December 30, 2008

Baby Pic...

I wasn't able to post this before b/c of lack of a scanner... but that was all fixed today! (Although, when a box says it's wireless it should come wirelss ready, not require me to buy something else, little irritated by that)

So... here is the most recent picture of Baby Bell... (and no... I have NOT looked at the envelope yet, and quite honestly, I'm doing just fine not knowing for now)!
Isn't she cute? (just b/c I haven't looked doesn't mean I'm not conviced it's a girl)

December 26, 2008


Just some random pictures of our Christmas... in NO particular order really!
It was a quiet Christmas for us this year, normally we feel like we are rushing all over, but this year it not only felt like gifts were downsized (a good thing), but also the parties! It was kind of a nice change! We had a party with my family early because my brother and sister in law always go to Florida for Christmas, then Christmas Eve we normally go to New Era to celebrate with Mary's family, but weather kept us home this year, we had a small party at my parents and watched Home Alone instead and all attended the late service (11pm) at our church, Christmas day we woke up late (something that I've always wondered about, as a kid I always was up way to early b/c I was soooo excited, not my kids though, the first one, Elliot, finally woke up at 9:15... what's up with that), took our time opening gifts and then went to my parents again. We had intended to come back here later and just hang out but Mary had dinner and we didn't, so we headed back over there for dinner later at night after taking a little nap! Friday we celebrated with Matt's mom at night and next weekend we celebrate with Matt's dad! We are headed to Great Wolff the weekend after that so hopefully the weather is good for driving!

Our family by our tree Christmas night...
Bailey got a camera!
Landon got Rock Band (which is much harder than it looks)
Elliot got chapstick (among other much less exciting things like a v-motion)
Santa brought them just what they wanted... a basketball hoop, a guitar and a computer!
Elliot got another monkey...
Aunt Bobbie, Elliot & Uncle Josh

Today I did a shower for my friend EJ who is visiting from Vermont! So good to see the girls again! (Yup, I look HUGE, but whatever)

I also noticed while EJ and I were at Target returning something (can you believe she doesn't have a Target by her... what could you do) that this bedding set that I love is on clearance! Jackpot!
I'm not a person that needs EVERYTHING... so instead of the full set I picked up the skirt and the blanket, they didn't have a sheet and I still want to get the green striped rug online (they don't have it in stores), but I thought it was pretty neutral and I liked the colors! And cheap... this is the LAST baby, so no need to spend a lot!

December 24, 2008

What's the problem

with these????
I emailed matt a link to both of these, I want the appropriate one for the baby, but he says he CANT buy it... just can't bring himself to buy Rainbow Brite or Superman... I think they are adorable and not the typical "charecter" stuff, but cute, so instead I'm going to be forced to buy them both, what a pain!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas! Stay safe and warm and enjoy your family! We are all truly blessed!

December 22, 2008


We made the trip to Grand Rapids this morning despite terrible roads and weather conditions! We made it safely there, thank goodness! The baby looks great, growing appropriately, weighing in at a whole 13 ounces! I did not find out if it's a boy or girl. The girl doing the ultrasound did do a gender shot though and typed either "Boy" or "Girl" on the picture and put it in an envelope for Matt. I gave him the envelope when we got home and he looked at it when he left (so I didn't see a reaction either). When he returned home he put it in a new envelope for me, just in case I change my mind, and I put that in my dresser drawer. It's been over 6 hours and I haven't given in and peeked yet! We'll see how long I last, I'm quite suprised I've made it this far, it's so contrary to my normal personality!

Bailey, Elliot and I are off to have dinner for Matt's mom's birthday tonight and Matt and Landon are going to play basketball at church with some of Landon's friends (if anyone shows up)! I still have some christmas shopping to do, hopefully I can get out tomorow!

December 19, 2008


Just thought I would show you a picture... if you look at his face you can tell that the left side (of the picture) is way bigger than the right side... that's the suspected tumor! Poor poor puppy!

