Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Special Exposure Wednesday

New photos of the kids.  I couldn’t get them to sit together for very long, but when I chase one at a time I can get some fun shots!!

Aria age 8 Maximus age 6 Princess Piper age 4 Jackson age 2 These were all a “hooray for Photoshop” moment, too.  I had shot photos earlier in my studio at home.  I used a fixed setting on my camera, and I forgot to change the settings because I was in such a hurry to get these taken!  All of these shots were at:
ISO: 125
f-stop 4.5
1/125 sec
50mm lens

but this setting over-exposed the shots a bit, they were a little bright and washed out.  I shot them in jpeg and RAW.  RAW lets you easily fix things that can be off, like the lighting.  So with a little tweaking, they look pretty good!

Special Exposure Wednesday is hosted by 5 Minutes for Special Needs!


Monday, September 27, 2010

You can’t always get what you want…unless you have Photoshop.

OK, so I’m not gonna lie.  I can’t seem to get a decent photo of all four kids at the same time lately.  Individually…maybe.  One little guy in particular seems to be the heart of the problem.  The two year old won’t sit for one shot.  Can you believe it?? Oh, you can?  Yeah…

I spent a majority of today shooting other families and seniors.  Even unhappy toddlers and jumping puppies still allowed me a few photos I didn’t have to fix.  So here’s what most of my own family’s shots look like…IMG_1897a

IMG_1902a (do I hear “Run, Forest! Run!”?)


We really only spent about 12 minutes out here, but I was already exhausted.   Hooray for Photoshop.  It has spared me from wrestling the two year old into a “natural” position for another round of silly pictures.  Thanks! (um, now if you could just make it a little cheaper??)


Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Fragments

It seems like it was just Monday, and now another week has gone by. Mrs. 4444 offers us a chance to purge ourselves of all those little bits and pieces in Friday Fragments!

Friday Fragments
  • Both kids ended up in the parade.  Our former neighbors (LOVE them!) asked if the kids would throw candy from the little Lions Club float, since Max was already engaged as Mr. Sunflower, Aria invited her friend to join her.  Her friend was thrilled!


  • I’m not sure how an 8-year-old girl gets the title of “Ms.”.  Max was excited to throw candy and wave at us as he went by!
  • Grandpa came to watch the parade through his home town. The nice thing about the parade is that is comes right by our house, we just have to sit in the yard and wait for the candy to roll in.  Piper did a great job of collecting it.  A certain person running for a local office came by with yardsticks for the adults (yay!).  Grandpa and JC had a sword fight.
  • Our church’s 20th  Anniversary went well and we had a great turn out.  I took a picture of the nursery I was working on since I forgot last week.  I have a lot more to do.  Like animals.  I’m thinking giraffes were not the only things on the arc.  As if two year olds care, sitting back there critiquing my work.

  • I signed up for Extreme Home Makeover volunteer duty!!!  The show will be in town in October (I consider the nearest large town “in town”).  I also offered my services as a professional photographer.  I really hope they call me for either one!  I’ll keep you posted!
  • Aria has the funniest sense of humor of any 8-year-old I know….. Let me share a few drawings:

AriaAlienAbductionAlien Abduction

AriaPukingRobotPuking Robot (those are nuts and bolts falling out)

  • That’s about all I’ve got.  I have tons of photos to edit and get out by this weekend to make room for new sessions!! I love to be busy!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The many faces of Piper

many faces of piper

I see acting in her future…

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I’m not sure what it is about trains, but it seems like plenty of little boys gravitate toward them.  My boys are no exception.  Max has sort of grown out of “choo-choos”, trading them in for video games and Legos, but JC has really become interested in them.  This summer I had to chase JC down when he tried to escape the baseball practice field and run toward the train half a mile in the distance (I caught him, BTW).  He loves to play with Max’s handed-down Thomas trains.  He also loves that we only live a block from real trains.  Every time we get to see them go by he gets excited…


Piper on the other hand…..not so thrilled.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Fragments

Get out your leftovers and serve them up with Mrs'. 4444’s Friday Fragments at Half Past Kissing Time.


