Monday, December 31, 2007

Heading into the Dark...

Hey Friends, and Family!

I am enjoying my blog, and reading about you, and having a place to document the things of our lives. However, I have read recent headlines, and just have felt like it's time to head to the dark side. I'm making my blog available to private viewers only, at first this might be a hassle for some of you I know, It will involve being a registered user, and me approving you, sorry dad! But, for personal reasons, I don't want my kids pictures available to just anyone!

This notice will be up for a couple of days, and then, I will head into the new year, with a more private blog!!

Thanks for all your comments and visits! Keep coming!


Friday, December 28, 2007


We did it, today is our eight year wedding anniversary. And these days, every year counts. I mean technically we could be celebrating five years with all the time Josh is gone, but still we'll take it. We have josh's family in town celebrating with us and so we're headed to a dinner out. Last time we went out on a date to eat was the night before josh left for Islamabad. (By the way I'm so glad he's out of there, it's been crazy the last couple of days!) Oh and the food (on our date) was terrible we're hoping for a better experience this time. My crazy friends decorated my car at two a.m. Then tried to lie about it. Whatever, I'm so on to them and their antics. Anyway, thanks for celebrating with us, too! EIGHT IS GREAT!! We passed the seven year itch...

Here's a tribute to my favorite man -

Eight Years, Three kids, Six states, Four Countries, Two deployments, Six Cars, Three sets of tables and chairs, Two college degrees and a third on the way, six temples, 3 vacations, one home, seven jobs, two foster kids, fourteen callings (jobs in our church), 9,125 diapers, two root canals same tooth, three phone calls to the police, three trips to the emergency room, ZERO tickets, five times pulled over, one assault, a multitude of near death experiences, once only 100 yards away, a million photographs, friends, laughs, tears, mistakes, and prayers.

There's NO ONE I'd rather do this with than you. Love you more today, then eight years ago. Who knew on that cold, rainy, snowy Chicago morning what was in store for us. At that time we maybe had been on five dates... our parents didn't know us, I was scared, I'm sure you were scared, and yet, with blind faith, we began this unbelievable life together. Thanks for making me laugh, for being my calm in the storm, and the King of Charoodles. I love you.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We are alive!

If you're like me, you've been swamped. We've been loving having Josh home, and I no longer feel quite the obligation to keep this thing updated. But here's the latest, in no particular order:


Totally Fun Christmas Gift - I think I'm the last to know of it, but my friend Lindsay hooked us up with this game Don't Eat Pete! A fun family game where one family member heads out of the room, we pick an m & m, he's Pete, the family member comes back and starts picking candies until, they try to eat Pete and the rest of us scream DON'T EAT PETE!! We've had so much fun with this one! Thanks Linds!

My mom sent us this wreath as a Homecoming Celebration gift! It's gorgeous, and smells great, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the touch of American Flag ribbon!

Did I mention it rocks to have Josh home??

Oh, and because once again I'm actually cooking...Here's some fabulous things I've made: ROASTED CHICKEN NACHOS WITH GREEN CHILI CHEESE SAUCE AND FRESH SALSA, Dang Good. And the kids and I have been loving Pomegranite Season... So I decided to mix it up a bit and include Fresh Pineapple... Josh said this could be the best fruit salad ever, so yummy. Also, a new family FavoriteShrimp, Broccoli, and Sun-dried Tomatoes Scampi with Angel Hair Tonight's menu? Turkey Breast, cranberry salad, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli! I bet you wished you lived closer!!

Christmas Eve - So fun and relaxing. Laila was up and Josh told her, "Laila you are not to speak of the things that happened here this evening." Her one and only witness to the actual events of Christmas Eve. Also, did I mention we make reindeer food?? Glitter and Oatmeal, baby. And Colson thought we should put out nine bowls of water for the reindeer, not this year hon. But, somehow that reindeer food is gone?!? How does he do that?!? I will say though, that we attempt to make Christmas Eve our own family thing, we dress up the kids, we read the scripture story. And since then, Hallie has been seen dressing up as Mary at least three times.

