Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two Little Liza Stories

Yesterday we got the kids all ready to go and headed to the end of the road with their bikes. Liza was all excited and was running a little bit. She likes to run. Halfway there she falls and scrapes her hand and knee a little bit. If you asked her what happened she will tell you "I had two bloods." She was crying and I picked her up and carried her to the house to wash up and get band-aids. As I'm cleaning her up she says "I was running and fell and you didn't catch me Mommy." I guess it was all my fault that she got a boo boo.



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My mom is visiting for a few days. She is sleeping in Liza's bed and Liza is on an air mattress on the floor. She thinks it's cool. Last night when it was time for me to go to bed I went and checked on her like I always do. This is what I found...


She really does love her Minnie Mouse... who she always calls Mickey. She'll learn some day.

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Head on over to Seven Clown Circus for Wordful Wednesday.



Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Re-assessing Parenting

I believe that it is good to read another parenting book every now and then. Reading a new book leaves me with more information, helps me to assess where I am at, what I've begun to let slip and where I need to make changes.

I'm currently reading On Becoming Preschool Wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I've read Baby Wise, Baby Wise 2, Toddler Wise and Potty Wise. I have found great tips in all of them and I am finding Preschool Wise to be the same.

What I have come to realize is that I am letting discipline slip a little bit. I am letting my kids win when they shouldn't and I am giving them too many warning before following through. Do I really need give them to the count of three to decide to listen? Should I let Liza scream "NO!" at me before changing her mind and deciding to listen when she realizes she is going to get punished if she doesn't? I don't think so. I mean... why can't I ask them to do something once and expect them to listen?

Because of this we have been making changes in the past few days. In Preschool Wise they suggest that when you tell your kids to do something that you teach them to respond "yes Mommy" or "yes Daddy". I like it. We've been trying it. I sat the kids down and explained to them that we are making changes, I'm no longer counting to three and when they don't listen the first time it's straight to bed. Here is what it goes like for now...

"Liza, I want you to clean up your toys. I want to hear yes mommy."
"Yes Mommy."

And then I expect her to go do it. Eventually it should become a bit of a habit to respond like that and I won't have to prompt. What I have noticed though is that having her reply assures me that she truly has heard and her attitude about it is usually decent. She wants to listen and when she knows the boundary it's easier.

I know it all seems a bit strict... but that's ok. Call me strict if you want. I'm responsible for myself and how I raise my children. I believe that respect for authority is learned (or not learned) in the home. I can't expect anyone else to teach them these things. I like this change. I like that we are all on the same page and the kids know what is expected of them. Anyways... I really hated counting to three all the time.

The next things we are going to work on are keeping our voices quiet at meals and learning how to politely interrupt Mommy if I am talking to someone else.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Photography... Composition part 3

A few weeks ago I posted the rule of thirds and then about trying different angles. Today I want to talk about getting in close.

The three things I mentioned above are the things I always tell people when they say "Laura, your photos are so much better than mine!" But the biggest one is getting in close. Fill your frame. Now, you have to keep in mind that you don't ALWAYS have to do these things. You are aloud to break the rules. But so many of you have said at some time or another that you wanted to be better with taking photos and these are things I've found helpful over the years.

So practice this. Take a picture like you normally would and then zoom in. Or move your feet if you can't zoom anymore. Take another picture. Then try getting even closer. Keep going until you are so close that your camera will no longer focus. See what you come up with. You might love the results. You might hate them. But it will get you thinking more about your photos. When you zoom in you let people know what you wanted them to see. Did you want them to see the mess that your house is in the background behind your kid's cute smile? Or did you want them to see your cute smiling kid??

An example... You can take a picture of the cute little flower girl...



and then you can zoom in and show off the little detail on her dress that you absolutely loved.



Ok. Go practice. :)

Passion

It's currently 12:22 AM and I can't sleep. I'm exhausted but my heart is so alive. Yesterday I got to help a friend photograph a wedding and I had such a great time. I spent some time today doing edits and I have to be honest... I've looked through my pictures quite a few times. And every time I look at them I get excited and I sit here thinking "there is no way that I took these photos!" I got better. I've definitely improved.

