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Friday, July 31, 2009

mixing things up

I stumbled upon Mix Book tonight and in 20 seconds put this spread together. I was impressed with all the choices for backgrounds - some beautiful papers with stunning colors (yet I chose the black, I know....Old habits die hard I guess.)

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had experience using their software and how the print quality is? As most of you probably already know, I'm a Blurb girl, but if mixing it up brings in more business and makes my photography books that much better - I'm all for it.

(If you haven't heard of Mixbooks and you have another software you swear by - I'd love to hear about it!)

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I have proof

Proof that Julia will still nap for me when we're out in public.

What's my secret? I tell her as she's starting to nod off in the car that when we get to (insert destination) she can keep sleeping and I'll put her in the Kozy.
Today she stirred a little as I swung her over my back and mumbled, "No Mama, on your tummy!" I gently told her no, that she would be more comfortable on my back, and then she was out cold.

And thanks to my little point and shoot I keep in my purse (and a certain 4 year old photographer), I have proof!


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It's a love/hate relationship

It makes pictures of the moon rising much more interesting so why would I hate it?

Because it makes an obnoxious noise when the wind spins it. You might remember a tweet from about a week ago when I was hopeful that the lift truck would be tall enough to stop the thing from spinning (and squeeking). Unfortunately it didn't work. Good thing I have sunsets like this to distract me!


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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The beauty of summer

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What more could a photographer ask for?

I had the opportunity to photograph a beautiful family Wednesday night. The setting was like the garden of Eden, and all eleven family members were so photogenic. You'll have to go over to my photography blog to see for yourself. (see button on the right side bar)

I'm writing this at 1 a.m. so be sure to check for more of my favorites to be posted throughout the day


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Alphabitty Moments - the letter W

We're so close to the end of round 1 of Alphabitty Moments that I can almost taste it! I've already been looking at Blurb's website to price books for the kids. Do I get two soft cover books so they each can have one or do I get them in hardcover so they will hold up better over the years? Truth be told, the books are just as much for me as they are for the kids. I've started a discussion in my Forest Forum (left side bar - Blog Frog widget) that talks more about printing the books - so watch there for tips and suggestions on seeing all our hard work pay off in the form of priceless keepsakes.

Ok, now on to this week's letter - W.
I've been meaning to take this picture since Sam first started to stand - over 4 years ago. See those cute little footprints on our bathmat?

They melt my heart every time I set the kids on the purple mat to dry. Of course those feet aren't as little as they once were, but I will hold the memory of their little wet feet in my heart forever. Hmmm....maybe I'll retake this picture and put one of my own wet footprints next to theirs for a size comparison... Oh, sorry...there I go talking to myself again.....

What moment would you like to remember this week?



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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Fuzzy But Fun


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Nature 365


Flora and fauna abound in our little corner of the world. We live in a park after all!

This past spring PapaBear and I took turns recording the flowers that were blooming along the trails in the park, like this columbine that grows under the power lines way out in the woods.

We're not creating your ordinary nature journal though. I call it Nature 365. This recipe box holds 365 notecards - each with the month and day written in the upper right hand corner.







When we see something, like new leaves on the trees, we write the year on one line and then the observation. It's hard to read, but the card in the picture reads "2009 - Eagle over picnic shelter" One card will hold at least a decade of observations specific to one particular day of the year.

It is our goal to be able to look back and see the trends in when the ice goes out on the lake, when the grass turns green, when the flowers bloom, what animals live in the park (and where).... I think it will be a great keepsake to look back on our time here and have a record of all the things we've seen.

We also want the kids to learn to value the environment and really see what's around them, like this cool vine that is along one of our trails.


What projects has your family done to instill a love of the outdoors in your children?


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Monday, July 27, 2009

A nagging feeling

If you've sent me an email today that I haven't replied to, would you do me a favor and send it again? Many (near and far) have asked what they can do to help and I am going to direct you to Jennifer's sister, Hilary on this one. The kids are going to be staying with her and another friend, Alyssa is going to help coordinate any other additional childcare that is needed.

Thank you for praying!