Christmas Day - Did I mention how great it was to have Josh home? Josh and Colson spent FOUR HOURS working on this master creation of legos. I'm a sucker for educational toys. And this one is crazy... I think they had fun doing it, but so much for my kitchen table, I'm not sure I'll ever get it back!! Laila had fun opening her first present, and Josh was here to witness it! Hallie, LOVED her Disney Princess Cash Register, and can I just say Thanks to the grandparents that paid for two months of lessons! I'm so excited to have Colson back in swimming, and Hallie is taking her first lessons... gymnastics. Should be fun.

And Finally. We're booked. We're headed to Florida in February. It's going to be awesome, can't wait!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I'm not a forwarding kind of girl, but I just got this from my friend, Tina. Then I saw it was from Indiana University so of course I had to check it out!!

So Fun!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

WANTED: Joshua

Have you seen my husband?? I've been looking everywhere. This man showed up at my door early Monday Morning...

Welcome Home!

He's here and safe, and less than 24 hours later clean shaven!

Thanks to everyone that helped me over the last little while, there were countless acts of service, and trust me, we appreciated them all. Hopefully the tables can be turned, and I will have more time for service. Love you all!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness

The Most Wonderful Time of Year - Here's a few great ideas from Real Simple Magazine

How to Be Nice to Your Friends, Family, and Those Who Need a Little Extra

Channel your second-grade teacher and playfully give out gold-star stickers to all the people in your life — young and old — who somehow make your day a little easier.

If you know someone is going out to dinner to celebrate a special occasion, call the restaurant in advance and say you’ll pick up the cost of her wine or dessert.

When someone is moving to a new city, supply friends and family members with stamped, preaddressed postcards. (Hand them out at the going-away party.) By the time the family pulls into the new driveway, there will be warm wishes awaiting them.

When you run across a newspaper or magazine article you think someone you know would find interesting, take a moment to clip it out. Attach a Post-it note that reads “Thought you’d enjoy” and drop it in the mail. This takes less time than writing a letter, but the gesture still shows the other person you’re thinking about her. Laura Noss, who owns a public-relations firm for nonprofits in San Francisco, says her father, who lives in Cleveland, does just that. “It means so much that when he’s reading something, he’ll rip it out, fold it, attach a message, put the postage on it, and send it to me,” she says. “I save almost all of them.”

Similarly, when a young person in your hometown does something to merit a mention in the newspaper (the high school quarterback saves the big game in overtime or your neighbor gets elected student-body president), clip out the photo and article and send it to the person’s family. Chances are, they’ll want to collect every copy they can. (One notable exception: the police blotter.)

If you travel a lot on business, record yourself reading your children’s favorite bedtime stories; they can listen to your voice as they flip through the book. Finish each night’s reading with a countdown of the days until you’re back home with them.

Every day for a year, jot down one thing you love about your child/husband/friend (he has a crooked smile; she snorts when she laughs). At the end of the year, give the person your one-of-a-kind, 365-item list.

When you develop photos from a vacation or a major life event that an elderly relative missed, get an extra set of prints and send them to her.

When guests are leaving, escort them to their car, not just to the front door. If you’re driving someone home, wait until she’s inside the house before you pull away.

Hide messages for your family to find throughout the day, like “Thanks for doing a load!” in the dryer, or a silly joke in your child’s lunch box.

If someone you know is going through a difficult time, call to let her know that you’re thinking about her, but make sure your message doesn’t leave her with a sense of obligation: “Just wanted you to know I’m thinking about you, but don’t worry about calling me back.” When a friend was being treated for breast cancer in a hospital outside her home state, Sandy Donaldson, a community-relations coordinator in Newport News, Virginia, rented her friend a beeper and entered the names of the woman’s friends in its contact list. Whenever her friend got beeped, she could look and see who was sending kind thoughts her way. “The only rule was that she was not allowed to call anyone back,” says Donaldson, who didn’t want her friend to feel any more burdened during her illness.

