Thursday, December 31, 2009

Check out the contest on my photography blog!

Bad news...for some reason the comments disappeared and I need everyone to comment again if you want to be entered. This time I'll save them on my computer as they come in. ugh.

You might be in it! And even if you're not you could win a free shoot!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This years Christmas Letter/card

I'm feeling pretty on top of things this year. Got my cards and letters mailed out already. For those of you that didn't heed the call for addresses, you get to see it here.

December 14, 2009
Dear Everybody,

I'm not sure how I got stuck with this job. Something about me being the youngest and having no responsibilities... I don't know what they're talking about. I'm super busy! I have to learn all sorts of important things. Like why is everyone so excited about that fat guy in the red suit? I get that he says ho-ho-ho. Everyone gets excited when I say it too. But why do they want me to sit on his lap?! The candy canes are nice but I'm not letting him hold me. No way. Besides, it's not like they just hand me to other strangers, what's so special about this one? I have other things to learn too. Talking in sentences, jumping, shapes, colors, sounds...I think I'm busier than the rest of my family put together. I am the only one that gets so exhausted that I need a nap every day. Oh, and don't forget I have to keep practicing the things I learn, too. I sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star 500 times a day. My mom loves it. She also loves my favorite game. It's kinda like hide and seek, except I hide things and then Mom has to find them. My favorite place to hide things is in the trash can. It's so funny when she looks in there. But I know she loves it 'cause she tells me. She takes a big deep breath and says "oh, Clara, I love this game."

Anyway, Mom says I have to talk about everybody in this thing so here goes...

Daddy leaves every day. He gives me a big hug and I say bye bye and he says he wishes he could stay with me but he has to go to work. It's my favorite when he comes home. I hear the garage door open and run to the door to wait for him.

Mama stays home with me. Most days I take pretty good care of mom while dad is at work. Sometimes she takes me to my friends house so that she can help at Nathan and Aria's school. Mama takes *lots* of pictures, too. I'm her very best model. When people come over for pictures I hurry over and pose in front of the camera to show them how it's done.

My big brother Nathan turned 8 and got baptized this year. He goes to school a lot, even to an extra school once a week where he learns about knights and castles and how to say things in Latin and count using Roman numerals. He's in third grade. When he's not at school or doing homework, he's at karate. His belt is green. I like to watch him do nun-chucks.

I went on a date with my mom and my big sister, Aria, today. It's almost her birthday and she'll be 7. I have the best big sister, she plays with me, reads me stories and draws pictures for me. She goes to school too. First grade. She played soccer this year. I went to a lot of games. They were cold.

My brother Gabe is my best friend. He plays with me all day while Nathan and Aria are at school. He's so funny and he has good ideas of things to do. Mom doesn't always think they're good ideas, though. He's 4, he reads stories to me and our favorite show is Yo Gabba Gabba. He also played soccer this year.

Love, Clara (age 1)


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Christmas has begun!

We went out in the cold today to cut down a tree and visit Santa. I've been really looking forward to doing this and it was so fun! On the way out we even saw a huge herd of elk reindeer out in a wheat field. The kids were looking for Rudolph.

We got to the tree farm and began our search. Nathan and Aria both wanted to hold the saw. Nathan got it first.

The kids loved all the teensy little trees.

Aria is so pretty.

Looking, looking...

Gabe liked this one because it had so much room for presents underneath.

The kids all took turns cutting.

Dave hauled it back for us. Aria took her turn carrying the saw.

They put all the trees on this machine that shakes them down and gets all the dead needles/debris out of the trees. This is the pile of nests that had fallen out.

Then it was off to Santa. Clara was not impressed.

We ran into Rachel, Sean and Mae at Harvest House so they came back with us to see Santa again. (they had been leaving when we got there.) Mae did good with her first visit to Santa but the second one with my kids wasn't quite so good. As we were leaving she said "I cried with Clara."

Then it was home to decorate. I love how it fills the whole bay window. This is my favorite tree so far. Except maybe for the Charlie Brown tree we had our first year of marriage.

Clara spent the whole time yanking the ornaments off the tree.

