Category Archives: Photos

Happy Anniversary – PROJECT 365

I got a new camera before the new baby was born (more on that later!!)  And I am trying to figure out how to use it, how to challenge myself in a fun no pressure way, how get better and get great shots of my kiddos…

AND SO I am going to document our 14th year of marriage… Our 13th anniversary was the 28th, we are in a new country (as of 5 months ago – Australia), we have a new baby (our 5th living)

Mixed in with my 365 days of pics, will be my GIFTS LIST.  In other words, there won’t be only one pic a day… but not every gift will be captured in a picture either.

Here is the intro pic… I didn’t actually take it either!  And quite frankly, I don’t like seeing all the extra pounds it shows… just a wee bit of pride rearing its head.

We spent the evening at the night before at Preston Beach, courtesy of my mom and dad… we mostly slept! 🙂  It was lovely to have only the 3 wk old’s interruptions and not the other four’s… 🙂


1. my husband, Bryan

2. my mom’s generosity / gift of the night at a hotel

3. beautiful sunshine, beautiful waves, beautiful sand

4. my  Moby Wrap

5. waves a little bigger than you think giving legs a sandy wash

6. wine and cheese


Outside my window…

dripping of melting snow… lovely

I am feeling…

restless… wanting the next stage (moving) the next season (SPRING) a new schedule (… but what will work?) Knowing I must live and enjoy the NOW… He is my PRESENT help… now.

I am thinking . . .

how I miss my husband and sons.  We all belong together.

I am thankful that…

I still have my little girls to keep me company

From the learning rooms…

books everywhere.  The world map is falling off the wall from getting touched so much. GREAT STUFF!

From the kitchen…

NOTHING except some dishes that need to be finished and soaking pinto beans.  Its nice not having so many to cook for.  For dinner I had the two left over pieces of pizza from lunch that my sister-in-law and MIL brought.

I am wearing…

slippers, jeans, old t-shirt and fleece hoodie.

I am creating…

nothing.  I’d really like to start being able to pout something in this spot… really!

I am going…

nowhere.  Home all weekend.  Bryan accidentally took the keys with him camping. Its nice KNOWING I can’t go anywhere.

I am reading…

Leadership Education and Thomas Jefferson Education – that’s where most of my thoughts and brain power are going lately.

I am hoping…

for a less interrupted sleep tonight.

I am hearing…

only the hum electric stuff in our house.  The silence is lovely.

Around the house…

dark and quiet, semi picked up, most of the laundry caught up, and warm enough that the windows were open a couple hours today.

One of my favorite things…


A few plans for the rest of the week:

implementing more of the Thomas Jefferson Education principles.  Drinking  more water.  Less researching and finding inspiration on the computer and more implementing what I know so far.  More quiet time to evaluate and pray, etc.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

Halloween 2009

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… I tried.  Bryan did an AWESOME job with the nunchucks!! 🙂  A friend lent us this cheerleader outfit… she took to those pom poms quite naturally!!

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the happy and cold trick or treater

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this one is not so excited about all the squash on ou r window sill.. the orange of the season… so far all food has produced this lovely gag reflex… 🙂

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and just like that, November has arrived…

overdue pictures

I love this picture.  It captures a face we see often…

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Also what we see often… Shand in her play pen… where we lay her during the day often… Shand trying to dress her!

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check out the hair!!

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Keenan back from camp… both of them so very silly excited. this is the least goofiest pic I got.

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Again… Talia determinied to sleep against all odds

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the mohawk the boys have always wanted…

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we went to the Renaissance Festival – Three Barons Fair… legos – out. swords, knights & fighting – in! Keenan cut out a mask and sticky  taped it to his face!

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Its so hard to capture a good smile… she smiles a lot but always while moving!

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Shand looking beautiful.

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last one. Talia in a deep sleep… looking just like Hewett, Keenan’s twin who passed away… its blurry, but we’ll keep it anyway… I walked past her sleeping and mt heart jumped when i saw her.

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SO there is a few pics… i so need a new camera… ours is taking more crappy pics than good.

