Sunday, December 29, 2013

Playing around with Christmas tree lights::December 29

I forgot to post this one:

Playing with the effects of bokeh is fun! (click on the blue link for a "how to") Every year I mean to work with it more, and even this year, I wish I would have done more. Christmas tree lights as a background look magical in a shallow depth of field. I only had a Christmas tree cut out at first, but then thought that a star would look more appropriate for the Holy Family (though in the original story, the Wise Men certainly would have gotten lost and never found Jesus if there were really this many bright stars guiding them! ;)).

Saturday, December 28, 2013

52/52::December 28

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."

I can't believe it's done! I wasn't perfect, as I missed 4 weeks throughout the year, but the fact that I took 48 pics throughout the year is pretty terrific! 48 pics will make a nice book for Mikey and me.

The hat that he is wearing came from Katie, who is Steve's cousin. I saw her hat making skills and asked if she could make one for Michael for Christmas. He is obsessed with "dashings and beards" - my brother Sterling, when Michael asked what his mustache was, said it was dashing, and the name stuck :) Mike loves his hat, though he doesn't keep it on as long as I'd like him to - baby, it's cold outside!!

I'm going to do the 52 Photo Project again in 2014 for at least Michael. Maybe some of my other kids will want to participate too... only time will tell.

I wish you a Happy New Year! and hope that 2014 is a great year for all of us!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Eve and Day::December 27

On Christmas Eve, this is how our Christmas tree looked:

All packed with presents and ready for Christmas :) The many red presents there in front are the pjs that we open on Christmas Eve.

The rest of these pics all happened on Christmas morning.

Jared, Amber, Karen, Aiden, and Bentley all slept over, though Jared slept in his van. Have I told you about the van? That is probably for another day, but it is Jared's rolling house :)

Anyway, we awoke bright and early at 6:00 so that the boys could open their gifts from Karen and Santa while Karen was still here, and so that she could open her gifts from us before she left for work at 7. Josh and Hayley came for the opening of the presents, and Amber stayed for as long as she could before leaving to go to work too. So all of my kids were here in shifts for Christmas. So glad that they worked it out to where they could share part of Christmas with me even though I'm sure it was a pain. We missed having Miah and Teryn here though; they were at their daddy's house for Christmas. Have I mentioned lately that I love these kids?!

Anyway, back to the Christmas pics:

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas too, that Santa brought you just what you wanted, and the Spirit of Christmas spoke peace to your souls.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

51/52::December 22

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Michael has been sick this week with a stomach flu bug. He has spent most of his time underneath a blanket for the past several days, and it has only been today that he has spent most of the day out of bed. I'm glad that he is feeling a bit better ♥

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

January is my favorite holiday::December 17

I just saw a "Happy New Year" pic, and I thought of how the stores skip through all of the holidays instead of strolling along at a leisurely pace like the rest of us do. Well, there are a few who mentally skip through the holidays too (think: setting up Christmas trees before Thanksgiving ;) )Through the hustle and bustle of December, as I prepare Christmas for my family, I have realized what holiday I look forward to most: January.

Now, before you tell me that January is month, not a holiday, I'll try to convince you as to why it really is. January is quiet. Every child is back in school and my husband is back to work. During the day, the house is MINE. Well, and Michael's, but he isn't very demanding. January gets me back in balance from the hubub of the holidays. I start it out by reflecting on the past year, looking forward to the next year, and writing goals and finding a new "word" that I can chant when February starts back with the crazy busy-ness. Also during the sedate days of January, I can sew, cross stitch, or crochet (though I really need someone to explain a thing or two about technique). Basically, whatever my crafty heart desires, I do. (Crafty as in actual crafts, not deception or anything. ;) )

Yep, January is my very favorite holiday. What's yours?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, dear Joshua! :: December 16

It was my favorite oldest son's birthday on the 4th. 23 years old. Where does the time go??

We celebrated on the 6th with spaghetti and a store bought cake. I rarely buy store bought cakes, but I was pressed for a deadline on the biggest photo session I've done to date. 28 people! That is a *lot* of pictures!! Anyway, so Steve bought the cake and I made the spaghetti.

Have I ever told you how much this kid means to me? A lot. No, I'm not very verbose, but I am honest and sincere. He has always had a very special place in my heart.

We gave him a Duck Dynasty t-shirt (it said, "Release the Quakin'!" on the front :)) and a "Duck the Halls" Christmas cd. He liked it :)

Here are the traditional birthday pictures:

Happy Birthday Josh! I sure love you!! I hope that your 23rd year is the best one yet! ♥ Momma

Friday, December 13, 2013

49/52::Winter's Light::Dec 13

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."

How lovely sunlight is in the wintertime! Not only is it sparse, which makes it a valued treasure, but the angle that it shines makes everything look amazingly different with its golden hues and long shadows.