So what does this have to do with me not being able to sleep? Well... I made the mistake of looking at the pics one last time before I went to bed and then I got excited all over again. I laid down and tried to sleep but I was pretty certain my heart would burst. You see... I looooove photography. LOVE IT! I can't get enough of it.

Passion:  a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.

I have a passion for photography.

God has given me dreams of where this all can go some day if I just continue listening to Him and doing things in His time. It's been working so far so I don't plan to go off course and decide to jump ahead of his plan. But tonight the dreams are so exciting. I can't sleep. My heart is racing. I'm getting glimpses of the big picture and it is going to be awesome!

I love being able to look back and see the journey... to know that trusting God and waiting on Him... from buying my camera and now waiting on starting a business... is all worth it. I believe that God is increasing me in ability and he is bringing opportunities my way to help me learn and grow.

I did the wedding yesterday and I gotta tell ya... I want to do more!! I had a blast. Something happens when I get my camera in my hand. I totally become the photographer. It's just a good fit for me. And while it is physically exhausting I always come home with a refreshed heart.


I'll be sharing pictures from the wedding throughout the week... It was by far the cutest wedding I have ever been to.




If you want to know more about the road I have walked with my photography and how God fits in to it all you can CLICK HERE.



Saturday, June 26, 2010

Today...

...I get to photograph the wedding of this lovely couple
 
 
...with my beautiful friend Beth.
I'm not gonna lie... I'm a little bit nervous because... well it's not like I do weddings all the time. In fact I consider this to be only my second wedding. I'm hoping the rain holds off long enough so we can get some pictures outside. I know I can do good outside. Inside is my weakness... especially inside large churches with horrible light. At least I'm not running solo today. I am certain that between Beth and I we will make the couple happy with what we get.

Speaking of the couple... they are so stinkin cute and in love. That right there will make pictures easy. It's hard to go wrong with beautiful, happy people.

Now... if I could just find someone who knows a great deal more than me about photography that would be willing to teach me and mentor me a bit. That would be a dream come true!

Friday, June 25, 2010

5QF

I like the questions this week over at Mama M's for Five Question Friday so I decided to join in since I am stuck in the house again with a kid who isn't feeling all that well.




1. Do you know how to play a musical instrument?
Yes. I taught myself the basics of guitar... very basic basics. I can play songs. It was surprising to me that I could learn this since I am not musical at all and I don't read music... but you don't have to read music to play a bit of guitar. However my guitar has been sitting in the closet for a few years. I grew bored of it because I couldn't advance any further on my own and I didn't want to pay for lessons. And I don't sing. Playing guitar would be much more fun if I could sing.

2. What is your pet peeve while driving?
I hate when people come up real close behind me even though I am doing the speed limit or higher. It's like they are trying to tell me that I am not going fast enough for them... which makes me slow down and go a little bit under the speed limit. I win.

3. Would you rather have a housekeeper or unlimited spa services?
I think this is the most unfair question you could ever ask a mom! I always say that if I had more money we would hire a maid. But unlimited spa services??? Umm... could I maybe just get a housekeeper that made giving massages to the mamas part of her services??? Because that would be the ultimate deal! Now that I'm thinking about it I AM due for another massage.

4. Is there a song that you hear that will take you back to the moment, like a junior high or high school dance?
No. Not really. But I always love the three or four random times each year that I have the radio on and hear Ice Ice Baby. Ha! And I still remember all the words. It makes me feel young again. :)

5. What song best represents your life right now?
It's Me by Sarah Groves. It's about how we can go from good to bad in a marriage and become so cold to each other. But eventually we begin to soften again and "the girl in me is crying out to the boy in you... it's me." That's the reality of my life right now. No other song could say it better. I actually wrote a post on it a while back. You can read it here if you would like. The song is also in that post.


