Friday, August 31, 2012

My Boy

So I think I've documented it well that Camden loves to read. And it does my heart good, because I love to read. As in, I was one of those kids that would put a book in front of their textbook and read in class. My nose was always stuck in a book. Ever since I can remember knowing how to read, I've read a book at night before bedtime. Doesn't matter how late it is, I read. It's how I calm down.

(I should probably note that now I have an iPad, reading in bed has gotten a whole lot easier. It's also gotten alot easier to watch TV in bed on that same iPad, which is why the amount of time I spend reading might have dropped in recent months.)

I have long been a huge fan of the Harry Potter series of books. Yes, I know I'm an adult, but they are probably my favorite books of all time. I've been waiting for years to share my love of Harry Potter with Camden, and Brian and I decided that at age 9, he was mature enough to handle them. Our decision was to read them together and not to move through them too quickly because while the first book is age appropriate for a 9 year old, book seven obviously is not.

So I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone aloud this summer. Camden hangs on every word, and I adore it. We finished it up earlier this week, and he immediately (as in that very night) started re-reading it on his own. It's one of my favorite things ever to see him get completely caught up in giggles as he moves through the chapters. We're planning to send Rory off to Gram and Gramps soon for an evening and watch the movie together. Cannot. Wait.

I *may* have asked him to change locations for a prettier picture background, but I did not have him pose - he was already completely enthralled with the book when I pulled out my camera.



This one is my favorite because I know that look on his face well.

And for those of you who like things a little more centered and straight ;)

For those of you interested in these kind of details, I used my 35mm lens. Settings were f2.8, 1/250SS, and 400 ISO. I've recently started using Kelvin again for my white balance, and the settings for this picture were 6670 (set manually in-camera).

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pageant Girl

I am alternately mesmerized and horrified by these pictures I'm sharing today. I have let Rory watch Toddlers and Tiaras with me a total of twice, both times only brief portions of the episode, but it was enough for her to spend the last several weeks begging me to let her be in a pageant and to take pictures of her walk. Oh. My. Stars.









And a special thank you to Kelle who sent me these fabrics (that she designed!) and to Beth for making the dress for Rory. Because I am totally not Martha Stewart even if I'd like to be.

I have more age-appropriate pictures of her in this dress that I'll share soon. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

What happens when I tell her she can do anything she wants for the picture.

P.S. My hair after my salon appointment yesterday. It will never look this good again.

And a not-so-wordless prayer request. My friend Barbara, who was part of my original group of 4 going through the major chemo together last year, just found out that her ovarian cancer has spread to her colon, and she is facing some major chemo and surgery. I know she would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday's Tidbits

I don't know how you English people do it! - from Camden as he tried to mop the floor. Apparently Koreans mop the floor differently? :)

I started Weight Watchers up again last week, which  means I'm living in a state of perpetual starvation. Whoever says that they feel full and satisfied on raw fruit and veggies all day is crazy.

I have put together a collection of 2 week menus with recipe links and coordinating grocery lists. If you'd like them, leave me your email in the comments, and I'll send them to you. They also include a bonus breakfast recipe and one treat recipe. We just do raw vegetables or a salad for sides so there are no side dish recipes. And we generally do granola bars, cereal, or oatmeal for breakfast so you're on your own there. You'll also notice they are mostly beef or chicken recipes, although I did buy Halibut and Mahi Mahi yesterday (my family's jaw just dropped in shock) and plan to incorporate fish into our diet. You'll also notice that they aren't necessarily low fat, but they are homemade and use very little processed foods, which is more important to me than no fat.

I just might have gone to Jeni's yesterday with a friend and had a half scoop of The Buckeye State and Brown Butter Almond Brittle ice cream. Oh. My. Stars. And, no, that was not on the WW plan.

Just like I was freakishly worried about split ends when my hair was long, I am freakishly worried about having an old lady hair style now that it's short. I cannot wait for my long overdue haircut appointment this afternoon.

A verse I rediscovered last week: "Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few." I Samuel 14:6

Two articles that came into my reader at the perfect time last week after all the morning drama: Unglued Mama Mornings and Saving Grace (On Raising Christians). Both good and hit me straight in the heart.

