Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Fragments

Here again, with our last weekend before school, it’s time to flush your mind of all the little fragments from the week!!  Thanks to Mrs. 4444 for Friday Fragments!!

  • I am hosting a giveaway for kids’ educational video game rentals!  It’s on my giveaway site “All That Other Stuff…” rents V. Tech and LeapFrog games and you could win 3 Months Free!! (um, someone come play, there’s no entries which means you have a VERY good chance of winning!)
  • Going to get Hubby’s books for his classes at college this week.  Neither of us have set foot in that bookstore for about 10 years, so it should be fun to see what it’s like now!
  • While I’m in town today, I’ll be shooting some engagement photos for a couple who’s wedding I’m shooting next month.
  • I’ve been saving up for ages and finally ordered my new camera.  I stalked the mail(wo)man until it came! It is a.w.e.s.o.m.e. 
  • I took the kids (minus JC, who stayed home with Daddy) to my BFF’s last Monday and Tuesday.  We had a really fun time.  I always wish I could stay longer when I’m there! (pre-new camera pics)



  • I felt all pioneer when I used a pine cone from the ground to scrape junk off a blanket I was shaking out in the yard.  OK, truth is, it was puke and I didn’t want to touch it.  The pine cone was the closest object.  Did I mention my kids are sick for the first days of school?  Well, perhaps we’ll just get it out of the way.
  • My eBFF Leanna is coming next weekend!!!! Eeee!  But now I have one week to get this house presentable, and I work this weekend so those days are out.  Yikes.
  • I think there is some warranty expiration or something going on with our house.  Everything is dying at once…  Of course there was the boiler this winter, then last week a set of circuits died and we can’t seem to figure out which fuses need replacing, if at all.  That killed a fridge and stove in the kitchenette (used to be an apartment).  Fortunately we have a full size kitchen downstairs.  THEN that oven element decided to die.  We went from 2 full ovens and 2 refrigerators to one stove top, no oven, and one fridge that likes to freeze milk even on the lowest settings. (Also, it now smells like something died in the unused fridge, even though I scrubbed it out with bleach.  I’m scared to move it and look underneath.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Princess Piper

I took a little video of Piper and I outside trying out the new camera.  This is a daily wardrobe.  The princess dress.  And usually more than one.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Guest Post: How to Say No To Your Child

Written by my husband….




For best results read in its entirety.

take a normal breath and hold. don't worry, you won't be holding it your tongue behind your front teeth. purse your lips into a little 'o' shape. in most people, your lips will actually be turned out in almost a kissing pucker. be sure to keep the opening wide enough for a proper 'o' size. you should be able to put your index finger in the 'o' you just made with your lips. this ensures the proper long 'o' sound for the correct execution of the word 'no'. next, begin to exhale. not all at once, but in an even, measured release. it should feel effortlessly. also, most people don't realize it, but a little air will be escaping through your nose as you begin the enunciation process, but don't worry, this is completely natural and you're doing it right. if there wasn't any air passing through your nose, you wouldn't so much be saying 'nnnnn', but more a  'duh', as though you're saying the letter 'd', similar to when you have a cold. keeping on, however, you must allow your vocal chords to vibrate, or, produce tone..with air moving past your vocal chords and through your sinus cavity, the resonance of your oral chamber produces a prolonged 'nnnnnn' sound.

keep the air flowing. keep your resonant tone buzzing. drop your lower jaw, but be careful to keep your lips in that nice 'o' shape described earlier. allow your tongue to fall between your bottom teeth. to your suprise, you'll think you've just said the word 'no'. now, gramatically, you have. however, literally, you haven't. not completely. you've got to finish it. i know your thinking, "Steve, there's only two letters in it, how can there be anything more to the word no?"

oh, exciting!! the air is electric with anticipation...

here's the answer: to complete the word, you actually need to bring your jaws together. go from an 'oh' sound (as in 'go') to an 'oo' sound (as in food). the effect is an aral mirage that makes a one-syllable word into a three-syllable word, but remains, you guessed it, a ONE-SYLLABLE WORD!!

example: nnnn-OH-oooo. repeat as often as is necessary. the more you say it, the easier it becomes.

exciting!! how incredibly complex this little two-letter word can be. i think we often forget the beauty of 'no', because we hear 'yes' far too often.

my dear reader, congratulations. if you've followed the instructions, you have successfully said the word 'no'. i know it may seem awkward at first, but with a little practice and effort, it will become a regular feature of your day to day vocabulary and one of the most effective tools in the parenting arsenal. remember, the effectiveness of the word 'no', especially as a parent, isn't knowing when to say it, it's knowing when NOT to say it. remember parents, if your kids are well-behaved, unspoiled, obedient, and appreciative of things they have, you're probably doing it right!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

So I went on a photo shoot…

and my favorite shot was the one I wasn’t supposed to be in.  But I was.  Kinda cool, huh?

