Friday, April 29, 2011

Pinkie Twinkies...

The kids were both fully dressed and getting ready to head out the door this morning when I slowed down and took a look at them...

Completely unplanned and just plain funny to me.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our God is an Awesome God...

The most high paid artist in the world couldn't create something as beautiful as this...

Only God can create such amazing beauty.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Opposites Photo Class Day Eleven...

Day 11 of photo class is FAST.

There is nothing I can think of that is faster than water.

Our town is experiencing one of those "hundred year floods".  Only problem is that we faced this 100 year flood THREE years ago.


The Great Flood of 2011 is now worse than the one in 2008.

It has been raining HARD all day long for days upon days.  The Lake is now at the highest level it has ever been in history, forcing the dam to be open.  The dam is currently releasing more water than it ever has, which is creating massive floods along the lower river in our downtown area. 

I am amazed at the power of water as it rushes through our town.  It is quickly changing the landscape.

iso 400, 1/8000, f 3.5

iso 200, 1/800, f 10
this one was taken with my point and shoot earlier in the day.


iso 400, 1/8000, f 3.5

 iso 400, 1/8000, f 3.2

iso 100, 1/2000, f 4.0

Happy Easter...

Easter 2011 will go down in the books as the most relaxing and enjoyable Easter ever.

Hands down.

Perhaps it was so enjoyable because it was not my plan.

You see AJ got sick on Friday night.  It seemed like just allergies, so she spent Saturday doing her normal thing.  By Saturday at 7pm it was evident the child was sick. 

High fever, coughing till she gagged, etc.

Clearly she could not go to church Sunday morning.  So Aaron and I tossed back and forth trying to decide what to do. 

Should we stay or should we go? 

Half of us or none of us?

We decided it was more important to spend the day as a family, so we stayed home.

Everyone went ahead and got dressed in their Easter clothes and we went out and found all the eggs the Easter Bunny left.  After the baskets were finally found, we watched Veggie Tales Easter Movie while playing with all the new toys.

We even got to enjoy a quiet time in the afternoon where the twins napped, the bigs rested, Aaron tinkered on his mower, and I scrapbooked.  All while it POURED rain all day long.

It was the best.

The day was topped off with Easter dinner down the street at my parents house.  YUMMY!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Opposites Photo Class Day Ten...

Day Ten is FAR.

Tonight was finally not rainy, so Big Guy and Little Guy enjoyed some playtime outside.

When Big Guy wants to play outside he stands at the door and looks at me and says, "out play out?  yes, yes."  Shaking his head at me.

It is hard to refuse.

Tonight he played with his little Thomas train that is motorized. He spent much of the evening on his hands and knees just watching that little train roll away from him.

iso 400, 1/250, f 4.0

iso 400, 1/320, f 3.5

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Opposites Photo Class Day Nine...

Day Nine of photo class we were challenged to do NEAR.

Yesterday while the big kids were at a birthday party, the little kids were having quiet time.

I know...big shock.

The quiet, it is rare.

Anyhow Little Guy fell over on the couch and fell asleep, all snuggled with AJ's pink blankie.

Someday he will hate this picture, but I love it.

 iso 400, 1/50s, f 1.8
no flash
Can you see how his sweet chubby hand actually looks grimy.  Love the little boy stickiness!

The next photo is of Big Guy because how can I leave him out?

While Little Guy was sleeping on the couch, Big Guy was laying on my bed while I folded laundry.  He was watching Yo Gabba Gabba clips from YouTube on my itouch.

iso 400, 1/13s, 1.8
no flash, unedited

I just love how he has his lips pushed out and the glow of the screen on his face.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Little Guy is an entertainer.

He loves to be in the spotlight.   A free spirit with unique ideas.

He sings often.  He plays dress up.  He doesn't really care for toys.  He is passionate about phones, shoes, hats, and bags.  He loves to cook.  He has wild hair.

He is different than the other 3 kids.

(his new nickname)

Wednesday he wanted to wear J's soccer cleats and carry AJ's flowery purse.  I put my foot down on the cleats because that wouldn't really be safe, but I allowed the purse.

Or in this case...murse.

When we arrived at Kindermusik I looked back and saw he was now wearing the murse as a necklace.


He was insistent on keeping it on, so I just obliged.

He wore that goofy murse necklace for HOURS. 

How can I say no to that adorable little face though?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Opposites Photo Class Day Eight...

Day 8 of Photo Class is titled LIGHT.

What I really wanted to shoot for this challenge, did not happen with my hectic schedule.

Instead I had to settle for dragging Big Guy out yesterday morning before we left for the day.

