My baby turns 3


My little guy has been talking about this special day for the past 6 months.  Every time he randomly had the chance to talk on the phone with dad while he was at work Boston would ask “Dad, you bring me home a blue dinosaur cake for my birthday”.  He loves the color blue and he loves dinosaurs.  He was so excited to have Grandma to come visit for his birthday to help us make our volcano village. He packed his land with a dozen dinos and let the eruptions begin. 

our dinosaur village had a pond to catch the lava. Boston put his dinosaurs in the boiling lava. Ouch!

I got the idea for these dinosaur tails from pinterest.   The kids loved them and the little boys that ended up having them from Boston’s mini party have liked them too.  And for me it is the cutest thing ever to watch!

dinosaur fighting was quite the hit in our family right before bed. Always a great combination to tire kids to bed or get them riled up before bed!

The is wanted to pose with their tales.

 

Spring is coming!

My little girl has been learning about Groundhog day in school. Her teacher is quite an expert on the holiday. She serves on a board of some sorts for the big day.  She is such a cute teacher.  I must say I wouldn’t have had a clue about the event otherwise, but YES the groundhog saw his shadow and only 6 more weeks of winter people!    hmmm…. since we live in the northwest I’m guessing that might be wrong, but maybe a sunny spring is headed our way.

I’m itching to get away somewhere warm… but until then I thought I’d post one of the most amazing things I found when I moved to beautiful, green Washington from sandy, dessert Nevada.  A Dahlia farm was right down the street from our home. (Something to look forward to when it warms up here).   Our sweet neighbors grow a variety of dahlia’s and let people pick them 10 for $1. Me and my kids were in heaven.  For the past 2 summers we’ve loved the whole experience of going to the farm to get beautiful flowers to fill our home with color and give to our friends and teachers.   These pictures were taken in 2010 when we moved here and then I lost the point and shoot camera they were taken with.  Well I just found the camera! How exciting.  It was fun to reminisce  about these pictures and also see how much my kids have grown since moving here.

Thank you to the sweet family who owns this farm. They are some of the nicest people. And besides that my kids think they live in the coolest house ever.  “It is a secret house” they say since it is tucked into the woods. Beautiful place to call home.  Thanks for sharing it with me and my kids!

M & R engagements

I did this a while back, but never posted it. I saw these pictures the other day and had to share them. The picture is real. It is not photoshopped! He isn’t leaning on anything. These two are totally buff athletes and have strong enough core muscles to do this! Maryann is a top triathlete. Amazing people. I loved being involved with their wedding!

Grandkids

As this year ends I thought I’d put some of my favorite family pictures on here.  I am blessed to have an identical twin sister. She and I talk almost every day. We can tell each other anything. I know she will always tell me the honest truth about something I’m contemplating. She will support me in anything I do and she most importantly loves my kids so much.  She is a fantastic aunt.  She always hand crafts something special for my kids for their birthdays and Christmas.  This summer she came out to visit us with her family. We took a few “grandkid” shots for my mom because this was a special year.  During the summer months my Mom and Dad had grandkids aged 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.  How awesome is that!  From 2 twin girls they have been blessed with 6 grandkids in 6 years.  Whew, tiring just saying that.  


The picture below was taken after a big day of fishing. I don’t remember what we told the kids to do, but all of their poses sure show their personalities. Such cuties.

Maverick and Halle

Well if those aren’t the cutest names ever!  Mav and Halle were darling.  Many more cute photos to come.  

Zoe, Scott and kids

This is my darling friend, Zoe, and her family. My daughter and her daughter go to school together and we’ve loved getting to know their family for the past year. These pictures are taken in their yard. This is the most beautiful fall photo shoot I’ve ever done. The colors were so vibrant I had to tone them down in some of the pictures. I am in love with so many of these pictures – especially the kids individuals. Beautiful kiddos!


