Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The kids and I went strawberry picking yesterday and picked 12 pounds of strawberries.  That might sound like a lot, but it really isn't.  I made a double batch of strawberry freezer jam (10 cups), put some in the freezer, made strawberry oven pancakes for dinner (my favorite!), and have a bunch leftover for more strawberry goodness.  Thinking about making some strawberry ice cream, and maybe freeze some more.

We didn't pick any strawberries last year because we picked so many the year before.  In fact we're just now finishing up the last bit of freezer jam from that batch!  This year Grace was actually a helper and managed to get more then one or two in the box instead of in her mouth.  Ethan took over the taste testing position and left Grace and I to the real work.

I'm excited that the berry farm we found also grows raspberries and marionberries...we'll be back!

Monday, June 20, 2011

I ♥ Faces: Hearts Challenge: Let's Hear It For the Boys

I couldn't resist entering the Let's Hear It For the Boys theme...I happen to think my boy is just about the cutest thing on the planet!  As such I had a terribly difficult time choosing just one photo of my little guy to share, but the fun Rock n Roll session we did awhile back came away the winner.  I love that he wanted to listen to All the Single Ladies while we took these photos.  How can you resist his charm?
For more adorable boys click on the I Heart Faces link below:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day Sweetie!

 That's right, we took some silly mustache on a stick photos for our favorite Mustache Man in honor of Fathers Day.  Why not?  My sweetie is an awesome dad and one of the things that my children love about him is how silly he can be.  They are lucky to have a dad who is willing to act like a complete goofball to make them laugh, although they may feel less lucky as they morph into teenagers!  Thanks for being such a fabulous father to our children, they are so lucky to have you!
 When I asked Ethan what he loves about his Daddy he said he loves that he gives him hugs and plays with him.  He also loves Daddy smooches.
 Grace told me that she thinks Daddy is handsome (I agree).  She loves that he works hard to make dollars for her and loves to snuggle with Daddy in bed in the morning.  She likes to play outside while he barbecues or mows the grass.
 Yes, I jumped in a shot too.  Mustaches on a stick are just too tempting for me to resist.  Happy Fathers Day Sweetie!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Little Cowboy and Cowgirl

Last weekend we enjoyed the Sisters Rodeo as we do every year on the second weekend in June.  This year I brought my camera along but only took a few photos of the kids playing around and didn't even bring it to the rodeo.  Through the years I've discovered that it's pretty much impossible to do much with a camera at a rodeo when you're a mother of two small children.  I have at least one child on my lap at all times, get to make 15 trips from the stands to the portapotties and/or to buy more bottled water or treats.  I figure I have plenty of years to photograph rodeos to my heart's content once my children can sit in a seat by themselves and don't require me to take them to the potty constantly.  Instead I snuggled with my kids and even got Ethan to nap right as the last few bullriders finished the rodeo for us.  So instead of fast paced exciting rodeo action I am sharing sweet photos of my kids in their cowboy hats.  Notice Grace's is purple and Ethan refused to wear his cowboy boots (he did consent to wear them to the rodeo though...)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ethan the Gymnast

Ethan was enrolled in gymnastics this spring and really loved it.  He's watched Grace take the class a couple of times and was so excited that it was his turn!  He did such a great job listening to his teachers and sitting in line, I was very impressed.  Grace was much less impressive in her sitting still in line skills (and still is!).  This was the first activity in which Ethan was the participant and Grace was on the sidelines with me.  She didn't like the role reversal very much, but it was good for her. 
As a reward for all his hard work (and excellent waiting in line skills!) and for Grace's patience watching her brother twice a week I treated the three of us to a Burgerville milkshake.  If you've ever had one you know that they are quite possibly the best milkshakes ever.  They had a Timbers Mint Oreo one that we tried that was pretty tasty.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hello Goodbye

Remember when I got my first dslr back in May 2008?  In my blog post I mentioned that I couldn't wait to get it and post a million photos.  I bet I'm close!  I posted the very first photos I took with my brand spanking new Rebel and I have to say that taking a million photos has really helped me come a long ways.  Yikes!  The last blog post on this blog with photos taken with my Rebel was Grace's First Day of Kindergarten.  Certainly taking a million photos improved my skills some.  My Rebel was good to me and I learned to shoot on the scary Manual mode with it so it will always have a special place in my heart.

When I first started venturing into photography as a business and not just a (very expensive!) hobby David gave me the rule that I couldn't spend family money on photography equipment, only money I earned.  It's actually a great rule, even if it is frustrating at times.  I really think through all my purchases and spend my money 500 times before ever actually spending a dime.  Last fall I had finally made enough to either improve my lenses or upgrade my camera body to full frame.  I chose to buy the lenses first and it was a good decision for me.  I upgraded my 50mm and bought the 85mm once I realized that I'm really a prime girl.  Instead of making a big jump in camera bodies I bought a used 40D and kept my Rebel as my backup.  The 40D was a nice jump and a really nice camera, but I knew when I bought it that I still really wanted to go full frame.

This spring I realized that the only time I reached for my Tamron zoom lens was when I needed to go wider then 50mm (mostly indoors studio shoots) and I realized I could sell my Tamron to fund a wide angle prime.  When I was researching which wide angle prime to get I realized that if I could find a way to upgrade to the full frame I might not need a super wide lens.  So I sold my Tamron and my Rebel and cleaned out my business account to buy a used 5D classic.  I realize it's not the newest (the 5D iii is due to come out this fall so I'll be 2 generations behind) but neither was the 40D when I bought it.  Most of my equipment has been bought used because saving up for new would take me way too long!

I realize most of you reading this blog post are probably super bored by now and have no idea what I'm talking about.  Suffice it to say that as sad as I was to say goodbye to my Rebel I am even more excited to say a great big HELLO! to my 5D!  I am not even a little embarrassed to say I screamed with joy when I got back to the car to drive home with it.  You can ask the kids, they'll tell you just how happy I was!  There wasn't a lot of light left when we got home but I still managed to take a few photos with my new camera and had the kids mimic my excited face. 

Goodbye to my Rebel....
And a great big HELLO! to my new 5D!
Watch out world because here I come...full frame camera in tow!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Baseball & Barbecue 2011

This year's Baseball & Barbecue was a small affair, wondering if maybe next year we should plan it on a non-holiday weekend.  Or maybe a sunny one?  Ha!  In any case, the few of us that braved the elements stayed dry if not a little wind swept.  Ethan wouldn't have cared what the weather was like, he was just ecstatic to play ball!  He didn't even play on the playground with the other kids, he just kept hitting his tee ball.  Thank goodness we bought the Super Duper Can't Break This If You Tried tee ball stand for him last Christmas.  That thing weighs a hundred pounds but I think it will withstand constant use and abuse and that's what we need.

Here's Ethan in his element:
And a few of the other brave souls in attendance, sorry I didn't get everybody but I can barely stand to use my cheap long range zoom and didn't want to crawl all over in the dirt with my primes!