  • It was our 10th anniversary this week.  We spent the actual night together watching Dexter and going to bed early.  Wednesday is not a convenient time to have an anniversary.  We actually spent time together last weekend.  I had a wedding to shoot, but they were friends of his, so we were guests as well.  We stayed all by ourselves (no kids) at the hotel where they held the reception.  It was a really good time!! wedding

Facebook highlights (really, I just can’t remember everything that went on this week, so here’s what I said I did…)

  • Took the kids to their first Tae Kwon Do class on Monday.  They liked it.  Max was a little disappointed that he wasn’t immediately kicking and punching with accuracy.  I think the idea of practice has escaped him, I blame it on the video games where you are instantly good at everything.
  • Piper and JC wouldn’t sit through the practice like I’d hoped, so we ran around outside waiting for the end of class.
  • We went to the library, the kids were more interested the basket of toys than in books.  I came across them whispering "All the single ladies, all the single ladies.." And dancing the flowers around and giggling.
  • About 2 years ago two of us from church started a mural in the newly remodeled nursery at church.  We never found the time to get it completely finished.  This week I did a little more work and it looks closer to complete.  At least there’s no masking tape still on the wall!
    image giraffes
  • This weekend is our church’s 20th anniversary celebration.  That’s part of the reason I did more painting.  I’ve been working with a team for the last few months on a scrap book as well as a DVD slide show of photos from the last 20 years.  We got it all done!!!  I think this weekend in going to be SO fun!!
  • Max was crowned Lil’ Mr. Sunflower in our local pageant.  He is riding in the Sunflower Days parade here in town tomorrow.  I made a video of them drawing the winners HERE.IMG_1678crop 
  • I’m working again this weekend, so I will miss the Friday festivities in town.  There will be Trivia at  one of the bars, Glow Bowling, some Banjo player (World’s Fastest, apparently), and a street dance.  Sigh.  I always seem to work during the fun stuff.  Oh well :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Max, king of the….

No, not king of the wild things today.  Max won our little town’s Lil’ Miss and Lil’ Mr. Sunflower Pageant.  This was the first year he was eligible.  Aria was in it last year as well.  It’s a fun little pageant, and the best part is that it’s actually all based on luck of the draw.  Each child is announced and brought up on stage.  They are asked a few questions (what grade are you in? what’s your favorite animal? if you could have a super power, what would it be?)  All of the names are put in a bucket and the winner is drawn randomly.  I love this format.  This is the only kind of pageant my kids will ever be in.  There is no need to have an expensive dress or have the perfect answer to the question.  The winners get to ride in the parade on Saturday.  The cool part is that the parade goes right past our house, we all hang out on the lawn (and catch candy!).  This whole week is the town’s annual celebration.  There will be things like a petting zoo, street dances, a fair, city wide garage sales, and of course the parade.  More photos to come!! (I’m uploading a video, but it will be a while… You can see Max’s Mario-esque kick when he comes up to claim his crown)

IMG_1676blog I was really proud of Aria for being such a great sport.  She was genuinely excited for her friend and her brother to win.  On the video you can see her surprise and delight.  It’s really cute.  Both Daddy and I told her how proud we were of her for being so mature.  It was a good night for both kids!

IMG_1678cropMC: Hi, Max.  What grade are you in?
Max: First.
MC: What is your favorite food?
Max: Ravioli (crowd laughs)
MC: What is your favorite TV show?
Max: Mario……it’s on Netflix. (crowd laughs more)

MC: Hi, Aria.  What grade are you in?
Aria: Third.
MC: What is your favorite color?
Aria: Blue.
MC: What do you want to do when you grown up?
Aria: A musher and an archaeologist. (crowd oohs and aahs)
MC: Oh, my! You have a great sense of your expectations.

Oh, and don’t look at me….Max dressed himself. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

JC turns two!


One hour and fourteen minutes after this picture was taken of Daddy’s promotion ceremony, JC was in my arms.  We left straight from here to the hospital.  That was two years ago today.  He’s still in just as much of a hurry as he was then.  He’s still Naughty.  Happy Birthday, Naughty!

Our New Baby


First Year


Second Year


Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Fragments– Welcome to North Dakota

The weekend.  Yep.  Fragments.  Yep.  Visit Mrs. 4444’s Half Past Kissing Time? Oh, yah, fur shur!!!

Mommy's Idea
  • My eBFF Leanna came to visit with her fancy new van.  I told her to pack “warm” since it would only be in the 70’s and that’s a big change from Oklahoma.  She still ended up borrowing a sweatshirt while we sat outside.  I say we’re just spoiled with “nice” weather.
  • So, did I mention Leanna came to visit? Right.  So, did I bother to take ONE SINGLE PICTURE OF US????????????? NO!!!!  Seriously, WTF?
  • I did however, manage to get a shot of the locksmith who had to come on Labor Day morning and unlock her new van when all the keys got trapped inside (um, engine running).image
  • We played softball.  Only all we could find was a kickball.  It worked.