How to be nice to a neighbor:
When a neighbor is grieving, leave a basket on her front porch, filled with blank thank-you cards she can send to people who have brought flowers or made donations.

When stocking up on school supplies, pick up a few extras and give them to your child’s teacher to pass on to students whose families might not be able to afford them.

Donate two tickets to a major sporting or theatrical event to an organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters. That way, a Big Sis can take her Little Sis to something out of the ordinary that she otherwise might not be able to afford.


Make a list of local shops, restaurants, hair salons, and other services for new neighbors. When her friends Anna and Matt Dowling moved to her city of Portland, Oregon, Erica Heintz put together a binder of information, including MapQuest driving directions to various locations from their new address. “It was the perfect housewarming gift,” says Anna. “For the first few months, we kept that binder with us in the car at all times.” If the neighbors have kids, draw a street map and highlight the homes of families with children around the same age.

Take a dozen fresh-baked cookies to your local fire or police station. Bring the kids along to say thank you for their constant service.

When someone leaves a pie plate or a casserole dish at your house, return it with something tasty inside.

When a guest brings a bottle of wine to a party you’re throwing, jot her name on the label. Down the road, when you finally pop the cork, dial up your friend to let her know you’re having a drink in her honor.

Shovel the snow from your neighbor’s driveway after you’ve tackled your own.

Send a note to a former teacher, telling her how much she inspired you. (If she’s no longer at the same school, the office may be able to tell you where she is now.)

Invite someone who has moved here from another country to share your holiday feast. Pinky Vincent, who came to New York City from India three years ago, still remembers how lonely she was at first. “I had no family members here or family friends,” she recalls. “But people I met invited me over for Christmas or Thanksgiving and made me a part of the family.”
How to Be Nice to People on the Job

When the temperature dips, offer your mail carrier or the teenager shoveling your walk a fresh cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Buy lidded disposable cups so they can have it “to go.”

If someone goes beyond her job description to help you, call or send an e-mail to her supervisor praising her. The employee will get a small career boost, and the boss will probably be thrilled to hear something other than complaints.

Avery Horzewski, a communications consultant in San Jose, California, likes to give chocolates or Starbucks gift cards to grocery clerks, delivery people, and others who are especially friendly or helpful.

Bring in a box of doughnuts for your building’s maintenance staff. Just don’t consume all the jelly-filled ones before you pull into the company parking lot.

When you make an in-person donation to a nonprofit organization (such as an animal shelter), also drop off something to brighten the day of the people working in the trenches.

Lindsey Schocke, an administrative assistant in Atlanta, knows how stressful starting a new job can be. So whenever her company hires somebody, she makes a point of extending a lunch invitation. “I can answer some questions for them,” she says, “and then they have a friendly face to say hello to until they get to know everybody.”

Overtip your breakfast waiter. He probably put forth just as much effort as someone on the evening shift would, but his take-home pay is probably lower.

How to Be Nice to Strangers and the World Around You

At a tourist spot, ask people if they would like you to take their picture in front of a beautiful view or a historic monument.

Subtly alert people when they have food in their teeth, an undone zipper, or toilet paper stuck to a shoe. They’ll be far less mortified than if they find out two hours later.

Pay for the drive-through order of the car behind you.

Leave your extra change in the soda machine for someone else to find. Better yet, leave enough change for a soda.

Athena Williams-Atwood, the president and CEO of Inspired Action, a consulting firm in San Francisco, carries rolls of quarters with her for parking. “If I see someone else’s meter running low,” she says, “I just pop a couple of quarters in. I may have saved that person $30 or $50 — all for 50 cents.”

Stop your car to let someone merge into traffic from a side street, or wave someone into the parking spot you were both eyeing.