Cute little Danika

I am so excited to post these pictures! This little cutie was the best little 9 month old in front of the camera. Seriously all smiles! Of course she wanted to be crawling around because that is what 9 month olds do, but she was easily distracted by her moms cousin, Daphne, who was such a great help! This was really one of my most favorite photoshoots. I love working with kids. I love my job! Andrea and Roshan you made one beautiful little girl with auburn hair and dark skin!

 

Jen, Stuart sneak peek

My sweet friend Jen has the cutest kids! We enjoy having them over for date swap nights at our house. Jen always has the girls hair done beautifully with bows.  I’m excited that I got to take pictures of this darling family. More pics to come.

Halloween 2011

The superhero, the villain and the beautiful fairy ballerina

This photo was not staged. They all just went about doing their “moves”. Although superman is covering the ballerina I still love this photo! It shows personality

Can little superman really fly? On a trampoline he can! He always talks about when he is bigger he is going to be supaman.


The evil villain and the sweet little boy under that scary mask

cousins

A grandparents house is where cousins become best friends

 

1st day of school

Hmm…. a little behind in my editing. Slowly I am getting caught up.  Here is our first day of school.  The kids love their schools for the most part and have made some really nice friends, for which I’m very grateful.

Jesse, Luka and dog Ben

This is one of my sons favorite friends from Spanish school. This little Luka speaks 3 languages fluently!  Amazing right?  He knows Serbian, Spanish and English.  Technically he is an only child, but he does have a brother…. his dog, Ben, who might I say is one of the prettiest dogs. He has been apart of their family for over ten years. If I were to ever get a dog (Which I will NOT until my kids are much more independent and helpful!) I would choose a lab like Ben or a golden doodle.  They are beautiful and so loving. Anyways, Ben is getting old. He has arthritis and is having a hard time getting around now in his old age. It is very sad because they know he won’t live much longer.  So Jesse wanted to get family pictures as soon as she could. We couldn’t seem to get her husband in the pictures, so she decided to do it without him even though that wasn’t top choice, she really wanted to make sure to get Luka and Ben together.  The one below of Luka walking with his dog is so sweet.  And this family picture below in particular totally shows the love between mom and son. I love it!

One of Ben’s favorite things to do is swimming in the Columbia river. The last time they took him to the river he could barely walk, so instead of going to the water I took them to our old neighborhood which overlooks the Columbia river. And Ben loved it up there! He was exploring so much we had a hard time getting him to stay put for pictures.  Of course that was a wonderful thing though! I’m sure it made Jesse smile to see her dog exploring and walking so well.

Jesse you are so beautiful!

Art birthday party

When I think about what I want my children to learn from me one of the items on the top of my list is to be creative. I learned how to be creative from my mom, although she will say she isn’t creative.  She is in many ways.  I was thrilled when my daughter chose an art party. She loves drawing and doing art projects. And of course art projects are one of my favorite things to do with my children.

One of my favorite talks of all time called “Happiness, Your Heritage” by Dieter F. Uchtdorf says “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before . . .

Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty. Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty. . . As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.  (see a clip on youtube here)

My daugther painted the large “canvas” above and we hung it on the wall.  We both spray painted the large box by the door. Super homemade looking, but that is what I wanted the party to be – creative at a 7 year old level.

Activities

While arriving the kids started out by coloring on the windows with window crayons. Every home should have some of these! They are so fun for moms too! I’ve had fun writing messages on the bathroom windows this week too. Super easy to wash off  of the windows.

We had 17 kids here at our house. I explained that my little girl loved all of them and wanted to invite each person there, but with so many kids we had to have some rules. They were all 6 or 7 years old and did a great job!

Each got their own canvas to paint. I was amazed with the kids creations. I wondered if I would have to give some suggestions on what to paint. Definitely not. Every kid started as soon as they got their paint pallet at their table. I only wish I would have had all the kids hold up their work!