IMG_2946 I have more shots up at my photography website HERE.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


 I refer to him as JC, but I never call him that.  He goes by Jackson sometimes.  Mostly he answers to the name “Naughty”.  He’s earned that name being the little boy he is.  Naughty is SO much more boy than his big brother.  This kid can’t sit still (unless SpongeBob is involved).  He’s always getting into things, taking things apart, coloring on things with crayons that weren’t properly rounded up.  He also man handles his big sister, which isn’t hard since he is months away from outweighing her even with a 2 year difference in age.  But after the tornado, after he has ripped up your magazine, he crawls up into your lap and snuggles in.  How can you not love that??


IMG_1396a IMG_0268a


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I believe you will fly…

I believe you will fly
because you told me so.
Your limitations don’t apply
where you’ve decided to go.
Your strength is in your heart
rather than your frame.
You are a work of art
you inspire me the same.
The Lord has blessed us with you
and has given you a task.
We will help you see it through
you never have to ask.
I believe you will fly
and I will be your guide.
You’ll succeed in what you try
because I’ll be at your side.


Canon EOS
ISO 100
f/8 at 1/125
28-55mm lens
no flashIMG_2604aCanon EOS
ISO 100
f/9 at 1/160
28-55mm lens
no flash


See more Special Exposure Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Fragments

Got some leftovers to share?? Join Mrs. 4444  at Half Past Kissing Time for Friday Fragments!


  • This week seriously came and went.  I have no idea what I’ve done all week.  When I work the weekend before, it seems like its Wednesday before I function.  Monday I sleep, Tuesday I recover…. now its Friday?
  • Time to school shop!!  Not just for the kids, but for DADDY!  He’s going back to school, too.  Its time to use that G.I. Bill and tuition reimbursement he earned.  Therefore, money will be tight for a bit, but it will be well worth it.
  • Took a bunch of pictures of graffiti while I had to wait for a train.  My big idea was to walk to a nearby home for a photoshoot.  I had to cross the tracks.  I didn’t realize the one time the trains would cross all day was when I wanted to walk home.  I stood there for at least 20 minutes.  SO I entertained myself with these (I’m hoping there’s no swear words, I can’t make any out):IMG_2131aIMG_2137a graffiti 
  • Its not such a big deal, but this struck me.  JC, almost-but-not-quite-two, able to hold on and swing slowly on the swing.  Piper at age 4 can barely do it, most of the time she won’t because she falls off, or nearly falls.  Her right side is just too weak to keep her from falling.  JC also learned to climb the ladder to our little slide.  This, too Piper only recently learned.  Now comes the age where the younger child will surpass the older on some physical abilities.  I knew it was coming, just not so soon.IMG01243
  • Did I mention how much I love my husband’s cooking…. well, I do!!


  • Aria and I did some storm chasing last night.  I wasn’t going anywhere near the really dangerous stuff, I just wanted to snap a few pictures.  It’s been SO stormy lately!!  Here’s Aria’s shots (taken with my phone):IMG01295 IMG01299
  • I’ve been catching up on Grey’s Anatomy the last few weeks via .  You MUST visit there if you haven’t already.  They carry all the major networks and the most recent shows.  We don’t have a DVR, and now I can survive without one!!
  • Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Are you hungry yet?

My husband is the cook.  The chef.  Not me.  I open a mean box of Tuna Helper, and I have about 2 things I cook really well.  The rest of our fabulous dining is courtesy of Daddy.  He just seems to know what would work together, what seasonings to add.  I just stand back (and do the dishes after) and wait for the results!!  While I’m standing back watching his chef knife fly, of course, I have my trusty camera and some dermabond

Last night we made a HUUGE batch of stir fry.  Two batches, in fact.  One chicken, and one beef.  He found a HUUGE wok to cook in, and rigged this garbage can cooker to hold it over charcoal.

IMG_8755  In case you aren’t sure of the size of this enormous thing, check out Piper….  No, we didn’t cook her, she’s a bit too skinny.

Once the cooking apparatus was designed, the veggies were cut.  By the way, did I mention it was in the upper 80’s at dinner time.  Not really my idea of grilling weather, but I wasn’t the one standing over the hot food.

IMG_2241 IMG_2244

Our sauce staples for any good stir fry – oyster sauce and a really good soy sauce.


Hungry yet?  How about now….


This was a seriously amazing meal!

Want the recipe?  I may divulge….later ;)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Special Exposure Wednesday - Softball



The big kids are in baseball and softball.  Piper gets to watch.  T-Ball doesn’t start until they are in Kindergarden here.  She says she wants to play.  I won’t stop her from trying.  In fact, I’ll be right there cheering her on.  Right now she has no limitations as far as she’s concerned.  I’m not about to tell her any different. 

 baseball3                 baseball2

She can hold the bat! That’s a good start!!



