Friday, July 1, 2011

Love That Shot: Beautiful Bokeh

Liam's first fish of the season.  :)  Almost as big as the worm he caught it with.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Camera Happy: My First Non-Family Shoot

I've always LOVED taking pictures of my kids, my nieces and nephews, and close friends.  Today, I embarked on a new endeavor.  I had my first non-family shoot.  It was fun! 

I was honored when a co-worker asked me to photograph her daughter and grandson for a "Mommy & Me" portrait.  I was nervous, as I am just an amateur and have no real training.  But I do love taking pictures and trying new things, so I agreed under the terms that there were no expectations and it was just for fun. 

I loved it.  11 week old Isaac was just a complete sweetheart.  He cooed and squeaked through the couple hours that we played, smiled, and photographed he and his beautiful mommy.  I enjoyed every bit of it, and I'm excited to see where my new hobby and love for families and children takes me. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Curly Cue

It's crazy to see the changes in our little fellows around here.  Our strong-willed, sweet, courageous, scared-of-ants, three year old has become more similar in his looks to his daddy. 

It's no secret to those who know us that these boys are chips off the old block.
Daddy's little clones show different likenesses to their daddy, and Landon has his golden locks. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: It's A Sure Sign of Spring

Dirt.  Everywhere.
(Although it snowed 6 inches last night)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Above the Law

With each baby boy I have taken pictures of him with his daddy's dress hat from the police department.   All of the boys have one at 6 months old and I treasure those photographs!

Can you tell which baby is which?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Before/After Photography Post

Such a great photo of my aunt, Sara, and our little Lachlan. I was disappointed in the lighting with the picture turnout and with such a small window of time to capture it.  I use my Canon 1000D set at 1/60 and was using no flash, as the lighting seemed right in previous pictures.  I lightened the contrast and played with the color saturation.  Not a great turn out, but a moment saved.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Time sure flies when we're having fun!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


A Lot of Lovin'

It's hard to believe that these babies of mine are getting so big and are getting to be such little men. I'm amazed at who they are as little people, how they contribute to the family, their friends, and one another. They are such a blessing. Despite the chaos, the craziness, the mess, and the refereeing, I am a proud mom of three beautiful blessings and I wouldn't change anything about my life with them.  Each of our boys is intricate and special with personalities that sparkle.  They amaze me.

Sir Gentle Spirit
He is the leader of the trio by far.  With a gentle spirit and a sweet disposition, he helps his brothers to understand and learn, often correcting and making right what may be wrong. He is the pleaser of the boys, always wanting to make right his wrongs.  Sensitive and loving.  A once "hyper" boy has settled into a quieter, calmer state of being, but is not ready to give up his mischievous ways. Still testing the limits, but careful while doing so. Thrives on love, respect,
and attention from Mom and DadA true lover.
Favorites:  Anything outside.  Singing and dancing. Playing with his brothers,  Coloring and drawing, special time with mom or dad, and French Toast. 
Not-so-Favorites:  Sweets (especially frosting), napping, and getting cold.

The Big-Hearted Tester
Maybe I should call this brother Most Improved.  He's our tester.  Always checking out what and Cans and Cannots are for virtually every situation, and when he comes across a "cannot", he's got to see what the consequence might be.  We often times forget that Mr. Big Heart is technically a toddler still, but with his quick wit, exponential vocabulary, and mature ways, we often have to remind ourselves he's still just a baby.  He's quickly learned what it is to be a big brother, but with brute force.  He forgets his strength and is often found to be hugging and kissing the little ones a little too roughly.  We keep a close eye on him.  He has the heart of an angel.  Always affectionate and great manners.  He loves to pray to Jesus and thank Him for all of his friends and family (he'll go on for hours if you let him), and enjoys to sing praise and worship songs.  He's got a personality that shines and often makes us laugh and shake our heads at the same time.
Favorites:  Eats anything and everything, LOVES sweets, enjoys time with his brothers, loves cuddles with Mom and Dad
Not-so Favorites: Depends on the day and time.  He's a toddler, remember!?