By the way, people keep commenting on how hard it is to comment with the verification words. I'm turning it off for now. If I start getting spam again, it'll have to go back on.

Rory wanted a little photo shoot (more on this later), and I am always happy to oblige. I ended up with WAY too many shots of my pretty girl. Here are just a couple to get you started (prepare yourselves to see alot over the next couple of days).






Valorie Wibbens/Lauren Reid: Luv U Smore

Valorie Wibbens/Paislee Press: Head in the Clouds

Zoe Pearn/Erica Zane: Daydream

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thousand Gifts August 27

Just a few pictures from around the house.

For the past several weeks I've been receiving little care packages from friends. So fun! If you've never guessed, my love language is definitely gifts. I love to buy them, and I love to receive them. And I have absolutely adored all the accompanying notes and little drawings from sweet kiddos. This package came Friday. So perfect for me!

Addison sleeping in my bed Friday. It was so dark, but I really wanted to take a picture of her. Sleeping babies are incredibly sweet, aren't they?

Rory has a newly found love of drawing, coloring, etc. Many days after school she heads straight for the table with her coloring supplies.

And many days you can find Camden laying on his bread singing along to the radio.

And family game night on Saturday. We used to do this all the time, and we've gotten very bad at allowing our busy lives or my health to get in the way. Not good!

This one makes me laugh because I can tell from Rory's expression she was irritated at Camden about something.

And Brian will kill me for this one. ;)

Note to self: be much more deliberate about these family snapshots (and get better at capturing quality snapshots).

Clearly, I have not been keeping up with this as I should but here are a few of my thousand gifts from the last couple of weeks.

homemade blueberry muffins
a fallen tree branch that missed the house
that feeling when I wake up and realize I feel good
Camden and Rory being able to go back to PVCS
good teachers for both of them
chatter on the way to and from school
a perfectly healthy hearing test for Addison
extra week off chemo
walking again
stopping in the middle of the road for pictures
that things at school are starting to settle down for Brian
Camden's face as I read Harry Potter to him
hearing Camden sing next to me in church
watching Rory sing
new jeans
family game night
looking through my big 12x12 Project Life book with the kids

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

What?? You mean *you*don't play outside in your witch costume from 2 years ago?


And zoomed in so you can check out that cute sweaty face. She was playing hard!


Ni Hao Yall

Friday, August 24, 2012


Today was not a good morning. I'm sure you've all had them, right? The kids are tired; you're tired. It's always a mad dash to get out the door, despite all the prep the night before. And 95% of the time we keep it together. We're patient. We respond the way a parent should as we try to teach our kids how to love each other well.

But then there's that 5% of the time when we lose our temper or do not react with kindness and love. And isn't it always that 5% that the kids emulate? Why is that? Why can't they pay attention to all the times we get it right?

Today was a morning like that. The kids were ugly to each other, to me. And at one point Camden actually lashed out and yelled at me in anger. I mean, really yelled at me. Something that hasn't happened around here yet. I've already meted out punishment and sent him off to school still angry, but as I drove home I kept thinking that he was just responding the way he's seen me respond. Granted, it's not often, but it still happens. And the only thing to do is apologize, start fresh the next day, and hope they'll one day remember the 95%.

Parenting is not easy, people.

In other news, this girl is spending the day with me. And even with her first stuffy nose and sneezing her little head off, she smiles!




Notice the 2 new teeth?


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kindergarten Olympics

Rory's school year is starting off with the Kindergarten Olympics. They have a torch that will stay lit until the end, they had an opening ceremony, and they're having competitions. We have charts to keep track of daily exercise, getting to bed on time (we're woefully losing that race!), brushing teeth, eating healthy food, daily bathing, and reading (also woefully behind on this one).

She received her first 3 medals earlier this week. And I continue to be cracked up as she says "A for Behavior, B for Attitude, and C for Considerate."

check out the hand on the hip

Zoe Pearn/Melita Bloomer: Pretty Little Thing

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Take Two

So you knew there was no way I could let that Monday picture go, right? I'll still use it for my P365, but it was grating on my every last nerve.