When an elderly person is crossing the street slowly, walk alongside her at the same pace the whole way across. She’ll feel less embarrassed when the light changes if you’re in the intersection with her.

Trade your low ticket number at the deli counter for that of someone who seems to be in a hurry (or is shopping with children).

If you’re at an event or a party where you know lots of people, look around to see if anyone is there alone. If so, introduce yourself — and then introduce her to others.

When someone looks lost, stop and ask him if he needs directions. “I’ll never forget the people who have helped me when I was traveling,” says Real Simple staffer Melinda Page. “One man in Italy saw me looking at a map in confusion, asked if he could help, then walked five minutes out of his way to show me the place I was looking for, because it was hard to explain.”

Give blood. To find out where to donate, go to the website of the American Association of Blood Banks, at

Carry plastic bags when you’re hiking or camping, and pick up litter that you find along the way.

Instead of tossing magazines and old books into the recycling bin, drop a stack off at a local women’s shelter or your gym.

If you use public transportation on your commute to work, offer a fellow passenger your newspaper rather than tossing it in the trash.

“Adopt” an animal (via donation) from your city’s zoo or aquarium. You’ll get a photo and a bio of your new family member, and you can take your kids to visit it.

Charlene Moser of Northglenn, Colorado, started the nonprofit organization Lynda’s Legacy ( in honor of a close friend who died at age 30 after battling a serious illness for years. “Lynda introduced me to the concept of creating happiness for other people as a way to feel like you could make a difference,” Moser says. Today she and her family plan “kindness field trips,” such as driving around town handing out cold drinks to people working outside, or sending flowers through the deposit tubes at drive-through banks. “Lynda was a person of action,” says Moser. “When she died, I wanted to ensure that ‘Lyndaness’ wouldn’t stop.”

Friday, December 14, 2007

Marriott Rewards

Thank You Josh's Job.

For Josh's most recent "trip" we earned ourselves over 200,000 Marriott reward points. We're now Platinum Members, which status you get for staying at least 75 nights in a Marriott. Granted I'm sure he would have preferred staying 75 nights in a resort in Fiji. But we'll take it.

So now comes time to spend them... Hmmm... where to go, who should we take with us??

The planning begins. Thanks for the sacrifice, hon!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Colts victorious last weekend

Steelers not so much. Definitely NOT a fan.

Colson bounces of the bus, it's old hat, now.

There IS a camera in my future, and I'm collecting donations at this time.

My sweet baby no longer sleeps through the night. Apparently she knows dad's coming home and so she's done being perfect.

I had no organized system for Christmas cards, I've mailed them in two batches with the third and final batch supposedly on its way, because now I'm not sure who I've already sent them too. So you might get two, or none.

Week two for my dream job at Sylvan Learning Center, Decent Pay, only 4 hours a week, it's perfect.



Attempted Emily H's Walnut Chip Cookies, which were fantastic, however, not quite the same, Miss You.

Spent the week working on my dear friend's scrapbook for her daughter. She was in a horrific car crash awhile ago, and was six months pregnant. It's been the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I've felt so honored to have been asked to be a part of documenting this sacred moment for their family. And yet, I must find joy in my journey, I'm sure tragedy doesn't escape anyone, but I found this amazing quote

"Things of an eternal nature have no boundaries. From the premortal existence to our existence beyond the veils of death, our life is an eternal life."
-Boyd K. Packer

I find joy in the knowledge of eternal life. Love you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Missed Firsts

I thought I'd let you know the firsts Josh has missed - Feel free to add to it Josh if I missed something!

Colson's First Airplane Ride
Colson's First day in the nursery
Colson's First Sacrament Presentation
Colson's First day of preschool
Colson's First day of school
Hallie's First appearance into the world
Hallie's First airplane ride
Colson's First talk
Colson's First talk he read by himself
Hallie's First Steps
Hallie's First tooth
Hallie's First steps
Hallie's First smile
Hallie's First Haircut
Colson's First Parent Teacher Conference
Laila's First Tooth
Laila's First Swim

And today another First. Colson's First bus ride to school. Why is that emotional to me? I mean he's been going to school for four months!! This is why there are dads to keep us moms from being so emotional about things.

