Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lowe's workshop

Lotsa pictures lately, I know! We've been going, going, going for the last four days. On Thursday we did Thanksgiving at my parents' house. Yummy food, both of my sisters and their families were there. We played Scattergories after dessert, while the little kids napped. I lost.

On Friday we did Thanksgiving with Fred's family. More yummy food, more family, and an incredible football game. Anyone who knows me knows that I know nothing at all about football. My in-laws, however, live for the game. They were hooting, shouting, jumping up and down. I seriously thought someone might have a heart attack. I've been told that Arkansas won against LSU and that is a good thing.

On Saturday I took the big kids to the Lowe's build-and-grow workshop. I love it! They provide free aprons, goggles, kits to the kids and then instruct them on how to complete the project. Since neither Fred nor I are "handymen" types, this is a great opportunity for our kids.

Today we took a true day of rest. We even stayed home from church. Oliver kept us up half the night last night. Poor baby is still congested and couldn't snooze. So today Fred and I took turns sleeping, and we just stayed in the cozy house all day.

Tomorrow, school starts again...

Thanksgiving on Friday at my in-laws' house

Thanksgiving on Thursday at my parents' house

Monday, November 19, 2007

weekend wrap-up

It's been a fun and busy weekend. I know I've been posting a lot more than usual lately. I hope you all can keep up! :-)

On Saturday I had some friends over in the evening, to relax around the firepit. Fred took the kids to my parents house to watch a movie on the big screen.

Don't worry, I'll only post pics of ladies who said it was okay. :-)
Lindsay, Angela, Tob

Sherrill and Lori

When they got home, Isabelle and Ethan peeked out of her bedroom window for a few minutes, before running outside to say goodnight. Fred put all four kids to bed, too. What a sweetie!

October and I used the self-timer to take this picture. We were the only ones left out there at 11pm. (Ann-Marie, you have GOT to make a trip down here!)

On Sunday morning Isabelle sang with the First Praise Choir in the morning worship service. I really like the songs they did, and the sign language that went with it. Izzy is the one int he back row, all in red, with braided hair.

After she sang, we rushed home to change clothes and load up the van. We went to the Tulsa Zoo for the day. We had planned to go out to eat with Mom, Dad, Julie, and Amy after they finished the marathon, but they were too tired and headed home instead. Can't say I blame them! Dad finished the marathon in five hours. Mom did not train AT ALL and finished in less than 6 hours. Just crazy! Julie ran her race at a 9 minute-pace. Impressive!! And she just had a baby a few months ago! So congratulations to all of my family... and, no, the running gene did not pass to me...
Here are some zoo pics:

We did this one in the rain forest, with the self-timer.

So it was a fun, but very busy, weekend. Today I am not going ANYWHERE. I had planned to do MUMs (Moms Uplifting Moms), but Fred is going to go to Man Night at church. Just as well, because I really need to catch up on the housework when I finish school today. We're having more company over tomorrow night... Fred's sister Kayla and her fiance Eric. Then the Thanksgiving meals begin... so you know more pictures will be coming soon. :-)
Oh, and one more thing! Speaking of pictures, I will be in Decatur all day on December 1st, doing packages. I have a great location to use, thanks to Tob. So let me know if you want to book an appointment over there. I know that would be more convenient for a few people.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Overwhelmed the kindness of friends. Barb just dropped a BOX of food off for us. Unannounced. No reason, but to be kind. She knows nothing of our financial struggles. And, actually, I totally feel like we don't deserve it (or need it as much as others might). We were so wonderfully blessed yesterday. I just went grocery shopping. I was able to pay a bill that I had been waiting on. And now here is this surprise box of food for us. God's people are amazing. I will put this food in my pantry (shelf in the playroom) and use it as we need it. Maybe God is stocking us up for a dry spell soon. He always has a plan.

Mr. T

Fred let me sleep in this morning, and then he went back to bed when I got up.
Over some hot coffee (and juice for Trevor), we talked about the morning:

Me: What time did you get up?
Mr. T: On Thursday
Me: What did Daddy feed you for breakfast?
Mr. T: Some lunch
Me: What are you going to do today?
Mr. T: Be good and NOT poop in a diaper.
Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Mr. T: Nothing, Mommy, I'm too busy.

I just threw that last question in there for him, because his previous answers were so interesting. Hmmm....

