Friday, October 30, 2015

My Photography

This summer before we went on our trip, I decided I'd take on just a couple of sessions so I could earn a bit of spending money.  Because when traveling, everyone needs to do a little shopping, right?!  :)

A few things about myself:

I am a self taught photographer.

I opened and ran a small photography business for 3 years, before shutting it down and deciding to focus solely on my family and faith. 

I don't claim to be an expert.  

I don't know everything photography related.

I'm not even back in business, but I enjoy getting out and getting behind the camera every once in a while.  It keeps me from getting too rusty. 

Here's a little peak into my photography related world...

These aren't all of the sessions that I've done this summer, but it gives you an idea of what I've been up to.  A couple of seniors and lots of families. 

Now, if I can just get my own family pictures taken, I'd be ecstatic.  It's like they say, "The carpenters house is never finished".  It's the same with the photographer... they never get their family pictures taken.  ;)

Have a great weekend you guys! 


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

I'm linking up and sharing my What's Up Wednesday post with Shay, Mel, and Sheaffer.

What we're eating this week

I was having a hard time deciding on my menu for this week, so over the weekend Emma helped me come up with some ideas.  She wanted meatloaf, so we had that.  Next she wanted steak and potatoes, so that's tonight.  I think taco's made the list, and I can't remember what else she requested.

What I'm reminiscing about

As November draws near, I tend to reminisce about all the Thanksgiving dinners that we used to spend with my Dad's side of the family.  We'd either travel over to Idaho or they'd travel over here.  Now that I'm married, we spend Christmas at home and Thanksgiving with Dan's side of the family. 

What I'm loving

If I've said it once I've said it a million times.  I love this Beth Moore bible study.
 I love it so much more than I thought I would.
This was my quiet time one morning.  Cup of coffee and studying God's word.
Perfect way to start my day.


What we've been up to

Well... we've finished up soccer, and won the championship.

We've started Junior High basketball

We got a hunting permit, and got some meat put in the freezer.

We've been working on puzzles

And I went out riding one day.
Me and my boy Ranger.

What I'm dreading

I made eye and dentist appointments for all of my kids.  Plus Jesse's feet have been bothering him, so I've also made an appointment for us to look into special orthotics for him.  Unfortunately, there was never a day where we could get all the appointments on one day.  So we have to make 3 different trips out of town to get it all done.  I'm not dreading it, I'm just not really looking forward to it.

A 2 hour drive one way to see our physicians...  not cool!  :(

What I'm working on

I don't know how it happened, but I offered to take 3 or 4 sessions this summer, and ended up with way more than that.  I also wanted to have them all done before September, but some of those got moved back... so I'm still working on pictures.  Thankfully, I'm just wrapping up, and working on editing the last 2 sessions.

I'm hoping to share a few of those later in the week.

Also... both of my boys have birthdays in November.  Jesse will turn 11 and Dan is turning 40.  So I need to be working on getting those planned out.  :)

What I'm excited about

Call me crazy, but I'm actually getting excited for the holidays.
I enjoy planning, so let the planning begin.  :)

What I'm watching/reading

The only thing that I've been watching lately is football.  My boys are in a fantasy football league, so they need to watch and keep up with all of the games.  I'm not sure which one of my boys enjoys it more.

As for reading... I've been spending a lot of time in 1 Thessalonians for my bible study.

What I'm listening to

I just bought Rising Up In Me, by Ryan Corn on iTunes.  It's a new favorite.