On the day that I took this pic, I noticed the light coming in the window just so and had Michael sit in it so that I could capture two of my favorite things in one shot :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ariel and Zoey::December 9

A couple of Saturdays ago, before all of the winter storms brought snow to my area, I did a photoshoot for Karen's friend Ariel and her daughter Zoey. There were lots of photo shoots going on around us, but I think we got the very best spots :)

Bubbles were the bribe :) "Sit very still and smile so pretty for three more pictures, then you can pop some bubbles, okay?" ;) Hey! Whatever works, right? :)

There were sooo many cute pics to choose from! So many sweet moments between them ♥

Such pretty girls! Thanks for choosing me as your photographer, Ariel! Thanks for smiling so pretty and playing with Steve and me and the bubbles, Zoey! ♥

Saturday, November 30, 2013

48/52::Michael and Santa::November 30

48/52 ~ Michael got to tell Santa what he wants for Christmas. Same as last year (and the year before that, and the year before that) ~ a hula hoop :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

46/52::November 18

46/52 ~ Photographically speaking, this is not the best picture, since it's not as in focus as it should be; viscerally speaking, it is perfect! :)

Michael is g-tube fed; this picture was taken last night as Dad helped him. The look Michael is giving Steve is priceless. ♥

Sunday, November 17, 2013

16 Things About Me::November 17

On facebook, there is a meme going around where someone is given a number and then has to tell that many things about themselves, then, if you "like" it, you are given a number too. I wrote mine up and then realized I'd like to save it for later. This is what I wrote:
I've been given lots of numbers because I really do like the stuff people have written, but the highest number was 16, so here goes:

1. I lived in the hills of TN for a year. 2. While I was there, I lived in a mobile home. 3. For a month, during the hottest part of the summer, we didn't have electricity and ran an extension cord from my in-law’s chicken coop to power either a fan or a lamp, but not both at the same time. 4. I lived less than 5 miles from Alan Jackson. 5. After that, I lived on a 120 acre farm in Kentucky for 5 years 6. The Amish were my closest neighbors 7. My house was Amish built, but renovated with electricity by the “English” family who lived there just before us 8. It was only heated by wood though. 9. I am an excellent fire builder 10. While I lived there, I started doing web work for a real estate company in Kentucky 11. I still work with them 12. I put up the information about the auction for Dumas Walker when it was sold a few years ago 13. The Kentucky Headhunters, who sang about Dumas Walker, came from a town about 30 minutes from where I lived. 14. While visiting teaching, my companion and I had warning gun shots fired at us (we were at the wrong house, thank heavens! ) 15. To get to my house, you had to cross a creek. 16. I personally understand why someone would say that they will do something, “If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise”.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

45/52::November 10

Michael has taken to putting an exercise ball on the trampoline and lying on the ball. He'll stay out there playing for hours. Today, I decided to get a picture of him:

I have no idea what the rainbow colored fairy dust stuff is. It appears in some pics and not in others. I think it makes the picture look fanciful though, so I'll use this one.

When I darkened the entire image so it was mostly black, rainbow colored blobs were present. I have no idea what kind of magic happened, but it was pretty awesome.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Family Day::November 5

A couple Sundays ago, Josh, Hayley, and Amber came to visit and it turned into a spontaneous Family Day. We went target shooting, and then went to the only park that still has a merry go round (at least in our close by area)

Many took turns pushing and then jumping on.

As I was going through the pictures, I noticed that Josh still does the same thing with his tongue that he did when he was a little boy :)

And then Steve got ahold of the camera, and my comfort zone was gone! I'm not usually in front of the camera! (and I certainly wasn't ready for it! I wore the comfy-ist clothes I have, since I had had a long, hard day at the ER with Bill all morning - he had been admitted for the same old thing he'd been hospitalized with several times before - 3 or 4 times since Aug. 15th - nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. I hope that the docs can figure it out and help prevent it.)

Amber found a bumble bee - I was worried about the big kids playing on it until I looked closely at how solidly it was built. Then we all had a turn :)

I wasn't so sure I wanted a turn!! Look at how much she is pressuring me! LOL :)

There was no way I was staying on for another ride! LOL ;)

We knew things were getting serious when she took off her nice jacket!

Watch Michael's face. He hadn't looked at the camera all day. Every time I went to take his pic for my 52 week project he would look away like this.

But then Dad called his name and he looked... so surprised it was DAD behind the camera and not mom! Hahahahaha!

This was a funny story! So, Michael found a pair of little kid socks in the gravel. Watch the socks and everyone's reaction:

He tosses the socks onto the merry go round:

Matt and Josh see them and try to figure out where they went.

Matt tried to reach out and grab the socks and wound up falling off. I love Emily and Amber's reaction! (Am is on the righthand side, almost out of the photo frame) Hahaha!

I told Amber and Emily to play in the leaves - the lighting was great (for pics) and fall leaves are fun :)

Amber tackled Emily into the leaves...

So Emily dumped leaves on her :)

Then Amber made a snow angel with leaves (lots quieter and more peaceful!) :)

Michael didn't want to leave! While everyone else went to the van, he stayed on the merry go round. It *was* a fun day! I hope to have a repeat soon ♥