But when it was all said and done she was amazed.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

I was just reviewing Nathan's homework

It's a sheet about silent letters. At the end it says

"I need to be careful when I write words with silent letters because..."

His answer was

"I migt forget silent letters. P.S. Did you notice I missed a silent letter? (turn over for answer.)" and the back says...

"Answer: migt should be might."

I love my kid.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gratitude again

Last year I was doing a month of Gratitude in November. I think it lasted 5 days or something. I've been doing it on Facebook though this year and figured I might as well put them here too. far.

1. I'm grateful for the sun coming through my bedroom window and warming up a spot on my bed on a cold day so Clara and I can snuggle in the warm spot and she can giggle at the dust particles in the sun.

2. Today I'm grateful that my kids' great Uncle made an extensive family history database online for their Alger ancestory. Made it really easy for Nathan to find out exactly how he's related to John Hancock and King Edward IV for his Ancestor homework.

3. is thankful for both my Grandpa's, Dave's dad and all the other men and women that have served out country. I always think of the Title of Liberty... "In memory of our God, our religion, our freedom, and our peace, our wives and our children"

4. today I'm grateful for sun flare. (photography thing). Sun flare makes me happy.

5. is grateful for music. Specifically, my mom for making me stick with the piano, jazz band and jazz combo which taught me about improv, Mr. Simon, my history of American Music teacher in college, my cousin, Brian, for giving me my first Harry Connick Jr CD and all my bishops who've kept me in music callings at church for the last 12 yrs so I'll keep practicing and don't let it get swept aside in the busyness of life. Also, Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr, George Gershwin, Louis Armstrong, Chris Botti and so many other great musicians whose music soothes my soul.

And this wasn't a gratitude update, but it made me laugh and I want it recorded for posterity. lol. This was yesterday morning, I was in bed...

Clara just came in my room, yelled hot dog! and threw a package of hotdogs at my head. I think maybe she's hungry.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

A time of change!

For the last several years I've used this blog as both my personal blog and my business blog. It's time to separate them, though. I've been making some business changes. New name, new logo, new website blog. The website isn't up yet but the blog is and I wanted to announce it over here so the people that come here will know where to go for pictures and specials and such.

I am offering a special for November and December. My biggest package + a Christmas Card for half off. So only $250 and you get all the pictures from your shoot. You can see the details here.

And my Christmas Cards that I'm offering for this year can be found here. There are a lot of fun ones and I'm especially excited about them because I designed all of these myself. :)

I'll post again when my new website is up.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Meet Goofy Gus

He was grown in my Mom's garden.

He's ginormous.

My kids gutted him and Dave carved him and they popped the pieces out.

Clara did a lot of this...

We call him Goofy Gus.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween treats!

Gabe and I had some fun today. We've gotten goodies from the "Family Night Phantom" every monday this month and I wanted to do something fun when we went out to ding dong ditch people. So I thought to myself...who better than the queen of goodies? And I went to Bakerella's blog to find out how to make Cake Pops!

It was so fun that I think I'm going to do another batch for teachers and such on Thursday or Friday.

Scary ghosties. (I love the little guy in the upper left that's looking the wrong way). My edible pens that I bought did NOT work. Luckily I had some black gel frosting hanging around. It only worked for the ghosts though. The poor pumpkins had to be faceless.

I had Gabe dip apple bites into the leftover melted candy. (this whole project took several trips to several stores. I'm severely lacking in kitchen stuff...mostly because I rarely do things like this)

Happy kiddos!

Finished product. Got the little glass "bags" at the dollar tree.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

These boots are made for walking!

Miss Clara got new boots and she loves them. It's just the cutest thing!

They totally helped her language skillz too. She was calling them "shwshwsh" (that's how she said shoes) for a while and then she went to "oosh" and now says "BOOTS" very clearly. lol.

I just adore that girl. Oh, she's in nursery now and a total star. No tears and she totally holds her own against the rougher kids.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

no color. no fun.

We're having super schizo weather this fall and it's no fun for a photographer.

In case you were wondering.

