Monday, May 30, 2011

Dance 2011!

Annie clogged in this years dance recital, and of course did a WONDERFUL job!

The cousins danced and did great too! 

Sunday, May 29, 2011


We celebrated my Grandma Ellie's (lovingly called G-ma!) birthday with a picnic at the park!

We love you G-ma!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Boy of Many Questions

Austin didn't say much for the first 3 years of his life. With moderate hearing loss, he was slow to learn to speak. With ear tubes improving his hearing, and speech and language therapy, he finally began talking. After a year we saw great improvement, and in the last year he's amazed me with huge jumps in his speech. And now...he talks non stop.

If we're in Target, you'll know it. His voice carries well, and his running commentary is hard to miss. But he's not just talking, he's asking question after question. And he wants answers.

"Mama! Why is that sign there?"

"Mama! What does that man have?"

"Mama! Where did that pumpkin go that used to be here?"

And on and on, aisle after aisle. Of course I love it. I love that he finally found his words. Sometimes I wish he were a bit quieter, or at least more patient, but I still love it.

This Spring has been a rough season for our area. We've had floods, and now it's flooding again. A town (Joplin) nearby just experienced the worst tornado to hit the USA is over 50 years. And Austin has taken it all in. These are the questions that are harder to answer...

"Mama! Why did it flood?"

"Mama! Is it flooded again?"

"Mama! Why did we go to the basement?"

" Mama! Where did the 'toenado' go?"

" Mama! Why did the 'toenado' come?"

I just don't know the answers to these questions. So we talk, and we pray, and we donate, and we help. It's all I know to do.

Austin has a plan though. In his words...

"When I grow up, I'm gonna drive a monster truck and push the toenado away!"

I just love this boy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spring at SDC

We had an awesomely fun day at SDC with the cousins, aunt, and uncle. We hung out at the farm, checked out the old school house, sat in the giant rocking chair, and of course rode some rides! It was a wonderful spring day!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tea cups

How do you spell fun?


And a day with our cousins and aunt and uncle at Silver Dollar City!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Favorite Photo...

(1/40, f5, iso 200)

My two girls.

I picked this as my favorite photo for the last day of the Opposites Photo Class. As I looked back, I had lots of pictures of Austin, but not as many of the girls. I don't intend to play favorites, but since the girls are in school all day, Austin tends to get my attention a little more right now. So for this assignment, I wanted my girls!

I just bought them these matching shirts, and they both wore them today. They looked so cute! Sweet sisters. As an only child, I always wanted a sister. These two girls are night and day. Opposites, if you will, in every way. Ellie is fair skinned, strong willed, prefers cold over hot, and meat over veggies. Annie is always tan, easy going, hates to be cold, and eats salad like it's ice cream. How can two girls from the same two parents be so different?! They fight like cats and dogs, and are very competitive, but underneath all that, I know they love each other. I pray that one day they grow up to be the best of friends!

I used all my lessons from the photo class for this picture. No flash, natural light, balancing the light, tilting the camera...YAY! I am so happy I understand all of this now! Thanks so much beth!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Black and White

I love black and white photos. Ever since I can remember, I've felt pulled in by the pictures of the past. I remember sitting with my mom, my grandma, my great grandma, and looking at the old pictures, loving the history behind them.

Day 14 of the Opposites Photo Class is Black and White. I love how this picture of my littlest soccer player looks in black and white.

(1/2000, f7.1, iso 400)

Monday, May 9, 2011

More scenes from Super Soccer Saturday!

My 8's!

He actually played!

Ball contact!
My ball!
Austin as Goalie!

High Fives!

Two cuties!

Annie as Goalie!

Throwing it in!

Ready to Defend!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day has never worked out well for me.

It's a scramble to do church, wrangle kids, honor my own mother and grandmother, and my mother-in law, deal with insane restaurants, all while supposedly enjoying a special day all about me. (And yes, I realize that being a mother is supposed to be the only gift I should ever need. And that my children are blessings, and that I should want to spend all day just reveling in the wonderousness of them, while doing crafts and making cookies, and birds sing all around us.)


Then there's been our families track record of major illnesses on Mother's Day. On my first Mother's Day, my dad collapsed at church. He's ok, but it was very scary, and we spent the day at the hospital with our sweet 3 month old baby Ellie. Jason's dad went to the hospital last year on Mother's Day weekend, and so Mother's Day for me was watching the kids fight, while Jason spent the day with his mom at the hospital.

Then there was the year I got a Meat Marinator for my Mother's Day present.

And it was three weeks late.

See what I mean? Not so fun.

There have been a few okay Mother's day's in between. But none have ever lived up to the amazing expectations I had when I first found out I was expecting a precious child of my own.

Hmmm...that's interesting. Yet another thing I glamorized in my mind about parenthood. The pattern continues...

So by now, 9 years into motherhood, I've lowered my expectations A LOT. The kids WILL fight, and won't care that it's Mother's Day. They will make messes. My husband will not read my mind. The restaurants will be insane.