What I'm wearing

I've been wearing the heck out of my North Face vests.  And my warm fuzzy socks.  This girl likes to be warm.!  I wanted to get a picture of me wearing one of them for this post, but I prefer being behind the camera instead of in front of it.  ;)

What I'm doing this weekend

We plan on watching our high school girls play in their volleyball divisional tournament and maybe the high school football game.  We bought a family pass this year, so we've been trying to make quite a bit of the games.
Also, Jesse competed in the Hoop Shoot competition and won for the boys in his age group.  He'll be competing on Sunday afternoon for the next level.   I don't fully understand it all, but he told me that if he makes it to the National level that we would go to Boston.  Umm... that boy of mine better be practicing.  Haha!  :)

What I'm looking forward to next month

All the Christmas preparations!  No, it's never too early!
   Isn't this sign the cutest?!  I can't wait to get back on Etsy and see what else they have.

What else is new

Well these are... and they are even cuter in person.
I've been eyeing them, and finally decided to just get them.  There is also a pair of leopard ones, that were just as cute, but I held myself back.

My favorite Thanksgiving recipe

Hmm, besides having the traditional foods like turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and stuffing...
I'd probably have to pick good old coleslaw.  My grandma used to make it all the time, and it's a family favorite.  Whether it's Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, you can be sure coleslaw will be on the table.  We don't use a lot of recipe's in my family. They just kind of make things by sight and taste.  When you ask how much of something they put in, they usually show you and say, "Oh, about this much."  But over the years, we have tried to write down about what the recipe is, and this is what we've ended up with...

2 cups mayonnaise
3-5 tbs. apple cider vinegar
2-3 tab sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Mix it together and pour it over a bowl of finely chopped cabbage... done.

Well, that's it for my wrap up of October. 

 I hope you guys are having a great week so far.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Life's Changing Seasons

Lately, I've been confused when it comes to my blog.  My family has grown and changed since I first started writing here years ago.  Which means my blog is changing with them, and I'm not sure how that is supposed to look.

When they were little, I'd write about the silly things they'd say and do.  I would take pictures of them through out the day, being their cute little selves and share about the things we were up to.

Now that my kids are getting older, there is still things that I can share that we've been doing.  But for the most part, they are at school all day, and then when they get home, they grab a snack and hit the couch to watch some TV and unwind before we have dinner and get ready for the next day.  It's not always picture worthy.  

I also don't want for my blog to ever come across to people, that everything is always perfect, because I don't post the ugly.  I wanna keep it real, but I also want to respect my kids privacy and I know that whatever struggles I have with them, or they have personally, they wouldn't want me sharing.

The other day, I clicked back on some of my posts from last year.  As I'm reading through, all I could think about was how glad I am to have those days documented.  I remembered again why I started this blog.  At some point I want to take the pages of my blog and put them into a book.  One that I can read back through, years from now, and remember these moments.  My hope is that someday my kids and grand kids can read through it, when they themselves are parents.  That they would know me a little better through it, and maybe relate a bit as well.

What does this mean for my blog?  I don't know.  I don't know whether to keep it going, take it private or start a whole new one.  Right now, I'm just rolling with it and seeing where it takes me.

The reason I'm even posting this, is to keep it real, and to give you a heads up in case I'm not posting as much as I used to.  I love this blogging world too much to walk away from it.  But at the moment, things are just changing and I'm trying to figure out where that puts me.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Favorites

The weekend is here, and it couldn't have come at a better time.  I'm tired and ready for a little down time.

Last Thursday, I took Jesse into Missoula to buy his hunting license.  He is part of a new apprentice program, so he was able to get his license and hunt early. 

He had been practicing and was ready, so when we got home, he headed out hunting with his Mentor, and came home with a nice little buck.  He was excited, and I think a little proud.  I know, I was sure proud of him. 

 Gracie ended her volleyball season and started right back up into basketball.  No rest for the weary!  ;)  We missed her first game, because we went to watch Jesse's last soccer game.  We felt bad missing it, but we know that we'll be at a lot more of her games.  
I love this picture that my friend took of her out on the court.  Such a big girl now.

Jesse's team, ended up winning the soccer tournament for their age group.  I was so excited for them.

