Category Archives: Photography

We’ve been busy…

First, Jacob had a birthday! He turned 6 last month and we celebrated with a construction party. I had fun doing a crazy cake, but I think my cake decorating skills detiorate with each additional kid ๐Ÿ˜€

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We had two camp outs in the basement – one for the girls and one for the boys (so cool that our smaller tent fits in the basement!)

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I took the kids to Krohn Conservatory during spring break – It’s hard to take good focused close-ups of plants – or anything! – when trying to keep track of six kids ๐Ÿ˜€ So, I put up very few plant photos – I’ll get better ones when Paul is with me ๐Ÿ™‚

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Spring is finally springing! And its so exciting to discover what’s been planted in our yard. The kids fully enjoyed a gorgeous day last week. And we got our lilac bush planted!

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Plus, Paul went on an adventure to see how big our yard really was and how far into the woods it goes – then he gave me a tour – it’s hugely awesome! We are excited to clear debris out and make more portions of our woods available to the kids. There are some really cool domed clearings where the trees have grown over making a natural little home. It’s beautiful! We’ll take photos of that stuff as we get back in there and get things cleared up – there are a lot of beer cans, broken bottles, tires – even an old swingset back there. So, we have lots of work to do!

Finally, Robert is 7 months old! He’s been eating solids and rolling and for the past month or so he’s been doing the army crawl – and getting faster by the second! The last couple days he decide to get on his hands and knees and will sit and rock back and forth – taking one crawl forward before flopping down and commando crawling where he wants to go.
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Today he even pulled himself up to a shakey stand – always hanging onto my hands of course!

*for whatever reason the pictures don’t show up sometimes – if you still want to see them, you should be able to if you click on the white non-picture

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Filed under Bobert, Cakes, Children, Dot, Em, Every Day Life, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature, Photography

The Alphabet Project

A few Saturdays ago I had this brilliant idea – well, I thought it was brilliant anyway :-D. I would have the kids form each letter of the alphabet and photograph them. The plan is to use my kid alphabet to spell names and things for bookmarks or wall hangings, etc. So, here is the alphabet project complete:

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All Smiles

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Oh Frabjousย Day!

Today’s post is brought to by “The Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carrol and by James.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the Mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the jubjub bird and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

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He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought-
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

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And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

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One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead , and with its head
He went galumphing back.

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“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

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‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the Mome raths outgrabe.

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My Stinkinโ€™ Cute Cutie (one of the 6 any way)

He’s a month old already! Actually he was a month old on Sunday, but I didn’t get around to taking pictures of him until today.

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1 month - Ack! What are you doing to me?

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The One-leggedย Warbler

Since moving to Ohio we have spotted all sorts of amazing wild life in our yard. We’ve found snakes, turtles, deer (the kids even saw a buck and a fawn in our backyard the day after Robert was born), bunnies, and an assortment of birds. Perhaps the most wild and amazing of all these is our discovery of the One-legged Warbler.

We had our first sighting of this elusive bird on Saturday afternoon perched in the tree at the front of the house. I was lucky enough to catch the rare snap shot of how it got it’s namesake.

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While typically found dangling it’s leg out of the tree, it can sometimes be found esconced within the foliage while scavenging bugs, leaves and twigs.

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There are even occasions when you’ll find two Warblers together that they will look like one –

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but don’t be fooled. They are laying in wait to pounce –

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swinging down from the tree out of nowhere!

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How I love our One-legged Warblers!

Watching the kids climbing and playing in our tree Saturday reminded me of one of my favorite childhood books, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. There was something magic about that book, and about all trees in general. I think I spent more time sitting in trees then I did on the ground and my heart thrilled to see little feet swinging down from the tree on Saturday. Our tree isn’t an apple tree, but it will be loved just as much, and while they won’t pluck apples from its branches, they will definitely be eating apples in them.

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Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Humor, Lizy, Photography

2 Weeks Oldย Already

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Robert 2 Weeks

Robert is our last one – and I am soaking up every minute of it, even so, it feels time is flowing so quickly. And that adorable onesie, just melts my heart every time I see it. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Hello, Blog. My name is GoofyJ. Remember me?

Wow. That is really all I can say. Just wow. Time has flown and dragged by at the same time. And now, here I sit in a home, my home, in Cinci, Ohio. Weird. Oh and I only have two months until baby comes? How did that happen? Double weird.

Where do I start?