(right now my kids are fighting)

Which brings me to this year. So far Mother's Day this year has been...perfect.

Yes, they are fighting, but Jason is handling it. First thing this morning, Austin walked in sweetly and said..."Happy Mother's Day mommy." Then he opened his sweet little hand to reveal a Pandora bead. Precious! A little while later Ellie walked in..."Happy Mother's Day mommy." I looked up and smiled and hugged her, and then finally realized (after she stood there grinning for 2 full minutes) that she had a beautiful silver necklace around her neck. So sweet! Then Jason gave me a box with this...

An original Lisa Leonord necklace! My friend has one that I've loved for a long time. I heard about her through a blogger friend, and awhile back I was window shopping on her website. Then I saw a cool option where you can create your perfect piece, and then send an email to a loved one as a "suggestion". So I did. But honestly I figured that Jason wouldn't give it the time of day. I assumed it went directly into his spam folder, or he'd think he'd rather find something on his own. Then I promptly forgot all about it, which is pretty typical of my tired mommy brain.

Back to this morning, when my sweet Annie woke up, she also came to me and said sleepily..."Happy Mother's day mommy", and in her hand was another Pandora bead!

Yay me!!!

Don't judge. Remember...Meat Marinator.

Now Ellie has made me breakfast, and I'm sitting at my computer with my coffee. Ahhh...

Honestly the whole weekend has been good.

Yesterday was Super Soccer Saturday. Annie had two games, Austin had two games, and both kids had soccer pictures. Jason had to work, but he blessedly took Ellie with him, while I wrangled the two soccer players at the soccer field for 6 1/2 hours. Whew! We made it though, and overall I was THRILLED with how well Annie and Austin handled the day. It did help tremendously when Aunt Michelle showed up at the perfect time to lend a hand and watch a soccer game for awhile.

Soccer Cousins! Annie, Elaina, and Austin!

Then last night our favorite babysitter came, and we had dinner with Chris and Michelle and Jason's parents. We had a beautifully peaceful dinner after a crazy long day. So nice!

This afternoon I am spending some time with my sweet mother. Where I assume there will be some shopping involved. Yay! :)

For now I sit here and did everything go so well this year? What has changed?

A lot.

After 9 years, Jason has come to read my mind a little. Or maybe he's learned from a few "off" years, a few shed tears, a few selfish rants, a few interesting gifts...and this year, this year he made up for it all. It means the world to me that he helped the kids honor me. I love you sweetheart!

After 9 years, my expectations have lowered. I live in reality, not in fantasy, and it's amazing what a difference that makes.

After 9 years, my kids have grown up a lot. They have moments where they actually appreciate me sometimes, and they mean it when they say, "Happy Mother's Day".

So, this year? Best Mother's Day ever!

So for you mommies of 3 years, or 5 years, who are frustrated today at your kids and your husband for not flippin' GETTING IT...there's hope! Hang in there!

Or you mommies of 0 years, with your precious babies in your bellies still (Lane, Lauren), remember this...

Mother's Day will not be perfect. This year you may have expected your sweet husbands to lovingly give you a gift, as you are a mother already! (And if they did you can stop reading now. But if they're anything like Jason, the thought never even crossed their minds.) And they won't. Next year they may not either, since "You're not MY mother". Yes, you may hear those words. (I did.) The next year your kids will disappoint you. And on, and on... My prayer is that at least you won't get a Meat Marinator. But again, hang in there. After 9 years your kids, and your husband may finally get it right.

And then you will truly appreciate it.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 13...


I love that word. I love the idea of a photo showing this concept. This is the assignment for the Opposites photo class day 13.

This is Austin...

(1/400, f4, iso 1600)

He is one active kid. When he was crawling, we called him "Turbo baby", and I was scared for the day he walked.

For good reason.

He jumps, he runs, he climbs, he spins...he exhausts me.

There are calm moments though, and one of those is when we read...

(1/14, f4, iso 1250)

Austin being calm. Quite the juxtaposition! :)

Day 12...

Day 12, Opposites Photo Class: Slow.

Beth wanted us to sllloooow down our shutter speeds, and take a picture using a light source to create an interesting effect.


That's pretty much where my brain went and stayed for several days. I finally caved in, when no spectacular ideas presented themselves, and just shut myself in a room with a flashlight. I invited Ellie in and she created this...

(Shutter speed, 14 WHOLE seconds, f3.6, iso 1600)

Then I called in Jason and got this...

(Shutter speed, 14 WHOLE seconds, f3.5, iso 1600)

So. I'm not blown away. However, I have some GREAT ideas for later this Summer! I'm thinking lightning bugs, fireworks, flashlight games while we camp, etc... So in the end I did like this assignment for the experience, even if it was the hardest one for me yet! :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's the simple things that I love the most.

What to do on a rainy, cold, Sunday afternoon...

Annie had some homework to finish, so Austin joined her with his "homework" (spider man coloring book).

Be still my heart.