Emma and I's selfie, after making a coffee run. #longdayatsoccer

 My family makes homemade sauerkraut, every other year.  This was the year to make it again.  You can't buy good sauerkraut like this.  I'm telling you, this is so good. 
  After it was finally ready, we met up and canned some of it at Mom's house.  Now we're set again for a while.  Our family keeps growing, so I'm not sure that this will last us 2 years this time.  I'd bet we'll be back to making more by next Fall.

We have another busy weekend at home, but I'm hoping it's also very productive.

I linked today's Friday Favorites, up with Andrea, Erika and Narci.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

33 Things about myself

Today I thought I'd share 33 random things about myself, now that I am of the ripe old age of 33.  If you've ever wanted to know more about me, here's your chance.  If you didn't want to know more about me, well then today's not your day.  ;) 

1.  Getting my socks wet makes me crabby.  It's one of my biggest pet peeves.

2.  I'm not a strong coffee drinker and I need lots of flavored creamer. 

3.  I dream of becoming a Christian fiction author.  I don't ever see it happening, but a girl needs
     a dream right?!

4.  Hawaii is my favorite place to visit.

5.  I hate being cold.  Hate it!!!  I ache all over when I'm cold... I'm such an old lady!  ;)

6.  My favorite part of watching football is the food. 

7.  I could drink iced tea all day long... every single day.  But only fresh tea, not the bottled kind.  

8.  I can watch, 'You've Got Mail' over and over and over.  It's a classic.

9.  Some days,  I wish we'd have had at least 1 more kid.  

10.  I am a middle child.  I have an older brother, an older sister and a little sister. 

11.  I am so ticklish that I could tickle my own feet.  Getting a pedicure is torture, but one I
       subject myself to anyways.

12.  I like to cook (most days) but I don't enjoy baking at all.

13.  I got baptized and asked Jesus into my heart when I was 10.

14.  When I'm tired or stressed, I take both hands and start rubbing my face.  It's genetic.  ;)

15.  Some days, I miss my kids being little.  But other days, I'm glad they are getting older.

16.  Good food is one of my love languages.

17.  I worry about what kind of a job I'll get someday when my kids are all old enough that I don't
       have to stay at home.  I've been a stay at home mom/ housewife since I was 19.  It's what I

18.  I love to read.  My favorite book is 'Redeeming Love', by Francine Rivers.  The 'Mark of the
       Lion' series by Francine Rivers is my favorite series.

19.  Some days my eyes look blue and other days they look green.

20.  I've always wanted to adopt.

21.  I love fish, but I don't like seafood.  No crab, shrimp, or lobster for this girl.  I really want to
       like it.  I'm hoping to train myself to like it someday.

22.  Dan and I got engaged after dating for 4 months... I know!!!  Eek!  I can't imagine I'd handle
       it as well as my parents did, if my kids were to follow in our footsteps.  But we've made it 14
       years so far. 

23.  I am as blind as a bat.  Without contacts or glasses, I am completely helpless. 

24.  I'm also hard of hearing and I have been ever since I can remember.  It's also genetic... but
       lately it seems to be worse.  Dan goes back and forth between laughing at me saying,
      "what?" all the time, and being frustrated when I'm thinking he said one thing when he said
       something completely different.  See #17  ;)

25.  The ocean is my happy place.

26.  One of my favorite parts in the bible, is in the end of Job, around chapter 38.  I love reading
       where God is talking to Job and his friends and questioning them.  It's intense but somewhat
       comforting as well.  If you've never read it... read it!!! 

27.  Most days I'd pick something salty to eat over something sweet.

28.  I love horseback riding, but even after all this time, I still get a bit nervous.  Not of the horse
       but of getting hurt.

29.  As much as I whine occasionally about living so far from good restaurants or shopping, I'm a
       country girl through and through.  I wouldn't survive living in the city, but it might make for
       some good blogging.  Haha! 