The Angel
For sure the most loved by his brothers.  A true angel.  His smiles light up a room.  He sleeps through the night next to mom and dad, a great cuddler.  He loves to giggle and squeal!  Most recently he babbles and laughs loud for all to hear and giggle as well.  He enjoys his brothers' crazy antics and often roots them on, even if the actions aren't "good choices", to his brothers' delight. He plays on his own. Loves to see new things, and can't get enough of new foods, toys, and anything else he can get his gums on.
Favorites: Pears, Applesauce, Blocks, and cuddling
Not-so Favorites: Being left alone, loud noises (brothers), and being in his carseat

We've got a lot to be thankful for and lots of loving to give!We are blessed.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward  Psalm127:3

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Coupon Crazy

So, in the last few weeks I've become a little crazy about couponing.  I'm excited about it.  I love to save money.  AND it's going to help our family continue to get even closer to becoming debt free.  Yes, DEBT FREE!  YAY!   We're getting  closer and closer, and our hopes to be debt free weren't dashed by a few setbacks.  It's just part of the plan, part of the game, and we're still working hard on Baby Step 2!  We're anxious and excited! 

In the past few months I contacted some friends about learning about the real deal with couponing.  The woman that came to share her knowledge with us at our MOPS meeting this past month got me (and several other moms) ready and geared up for couponing.  Some of us didn't even realize what it all entailed (including me!).  Although I can't share all of the things I gleaned from the meeting here, I can add to the list of sites that I've learned to utilize!  Here they are

Although I can't devote my evenings and weekends to couponing, I'm going to give this weekend  my very first "real good" shot.  I've always couponed, but this time I'm using "prior knowledge" from those who go before me (aka PocketYourDollars and CreativeCouponing)

And if all this information goodness isn't "good" enough for's a video to get your couponing fire burning! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lifting Up.

I've always had that sun shine attitude and the ability to share a smile.  It's just who I am.  What I haven't always had was the ability (or knowledge) to lift up others in thought and prayer.  It's so simple.  You don't have to spend money,or give up large amounts of time.  It's as simple as a thought  and/or prayer. 

I've been working on this.  I have to admit, it makes you feel great when you lift up others!  So here are two ideas I have for you...

The first idea I gleaned from our female pastor at our church.  She spoke at our MOPS meeting last year and shared the idea that she drives through our town and prays for specific people, but then also pray those people you see that you DON'T know.  Pray for their day, their family, their needs. 

The second idea I am sharing with you from Pixel Perfect , a photography blog I have stumbled upon and have found is so much more than tips and tricks for's also tips and tricks for your life.   She shared in a post recently how to use social media in a different way.   Let's be honest, Facebook and Twitter can sometimes be used as places that people use a little too much indiscretion.  They complain, boast, swear, gossip, banter, and other not-so-beautiful things. However it's others' way of communicating needs.  Needs for prayer, needs for support, needs for lifting up.  You can use this social media tool to do this!  You can take those negative statuses and lift those people up in prayer.  Pray for their day, for a change in attitude, for a look on the bright side.  You can pray for those who ask for prayer, for their needs.  You can pray for those who aren't asking, aren't making a statement, but just plain being.  Pray for them.  Pray for their families, for them to be open to the Lord's plan.

Social media is a great way to reconnect, connect, and stay in touch.
But best of all, you can use it to glorify Him.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


My, Oh, My
do they

Happy 5 Months, Lachlan!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Addiction to one thing or another rules so many lives.  My life has been altered by addiction.  I've come to a place as an adult where I see this, accept it, and hope for change in the person that has succumbed to it.  Addiction comes in so many forms, alcohol, drugs, sex, money, gambling, food, and the list goes on.  For many people in our lives, they may go through treatment, they may continue therapy and counseling for their addictions, however addiction has become a way of life for them.  It's finding a healthier form of addiction that they look for, like exercise. 
Then, there is an addiction to the best thing one can find.  Jesus.  Who wouldn't want to be addicted to him?  The Way, the Truth, and the Life?
He's amazing!  He changes lives, hearts, and families.
His love isn't conditional, His love is forever!
He forgives, always! He doesn't keep a record of wrong.
He knows you, from the very beginning of your being.  There's no getting-to-know-you period.
He's always there.  You don't have to go find Him.
He carries your burdens, your grief, and your worries. No strings attached!

He's changing lives everyday, and He is the healthiest addiction known to man.  I'm praying for those in my life to see what He can do, so they too make a change.  If addicts need an addiction, this is the best choice!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

On Pins and Needles: Liam

Over the course of the last month many things have consumed me.  A close friend of mine said it best, "You allow yourself to carry the burdens of others on your heart." That is so true.  I know it can be both a positive and a negative aspect about myself, but I think that it is just who I am. I'm constantly on pins and needles for others, and sometimes myself. 