Ok. That's all for now. :)

Tired

I think everyone in this family is tired. Worn out. Exhausted.

The other day I laid down on my most favorite chair to rest and it was only seconds before the kids were all over me. Even though they were moving all over the place I was still practically asleep.


I would love to have a week where I had nothing to do but sleep.


I've already decided that the first year that my kids are both in school that I will spend my days at Panera Bread and taking naps. Can we fast forward a few years??

Death

I "like" Lisa Bevere on Facebook. She is one of my favorite people. I love her books. They have changed me. And I am sooo excited to be going through her book Fight Like a Girl with my small group.

Anyways... let's get to the point. If you've been following my blog for more than a week then you know Mike and I have been in a tense place in our marriage. As Gary Chapman would call it we are in the season of fall. We are in a place where we are saying "something's gotta change!" We both want it to be better and we are both making changes to make it better.

But if you've been reading my posts... like THIS ONE.... or THIS ONE... then you know that I have been being convicted of so much and that I am learning to make some changes in me to make some changes in my marriage.

So how does Lisa Bevere fit in to this post??

She posted on her facebook this...

"Marriage is something you don't get out of alive--Pastor Mike Freeman-- There is death involved in becoming one."

So true.

There is death. Death to selfishness. Death to me, me, me and I want, I want, I want. Death to all things in me that wreck my marriage. Death. A good death. A death that will certainly bring more life.

I'm killing stuff.

What needs to die in your relationship?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meat Loaf, Potato and Carrot Packets for the grill

I know things have been a bit light and fluffly around this place lately. I keep telling myself I need a little more content. I can't just keep throwing pictures up and saying I love my kids every day. But some weeks my brain just needs a break.

I've been soooo tired this week. With Jason being sick, Liza being Miss Defiant all the time, plans having to be changed all over the place, power outages, an empty fridge, a house that looks like a tornado went through it five times and a husband with a job that has him out of the house from before the rest of us wake up until sometime after dinner most days... my mind just doesn't want to think.

I'm on autopilot and just getting through the days.

Anyways... I decided that I should at least leave you with something that you could possibly use and since my friend Autumn asked for grilling recipes I will give you one of those...



MEAT LOAF, POTATO AND CARROT PACKETS

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 envelop (1.1 ounces) onion recipe and dip soup mix
1 egg
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/3 cup ketchup
1 package (1 pound 4 ounces) refrigerated new potato wedges (can substitute regular potatoes. Cut them and microwave them until they start to get soft.)
3 cups baby carrots
Fresh parsley, if desired

1. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Cut six 18x10 inch pieces of heavy -duty aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray. Mix beef, soup mix (dry), egg, milk and bread crumbs. Shape in to six loaves, 4x2 1/2x1 inch. Place loaf on one side of each foil piece; top each with about 1 tablespoon of the ketchup. Place about 1/2 cup potatoes and 1/2 cup carrots around each loaf.

2. Fold foil over loaf and vegetables so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again. Allow space on sides for circulation and expansion.

3. Cover and grill packets 4 to 5 inches from medium heat 25 to 30 minutes, rotating packets 1/2 turn after 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender, beef is no longer pink in center and juice of beef is clear. Place packets on plates. Cut large X across each packet; fold back foil. Garnish with parsley.

Dude

 
Jason is one cool dude.

I just love him in these sunglasses. And he loves wearing them so it works out quite nicely for me.



Don't mess with Mr. Cool!




I love him!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Craziness

It's Wordful Wednesday at Seven Clown Circus

 
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This week hasn't gone at all like it was supposed to. Not even close.

The plan was to visit my parents Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I woke up Monday morning with a mile long to-do list but never got very far on it. The kids decided to make it a day where they would start fighting the moment they got up. Eventually I was so fed up with it that I just put them in their beds and left them there until they calmed down. It took a while but I knew if I got them out too soon then nothing would change.

When I went to get Jason out of his bed I realized he was burning up. Hot. I took his temperature and it was already 102. My whole day changed.