Shot with a Canon EOS
no flash
most at f/2.5 and 1/100 seconds
ISO 100
fixed 50mm lens (love it!!)

Special Exposure Wednesday is part of 5 Minutes for Special Needs.  Stop by for more SEW!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

I’ve made it through another week.  One step closer to school being back in session!!!!  Let me spill all the Fragments (thanks Mrs. 4444!) since I have barely touched my blog since last week! Oops!

  • So close to back-to-school time! Our annual paperwork has arrived and I feel like the faster I fill it out, the sooner these kids will be OUT of the house.  August 23 never seemed so far away….
  • Where the __ did this week go? Seriously.  One minute I was waking up Monday morning, now Friday is here. Did I get anything done?? 

    GOOD:  I thought of meals to feed the kids.  I’m bad at that when hubby’s not around to cook!  I vacuumed the stairway between the first and second floors.  It’s always dusty (and furry).  It takes forever.  I prepared more fruit for canning before the fruit flies got to it.  I got ahead of the dishes (no dishwasher, just me!).  I …uh… oh! I cleaned up my studio for upcoming pictures and rearranged a bit.  That took most of a day.
    How many days am I up to? I’m just trying to account for lost time.  Maybe I was abducted by aliens?

    BAD: Didn’t actually CAN any of the fruit I prepared.  Instead of molding on the counter it may mold in the fridge.  I spent one whole day not stepping foot outside.  Not even for the mail.  I forgot to take in the poor dog one night and she slept on the porch all night :( (she probably liked it better than her kennel).  Although the 1-2 floor steps got done, the 2-3 floor steps did not.  I have tons of laundry to fold.  I have a scrapbook for the church to get done.  I let the kids play lots of Xbox (in exchange for reading books) so I could get things done. Lots. of. Xbox. Wii. DS.

    Mario, anybody?

    Mario, anybody??

  • I taught Aria how to use Facebook chat and she had conversations with hubby while he’s in Florida.  She loved it!

Yes, frozen pizza again.  And, BTW, why are you dressed like Justin Bieber?

  • I spent a lot of time on Skype with Leanna, my eBFF.  She actually has a new post up on her spiffy site.  I highly encourage you to stop by and say HI!  Maybe tell her she doesn’t sound like a B-yotch for being upset with the way special needs kids are little more than a number sometimes!!!
  • I fed the kids a lot of Kool-Aid this week. (Maybe this should be filed up there with the “bad” list?)  The GOOD part was that its the sugar free version of what we all had as kids.  I loved Kool-Aid.  I think its all we drank in the summer.  I prefer real juice for my kids, but its just so easy to add water to these packets…..
  • I went out and listened to a local band at the local bar.  I had hubby stay home (he was packing for Florida – did I mention he’s on Daytona Beach right now??).  Of the 5 band members 3 are brothers and a fourth brother couldn’t make it.  Hubby went to high school with all of them.  It was a great time!
  • I posted a little article HERE on my “All That Other Stuff…” blog about getting ready for school.  I plan on having some cool giveaways coming up, so stop back!!
  • I have hardly touched my camera at all this week.  That is SO not like me.  Hence the lack of photos in this post.  Maybe I really was abducted by aliens this week??

Getting away was actually getting back


This is my BFF’s little guy.  He’s just a few months older than Max.  When we get together we always end up calling them the wrong names.  About a month ago I went there (3 hours away) to spend a few nights, catch a movie…IMG01189

and just do friend things.  All without my kids.  Now, I love my kids, but sometimes mama needs a break.  It was awesome.  It felt like we were in high school again.  We stayed out late and played frisbee golf (which I never did in high school) and played a second round because we didn’t have any other obligations.  We shopped a little, we ate our very favorite Chinese food, we went for a walk that took us almost all the way around our small town.  We talked.  Not just mommy talk, although that was a lot of it.  We talked about our old friends, our “old” lives, our current lives, made fun of the movie we saw, the works.  I really needed it.  The weekend was short and I hated to go.  Being the “Household 6” one doesn’t get a whole lot of time alone, much less to catch up with a BFF running her own household.  I want to get back there again.  This time I suppose I’ll bring the kids.  Our broods think of each other as family, too. Just like she and I do.  Like sisters.  I’m am so grateful for the friendship we have and continue to have.  I don’t know that many people who are still BFF’s with their fifth grade friend like we are.  We shared many years of happiness and sadness, experiences that we understand between us without speaking.  We share inside jokes that came from all of those moments.  We know “us” sometimes better than our spouses do.  I SO needed that weekend.  Did I mention I loved it?! I totally did.