Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Tree decorating.

On a usual year, I skip black Friday shopping and stay home with the fam to decorate for Christmas. This year was a bit different because we enjoyed our second Thanksgiving dinner with family on instead, used Saturday to get started on Christmas decor.

I spent a few hours putting up the tree (yes..its fake...lay off!). I HATE this part. I really do not enjoy one second of arranging the limbs to make it look a tree. One thing that seems to happen every single year, while I am doing the limb arranging, is that I tend to sit there thinking about how much has changed since the last time I was sitting there for hours torturing myself trying to make a fake tree look real. I also find myself wondering what kinds of things are going to change in the next year. I actually DO enjoy this part.

Its not even that I plan on doing this. I don't get out the tree and think "ok, now I am going to sit and think about the past year and the year to come". I don't plan on doing it, but it just seems to happen..every year.

So this year, as I was in the middle of limb arranging, I was thinking about the fact that our immediate family didn't really go through any major changes over the last year. No new jobs, no new babies, no new living situations...which is all good. I did think about how each of the kids have changed since last Christmas.

While decorating my Christmas tree last year, I am sure that I wasn't thinking about being in two weddings the following summer! Now both of my sister in laws are celebrating their first Christmas's with their husbands!

Then my mind switches from what happened last year..and then starts to wonder what might happen this year! At this point, we don't have any plans for big changes...but yet, its fun to think of what the Lord has in store for us! I would be absolutely overjoyed at the thought of having a year like last year! I LOVE where I am right now and would feel blessed to have another year like we've had in 2009. the same time, I know very well how quickly "my" plans can become disrupted!

I admit, I am hopeful for at least one neice/nephew for next year. I mean really...its about time somebody else starts contributing here!!!

One thing is for sure, I know and trust with 100% of my being that what happens between this Christmas and next Christmas will happen just as it is supposed to happen. I am excited to see it all play out!

After my time of torturous limb arranging...we moved on to decorating the tree. This part is, for sure, LOTS of fun! This year in particular because all four kids participated. I didn't hang a single ornament. I sat back, took pictures and watched as they had fun going through the box of mangled, tangled tree decorations. They each took the job very seriously trying to find the perfect spots for each ornament.

Of course, the tree is only decorated 3/4 of the way up since they are not quite tall enough to reach!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh boy.

I thought I was good. I thought sure I was done. I was certain that I would get my "baby fixes" by holding other babies...and then be perfectly happy to send them packin' with their parents.

That was until him.

Oh my goodness. This little three month old hunk of love is my cousin's little guy, Julian. He has to be one of the sweetest babies that I've snuggled with ever!

Poor little Julian was having a bit of a rough afternoon of certain over-stimulation, but both his mom and dad were so patient and calm with him and after a couple of hours of fussiness, they were able to sooth him back to, what I am told is, his normal self. The problem is, even when he was screaming his little face off (which was really only for a moment) I STILL felt like I wanted another one.

This is not supposed to happen!!

To make matters lovely husband, who is not usually all googly for other people's babies, leaned over to me while Julian was fussing and said "I want to hold that baby". He doesn't do that usually. I was able to snuggle with Julian after his mom calmed him down..and then Josh wanted him. I reluctantly gave him over, with the warning that if Josh didn't stand up, the baby would cry...which was what I was hoping, so that he would quickly hand him back to me.

Josh took him...and proceeded to make him belly laugh for about 15 minutes straight. It was quite entertaining for everyone.

Snuggling with Julian was a perfect end to what had already been a wonderful Thanksgiving day!

I mean can you not want more of these?? (photo of Julian and his dad)

Life doesn't get much better than this!!
(picture taken by my cousin, once removed or something like that:), Melissa!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A few more of Ally.

Ally was here today..and she had a super cute outfit on (from what I hear was her dad's doing) I couldn't help but snap a few pictures of her. It helps that Ally loves to play on the stools with Owen and is a pretty easy 'subject' to photograph:)

Monday, November 16, 2009


For the last several months, Ethan has decided that his favorite word is "meep". He uses it whenever he see's fit. If I ask him a question, his answer is often "meep". He randomly using "meep" in conversation..just to be silly. He tells people to call him "meep". It has come to my knowledge that some of his friends call him "the meeper".

Funny. I thought it was funny. I asked him where he came up with this word and he didn't really fact, he likely answered me by saying "meep". He's a funny kid..he loves to make people laugh with his silliness, so this "meeping" seemed completely normal coming from Ethan. I actually thought it was pretty cute:)

It wasn't until a day or so ago that I learned of the fact that this word "meep" is actually much more widely used! A school in Mass has actually banned the word and is threatening suspensions for anyone who uses it. Its not that "meep" means anything bad, in fact..that is what is so great about the word, it can mean anything you want it to mean. Apparently students were using it to be very disruptive and just plain annoying their teachers with it.

"Meep" is getting some pretty crazy national attention and is being described as "being spread like a virus". You can read about it HERE and if you google the word you will find much more discussion about it...including many articles about Beaker from the Muppets.

"Meep" also has a place in the urban dictionary . According to this definition, Ethan has been using the word perfectly..although, I suppose according to this definition, you can't really use the word wrong.

For the last month or so I thought it was just an 'Ethan thing'...who knew?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Red Sky

I have an informant. A few weeks ago, my informant called to notify me of an absolutely beautiful full moon and tonight, my informant called to let me know of a beautiful bright red sky. I missed the opportunity for pictures of the full moon, and knew that I would kick myself for missing another great photo this time I immediately yelled to the kids in the other room to get in the car. They were a little concerned...I think they thought the house was on fire or something as I was "shooing" them out the door without their shoes on. You see..I knew I only had moments before the sun would be gone and I knew I needed to drive to Waukewan to get the best view of this sky.

As I was driving there the entire sky was lit up in this shade of red, but by the time I had pulled over and got my camera settings where I wanted them it had already started to disappear. Still a beautiful scene though!

ISO 200
SS 0.125 (1/8)
focal length 35mm (would have been wider but I only had my 35mm lens with me!)

ISO 400
focal length 35mm "informant" goes by the alias "Uncle Paulie".

Sunday, November 8, 2009


It was a challenge for me today, that's for sure. What started out as a nice sunny day turned into somewhat of a dreary cloudy and chilly afternoon...but we did our best. Not only was the light not at an advantage for us but photographing any kids that are ages 5, 3 and almost 6 months will prove to be difficult! Mom did her best to get the kids attention to make them look towards the camera and smile. Not only did they smile but she got some great laughs out of all of them! We had a good time trying anyway:)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Its what happens when you ask me to babysit:)

Its inevitable. Its the price you pay. I will most likely take pictures of your children. You see...I love taking pictures of my own kids, and as you all know I have no shortage of pics of my kids. But. It sure is fun to get pictures of other kids too!
Ally is fun. She loves to try on hats. Of course, she doesn't leave them on long before wanting to try the next hat, but we managed to get a few cute pics:) I think I need to invest in some more costumes though!

Ally's second birthday is just around the corner!