December 18, 2008


In the last few days I've noticed that Dex's drool has contained some blood, so this morning I made him a vet appointment. I explained why I wanted him seen and they got us in today (never a good sign). Turns out the dog has something wrong with EVERYTHING! Arthritis, large sores in his mouth (not sure of the technical term for it) which will eventually prevent him from being able to eat, tumor type growths on his body and muzzle, blood infection... and I'm sure there was more that I'm missing right now, but the worst part wasn't discovered until we were about to leave, he also had a large tumor on his jaw bone, most likely cancer. It will most likely grow fast and cause discomfort including not being able to eat, but were not 100% sure. There is a small chance it's a bone infection, but really either way it is not a good thing. Basically the vet said we could wait until after Christmas to make any decisions, but there aren't really any options, which mean there really isn't any decisions to be made.

I will be the first to admit that I don't LOVE having a dog, but when someone or something has been with you for 11 years you kind of grow a little fond of them! He's a good dog, aside from being a puppy he has never caused a problem for us, he loves us, we love him. The kids are attached to him, which is probably the worst part of all of this. Elliot doesn't understand, Landon is devestated, and Bailey is sad (but doesn't know how to show it so laughs instead). He's a good protector, I feel safe having him here, not b/c he would necessarily hurt anyone that attacked me or the kids (we don't know if he would or not b/c we've never been in danger like that), but most people (strangers) are very scared of him, when I would walk with him some people would cross the street to not be near us! so anyway, it's a little sad over here right now, and Landon is very very sad!

December 17, 2008


Another bad santa picture, I think every santa picture I've ever taken has been terrible... oh well, we did it, Elliot told him that he wants a computer, the other kids weren't thrilled with the idea of going at all but did it anyway!

Christmas business and stress is really starting to set in... I've had enough and wish that I didn't wish Christmas was over already. I wish I could enjoy the season more and maybe someday we can just make it so simple that it is enjoyable again! But for now I get to feel like THIS!

We finger painted today... it all started out innocently enough...

and soon progressed to very messy hands and table and very naughty looks!

all to be followed by a mid afternoon bath!

December 15, 2008

Busy Busy day...

Something or someone inspired me to bake today! Not sure who or what though! Now to clean up the mess...

Things that were made...
Chocolate-Oat Toffee Bars (made by Landon)
Chicken Enchiladas (dinner)
Peanut Butter Blossoms (some with kisses, some with pb cups)
Cherry Almond Fudge

We'll see how long it all lasts around here...

Update... for anyone wondering about Pomegranates (b/c I know you all are...)
If you need an easy way to cut and remove the seeds check this out...
I found it one pomegranate to late (it took me almost 2 hours to finish one pomegranate this morning, yup, I finished it by myself, could be soooo much worse), but used this method on the next two and had them both seeded in about 5 minutes! And they are SOOOO yummy, my kids just LOVE them! I'll be going to the store tomorow to get a few more!

December 13, 2008

Wedding pics...

Just a few of the many many pictures from the wedding this weekend!

The wedding is over and I can't wait to go through the pictures... but for now you only get this...

2 nights of terrible sleep
15 hours on my feet (in heels... dumb choice)
Absolute and complete exaustion
A beutiful wedding to document in pictures!

December 10, 2008

Shutting down and going out...

I am shutting this computer down tonight, like a real shutdown, normally I just close the screen and call it good, but not tonight. Tomorow morning I'm off to Matt & Gabrielle's wedding (Matt is my step-brother) on the east side of the state. I'm leaving the kids and the husband home for the night by themselves and then they will join me on Friday for the festivities. I'm photographing the wedding (which I'm so nervous about but that's a post to save until after the wedding when the pictures all turn out great and I've got a ton to share!) with my friend (and fellow workshop atendee), Becky. Having her there with me will relieve a lot of the stress and anxiety I'm hoping! I get to go check out the site tomorow and watch rehearsal! We are staying Friday night and then will return on Saturday sometime! Enjoy your weekend!