Friday, November 16, 2007

Goose bumps

Today has been one of those days just so full of blessings. I feel like God has literally been pouring them out on my head, with a steady stream so strong that it has knocked me again and again down on my knees in thanksgiving. I don't have many days when I feel so obviously blessed. Sure, I know God is always listening and He is always here... but today I could see my PROOF.

It started with Mothering Matters. Such a wonderful group. Such wonderful people. These women have such a desire to live their lives for God, and be the best wives they can to their husbands. I love being surrounded by such prayer warriors. So, anyway, that just started my day off right.

Then I got two large portrait orders, plus two referrals. So now I have money coming in from the second job, and more appointments set up for the next month. This is huge to me. Evidence that I'm on the right track. I prayed about it, God opened doors. I prayed more, and He opened more doors. Then I thanked Him, and He opened doors that I didn't know existed. I can only imagine His delight with our giddy surprise.

Then we got the biggest and best news of all: My precious Mimi is cancer-free!!! The cat scans came back showing "NED" (No Evidence of Disease). That is HUGE. Pancreatic cancer is a killer. It is harsh and fast. As much as I tried to deny that and distance myself, I couldn't shake the horrible fear that I could lose my grandmother. I love her so much. She is young, energetic, youthful, creative, caring... she is not done here on earth!! Through the whole cancer thing, she has had repeated miracles. Most people do not catch pancreatic cancer in time to do surgery. But she did. Then she started chemo, but has been handling it incredibly!-- did I mention that she is a very young 70-year old? She gets very very tired with the chemo, but that just means that she might be feeling her age for awhile. She hasn't had some of the more horrible symptoms that I have read about. And now this. Cat scans show no more cancer. She has a new lease on life. Praise God!!

I was so jittery after getting that news, I decided to take the little boys on a walk. On the way out I checked the mail. We had a reimbursement for over $200. Amazing. Just enough to cover a bill that was 4-months overdue. I literally fell to my knees by my mailbox, and then rushed inside to call my parents. God. is. so. good. So many blessings in one day. I could barely handle it. I LOVE days like this. I just feel like my body is tingling.

I know I will still have off days, not all of my prayers will be answered, and I will falter and fail... but I am not going to forget this day. This wonderful day.

And I thank you all for your prayers for my Mimi. "Where two or more are gathered in prayer, there I am in the midst of them..."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Some portraits

Okay, well, I got the camera on the... umm... 5th? Maybe? I can't remember now. Today is the 12th, right? So I've done 5 people packages and 1 pet one in 7 days. It's been fun. Here's a sampling of my people poses (I have permission to post these, btw. If I take your picture, I promise to get permission before I use any!!) Here is my sampling. They're all on my other site, too, in various places.
The Woods portraits samples

The Burdens' portraits samples

The Burnett's (or is it Burgess, shoot, now I can't remember)

The Fosters

The group kid pics for a grandparent gift

Can I get away with yet another?

Okay people, let me get away with this once again. I read all of my friends blogs-- people who obviously can think coherently. I, on the other hand, seem to have a jumble of thoughts racing around like crazy, and I'm not particularly good at focusing for long on one subject. Makes homeschooling interesting, let me tell you! We do math (and art at the same time, if we're drawing 5 dinosaurs joining up with 3 pterodactyls to make 8 creatures altogether...) There's just too much to say and do and too little time!!

Anyhow, let me start off by saying that I came across a nifty blog critic thing-a-ma-jig on Ann-Marie's site. You just put in your blog address and it tells you what reading level your blog is. Mine is college level apparently. Interesting. Hmm... I guess that's a good thing? Maybe? Not sure how I'm supposed to feel about that, so I'm just throwing it out there. I hope you all can understand what I'm writing. Hee, hee.

In other news, tomorrow is the BIG DAY! 10 YEARS! I'm wearing that like a badge of honor. In this day and age, I think it's something to be proud of. Especially because we got married SO young, and I did some college and four kids through it. We've both grown so much-- actually we kinda grew up together (although I think I had a few more growth spurts in there, har har.) So I'm praying for an EASY cooperative school day with the kids, and a relaxing afternoon and evening. I'm gonna surprise hubby with a hair cut. He's the only guy I know who begs his wife to CUT her hair. Yes, he's strange like that. When we met my hair was short, red, and curly, so that's how he loves it. I'm not going to be I Love Lucy anymore, though. He can cope with my natural color. Anyway, we're going out on Thursday night, and I'm looking forward to it.

