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Saturday, February 26, 2011

photo shoot pullback

i always love before and afters.
i love seeing how people work their photography magic.
so i thought i would give you a little idea of a few tricks i use.

i love the clean, crisp backgrounds - for indoor shots, although i definitely prefer outdoor shooting!
i bought this super awesome seamless paper that i found on craigslist for really cheap.
then i always wonder how to end it at the bottom of the floor without it looking awkward. i mean photoshop can only do so much!
i bought a 5 foot piece of molding

here is the pullback of what that looked like.

i had scheduled to have a shoot with 3 little boys whose dad is in afghanistan right now.
i started by having the twins draw pictures for their daddy. wanted to get them to feel a little more comfortable before i started forcing them to pose!
doesn't this look like a regular room?

i always like the pictures with the super cool reflections on the floor.
of course, i do not have a studio or anything, so i bought a piece of plexiglass
and put it on top of the seamless paper.

here is the before and after

i had to crop it a little bit, and blend in the seam of the plexiglass with photoshop...which, now as i look at it, i see that i did not do that part perfectly, but it was just for this demonstration!

quick tip...always put your subject a couple of feet away from the background so you don't get nasty shadows behind them!

and there you have it.
a few little tricks that i use to make my work look the way i want without a studio of my own!
hope you enjoyed it!

feel free to ask me any questions you might have about your own photography!

three and 3 quarter inches...

is the difference in height between me


can you believe that?? i mean, i know i am short, but come on now!!
the boys both had their yearly physicals last week, and i am just thankful.
thankful that i can look at this...

and realize that i have a nine-year-old who is healthy (in the 100th percentile!) and growing.
he is growing physically and spiritually.
i refuse to take that for granted!

and i can look at this

and see that i have a healthy (always right in the middle of the percentile!) growing 8-year-old boy.
who is also growing physically and spiritually.
i won't take their health, their gifts and abilities for granted!

we woke up today to S-N-O-W
so i had the boys each do 4 steps of shoveling

snowy days make good baking days.

i am forever trying to be creative with fruits and vegetables.
(stop judging.)
so when i was grocery shopping with the boys this week, we bought some plantaines.
when we were in the dominican republic a few years ago, we were served plantaines almost every day

that is one of my favorite pictures from our trip. it was an amazing trip by the way.
(have i said how much i love when kids have pacifiers? seriously. i love it.)

anyways...i found a recipe and me and ry worked together

(my mom took this, and i can hardly believe that i am even posting it when i did not even take the necessary time to do my ever-loving hair this morning.)

they came out like this

and they were really super good!

i also found a new recipe for rolls that i decided to try and they came out so good!

and while these were in the oven,
aj was doing his ministry that he signed up for at church - helping with mailing newsletters

and i think that is just about all i have the energy to write about right now.
i am tired. and after re-reading this, i am pretty sure this is THE MOST random, absurd writing ever. it makes no sense, and i am sorry you just wasted the last 5 minutes of your life. :)
but thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

presence vs. reading

i have been feeling like there is a lot on my plate lately.
not in a complainy-kind-of-way (i know that's not a real word)
but just... my mind is constantly shifting gears from homeschool, to my school, to teenagers, to my kids, to supper, to marriage, to church stuff, to editing, to sports, and on and on it goes!

because of the busyness of life, i think that it is important to really stop and think about some things.

i always make sure that i have time with God.
i rarely miss a day.
i do not say that to be prideful at all, and if you don't believe me...
read on. 
i will prove it!

i am finding a problem with myself lately and here it is.
i am reading.
reading my Bible.
knowing that i have read my Bible for the day.
moving on.

does that sound like there's anything wrong with that?
i didn't think so, but there was something...
i just couldn't put my finger on it.
but i was feeling like something was just not right.

i came to Psalm 16, which i love.
if you haven't read it in a while...
or read it ever..
take a second and read it.

here is part of it:

LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
   you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
   surely I have a delightful inheritance.
 7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
   even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me.
   Because he is at my right hand,
   I will not be shaken.
 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
   my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave,
   nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
11 You have made known to me the path of life;
   you will fill me with joy in your presence, 
   with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

the King James version puts verse 11 -
in Thy presence is fullness of joy

and here is where i was seeing that difference between reading and being in the presence of God.

when i am reading my Bible, even if i am reading a lot of it,
just to read it.
maybe i even think i am doing it with the right motive...
am not making sure that i am humbled before a powerful and Holy God, and am literally coming into His presence.
where His Word is a light that brings out my sins, and that calls me to CHANGE

then it is not only pointless,
but leaves me joy-LESS (which, by the way, IS a word!)
and not having "fullness of joy!

joyless is described as cheerless, depressing, causing a feeling of sad gloom, unhappy.