December 7, 2008

Soup, Soup and more Soup...

YUMMY! What good soup whether, don't you agree???? Today we had the BEST meal right after church... Outback Onion Soup, don't be deceived by the name, it's a cheesy, beefy, oniony soup that my kids devoured! I will definately be making this again very very soon (maybe even tomorow). I picked up a loaf of french bread before church this morning so I used half of that to make home made croutons (cut into cubes, sprayed with spray butter, sprinkled with garlic powder and basil and broiled for about 3 minutes, flipped and broiled for another 3-4 minutes) to put on the soup and used the other 1/2 make cheesy garlic bread (brushed cut bread with melted butter, sprinkled with Tastefully simple garlic garlic and covered with mozzerella cheese), this was also good dipped in the soup!

Right now Landon and I are making Chicken Tortilla Soup, I'll have to let you know about the taste later, but it smells DELICIOUS! Absolutely yummy, could be all the fresh cilantro in it that is making it smell so good!!! Can't wait to dig into that pan! Oh yeah, and did I ever tell you that I can make all of this and plenty of other things, but fail miserably when it comes to making Kraft Macaroni & Cheese... big FAT F!

To answer a few comments/questions from the last week or so...
our stove is gas, never had anything else and don't think I ever will (or would ever choose to)!
What is an eye spy bag? I'm curious!

December 5, 2008

Feelin' crafty...

I'm starting to feel crafty! I want to learn something or create something or... something! But that's never cheap and right now I can only do soemthing that is cheap... like drink water or something!

OK, and that was all this post was going to be about, but the funniest thing just happened as I was starting to type this. Seriously fits of laughter. Elliot was trying to hide in one our closets (which now have doors I might add... all the doors are up, now we just need hardware and stops, but that will come in time!) and all of a sudden he starts running across the house to his bedroom saying "Poop on my ladder, poop on my ladder" (I should clarify that he meant with his diaper on... guess it's something he's taken to doing that I wasn't aware of). I know he had been working up to something, but didn't know when it would happen so I was just listening and watching, but i was thinking (and saying out loud in a rather mystified voice) that he was NOT going to poop on his ladder (of his bunk beds), because really why would one do that anyway, but rather we were going to go on the potty. He tried to slam his bedroom door in my face, but I caught him and he DID indeed go on the potty. YAY, but I'm laughing inside thinking about it!

Enjoy your SNOWY weekend!!!

December 4, 2008

$100 to TARGET

So, yeah, does anyone that reads this NOT love Target? Great stuff, all in one place. There is definately a con, and that is the amount of money one can spend when one goes there, even if it's just to buy garbage bags... (I'll never do that again)! So, go here and enter to sin the gift card... that's $100 to Target! What a great time of year for that too... lot's of Christmas presents to be found there! Oh yeah... and you can always use my name for your refferal!

ETA: Ha... did you see that? I wrote "sin" the gift card... going to target and spending so much on needless things IS a sin, don't they call that something? Freudian (I'm SURE I spelled that WRONG!) slip or something?????

December 3, 2008

Elfed and good, no GREAT news

Doors are being hung as I type... never take your doors for granted people!!!!
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

In the oven...

right now is chex mix... made with the super easy Chex Party Mix seasoning packet (x2 b/c I like double seasoning), chex cereal, a few pretzels and I also picked up some rye bagel chips (just a few though). It smells (and taste's soooo good)!!!!

Also, just out of the oven is the seasoned oyster crackers that I haven't had in FOREVER! My mom used to make them and I loved them then and love them now!
Mix 1pkg hidden valley ranch dressing mix, 1 pkg oyster crackers, 1/4t lemon pepper, 1t dill weed (I add more though), 1/4t garlic powder and 3/4c vegetable oil. Bake on cookie sheet at 250degrees for 1/2 hour, stirring every 10-25 minutes.