Recently our oldest boy had us a little in a tizzy.  Over the last month, through the holiday season he became more and more withdrawn.  He slept more, was more clingy,ate less, and played with his classmates and brothers less. It just wasn't him.  He is one of the most energetic, excitable children I know.  And the fact that he just let the world pass by him wasn't normal for him. 

I began making excuses.

He's sad about his friend being sick.
He's tired from the holidays.
He's fighting a cold or other illness.
He's growing.

Just the other day my husband said to me, "Honey, have you noticed how lethargic he's been?"  And that was all it took for me to be on pins and needles.  I called the doctor the next morning and we took him in for a more thorough exam.

Upon arrival, the doctor went through a checklist that listed all of his symptoms. It was incredible how many he had that were listed.  As she proceeded you could see that she too, was concerned and the ideas swimming in her mind I was not sure that I wanted to know.  Next we had the nurses take three pin-poked vials of blood for initial blood screenings.  My little guy was so brave, not a trickle came from his eye. These tests were testing for mono, blood diseases,and leukemia.  Leukemia!?  The doctor came in with a look of relief on her face and shared that the last test was indeed negative.  Praise God. She shared with me that she was most concerned about the possibility of this being a different outcome.  But all tests were negative.  She was still believing that something was "up" with our preschooler. We were sent to the hospital for yet more blood to be drawn and more tests.

Needless to say, the size of the needle that was used for the blood drawn from LJ's arm was a little alarming for the little man.  He was scared out of his mind and sobbed while the great nurses at Maple Grove hospital did their work with him.  They were consoling, considerate, and careful.  This blood is to be testing kidney and liver functions, thyroid disease, mono, Lyme's disease, and other "blood panels".

Following the procedure, I took him out to get some goodies and some not-so-healthy food to smooth over the bumpy morning we had.  It was hard for the little guy, and the mommy in me needed to give him more than just a hug for his bravery.  We got some goodies from the "Dollar Spot", ate some pizza from Pizza Hut, and drank a mighty Slurpy.  It was just the medicine he needed. 

Still holding his arm, we ventured out to home in the cold.  I watched his eyes become heavy, and slowly he drifted off.

So far  the tests he was given have all came back negative, thankfully.  LJ is starting to perk up and his appetite is off and on.  He's playing with friends more and more each day.  For that we are thankful.  We'll wait for the remainder of tests to come back, but for the most part, we're content that we're seeing improvements and are no longer on pins and needles.

We're most thankful for his wellness and thankful for the prayers and thoughts of those who sent them.

Friday, January 21, 2011


There is nothing more special
than a little boy's
Love for
his daddy.

What I'm Reading

Isn't it obvious that being a mom of three boys, I could use all the help I can get in successfully raising them...not to mention understanding how they work?!
I'm a huge fan of Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family and am re-reading this great book that is chalk full of insight on boys, how they're made, and how to effectively raise them. 

Making It All Work

Recently at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting myself and several other moms gathered to pray together, chat, support, and learn together.  Our meetings are monthly and this month we had a fabulous speaker who shared the importance of financial peace.  The woman who shared many words of wisdom about finances gleaned her perspectives on several ways to save money on every day living expenditures.

In past blog posts I have shared sites that I have utilized in saving money.  You can find those posts here and here. I have since then found more sites and more strategies to saving money.   Here are some of the strategies I use to get the most on what we've been provided.

1)   I scour and search for steals and deals on gifts, necessities, and the occasional splurge.  Some of the sites that I have added to my money saving scavenger hunt are
Creative Couponing 

2) I always buy a Saturday paper ( they're cheaper than Sunday) sometimes I buy 2, purely for the coupon inserts.  Both of the above websites alert me as to the number of inserts that will be in the paper for that weekend, as well as the value of the coupons I'll find.  It's always nice when someone else does some of the work for you.

3) In order to keep to my $60-$80/week grocery budget for our family of 5, I plan the week's meals based on the foods that are on sale at Cub Foods and Target.  Both stores offer deals and they also offer coupons either in store, by mail, or on the web.  Many times you can match up a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon to score even bigger savings.  I spend a good amount of time each week devising my plan for meals for the week in order to come out with a best case scenario, which usually keeps the pocketbook a little more full.  I only go to the grocery store with a detailed list, and I rarely deviate.

These are just my top three things I've been doing to save money recently.  It's all become so natural and routine now,that I don't really think before doing it, it's all become habit, and I'm working hard to make it all work.

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