It wasn't long before his fever reached 104 and I was a little nervous. He was still drinking and holding things down but the fever wasn't coming down at all. My baby was sick. He laid on the couch all day watching movies and drifting in and out of sleep.


I had to cancel our trip to my parents which cut my to-do list in half but left Liza a bit disappointed. We will have to reschedule soon. But even if Jason was feeling better on Tuesday I would have never been able to get packed with all the hugging and snuggling that he needed.
 
 
 Tuesday his fever was down to 101 all day and he was feeling well enough to be fighting with his sister again. There was a lot of whining and crying yesterday. It wasn't fun at all. I would have rather been at my parents because the kids don't fight as much when we are at someone else's house.


This morning Jason is back to normal. He's eating breakfast, laughing and being himself and his temperature is back to normal. Thank goodness too because it is going to be 87 degrees today and we don't have air conditioning. I can't imagine being trapped in the house all day.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A few things...

1. I missed posting a photo tip for you to practice this week. I'll pick back up next week. Life is chaotic here and my mind is crazy scattered.

2. The Girl Talk blog is now public. We originally didn't want to do this but we also didn't realize that keeping it private would only allow for 100 readers and no one would be able to subscribe to get updates in their email or dashboard. I'm going to post the link and I know there are probably curious guys that may click... click at your own risk. www.talkingaboutgirlstuff.blogspot.com. (If you have already "followed" the blog you will need to unfollow and then refollow to start getting the updates. Sorry for the inconvenience.)

3. A lot of my readers have expressed to me over time that they are trying to lose weight... whether it is 10 pounds or 200 pounds. A friend posted a link to a truly inspirational story of weightloss on facebook and it is just too good not to share. At 16 years old he found out that he weighed 799 pounds and with the help of a trainer and support of family and friends he began to lose weight and change his life. And he did it with diet and exercise.You can read his story HERE.

4. I've been given blog awards from a few people in the past few months and I am horrible at thanking them and passing them on. I do know that I got awards from these people...

Melissa... my BBFF  (best bloggy friend forever! I love her!) She writes about life in general at Little Mrs. Married and she writes about her weightloss journey at Try, Try Again. I love her attitude in life and she's about the happiest married girl ever.

Jenna at Jenna's Jargon. She'll make you laugh and she also posts lots of her great photos!

Lindsey at A Dollop of My Life. Lindsey is like me and writes about everything and anything. She also writes with me at Girl Talk. You will see great pictures of her cute little boy, pictures of the growing baby bump and you will find it refreshing as she talks about life in an open and honest way.

And a few other blogs that I love to read...

Julie Lost and Found... Another good weight loss blog. Check her out and leave some encouragement. We all know how tough this journey is!

My Perspective... Kim is my "real life" friend. She has a fun way with words and is good at telling a story.


Simple Four Letter Word... Engaged and planning her wedding, Krystal has been posting about some favorite things she's been finding while doing the gift registry lately. Nothing like dreaming!

Third Time's a Charm... On this blog you will be challenged to take a good look at your life and ask yourself "is this the life I want?" I always come away with something new to think about.



Ok... that's enough for now. Hope your week started off better than mine!

More on Caleb

The chest tube is OUT!


WOO HOO!

Tony and Grace are now aloud to hold Caleb for small amounts of time. He is having a swallowing study done today to try to help him do better at eating on his own. As soon as he can eat well enough on his own he can go home... that's what you can continue praying for.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Caleb Update



I called my brother Tony today to get an update on my nephew Caleb. (If you missed the prior posts about his condition when he was born you can go HERE and read from the bottom up.)

Caleb is still in the hospital and he still has the chest tube in. Initially it was put in as a precaution after the surgery just in case there was any leakage. They had to leave it in because there was air around Caleb's lungs. (Pneumothorax is what it is called in case you like to know that technical stuff.) An xray was done on Saturday and showed that there wasn't any more air. One more xray will be done today just to make sure. If there is no air the chest tube will come out.