It's bouncing between freezing and quite warm and it's freaking the trees out apparently. I have a weeping cherry outside the window by my favorite reading chair. In the spring it's pretty with pink flowers and in the fall it's pretty with yellow leaves. Except not this fall. This fall the green leaves are just shriveling up into icky brown and blackness and dying WITHOUT CHANGING COLOR.

I keep doing all these shoots and all the pretty fall colors are not there.

And I don't like it. Not one bit.

The naughty word discussion

*disclaimer* There will be mild swearing in this post.

The other day Aria was rhyming in a sing song voice. "mitchin, litchin, ditchin, bitchin, mitchen, litchin, ditchin, bitchin." So, I mentioned to her that bitch is not a nice word and people use it to be mean to other people and she probably shouldn't say it.

Fast forward to today. Nathan said "Mom, what does faggot mean?" Dave said it means a bundle of sticks and I said that sometimes people take normal words and twist the meaning so it becomes a bad word and that faggot is a mean name to call people.

I told him it was just like when Aria said bitch and that it actually means a female dog, but that people use it in a mean way now. Which then ensued this discussion between Nathan and Aria and I dissolved into laughter.

Aria: But I didn't say bitch, I said ditch!
Nathan: Nuh-uh, it sounded like you said bitch.
Aria: No Nathan, I didn't say bitch!

I could see this going on indefinitely, with bitch being said in every sentence out of my sweet kids mouths, so I stopped them at this point. Then I laughed.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hehwo, hehwo!

Clara goes to primary with me every week because she's not old enough for nursery. She wonders around during sharing/singing time then comes to class with me. Apparently she picked up on the "Hello song" that we sing to visitors. One day she came home and put shoes on her hands and had them "singing" to each other. "hehwo, hehwo! Hehwo, hehwo!" She'll wonder around the house singing it randomly.

So I've been trying to catch it on video but she's a little stinker and when I point my phone at her she says "NO!"

But with Gabe's help I got a little in this one. Along with a couple "no's"

Monday, October 05, 2009

More soccer

My saturdays consist of soccer games these days so that's what you get. I took my camera this last saturday because it was picture day and I refuse to buy team pictures. I just stand behind the photographer and take my own.

So I figured I should try and get good game shots while I was at it. Aria's game was first and it was COLD. 41 degrees and windy.

Gabe dealt with it like this.

Clara was cold but wouldn't keep a blanket on, so I tied my coat around her stroller which really ticked her off. I let her scream because I'd rather she be warm and mad at me than cold and happily independent.

It was a good game to bring my camera because Aria made an awesome goal and I got it!

Dribbling down the field

About to kick.

She shoots!

She scores!

And she scans the sidelines to make sure I saw. lol

It was a teensy bit warmer, but windier by the time the boys games started.

I love that his tongue is always hanging out. Luckily he hasn't bitten through it too often...

I shot a bunch of pictures of Nathan's game and when I got home to look at them I just started laughing. Note the eyes that are squeezed shut and the cringing away from the ball.

I love when he looks intense, because that's not a common expression for him. He's normally laid back and content like me. lol

He got to play goalie which he loved. I remember that was my favorite soccer position too. He worked it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

You can't help but laugh when you're hanging out with Gabe

I picked him up from my friend's house after volunteering at school today and he ran out to the car ahead of me. When I got there he shouted "Mom, I can make a Y!" I looked up and saw this.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Somehow I became a soccer mom

I hated soccer as a kid. I hated soccer as a teen. I all around just don't enjoy anything about the sport. But somehow...I have 3 kids playing soccer this year. (for the record...still not a fan)



and Gabe

Nathan and Aria's teams are at the age where the kids are trying and have a fairly decent grasp of the rules. Aria even made her first ever goal on Saturday!

Gabe's team though is 3 on 3, no goalie, kick the ball around and try to make a goal for the right team. It's pretty cute. And Gabe is a star. We got a few strings pulled to get him on the 4 yr old team even though he won't be four til next month and he's rocking it.

Except for the whole understanding how the game works thing.

We (and the coach) spent most of the game yelling at him to kick the ball the other way. lol. He'll catch on eventually.

Here he is while the coach is explaining how soccer works. See how he's paying such close attention?

And here's a video. You can watch him make a goal for the wrong side. :D