An Independent Toddler

This may be normal… But my 20 month old just finished trying / putting on 3 pairs of pants / skirts… and swept the floor 3 times.  Filled a bag with stuff, threw it over her shoulder and called, “Mom, bye!  Bye mom!!”  Brushed her teeth for the third time this morning (10am) – this time with MY toothbrush, attempted to wash her hands for the second… Put on another CD in the boys room…

That’s what we’ve done  the last hour. 🙂  She amazes me… so smart, so independent, so… advanced ?  Probably not, but wow she seems to be moving right along in the development department.  SO much faster than my preemie boys!!

Here are some pics of her yesterday, helping herself to her very own cranberry sandwich! 🙂  complete with the top piece of bread.  She was a little frustrated when the cranberries kept falling off. LOL

Keenan’s Birthday

Wow… my big boy is NINE!  It is crazy.  We did a Scooby Doo themed party.  When we say theme, we mean it in the SIMPLEST of ways! 🙂  My mom had send some Scooby Doo party stuff, so we added a few extras, made a cake and Keenan planned the decorations… a few gravestones cut out of cardboard, green slime (?) (aka construction paper) strategically placed and bats (again, construction paper) hanging around, and one lone ghost hogging the corner.   He had so much fun planning this it was ALMOST irritating.

FIRST… my nine year old…


Can you believe this miracle?  25 week preemie… born at 1lb 12.5oz (820 grams), 12 inches long,  first 14 weeks of his life in the NICU… isn’t he just handsome?

We started the day… well, not STARTED… but had the family over for breakfast… cinnamon rolls and berries were Keenan’s choice.  Yeah for Costco stocking fresh berries from who-knows-where… the grandparents and aunt/uncle enjoyed missing the chaotic kidfest to come later.  But we still blew out candles on the cinnamon rolls.


Here’s one shot of the 30 minutes of sword fighting, shooting and wrestling that took place.  Please,  Lord, let the tenants stay and not leave…


The cake.  Graham Cracker haunted house covered in left over fondue from New Years.  By the way,  chocolate fondue on Graham Crackers?  VERY good!! Licorice trees, frosting covered cookie gravestones… nothing spectacularly innovative 🙂  but much fun, nonetheless.


The table of boys…


And Shand watching demurely from the side… if you can be demure with a blankie and pacifier…


ok, mostly I wanted you to see her outfit and cute shoes… 🙂  you can’t see them really well… but believe me… VERY cute!

After the cake and ice cream, the boys took turns giving Keenan presents… a they all crowded around to look at whatever he had opened, he’d sort of escape underneath the mass of them to a new location to open the next one.  It was very funny to watch.  He opened each present in a different chair / spot on the floor…

THEN…the Scooby Doo movie… ah… sweet relief… the quiet. 🙂  I’ve never had the kids watch a movie at a party before.  Seems kind of dumb to me.  But it was smart.  VERY smart, believe me!!  After all, you can’t send them all outside indefinitely when its minus 20 outside.

We ordered pizza instead of the requested spaghetti… I wasn’t up for cooking/cleaning up again… and opened the long-distance gifts over dinner… thanks for the phone call Nana and Puppa!

It was a good day.  Tiring but good.

Ancient Rome, gladiators and the Colosseum

So we’ve been in Rome last week, and this week, and probably next week too as we head into the catacombs.

The gladiators have DEFINITELY been the big hit.  🙂  They played this fun computer game where they have to dress their gladiator and send them into the arena to fight, and see how well you do.  It was very educational, and not gory or detailed AT ALL.  They each ended up ‘owning’ one style of gladiator.  They drew that particular gladiator… and then dressed like them to fight in their colosseum… which they were happy with not decorating. hmmmm… OK!! 🙂  They were happy with the cardboard up in a ‘circle’ (very loosely described as such) and their orops.  a Blanket for a fishing net, swords, medieval helmets and shields… 🙂




I wrote in his description of everything, then added in a different color the ‘official’ name.  I especially liked the ‘red cloth to cover his privacy’ 🙂


Keenan drew his IN the arena.  Complete with the ‘left’ on the left for the animals to come in.  And the exit on the right for the dead bodies of animals and people.  such detail… You can see the fishing net the guy is holding, his trident (pitchfork thing), dagger in his belt and shoulder guard.  He did a really good job.

Besides some maps and listening to Story of the World, we do have a couple more things planned this week.  Try a recipe I ran across with boiled eggs and a pine nut sauce… I have the ingredients so we’ll try it.  And some internet stuff with Pompeii and volcanoes.