That chest tube needs to come out and here is why... Tony and Grace have not been able to hold their baby boy since the surgery. It's been two weeks. Once that chest tube comes out they can FINALLY hold him again!

Caleb is still being fed through a feeding tube. They had been giving him a bottle once a day but he was having difficultly with swallowing. They decided yesterday to stop the bottle and it's all feeding tube again. Tomorrow they are doing a swallowing study to see what is going on and determine whether or not Caleb will need a therapist to help him work out the eating issues. The eating/swallowing thing is now what will determine how long little Caleb will remain in the hospital.

Pray for:
1. No air around the lungs so they can remove the chest tube and Caleb can finally be in his parent's arms again.
2. The whole swallowing thing to work itself out pronto so that Caleb can finally go home.

 Thanks for all your prayers! My entire family appreciates it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's Father's Day

The kids loooooove their Daddy!
He's a good one.







Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Moments with the letter F

We are on the letter F and we try to incorporate that in to everything... including what we read in our Bibles and devotionals.

One of the things we read about this week was fighting and we talked about what God thinks about that and how we are supposed to love each other.

I was just back in my room getting ready for the day and I heard Liza talking to Jason so I moved closer to hear what was up. Liza was holding my novel I've been reading and pretending it was a Bible. She was telling Jason...

"So... we're not s'posed to fight. So... we are s'posed to do what is right. Ok. Do what's right. Now I need to find another F one."

:)

My heart is full.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Beautiful Keira

 I decided I better get all caught up on my editing since I will most likely have a photo shoot next Friday with a one year old, a wedding next Saturday and then I was asked to photograph some stuff at a friend's wedding reception the weekend after that. Going to be busy!

Keira is my friend Kim's 11 year old daughter. I did a family photo shoot for them a while ago and Keira was just so in to having her picture taken that I knew I needed to take just her out sometime and have some fun. She was a great person to practice with. Usually I am taking pictures of little kids or adults so it was nice to have someone in between.

I love the little bit of red, blue and yellow in this first picture.


We practically walked through a swamp to get to this stump. Keira didn't mind a bit. :)




This next one is totally different for me... a picture without a face! Who would have thought. But I like it. I'm glad I thought to take it. Way out of my little box. (Growth!)


 Isn't she pretty!

And absolutely adorable!



I loved that she was so in to having pics with her violin.


And we had to play with bubbles!


Thanks for being such a great model Keira!! You are beautiful!!!

Photography... Different Angles

On Monday I posted about taking pictures from different angles... behind, above, below, beside... whatever. Just taking pictures other than straight on all the time. Here are some of my photos that I've taken recently...

I know this isn't a spectacular picture but I just love taking pictures of my kids from behind. I think they are super cute and I have sooo many of their faces that sometimes it's nice to just mix it up a bit.



This is my sister-in-law Ariel. It's a simple picture and all I did was tilt the camera just a little bit. I think it makes it much more interesting than if I hadn't.



Sometimes I am too lazy to get down on the same level as my kids but that's ok because it really works to be above them having them look up at me.



And this is Keira again. (More pics from this shoot coming later.) I was standing on a ladder to get this shot. LOVE IT! How cute is she!?!?!




Did you practice this week?? Share what you came up with. Just leave a link to your post or flikr or wherever you have your pics in the McLinky. And come back Monday for the next tip.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm just so in love with this kid!

LOVE!

Just pure, crazy, parental love.


Hang on. I need to check that my heart still works.

I just can't believe he's mine! All mine. My baby boy.


That's his smile in case you couldn't tell.

My heart is melting.

Again.

I hope it never stops doing that.

Discipline

(Just to clear things up... this all happened about two weeks ago. It's over and done.)

Yesterday I wrote about the night that God asked me to wash Mike feet.

The following is what I wrote in my journal the night after washing Mike's feet...

Well... I did it. I came home and washed his feet. I didn't want to. I prayed the whole ride home... after putting off coming home. I even prayed like Jesus... If there is any other way! Take this cup! I asked God "Do I REALLY have to do this?" He said yes. I asked him if he would help me. He said yes.