I didn't even get a picture. Maybe by this afternoon I will have gone to purchase a camera, so I can get a picture of him coming off the bus. I'm a mom that has a hard time letting go, and this was just another step. We're headed to the Y this evening, and I'm working on a scrapbook project for a friend, so I went ahead and let him ride the bus in the morning, so I could save the time and just get into the project and laundry.

I know everyone has their own feelings for their kids. But I just have to write down how I'm impressed with Colson. I couldn't have a better first born. He's such a good example and he's full of courage. Just having him wait I could tell he was nervous but excited, and he just did it. I'm so proud of him. Think of a little guy who couldn't love his dad anymore, but has spent 2 1/2 years away from him. I know his heart aches for his dad, especially when he prays for things like "Please help mommy to be normal again." I just think of the burden he's had to carry so young. He's been through so much, and yet he cheerfully and courageously carries on. With only a week to go, we're ready!

Now Hallie on the otherhand... is currently whining and kicking her feet about not being able to take off her shoes. I'm waiting for her to say "Mom, can you help me please." I'll probably be here all day. Actually one just made it off. With a little more whining and kicking she did it herself. She just popped up standing next to me smiling. Such a woman. ;)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Favorite Things

I'm sitting listening to the sound of my dishwasher in the quiet of my home thinking about the last few hours and what a great evening it was, I have to share!!

Ever see Oprah's Favorite Things Show?? I swiped this fantastic idea to host my own Favorite Things Party with ten friends. I had to limit the invitations because I didn't want to have everyone spend a crazy amount... Anyway, each person brought ten of their favorite things, so we each get to take one of everything home. We each talked about why we chose it... and oh my heck it was AWESOME!!

Here's what we got -

Limited Edition Febreze Pine and Snow scented
HOMEMADE peanut brittle, Mozartkugel - can't wait to try it
Chocolates - Yummy Variety
Hot Cocoa and Baklava
Cinnamon scented air freshener which is definitely Sonia's house!
Dish soap holder and cloth - (We also learned a new trick about putting this cloth in the dishwasher, don't worry Linds, I didn't take it personal ;)
MARYKAY giftcard, with some product, sweet!
Turbie Twist Towel

I hope everyone that came had a great night, I laughed so much!! Sharing my Fort Meade friends with some new Hanover friends, was great. It's hard to leave a ward you're used to, we've spent the last five years in military wards, and coming to a different ward has been a little hard. It probably doesn't help that Josh has been gone, but it was great to be with some of the sisters outside of the church building, you really get to know people better. Thanks everybody for coming, it meant a lot to me! I only have a week left, (about) and it made this weekend perfect.

I really wish I had my camera... I have tears!!(By the way Lori thanks for the pics, she emailed me quick!) Aaaagh, I must get more emotional as the time gets close for Josh to come home! I just hope whoever reads this, can have amazing women in their lives. I feel so fortunate to know some stellar, beautiful, faithful, hardworking, dedicated women, who can lift me, and inspire me, thanks to these women:


You rock. Love ya!


Friday, December 07, 2007

It WAS me!!

In my spare time I'm reading about cameras and recently read this:

"If the camera is suddenly brought in from the cold into a warm room condensation may form on the camera and internal parts... If condensation forms on the camera, DO NOT use the camera. This is to avoid damaging the camera."

Oh crap... this happened, I left the camera in the car on Wed. night before Thanksgiving, I brought it in and it formed condensation - I snapped some shots of the kids noticed it was fuzzy (hello the lens fogged up)... It worked for a bit after, but I'm sure this must have been what made it not work anymore!!