We also did a hot rock activity. Each kid got a couple rocks that had been heated in the oven for 10 minutes. We had crayons set out and they got to paint on the rocks with crayons. The crayons instantly melted onto the rocks. This worked great because the kids are old enough to understand that they shouldn’t touch the rocks with their fingers, only the crayons.  My only wish is that I would have had a big rock for each kid. That would have been cooler, but all in all the kids loved it!

My all time favorite cake I’ve made. I was almost giddy about it when we finally got to cut into the cake. Wahoo! Exactly what I wanted it to look like.  And the kids thought it was so cool too.  Since each layer was frosted with homemade buttercream frosting it was one of the yummiest cakes too! The cake is wrapped with a cake tattoo I bought at michaels. It is edible. Super easy to put on.  

As you can see all of the decor was homemade by me and my little girl. One night we stayed up late making construction paper links. A girls night. I love those nights because we get alone time to talk.  We decided instead of buying little trinkets to give her friends that we would make a traveling art kit for everyone. My friend Ainsley had made these for her sons birthday party and we have loved them!  It has ties on each side to keep it all together. Inside is a notebook, chalk board (made with chalkboard fabric), crayons, chalk and an eraser.  All the kids loved them.  Mercy told her mom she needs to learn how to sew so she can make them for her party. Mercy also told her mom this was the funnest birthday party she has ever been too.  Auh, shucks Mercy!  It was all worth it for that comment.    🙂    I love that my self esteem can be boosted by a 6 year old… ha ha

I got these paint cans at Micheals and Joannes.  I wanted bright things to go in them so we found the cheese balls at world market and the marshmallows that look like chalk at walmart.  Aren’t those great!  The rainbow picture was found on pinterest. I made one and forgot to take a picture of it!

And the after effects of the party…. I still haven’t washed my windows because they are so cheerful. We have loved looking at them all week and I intend on keeping the drawings up until the fall decorating begins.  Thanks kids for the beauty!

And the invite I bought on etsy. Much easier having it designed by someone else!

If you use any of these pictures I just ask that you link up to my site to show where these pictures came from. And of course if anyone is throwing an art party and has any questions I’d be happy to help if I can.  

Cole’s before and after

My friend Crystal has such cute kids. She took this picture and asked if I would edit it. I have thought about offering this to other Moms. I don’t know what the response will be, but I know a lot of moms like to take pictures, but just don’t have the time, money and skills to edit their pictures professionally. If you take a picture that you would like edited I will be charging $35/hr for my services (approx. 30 min for one photo). I have taken many classes and done some mentorships with other photographers to learn this skill. Let me know if you are interested. Later this year I hope to open some classes to teach other moms the skills I have learned. I will let you know when I start offering this.

Champions!

I can’t believe it, but we won the championship softball game last week in our cute little city!  I mean Wowzas!  Not by my help. Lets face it, I’m not very great at softball, but I had so much fun learning!  This is the first time I’ve played, well since jr. high with my church youth group.  And next year, watch out people. Let me tell ya.  Dates at the batting cages here we come!  I can hit a mean foul ball…   like clear over the fence (almost took out my own kids once – not good!).  Most of the season I played outfield where I wouldn’t have to get too many plays.  At the end of the season I decided to leave my comfort zone and play catcher. My friend Shana said “I bet you’ll be surprised how much you like it”.  Oh how right she was!  I get to chit chat with the ump and it doesn’t get much action where a really good player is needed.  Right up my alley!  Our umpire, Bob, might have just been the happiest person I’ve ever met.  He brought tootsie rolls for the kids every night and snuck one to us players when we hit good or made a good play.  We had to have him join our group shot. Thanks team for a fun activity this summer.  Here’s to next year!


Mia and Claire bear

These are just a few of the pictures I took of my cute little nieces while in Utah. I just made them something that involved pictures, so I edited these ones and thought I’d post them. These are some of the most creative, imaginary minds out there. I can’t wait to see them when they come to visit me soon!

Meet Henry

These were taken months ago with the spanish preschool. He is such a cute kid. One of my sons best little buddies.