And, here's a question for you... how often do you clean your oven? I've never had a self cleaner before and have always spot cleaned as necessary, but now with this super nice feature I'm wondering how often to use it! I have so many fun little things on appliances that I love and have never had before, like my water on my frige actually measures water, so if I need 1 cup (or 1 2/3 or 1/2 or whatever) of water (or ounces or liters) for a recipe, I can put the bowl or pan right under the spout and push the button and voila... adds just the right amount! I'm so thankful for the little things (and even more thankful for the wonderful discount we got on the appliances to begin with, otherwise it would have been the basic clean it yourself, measure it yourself, sanitize it yourself stuff), one other feature that I love is the "Power Burner", not sure how or why, but it get's water boiling SUPER QUICK!!!! Great for a very impatient person like me!!!! OK, enough about my silly appliances, sorry to bore you!

December 1, 2008

amidst it all

I'm feeling a lot of stress and anxiousness about some things that are going on right now, but in the midst of it all there are still so many things that make me smile when what I really want to do is cry...
Like how Elliot's eyes roll back in his head when he's laying on his big pillow with his little head and you tuck his nigh-night up by his face
or when Landon's very dry sarcastic sense of humor shines through (just my type of humor). Even his teacher is noticing it (she has the same type of humor).
or the most random things that Bailey says that can't help but make a person smile!
I love my kids so much and just pray that I can give them all they need, even at the cost of sacrificing myself. I pray that when I'm called to sacrifice myself, whether that be time, energy or resources that I do so freely, without grumbling or being bitter!

Refuse to say cheese & green box

For those of you who are interested in photography, want to know how to work your camera and all those fun little functions or have heard me talk about my dvd's or have even borrowed them but wished you had your own, now is the time to get them... they are on sale! Check out the details of the sale here! Seriously, these videos are why I know what I knjow about aperature, shutter speed and iso, and these people are the ones that I took a workshop with a few weeks ago. You will not be disappointed if you make this investment!

November 28, 2008


Butterscotch brownies topped with butterscotch & chocolate ganache and pecans and butterscotch chips! Very very rich, but absolutely DELICIOUS! Elliot loved licking the spatula with the leftover ganache on it!

Guess I really shouldn't claim this as my own though either... everything is from this site... Bakerella

November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...

wishing you all a very happy thanksgiving! May you all have a wonderful day filled with wonderful things and people to be thankful for! I am so thankful for the many wonderful things that I have, which include but are definately not limited to my wonderful husband, my three beautiful children that are growing up so fast, this wonderful baby that is growing inside of me, a home to live in (even if it doesn't have doors yet), an oven to bake lots of yummy treats in, a shower to shower in, meals three times a day, a bed to sleep in, the freedom to worship God, my extended family, a car to get me from a to b, lower gas prices, yummy thai food, a computer to type on, and oh, the list could go on and on and on, forever and ever! I know that for myself a lot of days it is so easy to forget the things that I have to be thankful and just rely on the difficult things in my life, if only for tomorow I want to focus on those things that are blessings and try not to think about the difficult things!

We are headed to St Joe to celebrate with my dad's extended family, we have not celebrated Thanksgiving (or really any holiday for that matter) with them in probably at least 10 years, so it should be a great time! My kids are very excited!

Enjoy your day and be safe and healthy!

November 24, 2008

All is well...

Ultrasound went well this morning! Baby looks healthy and is growing normally. S/he is about 6ounces, I probably would have caved and found out if it's a boy or girl but thankfully the girl doing the ultrasound said she couldn't really tell. (I'm only 16 weeks, so this is totally normal). Heartbeat was right in the middle, giving me hope that it might be a boy!

The roads were TERRIBLE on the way home from Grand rapids. We saw multiple slide-offs and accidents. We did make it home safely though and I was thankful for that! I am going to try not to go anywhere else today though, except for the doctor and BSF I guess... so much for not going anywhere! Oh well!

November 21, 2008

Looking back...