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Praying for Stellan

I added the 23rd Psalm to this image of Julia for Kate Mcrae's Curls for Kate site, but I can't help but post it here for Stellan too. So many of us are praying for Stellan, his family, and his doctors - they need it now more than ever before.



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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chances are... (Now with MckLinky)

...if Julia has disappeared into her room - she's changing her clothes

...if Julia takes a purse to church - it's filled with the following toys: snake, killer whale, & bugs.

...if Sam picks out his jammies - he'll choose footie jammies (even if it's 90 degrees)

...if Julia comes downstairs dressed in the morning - it won't be what she'll be wearing an hour later

...if Sam is playing dinosaur with Daddy - he's the baby Struthiomimus

...if there's Little Debbies in the house - they won't last long

...if I'm going out - I'll be wearing my new turquoise shirt

...if it's dinnertime - I'm not the one preparing the meal

...if PapaBear is laughing - it's at a joke from the Simpsons

...if I'm working out - it's to a cheesy infomercial stepper routine

...if PapaBear is watching a movie - It's one of the Bourne movies

...if I'm feeling content - it's because I have been making time to spend with the Lord

Now it's your turn to complete this sentence: Chances are...


Add the link to your Chances are post here if you'd like....

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Taking it 'easy'

No photo shoots.
No book deadlines breathing down my neck.
No proof sites to post.
No consults with brides.

I'm taking it easy.

I'm cleaning the house.
I'm cooking meals.
I'm going to an ice cream social.
I'm filing paperwork.
I'm reading stories.
I'm cleaning out the garage.
I'm singing songs with the kids.
I'm watching birds in their nest.
I'm washing outside toys.
I'm working in the garden.
I'm listening to music.
I'm folding laundry.
I'm organizing my cupboards.
I'm playing on the rocks.

I'm taking it easy.

I'll be in the campground office for 8 hours.
I'll be getting through a weekend in the park that includes a wedding, a community room event, a campout under the stars event, and a boy scout group.

I'm taking it easy....


Maybe not as easy as Julia, but a week of being a SAHM has been so refreshing!
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Building Community

One of the main things that stuck out to me about this past weekend of MckMama sponsored events is the immediate sense of community I felt with a group of ladies I've never met. (I blogged about the mckpicnic and mckbrunch here.) Was I nervous to meet so many people at one time? Of course!
But that quickly faded as we learned more about each other and talked for hours. There are playdates in the works, families coming out to camp at our campground, and new blogs to read. We had so much in common and making connections with other moms is Fun! Fun! Fun!

Speaking of fun and community, have you noticed my new Forest Forum on my side bar? It's a great place to go to start up a discussion on any topic you'd like feedback on from me and other readers. It would have perfect for the discussion on this parenting post!

You can go to theblogfrog.com to learn more about what the Blog Frog can do to build a community on your blog. You never know, you might end up finding out that your next door neighbor is a blogger too! (Or in my case, the lady standing behind me at the Pizza Place reads MckMama's blog and recognized me at the MckBrunch.)
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Alphabitty Moments - the letter V

Welcome to Alphabitty Moments! This is a carnival where we remember the little things our kids do, one letter at a time. We're on the letter V, but in a month we'll be back at the beginning of the alphabet and would love to have you join the creative and inspirational group that have joined me in this alphabet adventure.

One thing that we haven't discussed is the topic of book cover designs for those who are creating scrapbook pages each week I've started a discussion thread in my BlogFrog Community where we can bounce ideas off each other for this special 'page' layout. (Scrapbook pages aren't a requirement for participation - posting pictures like a regular post is fine too).
OK enough housekeeping stuff...on to one of the hardest letters for me...V

I chose Vroom for Sammy because he's spent the past 2 1/2 years playing with matchbox cars, many of which were mine when I was a child. The motor sounds morphed into dinosaur roars in the past six months, but I don't ever want to forget the time he has spent playing with cars/trucks/trains.



Julia's V word is voice.


She started talking a year before her brother and it has been so fun to watch her language skills develop over time. It's been more subtle, but lately her words are becoming clearer and the conversations hilarious.