And so I washed Mike's feet. I couldn't look at him. I knew I would lose it. I didn't look at his face until I was done. And when I did it all just flowed out. The tears. The apology. Or I should say apologies. Then we hugged and cried together.

I am still not exactly sure why God asked me to do it. But I do know that he knows what he is doing. I also know that something changed tonight. I can't explain it but I know that it is good.

When we were done crying Mike asked "why did you wash my feet?" The only answer I had was "because God told me to."

Obedience to God is necessary. I can't do this marriage thing on my own and I don't want to any more.

Funny that the verse that stood out to me that day while reading my Bible was Proverbs 3:11-12...

 "But don't, dear friend, resent God's discipline; don't sulk under his loving correction. It's the child he loves that God corrects; a father's delight is behind all this." (The Message)

God is definitely disciplining me and he is definitely a loving father about it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hero.

Ever since Liza was really little I would pray with her every time she got a boo boo. She gets lots of boo boos because she is Little Miss Wild and does crazy things like jump off the table.

Our prayer usually sounds something like this...

Hi God.
I got a boo boo.
It hurts really bad.
But God, I know that you are my healer so please make this boo boo better.
Thank you.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Lately if I get a "boo boo" (like tonight when I burned my finger in the oven) I will ask Liza to pray for me.

I loooove it because every time she says "God you are the healer" it sounds more like "God you are the HERO." Too cute. And all too true.

Can I get a smile?

I was taking some pics of the kids with their finger puppets. (Those will come later.) I don't really have a lot of room with the blanket to get them both together and usually when I try they just whine a lot because one is touching the other and that's just not cool.

This time was different though. They were happy to sit by each other and hang out for a bit. They were even cooperating with me and doing what I asked. Although it's a bit hard to tell that they were actually smiling when I asked them to smile.


I think Jason is still trying to figure out what a smile is.


It's a good effort.


Not too sure what's up with the closed eyes.


Oh man.


We are getting close.


Good enough. Thanks for the effort kiddos.



It's Wordful Wednesday over at Seven Clown Circus. It's a simple blog hop to showcase photos.

You want me to WHAT!??

Panera Bread is my place to go when I need to get away from life. There is something about that place... I can sit and read and write for hours and God always seems to meet me there. I want to share with you what I wrote in my journal while there not too long ago...

I'm a mess. I'm reading The Four Seasons Of Marriage by Gary Chapman and I get convicted of something every other paragraph. ugh! This is rough.

I mean... I knew I couldn't blame Mike for where we were at in our marriage. I know I am at fault as well. But I'm starting to think I am the only problem. How did I get here? How did I become this person? I don't like who I am as a wife.

I'm reading the chapter called "Discover the Joy of Helping Your Spouse Succeed" and in it Chapman talks about the importance of serving. He mentions how Jesus humbled himself and washed his disciples feet. In that moment I felt that God was telling me that when I go home I am to wash Michael's feet.

I KNOW I didn't make that up on my own. I have never purposefully touched Mike's feet in our 7 1/2 years of being married. I just hate feet. I don't touch anyone's.

But here I am, being told by God to go home and wash Michael's feet.

WHY??!

This will not be an easy thing to do but I know that I must do it. Tonight.

God, help me.


I'll share what I wrote after I got home tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What happens in the bathroom...

We were chilling in the living room like we often do and Liza runs to bathroom while yelling "I gotta peeeee!" Jason follows her because that is what he always does.



Liza can do everything in the bathroom as long as she is just going pee so I stayed where I was.



A minute later I hear "I pooooop MOOOM!"



I told her "hang on a sec. I'll be right there."



The next thing I hear is "Jason got some off!!!"



That definitely got me moving. I ran back the hall and found Liza with her hands and feet on the floor, butt straight up in the air and Jason with a massive ball of toilet paper wiping her butt.



Just another reason that I believe in having two kids close in age haha. Keeps life interesting. :)

Summer Recipes.