joyful is described as full of, or producing joy, elated, full of high-spirited delight

joy is described as...get this. i love it. intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness, the expression of such a feeling, ecstatic happiness, pleasure, or satisfaction.

let me ask you something?
are you feeling like the first word, or the second word?

because if you are feeling like the first word, and not knowing why. 
especially if you feel like you are doing your "duties" by reading your Bible, going to church, blah blah blah...then i have good news for you...

you needa be in God's presence girlfriennnddd!! (or boyfriend :))


and if you're feeling like the first word and not knowing why...and are not reading your Bible, don't know the first thing about Bibles, and haven't been in church since last easter?
i have good news for you too!!

you can have a personal relationship with a very real God who loves you more than any person ever could, sent His Son to pay the penalty for your sins (come on...you know you've sinned, we ALL have!!) and wants to give you satisfaction and JOY!!

pretty amazing stuff.

and if you are feeling ecstatic and hyper and absolutely crazy filled with joy...
then SHOW IT TO ME!!!!

i am crazy. like for real. ha...just ask my boys.
i will dance like an idiot at a moments notice, make ridiculous faces to make people laugh and really am pretty much upbeat. 
i mean, i have my moments, but for the most part :)

so you being crazy just makes me more crazy! 
i love crazy people.
i have a few in my family :)

so don't just read today.
get into God's presence.
THAT, my friend, is where you will find ecstatic, pleasure and satisfaction.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

church legos

i love that my boys incorporate our every day lives into their play time.

the boys put together this entire set up with their legos going to church.
complete with a pastor, praise team, piano player and congregation.
they also set up a whole little village behind their beds...
it is cap haitien.
i loved that.

we spent some time in cap haitien 2 summers ago, and we still talk about it a lot.
we are planning to go to haiti again soon.
that's for another post.

you might think it's silly, and that it doesn't mean much.

but listening to them play..
hearing the different things that the "pastor" was saying
watching them play with people from the village in cap haitien

just made me happy.
we are showing them that this is what life is.
we love church.
we have a desire to see people from every country come to know Christ.
it's just our lives...

then they play it out.

might seem small,
but it still brought a smile :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

ry's birthday cake

just wanted to put a picture of ry's cake real quick for my sister!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

i love when they get it...

we have been going through the book of james in class on monday nights.
one of the sections in that book that i love is the part that says to resist the devil, and to draw near to God.

i love to picture things in my mind that help me in my every day decision-making.
i love the picture of me walking close to my Father, and satan running away from me.

i wanted to talk about this to the boys, and so to start our school day last tuesday, i opened the book of james.

aj was "God"
riley was "riley" (clever, huh?)
and i was "the devil"

the picture was this. riley is in the middle of us.
he has to make a decision. 
i am saying...come on. i'ts just a little lie. it's no big deal. just tell them you didn't do it.

aj is just standing there with his arms open towards riley.

riley takes one step towards aj (aka God - i hope you aren't thinking i am totally blasphemous here!)

although he is closer to "God" he can still hear "satan" pretty loud. encouraging him to do the wrong thing.
i might even take a small step towards him to make sure he hears me. 

but when we got to the point that riley was standing right in front of aj,
i ran out of the room.

here's the point. 
satan is powerful...

but he is NOTHING compared to God! 
he is terrified of God's power!
so the closer i am to God, the more and more afraid he becomes...of God's power.

i asked if aj might be nervous if a really big guy from his soccer team came over to beat him up.
he said yes.
i asked if then shaq (that was aj's pick!) came and stood right in front of aj to protect him, if he thought the kid would come any closer and even TRY to give aj a hard time.
he said no.

and that's the point. i can not try and fight these things on my own.
i need to run as close to God as i can, and let Him fight it for me.

so today, while aj was doing his math (um...me and him. ya, we don't really care for math.)
he was having a hard time with one of his problems, and was really getting down on himself.
i talked to him a little bit about it, then went downstairs to make lunch.

he came down a little bit later and said. 
"you know that thing we acted out last week?
i'm so glad we did that.
because after you left, i just kept saying to myself - 'get closer to God,
just get closer to God.' 
and satan had to run away!
it really helped!"

oh i just love when they get it!!

the next time you learn something really cool in your devotions, or in church or whatever.
try acting it out with your kids!
you never know when satan is going to be attacking, and when they might be able to use what you taught them!

another cake smash

little jace-man was not really in the mood for pictures.
but nothing a cookie and cake couldn't fix!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

oh my cuteness

had a lot of fun with this cake smash today!!
i don't have much time, because we are off to aj's soccer game.
but i had to put a couple up!
i can't wait to finish looking through all of these!!

coming up with a clever title is the hardest part of blogging...

today, riley woke up with a high fever and so i let him stay in his pj's for school.
aren't i so nice??

my parents got him this game for his birthday and he LOVES to play it!
i think he's already played it 20 times.