Not that these are perfect (ummm, far from it photographically speaking), but I love how much happier they were in the afternoon. Pretty sure I'm setting myself up for failure when I try to take a picture (1) in the morning because of the bad light and (2) in the morning because it's a morning!

I told them they could just be silly and then snapped away for about 15 seconds.




My favorite.

We have had a jam packed week so far: doctor's appointments, never-ending trips to and from school, open house for Brian, grocery shopping, Bible study, dinner with friends. And that was all in the first 2 days! Living this far away from everything means I am spending a ton of time in the car and a ton of money on gas! Looking forward to moving to somewhere just a little more centrally located.

 Today's agenda includes a walk, laundry, church tonight. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday's Tidbits

In my August Birchbox there were samples of shampoo and conditioner that cost $116. Yes, you read that right. And while I am most certainly never going to pay $115 in hair products, my hair absolutely felt completely different (in a good way).

Speaking of Birchbox, any of you participate? For $9.95 a month, you receive an adorable little box packed with fun high end beauty samples. If you'd like to try, use this link, and I'll get credit. ;)

And speaking of hair, mine seems to be growing and falling out all at the same time. How is that even possible? It's at possibly the most awkward stage since my 5th grade school photo. My family knows exactly what I mean by that, and, yes, it is that bad.

The Hogwarts mystery from Rory has been solved. There is a boy in her class named Griffin, which she associated with Gryffindor. Pretty good, huh? I've been reading the first Harry Potter book to Camden over the summer, and while she sometimes listens in, I did not think she was actually absorbing any of it.

Camden told me Sunday, "you know, I'm kind of at the point where I want to listen to grown up music now."

I promise that you want to read this post by Ann Voskamp. So beautiful and convicting.

Remember my hospital stay in July that insurance said they weren't going to cover? Taken care of. 

And part of my scrapping from Friday night. Actually, none of this is from Friday - those are all secret because they're using supplies not yet released.

Gina Miller/Karah Fredricks: Toasted Marshmallow

Pointing out my favorite picture from the previous page.

Jennifer Barrette/Micheline Martin: Apple of My Eye

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekend Recap

We kicked off our weekend with a family dinner at my sister's house. Breakfast for dinner, and it was good! Despite having chemo Thursday, I felt decent all weekend, which was a blessing. In fact, I felt so well that I picked up my old Friday night habit of staying up way too late. Saturday morning is the only time I have to sleep in (and by sleep in, I mean 7:00 a.m.) so for most of our marriage I have used Friday nights to scrap, catch up on TV, wasting time, etc. There is something about a quiet house late at night that I love.

Saturday morning started off big. Not only did a tree fall down (narrowly missing the house and the kid's bedroom), but we discovered that there is a large rodent chewing through the wall and living in our garage. Yikes!


Saturday night we took my parents out to eat at Coco's as a thank you for, well, everything in the past 18 months. Pretty sure dinner wasn't enough!


Sunday was church, followed by a lazy afternoon. And this morning it's back to school. Any idea on how to keep a 9 year old from throwing a fit every. single. morning. as I remind him to brush his teeth, make his bed, use lotion (he has eczema). Oh, the horror! Our lives would be a whole lot easier if he could just accept that these things are going to be a part of his life for, oh, let's say, the REST OF HIS LIFE.

I'm trying to take a kid picture every Monday morning, but this morning I did not have it in me to try to redo this one. I pretty much used up all my patience just getting us out the door.

In addition to everything mentioned here, I mostly spent the weekend disgusted and angry with myself after realizing I've gained EIGHT pounds this summer. Yes, I could blame the menopausal hormones and the chemo which makes me nauseous every time my stomach approaches empty and the lack of energy to exercise most of the time, but I'm fairly certain a whole lot of summertime ice cream played a little part too. Psalm 139:14 which says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" came to mind this morning during quiet time, and I felt a little convicted at all the ugly things I've been telling myself all weekend. I'm pretty sure God wants me to be healthy, but I'm also pretty sure He did not approve of all the negative energy I expended over the weekend.

So here's to a new week with maybe a little more exercise and water and definitely fewer of these.