Photographing Big Guy is always a challenge because the child NEVER stops moving.  Never.

iso 800, 1/4000, f 4.0

same, just a different edit

He loves sitting on Daddy's 'tractor'.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Two Cart Shuffle...

When I grocery shop, it is almost always in the morning.  The shelves are stocked and the most efficient checkers are on staff.  I do however have to take The Twinadoes and sometimes the older two.

We have tried many methods for shopping, including the following:
-2 baby carrier carseats in cart, groceries stuffed all around.
-wear 1 baby in a bjorn, 1 baby in a carrier carseat
-wear 1 baby in a bjorn, 1 baby buckled in top
-hold hand of one baby, and one baby is buckled in top
-push stroller and a cart
-2 carts, 1 baby buckled in top of each cart   *my absolute favorite!
-2 carts, both boys buckled into double seat other cart empty.

Some things I like to remember about grocery shopping:

2.  If my child is screaming because he is buckled in safely, I do not care who it bothers.  I am not letting child out of safe situation to please a strangers ears.
3.  I drive down the middle of the aisleto avoid little arms from clearing shelves.
4.  I smile the whole time.  If I am smiling while hauling 4 children and 2 carts, it will probably brighten someone elses day.
5.  I bring snacks and drinks for the twins.
6.  I promise the twins a treat halfway through the store in the cereal aisle.  They each pick a special box of either cereal, gummy snacks, cereal bars, granola bars, etc.
7.  I pick up the messes my children create, always.
8.  I try to move quick and stick to the list.

Two Cart Shuffle at BIG WAREHOUSE STORE.
(yes I was on the phone pushing to carts and directing 2 big kids, i might need a blue tooth)

JP took these pics.

I look even more ridiculous on my big shopping trip to the grocery store.  Both carts are always overflowing.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Opposites Photo Class Day Seven...

Day Seven of Opposites Photo Class brings up the topic of SHADOWS.

At first I was a bit panicked because our forcast was nothing, but cloudy and rain.  Thankfully Beth gave us this assignment early, because the weather finally cooperated.

Although the street in front of our house is typically low to zero traffic, it is still a big no no for the twins.  Which of course draws them to it. 

This weekend they found a millipede in the street.  They stood over it for a few seconds before someone stomped on it.  Poor millipede never had a chance.

Here is my younget three peering at the squished bug, saying EEEEEWWWWW!

iso 200, 1/800, ap 8.0

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Opposites Photo Class...

Day six of photo class is titled LOUD.

Loud is definitely a subject I know well.

In a house of six we are the definition of LOUD. 

The photo I chose is of Little Guy.  Little Guy is well Little, but his voice is far from little.  If he isn't singing at the top of his lungs, then he is screaming at the top of his lungs.  Or whining, he is a big whiner.  And his voice is a very high pitched one, for such a dainty little guy.

iso 800, 1/500, ap 4.5

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Opposites Photo Class Day Five...

Today's topic is QUIET. 


With four kids we have a house full of anything but quiet.

Perhaps the hours of midnight to 6am are quiet, but I am not getting up to find out.

On the off chance that things are quiet, it usually means trouble.

iso 3200, 1/160s, AP 4.0
no flash

(this photo was a few days ago and I just grabbed the camera quick without changing iso)

The above photo was created by Big Guy who QUIETLY emptied an entire jar of sprinkles from the baking cabinet drawer. 

I can tell you if takes .1 seconds to empty said jar, and it takes 45 minutes to clean it up!

The other rare moments the house is QUIET is when the children are eating.

 iso 200, 1/800s, AP 4.0
no flash

iso 200, 1/800s, AP 4.0

These photos were this afternoon, sitting on the edge of the garage.  Little Guy is on the left and Big Guy is on the right.  Check out Big Guy's concentration!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

His Minute...

One tradition we have had every single year now for 10 years is the minute picture.  Every year on JP's birth minute we take a picture of him.

His minute is 9:17pm.

Here he is after a full day of school, a commute to soccer, a WINNING soccer game, a trip to Sam's, another commute, and finally BED.

I love that the clock he is standing by to signify his minute is the itouch, such a sign of the times.

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Opposites Photo Class...

Opposites Photo Class Day 4

The topic was OUT, as in outside. 

I have actually been enjoying shooting in manual.  I feel like I am slowly getting the hang of it.  The toughest part of Manual is being able to change settings quick enough, as I am chasing down my little people in hopes of the perfect picture.

The other challenge Beth gave us was to use catchlights.  The first picture there are none, but I loved the action and excitement in Big Guy's face so I had to include it.

iso 800, 1/2500, ap 4.0
no flash

 iso 800, 1/500, ap 5.6
no flash

 different edit

 iso 800, 1/500, ap 5.6
no flash

different edit

I actually got several other really awesome pics today.  The boys were full of mischief today, which always provides for some pretty great facial expressions.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Opposites Photo Class Day Three...