Yesterday my bloggie friend Lindsey asked for summer recipe ideas. I hate cooking when it gets hot and am always looking for new recipes that are cold or can be grilled. Anything to keep the house cooler since I don't have air conditioning. Plus... who wants to eat a hot casserole on a day that is 85 degrees or more!

I decided to post some of my favorite summer recipes here and then put a McLinky at the end so if you have a recipe to share you can post it and we can all grab it and try it.


My favorite summer salad is CHICKEN AND FRUIT SALAD WITH POPPYSEED DRESSING
Top some baby spinach with chopped grilled chicken, blueberries, sliced strawberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks and pecans. I found that Kraft Poppyseed salad dressing is my favorite on this salad. Mmmm. Might have to make this again soon. (Panera Bread also serves it!)


Another good salad is GRILLED TURKEY SPINACH SALAD
You can find that recipe HERE.


GRILLED PIZZA is a super easy one. You make it on pitas so everyone can personalize their own. Find that recipe HERE.


COLD TACO SALAD
Lettuce
Beef... browned and cooled
Chopped onion
Kidney beans drained and rinsed
Mix that all together and add some crushed Doritos.
Use French salad dressing.


And HERE is a bunch of side dishes... you know... for all those picnics you are going to have to take something to.


Would love to know some of your summer recipes. You can leave it in a comment or post it up on your blog and add the link to your post in the McLinky.


Monday, June 14, 2010

It's just me and the kids.

Mike is gone for a few days. It's something we planned. It's something that is needed.

A few weeks ago we decided that Mike needed to get away and have some extended hours with God. It worked out well that someone we know is on vacation and he can "house sit". Convenient way for him to have a place to just chill out and pray and hang with God and get some direction for his life... and ultimately ours since we go together.

We feel that change is coming our way. Some big. Some small. All good. Mike will be using this time to get refreshed and reconnected and refocused. It will be good for all of us.

In the meantime it's just me and the kids here at home. Thankfully we are on a letter of the alphabet that has tons of things for us to do to learn it. It will keep us busy and busy is good. I'll also be eating some lousy meals. I decided to make all things easy... pizza, hot dogs and then one night we will have french fries and fish sticks. I know it's not a good meal but it's F week so we will have some finger foods... like french fries and fish sticks. :)

And I will also have some long hours alone... good way to get in a good book or some crafting!

Photography... Composition Part 2

Try different angles.

I know these tips are going to seem all "well duh!" but a lot of people will always take their pictures straight on. Try something new this week.

Take pictures
from above your subject
or below
walk all the way around it and take a bunch of pictures along the way.

See what you like.

And don't be afraid to tilt your camera. Just another way to get a different angle.

Practice it!
I'll post another McLinky at the end of the week so we can all hop around and check out what every one comes up with.

Not sure where to start?
How many of you have taken your kids (or someone's) to the park and taken pictures on the swings? How many of those pictures look the same? Try standing behind the swing and taking a picture. See what you get. You may like it, you may not. But with digital it doesn't hurt to try. :)

Or maybe you always take pictures of your kids or pet while you are standing above them. Try getting down on their level. I've learned that sometimes to get the picture you have to get dirty. It's not uncommon at all to see me laying on the ground to get the shot I want.

Can't wait to see what you all come up with!!

Caleb is a cutie!

Just a quick update...
Caleb is no longer on a breathing tube. They removed it Friday. (In case you forget he was on one because they had him on some muscle relaxants so he wouldn't upset anything from the surgery and that made it difficult for him to breathe on his own.)

On Monday or Tuesday he will get checked to see if there is any leakage in his esophagus. If there isn't then they will try to start feeding him. Please keep praying for a quick and full recovery with an esophagus that works right. Would be awesome if he could start eating on his own soon.

Here is a picture I snagged from my sister-in-law's facebook page. Caleb is taking a snooze. How cute is he! I am totally bummed because they live in Texas and I am in Pennsylvania and it's going to be a while before I get to squeeze this kid.




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