Maybe I’ll just fling up some photo collages of our journey since right before Paul left – some of you might have seen the pics on Facebook, simply scroll faster if you want to get through them quicker. Though if you go too fast you might miss any witty reparte in between them… well, no promises. ๐Ÿ˜€

We’ll start with the loading the truck collage. We loaded the truck the day before Mother’s Day. That is my awesome bro with the ductaped pants – they kept splitting further… and further… and we just kept adding to the tape so he wouldn’t be indecent. ๐Ÿ˜€

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After the truck was loaded, we realized there was a lot of stuff we wanted to take that didn’t fit. Then when the car behind it was pulling heavy we had to empty it – so that meant all of our musical instruments had to stay behind. It was the deciding factor on driving out a second truck.

Sunday, Paul tried to leave me a Mother’s Day present…

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Saram wrapped kids. Unfortunately, they escaped.. and then they revolted and tried to keep dad from leaving.

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He escaped too, and left the next day.

Then came the fun. And all the hard work. I worked on packing odds and ends, painting the inside of the house, mowing lawns with grass up to my chest in some places, chasing five kids, growing a baby, going on last ditch outing with friends, and keeping from going completely insane. The worst part of it all was how much I missed having my hubby with me. I love that man!

We had fun too in the midst of all the work. I would have like to do more, but we at least made it to the beach one last time, and to Mt. St. Helens.

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My brother and his family came with us on the beach trip, the Mt. St. Helens trip I did solo.

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I was proud of myself with two things on the St. Helens trip- 1. I didn’t go completely insane and 2. I managed to stay awake on the way home (though I had to chug a giant Dr. Pepper in order to do so – yuck. At least it tastes a little better than the other colas, and without the caffeine we wouldn’t have made it.)

In the midst of everything else we also threw an early b-day party for Em…
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We had to have the cake on the floor because our table was already with hubby in Ohio.

And had Jacob’s preschool Graduation

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Is he just stinkin’ cute or what? ๐Ÿ˜€ Then we were on the road. My bro from Oregon helped us drive – he drove the truck while hubby and I enjoyed the un-air conditioned van. Our first stop was Utah to visit my big sis. Heidi and Paul’s big bro. Mark. Of course we were exhausted and dead in the brain when we stopped by Mark’s place so I didn’t get the camera out. SHOOT. At least I remembered at Heidi’s – it was a close call though – it didn’t come out until right before we left. (My feet were looking slightly pudgy)

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Then on to Colorado to visit my next big sis. Lisa. We went to the most amazing park while we were there. We got to see my parents too. I am shooting myself in the foot for not taking more pics. Grrrr. (My ankles were feeling left out and decided to join my feet in pudgyness)

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Then we crashed at my big bro. Kimball’s place in Arkansas. By now, my ankles resembled tree trunks and I began to hang out in the truck with my bro. I’d like to say it was sibling bonding, but it really was the AC – just kidding. ๐Ÿ˜€ It was definitely both.

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Finally in Ohio – I don’t have more pics yet – but they will be coming…

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for now enjoy our back yard and a really cool park. The deer in the pics is in our neighbor’s yard. We saw it three days in a row this week. The first day it was two yards down (when I took the pics) the second it was in our next door neighbor’s yard, and the third it was in our yard. If we see it again, I think I will name it. ๐Ÿ˜€ We have millions of lightning bugs – my absolute favorite – there’s just something magical about them. And I have been able to see and catch a photo of the Red Cardinal – my favorite childhood bird, which I completely forgot lived out here. Also in our back yard and neighbor’s back yards we frequently sight bunnies hopping around. ๐Ÿ˜€

Cool Ohio Park Collage

A wonderful end to a long and fun few months! I am hoping to have lots of adventures to tell. For now – I am off to bed. Because even if I don’t post this until later – it is 1:00 in the AM right now.

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Filed under Cakes, Children, Dot, Em, Every Day Life, Family, Humor, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature, Photography

Dancing the Night Away

“Mom, Mom! We want to go!” the girls burst in the door after school and thrust three pink sheets of paper in my face. I gathered the papers and noticed each one advertised a community daddy daughter dance for Valentine’s Day. My first response was, “Of course! What fun!” but then I noticed the price per person – a whopping $23 a piece. There was no way we could send three girls and their dad to the dance at that price, so I conjured up a quick plan.

I explained it was more than we could afford for all of them, but (and I had to sneak it in there as quickly as possible to hold of the moans of dissapointment) how about if we had our own Valentine’s Dance on the Monday after Valentine’s Day? It would give us the day to clean, decorate, and make refreshments. They readily agreed and the plan was put in motion.

Sunday afternoon we took turns writing on giant hearts what we loved about each member of the family and about our family in general. 49 hearts later they were plastered all over our dining area wall (where we would have the dance.) Monday we cleaned and scrubbed, baked and decorated. Everyone pitched in and waited with anticipation for Daddy to get home from work.