Please remember not to leave your camera in cold temperatures, and then take it into warm temperatures. URGH>>>

I really think this must have been what happened, I wonder if it will ever work?? I keep checking it. I definitely can't blame Hallie for this one.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Missing My Camera

These posts are going to get super boring in a hurry! Unlike my sister who is unbelievably talented at writing, I on the otherhand was stuck with the talent of well I don't know, I'm sure there's something!! ;) Which means if my writing was any good at all, I wouldn't need pictures. Oh well, right now I have total faith in Santa Claus, to solve the dilemma.

TWO HOUR DELAY! I remember loving the two hour delays... I got out of seminary which meant at least 3 hours extra of sleep (unless I found out about the delay after I got up and took a shower) which sometimes happened. Oh well, it was still extra sleep, and it felt great. So ta da! Today our first 2 hour delay with Colson in school. EXCEPT, the kids don't appreciate this rarity and cheerfully woke me up by climbing into bed with me at 7 a.m. Nice. So needless to say we spent the morning, doing laundry, cleaning up the kitchen, enjoying a breakfast, and me, yes I decided to head to the Y, even on this blistery cold morning with my two kids. But alas, I arrived at the Y, in my no make-up, haven't showered, completely unmatching attire only to find out NOPE no childcare on delay mornings. Lovely. So I haul both kids, and diaper bag, and workout bag, back to the car. And decide since I'm only 2 minutes from the Wal-mart to suck it up and pick up the few things I need, I'd do it in my unmatching, disheveled self, swallowing all pride. I get home a bit embarassed call my sister who always makes me feel good at times like this, and says, What? You fit right in at the Wal-mart. Sweet, I forgot. It's Target that I would have really stood out... I get off the phone with Bec, and lay Laila down, and as I'm bending over tucking her sweet little body into bed, Hallie shouts MOM, you match!! (It's true I had blue sweat pants, blue sweatshirt nevermind the obvious difference in hues) So there you have it, I shouldn't have worried about it. I matched. Clearly.

And for the final bit of news, I have to say for the first time ever I might be a steelers fan. I know I know, it seems crazy. BUT, I am so rooting for them to beat those stinky Patriots. If there was a team I didn't like more than the Steelers it's the Patriots. So for this weekend and this weekend only ssshhhh!!! GO STEELERS!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Christmas Fun

I got this from a friend today and since I'm lacking in the camera department why not??

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper - so much fun to open

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial = Economical - BUT when I'm rich and famous, real all the way!

3. When do you put up the tree? Day after Thanksgiving

4. When do you take your tree down? I don't want to talk about This!

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes but I'm a halfsie person - I can't drink it straight - half eggnog half milk.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Transformer! YES that's right!! Loved that thing!

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, but I can't find it??!!??

8. Hardest person to buy for? My dad - or grandpa to the kids...

9. Easiest person to buy for? Laila

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever got? Toilet Bowl Brush as part of a Dowry... Sorry Dad and Cherri... it was a tough one! :)

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, definitely, please don't email me your Christmas Card, it will make me sad. I want to hold your little note in my hands thank you very much! :)

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Christmas Vacation Hands Down. "Come on Guys, don't Fight!" "Clark, we're stuck under a truck!", oh yes. Tis the Season.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I usually pick up a couple of things before Thanksgiving...

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope, but a wedding gift... Yup.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Hot Cocoa with Hazelnut Creamer made by Josh - maybe with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Yumm-O

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear

17. Favorite Christmas song? It came upon the Midnight Clear

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? I think so!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A Ribbon Bow - See to the Left...

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning, Christmas Eve is all about the Savior.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Zilch, are you kidding me? I love it all!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I'm Innocent.