hopefully he is better before his birthday party sunday!
here are a couple of other shots i got when we were looking for a picture for his birthday invitation

i mean seriously. he is so stinking cute.

then aj had a game tonight.

when he was going up for a layup in the first half, he got hit from behind and fell on his wrist pretty hard.
i could tell it really hurt him, and he was trying with everything in him to keep it together.
it made me so sad, and he was so cute i just wanted to hug him.
don't worry, i refrained.

look at his little face!!!
oh how i love that boy.
by the way, he pulled it together, and ended the game with 15 points!

i've been having some pretty emotional days lately.
for a lot of reasons.
but looking at these little loves of my life...
who remind me so much of adam :)
just makes everything seem ok tonight.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

25 totally random, unimportant things...

you may or may not know about me.

in no significant order...

1. i absolutely love football.
like, love it.
i am obsessed with the patriots, and have loved watching them since i was about 10 years old.
when i was little, i used to daydream that i would be able to work for the team.

2. i hate listening to people chew. it drives me nuts.

3. i tried out for the softball team twice in college.
and didn't make it either time.
looking back, i totally wish i had tried out for track instead.

4. i love diet coke.
it started in college.
when i was feeling homesick, just drinking a diet coke would make me happy :)

5. i have run 2 marathons and 3 half marathons.
i love running. it makes me happy.
i always run with my dad.

6. i met my husband when i was in kindergarten.
he still makes me incredibly happy

7. i am really sarcastic. and i love making people laugh

8. i love my Bible. when i go a day without reading it...
it is SO painfully obvious to everyone around me.

9. i love yard sales and thrift stores.
the majority of my possessions, i have bought used.

10. i love my family more than life itself.
i have 2 sisters and a brother, and i talk to them
almost every single day.

11. i have an obsession with tweezing.
i have to tweeze my eyebrows every day.

12. i do not like camping in tents

13. i am a total spaz and really hyper.
i am pretty much in that same mood all the time

14. i've never been into politics

15. i am really expressive with my face.

16. i have never gotten a speeding ticket
(although i have been stopped for speeding 3 times)

17. i love watching old movies
(unfortunately, my husband does not feel the same way!)

18. i don't think i am great at homeschooling, but the thought
of being away from my boys for the whole entire day
makes me so sad.

19. a song i wrote and recorded was played on a local
christian radio station.

20. i enjoy shoveling snow

21. i am really close with my parents.
literally and figuratively :)

22. i am content where i am, but could totally see
myself living in boston.

23. i love shoes.
i have more than i can count.

24. i hate talking on the phone and only do
it when i have to.
texting is the best thing ever.

25. words of affirmation is my love language.
if you say something nice about me, it seriously makes
my entire day.
no lie.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

riley joel

yesterday was riley's birthday.
he is 8 years old! i can hardly believe it!
he woke up to these scattered around the house

then i made him "RY" shaped chocolate chip pancakes
(we really focus on healthiness around here!)

i gave him the day off from school, because hey...we can :)
i loved watching him open his presents. he is a very thankful little boy.

the currier's always make for an insta-party when they are here, but since they're in virginia, we had to settle for the next best thing...skype!

there are so many things that i love about riley...i really don't even know where to begin!
see this face? this is why he gets away with a lot more than he should.
he has the cutest little face, and knows how to make me laugh!

this boy is seriously amazing with a soccer ball. i mean...i know he's my son and everything, but he has mad skills.

and these pictures remind me of how many of my days have been filled with smiles, hugs and giggles..and maybe a few tears here and there! haha :)

riley has always been a talker. ever since he was really little.
he is hilarious. he can make anyone laugh..sometimes without even trying.
he has a really sensitive heart.
he loves to snuggle and always always tells me that he loves me.
he never wants me to leave his side. for real.
whenever i go ANYWHERE he always asks me to go as fast as i can so i can get home sooner.
he questions a lot. but in a good way.
i like that about him.
i want him to understand what he believes and why he believes it.
he trusted Jesus as his Savior when he was 4, and i can not even tell you how incredibly amazing it is to know for sure that your entire family will be in heaven together someday! i have no fear when it comes to that!
he loves legos and playmobil
he loves soccer and basketball
he loves cake
he hates ice cream
he hates every vegetable. seriously.
he loves popcorn and could probably eat that and chips and salsa every day
he doesn't like eating first thing in the morning
he has a really hard time getting to sleep at night.
he prays for his friends salvation
he is a really good singer, but doesn't like to sing in front of people
he is really strong and super fast
he loves playing in the snow
he is adventurous
he wants a baby brother really bad
he loves his puppy blanket
he loves his big brother
he is so cute i can sometimes hardly stand it.

and those are some of the things that i love about my ry.

i can't wait to see what God has planned for this little boy!

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