Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Friday, November 30, 2012

a blast from the past

I was helping Lala with her Christmas letter and came across this video of Sam from last year.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

smelly ellie

This girl is getting so big...I feel like I haven't seen enough of her this year at all. She is such a sweet happy baby...and not really that smelly after all, but I can't resist the nickname.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kate and Glory's birthday

Kate and Glory are--wow--4 years old and we celebrated their birthday the day after Thanksgiving by going out to the movies and then out to lunch.
I've been trying to come up with "experiences" as presents instead of more toys to fill their already over-full house and initially wanted to take them to Disney Princesses on Ice, but after finding out it would be $400 plus to take the girls, we decided instead to take all the Co-op Kids (minus Ellie) to Wreck-It Ralph and out to Dairy Queen for lunch.
 (Side note: Wreck-It Ralph was too scary for everyone except Noah. Keep that in mind for the 4 and under crew. Joe and I took turns taking scared kids out to the lobby for a break from the action).

 After lunch, we headed home for ice cream cake and presents. Noah was up late with Lala for a special night the night before and wasn't feeling in the most celebratory moods, but he perked up after some cake.
the birthday girls

opening presents from Aunt Deanna and Uncle Darin

Ellie and Lala

I thought he looked a bit Zoolander-ish in this photo. No wonder my sister can't resist him.

Amy and Kevin. Amy wasn't feeling so hot that day, but she perked up after a morning nap while the rest of us were at the movie.

After cake, ND & I had a nap and Lala took K&G out to buy their birthday presents. The rest of the kids glommed onto Ninang and watched a movie on MY NEW KINDLE FIRE. (It's amazing and I don't know how I've lived this long without one).

Then, Kevin and Joe took turns chasing the big kids around while we waited for Lala and the girls to get back. The Eddys left at bedtime since Amy's on call at midnight tonight. What a crazy full two days!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012


Our house was the place to eat and do laundry on Thanksgiving Day. (The Eddys' washing machine was broken so they brought their laundry and Aunt Becca also does her laundry at their house, so she brought some down). It's only the second time that Joe and I have made a turkey dinner, so I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out so well. I didn't particularly relish getting up at 5:30a to put the turkey in, but the end results was worth it.
 After we ate (and napped), Amy, Sydney, Aunt Ris, and I went to see Breaking Dawn Part Two while the rest of the crew stayed home and played Sequence. We got home in time to tuck our kiddos into bed and then hit an early bedtime ourselves.

This Thanksgiving, we're thankful for a new home that fits our extended family, good food, and a forseeable end to this pregnancy!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Natalie Doris

We were rushing around one morning when ND stopped me and asked me to take her picture.
Me: What do you want me to take a picture of you doing?
Natalie: I'm sleeping, Mom.
Me: Ok.
(These are the pictures that caused my classmate to suggest I photograph my dog...I was complaining that I couldn't change my manual settings fast enough to capture what I wanted).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

gingerbread cookies

Last Sunday, Grandma & Papa K invited us over for dinner and then Grandma had the genius idea of making gingerbread cookies. Initially, the boys opted to tag along with the Uncles and watch a hunting movie, so ND soaked up all of her grandparents' attention with making cookies. Always the procrastinator, I took this opportunity to shoot my homework assignment for the photography class the following day.

Monday, November 19, 2012

photography wisdom

After looking at some poorly shot pictures of my beautiful children, the woman sitting next to me in class said, "Hhmmm....maybe you should just take pictures of your dog."

Getting ready for the last Twilight movie at our house

Since I became a parent, my movie watching has really plummeted. But, I'm planning a date with my sister and some sisins on Thanksgiving to watch Breaking Dawn Part Two. Sam, of course, is not invited, but we won some vampire fangs at our church bazaar and couldn't resist the picture.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Eddy visit

We haven't seen much of Team Eddy lately. The last time they came down, I had a feeding tube in my nose and was a little worried that my days were numbered, so I texted my sister "Can you come visit me tomorrow?" and she dropped everything, loaded up her children and husband and came to my house to do laundry.
We've seen them a few times since them with a few visits to Spokane, but their last weekend trip got cancelled at the last minute and Amy and Kevin's work schedule has been ridiculous to schedule around. Amy's now working a 6 day a week rotation in the ICU and has little time for her old-bon-bon-eating ways while Kevin is coaching and chasing their four children constantly. Still, I needed me some sister time, so I called Amy last week and we had a two minute phone conversation in between putting our children to bed. She texted me about an hour later and said she and Kevin were bringing the whole fam down the following Saturday. Whoo hoo!

They arrived at lunch time and left shortly after dinner, leaving us with 6 short whirlwind hours to take kids to the park in the freezing wind, lose Kate briefly, walk back, have the guys pick up Schatzi's dog house from Lala's, play with legos, fight over legos, play with a balloon, run around screaming, fight over a balloon, and eat dinner. We were all pretty tired by the time pajama time rolled around and the Eddys loaded up their brood into their van.

But, we were so glad to see them and can't wait to see them again at Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Teenie, a friend Julie, and I are taking a beginning digital SLR class on Mondays in November. Teenie found out about the class a few months ago and talked us into signing up with the promise of taking better pictures, going to dinner before class, and spending 2 hours a week skipping out on bedtime. SOLD! I sent my registration in that day.
Turns out, I'm not quite the student I was ten years ago. I neglected to bring any paper to take notes with...nor did I charge my camera battery prior to class. Then, I slacked off on my homework for most of the week because it took me several days to find the battery charger. (Actually, it took several days of me whining about my dead battery for Joe to find my battery charger. It was in our bedroom closet under some sweaters. Organization is not our forte).
By that time, the church bazaar was fast approaching and I'd committed to making cakes for the cake walk. So, I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone by taking pictures of the cupcakes. First, though, Joe snapped a few of ND and me making cupcakes and a TON of buttercream frosting. (Sam was spending the night at Grandma K's house, so it was fun--and MESSY--to do a project with ND).
That's chocolate frosting on ND's forehead. I know my eyes are closed in this picture, but the grin on ND's face was priceless.

Dumping in the powdered sugar.

Turning on the mixer. The taste of buttercream frosting takes me back to my days of 4-H cake decorating...when I ate so much buttercream in the form of messed up rosettes and sloppy stars that I thought I'd never be able to eat it again. Turns out I got over that. :)

A "zebra" cupcake. This was on the auto-portrait mode. The light wasn't so hot without the flash, so I opened some blinds and changed to smaller aperture.

Better light, but we had a run of blurry pictures with these settings, so I also had to adjust the shutter speed.

Showing Daddy her cupcake

Playing with the macro setting...a little blurry, but got better after bracing my shooting arm on the counter.

A plate of zebra cupcakes (on animal plates), shot in manual mode. I love that the light meter makes manual (for still objects, anyway) pretty foolproof no matter how I mess with the settings.
So, get ready for blog posts featuring my later photography assignments. I suspect that if I get to pick the topic, you'll be seeing lots of pictures of food and small children.