In photography news, I'm making some big plans (in my head, so far.) I want to make my own backdrops using velvet material and dowel rods. And, the really fun part, I want to buy neat-o costumes and have people dress the part for pictures! You know, like Silver Dollar City does. I can have salon girls, jailers, farmers, what have you. The whole idea of role playing just appeals to me. I never got over the whole princess dress-up fun of my teenager years... er, umm... I mean, elementary school... Sooo, anyway, if you come across some awesome costumes (say, at yard sales or thrift stores) that don't cost an absolute fortune, please let me know! I may end up making some, too. Any other creative ideas, please share them! I want to make a scrapbook/ portfolio, too... In my "free time," you know. ;-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My very random (sleep-deprived and caffienated) updates

Okay, yes, I have been neglecting cyber world. I've been using my "free time" (ha) to work on Photoshop, learn all the settings of the camera, and doing appointments.
Last night I stayed up much too late, working on some extra pose packages, and fees, etc. I only get free time at night, so I have to choose whether to use it learning and working, or sleeping. What a trade off. I'll have to catch up this weekend.

ANYWAY, I told you this would be random. ;-) Today I enjoyed doing appointments for my ForgetMeNots Photography for the Burden family and Lisa's family. Yea! The weather was perfect, the trees were gorgeous in the background, and the kids were experienced posers! Talk about an easy job! Cade got kinda fussy, b/c it was past naptime, but he cooperated very well and I ended up with lotsa smilin' baby pics.

Stacy told me about Vista print, which has been an awesome resource for me. I highly recommend it to anyone starting a business. Sorry I'm not including links, I'm short on time.

In other news, my sister's car broke down when she was on her way out of town on Sunday. So they borrowed my parents' car this week. Guess what was wrong with theirs? It was OUT OF GAS. Ha! Julie, I'd say it's about time to get that gas gauge fixed!

What else is going on? Trevor just turned 3!! Yikes! Like I said in a previous post, I believe the Terrible Twos MUST pass now. So far so good, he seems to be settling down a bit.

Next Tuesday Fred and I will have our 10 Year Anniversary. It's been a LOOOOONG 10 years. Haha. Just kidding. He's great and every year gets better. I can't wait to go on our once-a-year date (no joke). I think we're going to head to Red Lobster and then just be gone somewhere for awhile.

Yesterday we went on a Nature Notebook field trip to Natural Falls. It was the PERFECT day for it! I love that area, and I spent a good deal of the hike just snapping pictures. After we hiked with the group, the kids and I went back down alone to explore and take more photos. Then we did our notebooks up by the picnic tables. I'm so happy to be a part of that group!

Last night we had the Dalrymples over for a grill/ firepit night. Their three girls are SO sweet! I mean, they are just all so caring and quiet and precious (totally unlike my kids... j/k) Isabelle wants to adopt them as sisters. :-) I wouldn't mind either!

So that brings me back around, kind of, to the present time. Hey, I told you I was sleep-deprived and this would be random. But there you go. Tomorrow we are having Kayla and Eric over in the afternoon. And Monday starts another busy school-week for us.

I hope you all have a great next week! I promise pictures soon. I already added several of our field trip ones to my Photography site. I'll add some family/group pictures soon, too!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Woo-hoo, world get ready!

The camera and equipment came today!! What a nice surprise after an absoluetly awful morning. I doubt I'll post about the unpleasantness. ;-) But I am THRILLED now to have new toys. Again, thank you all for your prayers and support as I pursue this dream. God continues to open doors through friends. My friend Julie has gotten me on the path to take photos for the Benton County Fair. October is talking me up, to take some senior pictures for her students. Church members already have me booked for Christmas photos. Thank You, Lord, for Your provision.... and the pleasure you provide with it!

Trevor is 3 today!! (so that means the terrible twos MUST end!)

This is our family party for Mr. Trevor


Thursday, November 1, 2007

And here are the pictures of two of my kids

Isabelle was an angel/ Cinderella.

Ethan started off as a dragon.

But Fred decided that he looked too uncomfortable in the outfit, so he then became Superman.

Trevor was a dinosaur. Oliver was a ladybug (which Fred was not thrilled about, so I put a tie on him, too!) I did not get good pictures of the younger two in costume. I was holding Oliver most of the time, and then he got fussy and I took his outfit off. Trevor was just being a rascal, as usual, and I couldn't get him to stand still and look at me!!