  • I made the kids clean up the dog poop before we started.  Apparently dog poop is best cleaned up with a clothes pin on your nose.

  • We cooked on the giant wok/ trash can grill.  It was awesome!


  • My neighbors brought over a turtle they found in their yard.  He was later that day set free.  The kids really like him!
  •  Interesting story of the week: My husband is always making fun of my cooking abilities.  The fact that I have none, which I fully acknowledge.  However, I can follow a recipe and so last night I volunteered to make Tuna Croquettes ( a la Alton Brown) like I’ve done before, while he finished his homework.  I set a pan of shallow oil on the stove to heat before I put in the finished croquettes.  While my back was turned I heard a “whoosh” and I looked to see huge flames leaping from the pan of oil.  I quickly covered the pan and took it outside.  The kitchen had filled with choking smoke, all the time the smoke alarm never made a sound (note for today: BUY BATTERIES!!).  I had to open all the windows and set a fan at the door to get rid of all the bad air.  It still smells like burnt oil down stairs.  Not to be daunted, I started some new oil and finished the tasty food.  I told my husband he’d better start cooking again before I burn down the entire house.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My girls

I love that I have two girls.  I love that I can say “my girls” or talk about “the girls”.  Its amazing to me how different they are, too.  The princess and the rock star.  Both are still sweet and loving girls, striving to be good and usually seeking our approval.  That’s a bit of a contrast from the boys.  However, they contrast each other quite a bit, too.  Aria is the rock star.  She wants nothing to do with dolls or princesses (never did!) and has only recently cared at all what she wears or how her hair looks (I suspect peer pressure!).  Piper on the other hand in all princess.  She knows the name of every Disney princess and what color their dress should be.  Matching is a must (oh, except socks to each other) and she usually has at least two dolls and a dozen stuffed animals in her bed.  I love my girls!!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

SEW – Princess on a Swing

I can’t always push her.  She found a way to use the swing all by herself.  I spend a lot of time chasing her little brother in the yard, keeping him out of trouble.  He’s usually into some kind of trouble.  Princess Piper is so good about avoiding trouble.  Unless it’s name is JC, then trouble seems to find her…

IMG_2985a Special Exposure Wednesday is hosted by 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Fragments: All I Want To Do..

All I want to do is…

  • get my house clean for Leanna to come tomorrow.
    Us last summer
  • get caught up on all my photo editing and get proofs out.
    N & J at the Gazebo A & J by the river
  • laundry in the dryer I fixed.  Okay, I fixed the vent by replacing the hose, but still, it works now.  (dang birds)
    bird's nest ew! ew! ew!fresh new vent
  • keep JC from gettting into any more trouble this week.  One call to poison control is my limit per child.
    It was a Glade Scented Oil Refill.  He sucked down a bunch.  Vomited a bunch.  Then had a bath and ate dinner.  No big deal.  Best smelling vomit I’ve ever cleaned up.  My house smelled better after the puke fest than it had before.
  • shower.
    Everyone will appreciate that, I’m sure.

  • grocery shop.
    I’m hungry and there are NO Oreos… I suppose I should eat something healthy.
  • help Daddy with his homework by keeping the kids out of his hair so he can write big long papers.
    He ended up spending an entire day on one paper for one class.  This semester is gonna be rough.
  • sleep.
  • give myself a pedi….its long past due.
  • play with my new camera (more).
  • comment nicely back to idiot commentors on YouTube.
    See Piper’s video on YouTube, check out the most recent comment.

I don’t think that’s so much to ask is it???

Friday Fragments

Do you have a lot of Fragments hanging over from the week?  Spill the beans with Mrs. 4444 & Half Past Kissing Time for her Friday Fragments!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Special Exposure Wednesday

Princess Piper out exploring the world.  I posted a video of her earlier last week in this dress.  I just love those braids!!


Canon 7D
f/5.6 at 1/125 sec
ISO 200


Canon 7D
f/4.5 at 1/125 sec
ISO 500

Canon 7D
f/6.3 at 1/125 sec
ISO 250

Join us at 5 Minutes for Special Needs for Special Exposure Wednesday!