I'm just looking back on pictures from previous posts with Elliot sitting next to me... amazing to me how much longer his hair has gotten in the past two months. I really want his hair to be long, I don't want a mullet and I don't want it shaggy, but I'm not sure I could handle cutting it either.

Another random Elliot thought... sometimes when I'm editing pictures or checking an order Elliot sits next to me and asks me who that is. I never realized how much attendtion he is actually paying though. We were just looking back on things and came across a session from September... he totally named the person. And it's not someone he would know otherwise or has seen since. Kind of crazy actually! He must be the most brilliant child on earth, that memory of his is just GREAT! (Ha... just kidding... I'm not THAT mom).

Can you even believe that it's thanksgiving this week???? I sure can't! The kids are off from school all next week, which will be kind of nice, no rushed mornings... ahhhh, heaven! I didn't realize that they had the week off though when I scheduled doctor appts (2 of them) for Monday. At first I was struggling to figure out what to do with them, but I think that I've decided to take them to the first one with me... the ultrasound. I think they will like it and really the older two are more than capable of sitting for an hour w/o to much problem. (Elliot is still going to a friends house).

Regarding the ultrasound... I'm rethinking my thoughts on not knowing the sex of this baby. I'm not good with suprises and normally find out the suprise before it happens, but I know that I'm normally quite disappointed when I do find out, so I'm not sure how this would translate in this situation. More than likely I will have another ultrasound in 4 more weeks, so I can always change my mind. I think it would be a bit questionable to find out right now anyway.

Here is a picture of me and my boys... (I look really old and wrinkley though)
and one of my boys chillin' out watching a bit of t.v. (Landon always amazes me with his patience with his little brother)

November 18, 2008


Pics form the Chicago workshop I attended are posted on MeRa's website... take a peek!!!!


November 17, 2008

Aren't these the SWEETEST????

Can you see the pout on his face?
He wanted to go outside soooo bad, but I just could not do it...

Can you say Matrix...

ha! Matrix metering... now I get it!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dad today too!!

I am torn... I just resigned from my last creative team, I just have not had time to scrap lately and could not keep up. I'm sad that I had to do it, but to persue other things it just was not working!

November 16, 2008

Home Sweet Home..

I just peeked in on little e, he is sleeping peacefully in his new big boy bed. Looking as little as can be! So sweet! I had such an amazing time, for so many reasons. I have so many thoughts and ideas in my head that I need to process, but I can't do it all tonight. I'm trying to journal a bit so that I don't forget what I'm trying to process, forget the ideas or feelings that I have. I'm thrilled that the puzzle for the technical aspect of photography was finally completed in my head. I get it ALL (ok, so there is always more to learn, but the basic stuff that is so hard to get sometimes finally all makes sense). I'm so excited about some changes I'm ready to make, I'm excited to be true to myself and not what others may or may not expect of me as a photographer! Ahhhh, so much to say and feel and think, I can't wait to share more with you! But it will have to wait until another day, for now I need to get some rest, I'm exausted!

Oh... and in case you are wondering, I'm alive! Because I know you were all as worried about that as I was! :) (why or why do I let myself worry????)

November 15, 2008

We're Here

We are here in Chicago, just starting to get ready for our day. Last night we walked a few miles to the bar where we had a meet and greet, we got there early and didn't stay late. Definately took a cab back... it was quite a hike. We may try to walk it again this morning though! Our hotel is GORGEOUS! I don't have diapers to change or children to feed this morning... We will be at the workshop until 6 tonight and then group dinner, I'm sure we won't be out late though!

OK, that was a random, quick update, but that's how I feel right now, the thoughts aren't quite putting themselves together!

November 14, 2008


My irrational fears are starting to get the best of me as I prepare to leave for the weekend. I won't go into what they are, but let's just say that I should probably have some anti-anxiety meds or something. And, I know that they are irrational, all will be fine. So... while I'm in this mood and was trying to find an audio book to put on my ipod I also came across the book "Last Lecture". I know this book is "old news" by now, but it still strikes a chord within me to live for today.. to not waste time, to make every moment count.

