are called Israelites, because Jacob's family all moved to Egypt to be under Joseph's care because Joseph had reserved food for during the famine.  And Levi is one of Joseph's "brothers" so that's what branch all the of Levites are from in Exodus.  Judah is another one of those "brothers" in which line later comes Jesse and David.

And while reading through Exodus and the stories of the plagues, my biggest question was Why did God harden the heart of the Pharoah every time Moses asked to be let free to go worship their Lord??  And as I got to the end of those stories, I had my answer.  Exodus 9:15-16 "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth.  But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."  Exodus 10:1 "Go to Pharoah, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his official so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord." It's an interesting little "game" God was playing there on Pharoah.  And can you even IMAGINE what it would actually be like to have blood, frogs, locusts, flies, etc EVERYWHERE like that??!  

And now as the Israelites have FINALLY been released I can only think, They have no idea what journey they're beginning...

As I'm reading I also follow a notes plan that my friend Amanda used here:

S: Scripture - Write the ONE scripture that I feel God is using to speak to me in today’s reading
O: Observation - What might He be telling me with that scripture?
A: Application - How can I apply it to my life?
P: Prayer - What is my prayer to ask God in helping me to make that application?

So that's my journey thus far!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Photography: Katie, 16 years

I got to do a huge photoshoot yesterday of my friend Nikki's children.  I'd already done Olivea back in May and I still needed to do the remaining four kids so we lumped them all into one afternoon, and the CD of pictures is going to be birthday gift for family!  What a great gift idea!  

Katie is Nikki's oldest and she's 16 and GORGEOUS.  I've never done teen photos before, but let me tell you, I couldn't wait!  Older kids are actually cooperative n stuff and they were EXCITED for pictures, so I knew it was going to be pretty easy!  Nervous I was though, I'm not great at telling people what to do or where to stand, but we worked together pretty well!  And here are some favorites from the day...

 the next three are the same photo edited three different ways with three different feels

 I LOVE this angle, too bad she's not in focus.  Should've pointed my camera at her first to set my focus and then moved the camera into position while still holding my button halfway down.
 she is so pretty...
 love this one.  body is turned a little weird in the back, but whatever.

 I'd told Nikki to warn the kids that I might poke through their rooms for fun prop ideas, or allow them time to pick something for themselves beforehand so they did, and how cool is this zebra print chair! Definitely added fun variety to the photoshoot and helped maked it more personal to each child!

More to come of the other children!