30.  I am awful at math.  Thank goodness for calculators.

31.  I would love to take a writing class someday.  If you read here often, I'm sure you
       understand why.  Haha!  ;)

32.  I love my husband and my kids and can't imagine my life without them.  They're my people.

33.  I am a true believer that less is more.  Too much stuff in our home and in our lives, makes
       me a little crazy. 

Whew!  I can't believe I was actually able to come up with 33 things.  If you stayed through to the end... bless you!  Well now that you know so much about me, tell me something about you!  :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Our last couple of days in Finland

Today is my last post about our trip to Sweden and Finland.  If you need to catch up you can read the first posts here, here and here.

On this day, we toured this old wooden church.  

Later in the day we headed to Helsinki to check into our hotel and head out to dinner.  We went to a restaurant that served a traditional Lappi dinner.  This was just the appetizer.  They had a platter for every four people.  This was ours.  The man that we were sitting with said this would have been served on special holidays, like Christmas.  
 Reindeer heart, liver and meat.  Little smoked fish.  Cheese spreads with different fish eggs that you rub on bread.  I want you all to know how brave I was.  I tried almost all of it, except for the liver.  I know people like liver, but liver is like the garbage disposal of the body, and I just didn't feel the need. 

The next morning, the safari was finished and Dan and I were back on our own.  We walked around and took in all the sights.

 Helsinki is very different from Stockholm, but I loved it just as much.  We both said we enjoyed Helsinki more than we thought we would.  We were there on Saturday and everyone was out on the town squares at the farmers markets.  So fun.  We were able to pick up a few souvenirs for the kids and for ourselves.

And I found a jelly roll!!!   I don't even know where jelly rolls are from.  But... my great grandmothers family was from Finland and she was the one who always made them when I was little.  I haven't had one since I was probably 10 years old.  So when we went, this was the top thing on my list to watch for.  My mom told me she didn't think I would find one over there, but I did!  And I took a picture to send to her.  There were two booths at the farmers market that had them, otherwise we never saw them anywhere else.  I may or may not have acted like a lunatic when we spotted them.  ;)

 I am so blessed, that this man of mine, puts up with me.  ;)

After the reindeer the night before and a whole week of trying new foods.  We decided it was time for some comfort food.  So we headed to Hard Rock Cafe. 
Chips and salsa with 3 mini margaritas.  Yum!!!

The next afternoon, we sat outside of our hotel and just relaxed while waiting for the taxi to come and take us to the airport.  The whole time we were in Helsinki, we kept saying that our hotel couldn't have been in a better location.  It was perfect.  If you're ever in Helsinki, I would definitely recommend staying at the GLO Hotel.  It is right in the middle of all the shopping and right next to the park.  Perfect!

Here is a map of all of the places that we traveled while over in Sweden and Finland.  We traveled a lot and got to see so much.  Over the 10 days, we stayed in 6 different hotels. 
It's kind of hard to see...  but you get the idea.

We had the best time on this trip.  But like I've said before, it's good to be home!  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Life Lately

Life has been busy and a tad all over the place lately.  I didn't mean to ignore the blog, it just kind of happened. 

Dan and I caught the kids cold, which kinda knocked us on our butts.  There were a couple of days where we just went into survival mode and only got done what we had to.  After that, I felt a bit behind and had been playing catch up.

This morning I feel like I may be coming down with another cold.  Boo!  So this morning, I've worked on trying to get as much checked off of my list as possible.  I've washed our bedding, and am working on finishing up the laundry.  I did my daily devotional and homework for my bible study. I've made a big pot of chili, so that I don't have to make dinner again for another couple of days.  What an awesome feeling that is!  

Later, I'm hoping to pay bills, and do a bit of organizing around the house.  Then tomorrow if I feel fine, I'm hoping to spend the day giving the house a good deep cleaning.  I'm also hoping to be back tomorrow to share the last couple days of our trip.  If it's not tomorrow, it will be soon.  I need to finish writing about it, before I forget it.  ;)

I'll be back soon!