OK, off to try to condense my stuff so it might just fit in the suitcase I have, I am such an overpacker, but have literally got it narrowed down to JUSt what I need, lets hope there are no spills or anything like that... wouldn't be a good thing! Everyone have a great wekend, enjoy the cold weather (or try at least)!

November 13, 2008


I stole this from Kari's blog (Thanks Kari)... aren't they adorable!!! Mayci has on a nightgown that Bailey used to wear that I just love, and I love to see someone else using it! I think they were playing "pocket rosey" here! THe sweetest thing I heard today was when I was laying them down for naps and told E to say goodnight to Mayci and he said "love you Mayci" all on his own, I never get that from him, she must be pretty special!

November 11, 2008

Making thier lists...

and checking them twice!

Onions, garlic and other roots

Something about this pregnancy is totally different. I've had boys, I've had a girl and while I feel like this may be a girl, the symptoms I'm having are like none I've ever had. The headaches are occuring about 5 times a week (always bearable, just annoying) which I've never had before and the worst things is that I can not eat onions or galic... the taste causes mild headaches and lingers in my mouth (I know, GROSS) for the entire day and into the next. I'm tasting onion and garlic right now and have a mild headache and could not figure out why... just dawned on me though that I had an everything bagel for breakfast... with dried onions and dried garlic on it (among other things). Seriously, DRIED and I'm still suffering. I'm so glad that I can figure out my headache cues, but I'm not sure I can avoid onions and garlic (I LOVE LOVE LOVE garlic) until May. OK, I guess I'm sure I can if it means I don't have to suffer, but it won't be fun!

I was trying to lay down this afternoon and the neighbor chooses today of all days to come home from work early and pick up his leaves with his lawn mower, right outside my (and Elliot's) bedroom window. Lucky for him E is still sleeping, but I'm not getting a nap today, that's for sure. Probably ok though, maybe I'll actually sleep tonight!

This weekend I am headed to Chicago for a photography workshop and I can't tell you how excited I am! No kids, no husband, no one needing me. I love my kids (and husband) and love being needed, but a break is so what I need right now! We are leaving Friday afternoon and won't be back until VERY VERY late on Sunday. Crazy late actually, but hopefully worth it! The first night we have a "meet and greet" which was supposed to be at 7pm (8pm our time) but just got changed to 9pm (that's 10 our time if you having difficulty figuring that out). Then we have to be at the workshop around 9 if we want breakfast. (I guess that's 10 our time too, didn't think about that). I don't think I'll need Ambien this weekend, I'll be exausted enough to sleep on my own (but I'll bring it anyway to be safe)!

November 9, 2008

God's Timing

God's perfect timing has been sooo evident to me this weekend! I was down for a good part of the weekend and Matt was able to pick up the slack for me (without complaining of course!). At one point I was in tears laying in bed feeling quite crabby and I got a phone call from a friend that eventually had me laughing. God knew what I needed at that time and while I feel bad for the reason of the phone call, we were both calmed down (I think) by the end of the conversation and feeling much better. I got some good sleep last night (it's amazing what Ambien will do to help that out) and woke up feeling quite a bit better. I took a nap this afternoon with Elliot, something that the boy has not done since he was a newborn. He's never been a big snuggler when he's sleepy, he likes to go in his bed and sleep by himself (and he does that like a pro, so I'm thankful for that). But he cuddled with me for almost 2 hours, and I loved every minute of it! This afternoon Matt did something to his back and is now having a very hard time moving, much less picking Elliot up or doing much of anything. I'm just so thankful that I'm feeling better so that we are not both down and out at the same time. I hope that he get's better soon, because I like it so much better when we can work together like a team! But I'm so thankful for God's good timing in everything!

Picture post

Just some family pics we took yesterday that I liked!