For dinner we mingled finger foods in with the refreshments in true dance fashion and even pulled out the glass punch bowl for authenticity. We put lamps near the kitchen and turned out the overhead lights so even the lighting would be perfect and turned on the music.

It was a blast and the kids decided we needed to make it a tradition – have a family dance yearly at Valentine’s Day – we’ll see how they feel about that when they’re teenagers, heh. But for the time being it was wonderful and created lasting memories of special times with Daddy and Mommy.

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And, I just had to put this photo in because of Jacob’s and Em’s faces – I thought it was just classic!

Valentine Dance Em and Jacob Faces

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Silver Lake Writer’s Retreat 2009

Last Thursday I woke in a panic as the doorbell sounded at 6:00 in the morning. I cursed my alarm (which I checked twice the night before to make sure it was set right – evil thing) and dove into the shower while my husband answered the door to let my friend, Christine, know that I would by ready in a few minutes. While they loaded my stuff, I sped through the shower, dressed and jammed a hat on my head. Not exactly the way I wanted to make my first impression on the writing retreat – I was just praying I didn’t have to do my presentation until Friday or Saturday. ๐Ÿ˜€ (At least I remembered my camera, unlike last year)

After an enjoyable 6-7 (with stops) hour drive (it really was enjoyable – there were no screaming kids, we didn’t have to stop every hour for the nearest bathroom, and I didn’t have to dodge missiles even once – I just enjoyed adult conversation for the whole time – woot!) we arrived at beautiful Silver Lake rec area in Whatcom County, Washington (practically in Canada). With relief I found out I didn’t have to present until Friday (yay – no hat head) and I was able to relax for a while, do some exploring, and settle into our cabin (we had the one with the bathroom – so no showering in the freezing cold bath house with quarter fed hot water – woot!)

Oh! And true to my name, I had my one goofy moment. Luckily, no one was around to witness it :-D. (I just have the painful bruises on my knees and left leg as evidence.)

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In this collage (going from left to right, top to bottom):

1. This is the view of the lake from our cabin.
2. The Main lodge. Down below you can see some canoes and boats – Upstairs you can see the glass windows – that was the day lodge where all our presentations took place.
3. Row Boats – we had one canoe and one rowboat rented. I took the rowboat out with Wendy, and we had a blast rowing about the lake. ๐Ÿ˜€
4. I LOVE Cattails and I haven’t seen one in a really long time – I was positively giddy to see so many around this lake – it made me happy ๐Ÿ™‚
5. Silver Lake
6. This is the beautiful little bridge we walked over every morning and evening to get back and forth from our cabin to the main lodge. I think I took a zillion pictures of it.

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1. I made friends with this Canadian Goose. Really. I did. Well, I suppose if you ask Christine, SHE will say I was chasing it, but really I wasn’t – I was just following it around with a camera. It did hiss at me though, I thinking it was having relationship issues ๐Ÿ˜‰
2. My Bridge, my bridge, I love my bridge
3. While the leaves were just starting to turn (it had been warmer than last year, so we didn’t have as much color), the reflection in the lake was astounding.
4. My in front of the cabin – cabin 7
5. The complaint department – I just died laughing when I saw this. ๐Ÿ™‚
6. There was this beautiful leave floating on top of the water right by the bridge. We also were spying on several crawdads, but I couldn’t get very good pictures of them.

Aside from exploring and soaking up the gorgeous scenery around us, we had plenty of time to write, visit, and write some more. There were some great presentations. We learned everything from time management with Marsha Ward, to Internet savyness with Liz Adair, and Writing Humor with Kersten Campbell. It was so fun chatting with all the other ladies and hearing about their projects and making new friends.

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Everyone was so wonderful and amazing – and talented – it was a pleasure to hang out with them for a weekend.

Now, I know I haven’t said much about my presentation as I was preparing it, but now the time has come. I did Ninja Writing: Enhancing your writing through using your environment (including the 5 senses in your writing), the element of surprise (humor), and setting traps (foreshadowing – what it is and how to do it). I felt really good about how the whole thing went and, after much encouragement, I think I might send in a book proposal for it. I even had cool ninja masks for everyone! (and I wore my goofy slippers)

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(Thanks to Wendy who took the awesome Ninja Photos!)

Saturday almost came too quickly and I can’t wait for next year. I arrived home to find everyone not only alive, but happy – and the house was even clean! I have the most amazing husband ever. Oh, and 911 was only called once! (more on that in the next post…)

P.S – This morning I got my first rejection for The Heart of the Castle – Woot! ๐Ÿ˜€

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