I added a couple of them to the right page in her book, but there's another one I just have to share:

At the chiropractor last week she didn't want to come with when it was time to leave so I said, "Do you want to stay here and I'll pick you up next Monday?"

"That not a good idea"

"OK then let's go to the grocery store and get garlic and lemon for the fish" (we were grilling for lunch)

"Why? Are they hunry?"

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Now it's your turn to share your V word for the week.




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Alphabitty Moments - the letter V

Welcome to Alphabitty Moments! This is a carnival where we remember the little things our kids do, one letter at a time. We're on the letter V, but in a month we'll be back at the beginning of the alphabet and would love to have you join the creative and inspirational group that have joined me in this alphabet adventure.

One thing that we haven't discussed is the topic of book cover designs for those who are creating scrapbook pages each week I've started a discussion thread in my BlogFrog Community where we can bounce ideas off each other for this special 'page' layout. (Scrapbook pages aren't a requirement for participation - posting pictures like a regular post is fine too).
OK enough housekeeping stuff...on to one of the hardest letters for me...V

I chose Vroom for Sammy because he's spent the past 2 1/2 years playing with matchbox cars, many of which were mine when I was a child. The motor sounds morphed into dinosaur roars in the past six months, but I don't ever want to forget the time he has spent playing with cars/trucks/trains.



Julia's V word is voice.


She started talking a year before her brother and it has been so fun to watch her language skills develop over time. It's been more subtle, but lately her words are becoming clearer and the conversations hilarious.


I added a couple of them to the right page in her book, but there's another one I just have to share:

At the chiropractor last week she didn't want to come with when it was time to leave so I said, "Do you want to stay here and I'll pick you up next Monday?"

"That not a good idea"

"OK then let's go to the grocery store and get garlic and lemon for the fish" (we were grilling for lunch)

"Why? Are they hunry?"

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Now it's your turn to share your V word for the week.




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I Heart Faces - Feet Edition

My I Heart Faces entry disappeared today so I'm reposting it. Not sure if that'll make a difference come judging time, but oh well. It's from my first of many sessions with Henry Here it is again....
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For more entries in this special feet edition of I Heart Faces, click on the button:


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What is a Zebra Racer?

It's the reason PapaBear, his parents, his aunts, and our kids went to Hasting to watch speed boats race on the Mississippi.

The zebra racer (lower right picture shows it in action) is piloted by PapaBear's cousin, Kevin. I was at the MckBrunch Sunday morning, but thankfully PapaBear had our little point and shoot camera along to capture some of the fun of the day.

Highlights of their day:

* one of the boats flipped over during the race
* seeing the fastest boats race at the end (they reach speeds in excess of 180mph) Can you imagine? The lower left hand picture is from that race.
* eating ice cream cones
* watching trains cross the bridge
* sitting in Kevin's boat

Clicking on the image will make it bigger (Sorry 'bout the smudge marks on all the pics - Didn't know it was there until after 50 pictures were taken...of course)

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's a blog (m)eet blog world

It all started a couple weeks back when I met up with Brittany. Then this past Thursday I met Jennisa, who writes the first blog I ever read that was written by someone I didn't know in real life. Did you follow all that? If not. Here's the gist: I've had the privilege of meeting two of my long time blogging friends who are as sweet, real, & funny in person as they are on their blogs and hang out with my my dear friend MckMama at the same time.

Yesterday I made some new friends at the MckPicnic that also happen to blog. Sure we talked blogging, but it was more about connecting with other moms who share common interests. Jenna and her husband Aaron will be coming out to our campground next month with their adorable daughter Camille. Can't wait!



Sam made a new friend too. Caleb happens to live one block away from our cousin Caleb way on the other side of the metro. Small world! (I'll save the really small world story for when I post the group picture from the brunch)

All the activity wore Julia out so I had her take a nap in the Kozy.

An hour later she was back in action again....



The cool weather didn't stop us from having a blast with our friends, both old and new.















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Canoe camping with kids

I've been sharing highlights from our recent trip to the BWCA on Instagram . The spot we go is perfect for families with young kids beca...