Day Three's challenge for photo class was IN.  Beth challenged us to take a photo indoors with natural light and attempt to catch the light in the eyes.

The first photo I took early Saturday morning after I overheard on the baby monitor, "CANNONBALL!!!!" followed by a trio of giggles.

I glanced at the video monitor and immediately jumped out of bed and ran for my camera.  With little time to adjust settings this is what I got....

iso 3200, 1/160s, AP 4.0, 50mm lens

It has a wee bit too much light, but I LOVE it! 

This photo was taken in the twins room, which gets AMAZING morning light as the sun rises.  AJ had gone in to 'babysit' the twins while I rested a bit longer.  The three made a sandwich with their pillows and mattresses and then proceeded to do cannonballs.

Because a I a rule follower I had to also include some photos where I actually followed the directions:  use natural light, place yourself in between the light and the subject, try for the twinkle in the eye.

                        iso 1000, 1/160s, ap 4.0 50mm lens       iso 1000, 1/160s, ap 4.0 50mm lens

These photos are my sweet boy JP, right before his family birthday party.  How can this baby boy be TEN in just a few short days?!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Opposites Photo Class Day Two NEW...

Todays photo class challenge was entitled NEW.

After I set the twins up with their breakfast, I ran into my room to get dressed.

I came out to find Big Guy smiling from ear to ear holding the milk over a VERY full of cereal.  The sweet boy had used a riding toy to reach the box of cereal and empty THE WHOLE THING into his bowl.


Of course instead of scolding him, I ran to grab my camera.  I do have an entire photo book saved on Shutterfly of the twins being naughty.

I chose this subject for the NEW theme because serving himself breakfast is definitely something new for Big Guy. 

iso 3200
exp 1/160sec
Ap 4.0
50mm lens
no flash

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Opposites Photo Class Day One...

A neat gal I 'met' through blog world is hosting a photo class.  I have been so impressed with her craftiness, and deal alerts I figured I could not miss out on a photo class.

Plus it is free.  Sweet.

Her day one challenge is a photo featuring OLD.

I chose the photo of AJ because she is sitting on the dock of one of my family's businesses.  I grew up running all over these properties playing with sticks, cardboard boxes, climbing trees, selling things, playing in puddles, and much more. 

These stores were my playground, but they were also a source of valuable teachings.  I learned the value of a dollar early on by setting up my own businesses on the front porches.  I sold candy to tourists.  I charged employees to go get their lunches.  I manned one of America's very first One Dollar Shops by myself for a few shifts.  Just a few cardboard tables with random junk for just $1.  My how the quality of $1 items has come in 20 years.  I still have my hourly sales numbers clipped to the very same clipboard that I used way back when I was just a tween, hanging in my 'office'. 

I use the term office loosely because since my 4 kiddos have come along, my office is really their office.  Otherwise known as a playroom.  They are now right where I was 20 plus years ago, growing up learning how to run a business.  Learning that if you made ten cents more than you spent, you are slowly becoming rich. 

I am so thankful for those family businesses, I pray they remain in the family for the next generation.

iso 100, 1/200sec, f 7.1
on a crazy sunny day

(honestly have no idea why on any of the above, I just mess with things till I get a pic I like)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This past weekend AJ had her first 'real gymnastics meet'.

She was judged.

We were not prepared for that. 

And by we, I mean she.

Really it is my fault I failed to explain the whole gymnastics scoring/judging and level competition to my sweet six year old.

She watched the Level 2 girls reward ceremony.  She saw several of her friends receive 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places.  Then inside her adorable little head she thought, "Hey I am a level 3 which is higher than level 2 so I will get 1st place for sure."

Then off she went to compete.

She knew her floor routine very well, but had spent the previous weeks working tirelessly on her bar routine.  She wasn't even competing in bar, but she has been trying to nail the dismount.  It just never even occurred to me to have her fine tune her floor routine so that each roll, jump, and arm was precisely where it should be. 

She is only 6.  I am used to the whole it is about participation thing.  I mean JP just started playing sports for real wins and losses, and real judgements at 9.

So when she came off the award ceremony and that little 6 year old lip was  quivering, I felt like I failed her.

I failed to prepare her.

My sweet girl was heart broken.

After an hour long car ride to a soccer game, she was feeling a bit better.  Especially with the promise of ice cream.

We talked about how every competition from here on out can only get better.  She has a personal record to now beat. 

I have no doubt she will be moving on up on that podium.