He died. My camera died. I honestly do not know what happened. I was sure it was Hallie, but she ALWAYS tells on herself, and I can't get a confession from her. Thankfully I don't have any priceless pictures on it, which would still be saved on the card, but still a pain to get. Nevertheless, I'm entering full blown Holiday season. This is not good. Especially because I recently told Josh I've got my eye on a new camera. Oh no. I look completely guilty don't I? I promise you I did not intentionally break this camera! I really wanted a second camera so that when Josh goes to all his cool places for work (some cooler than others! :)) he would have a camera. What to do? I mean he's not around to stop me from pushing that "Submit Order" button?? Laila cut her first tooth yesterday, do you think I have a picture? Nope. The dilemma. Josh if you're reading this at this point today, I have not ordered anything. I mean, I'm really trying here. I would try and find a good deal, but I recently remembered our last good deal was a "refurbished" camera. Sigh. Willpower. All I want for Chrismas is a "Canan Rebel XTi Digital SLR"... For the bargain price of... Nevermind. I can't even type it, let alone order it. :)

I've been looking for our video camera, I think it has a picture mode. I wonder how good those pics are!!

I promise, I did not break the camera!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Love this fun idea...

From the Pottery Barn - EXCEPT - it requires a photograph. Urgh!!

Otherwise I can picture all my kids stockings (cross-stitched by Grandma Cherri) hanging so beautifully, oh and I don't have a mantel. :)

Christmas Photo Shoot.

Set-Up = Locate and purchase perfect outfits, Decorate Tree, line tree with fabric to eliminate distracting elements, adjust lighting, wrap laundry basket with tinfoil to capture better lighting, charge camera, set up tripod, dress three children, pose children, begin picture taking.

Picture Taking - "Hold still, we'll take turns holding laila, look at the camera, don't squeeze Laila, Colson don't lean against the chair, hold still, say cheese, hold still, smile, Boo! Laila look at mommy, Boo!, Hallie look at me, don't look at Laila! Say cheese, hold still, No Hallie don't put your leg up, fine you can have a turn holding Laila, stop squeezing laila, Look at me, Colson stop leaning against the chair, where's the pacifier, HOLD STILL, Say CHeese, Boo! (baby voice) Laila look at mommy let me see you smile, Boo! HALLIE LOOK AT ME NOT LAILA!! Say cheese, hold still, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Scroll through pictures... Nope not one. This is why I stopped buying professional photos too much work, with no guarantee. Who says I have to have a perfect photo to wish everyone a Merry Christmas? I thought I'd share a few here! :)

Good Luck with your picture taking!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Found some Joy!

My blog is really supposed to be that place where I'm recording all that Joy I have (some days I have to look harder), but not this week...

Both now and then, I find joy in the dreams that soldiers fight for. I spent the day in Gettysburg and you kind of feel like you're standing on sacred ground! Did you know that the battleground was 24 square miles? Did you know the Gettysburg Address was only 14 sentences? The battle field is huge, and there are sporadic memorials found all over. We were listening to an audio tour that was amazing, we learned so much, and imagine we could have learned even more without the kiddos. Here's a few pics from our trip.

Crazy Gorgeous. That's what this Earth is. I find Joy in the beauty of this masterpiece. I've lived in Monterey, Colorado Springs, Maryland, Indiana, and been many other places but I always love to see somewhere new, and enjoy the variety.


I find joy regularly in Family, I believe family is the greatest joy. I'm missing my closest family member pretty badly these days. But, guess what, I'm SO BLESSED with tons of family that care about me, even if I'm FAR away. Thanks for making the trip, so the cousins could hang. (To protect the Identity of those in this Photo, the Names have been Changed!) Bob, Sue, Sandy, Joe

Yummy Goodies

Josh's famous caramels are such a treat, and since I was missing him, we made some! These are time consuming, difficult, yet so rewarding, isn't this a life lesson?


Who could not LOVE this holiday it's all about food and family, or in my case, food and friends. I have some amazing friends, that put up with my grumpy self, take time for my kids, and can I just say for a party of 20, there were FOURTEEN pies!!! Oh my heck Viviane went over the top, and the pic I have does not even include all the creme pies in the fridge!! Hope everyone found some joy in ther Thanksgiving!