Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I ♥ Faces - Oh So Silly

Silly, Silly girls.   I heart faces is silly this week.

Photo Challenge Submission

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Alex is 1!

You are walking all over the house.

You've even started running a bit.

You never stop moving.

You love playing with balls.

You've just started playing with trucks and trains.

Most of all you love throwing anything and everything on the floor.

You are constantly into everything.

You rarely sleep.

You still wake up several times a night ... although occasionally you will sleep through the night.

You are super silly.

You love to laugh.

You can be serious, too.

You say "yes" and "no" ... and repeat a few other things. 

You yell loudly when you don't get your way.

You throw fits, too.

You're just starting to figure out how to drink out a sippy cup.

You nurse frequently.

You eat pretty much everything and we haven't really found much that you don't like.

You love to eat whatever the big kids are eating.

You love to do whatever the big kids are doing.

You love being in the midst of the big kids.

You're my baby.

And now you're ONE!

Happy Birthday, Alex!!!  We love you!
12 months

I Will Carry You by Angie Smith

I first heard of Angie Smith several years ago when I was directed to her blog, Bring the Rain.   There, I read the inspiring words of Angie as she shared the story of her daughter's, Audrey Caroline,  devastating diagnosis.   At their 18 week ultrasound, Angie and Todd (singer of Selah fame) got the news that their daughter had kidney and heart problems that were incompatible with life.

I Will Carry You is the story of their pregnancy and the birth of their daughter, Audrey Caroline who survived for 2.5 hours.   Ultimately, it's the story of faith in God through extremely heartbreaking circumstances.  This book is encouraging and faith affirming.  Angie is upfront and honest about her struggles, yet through it all she has faith in Him.  Her faith is strong and unshakeable, and I guarantee you will be encouraged by it.

Her husband, Todd, wrote a chapter explaining his grieving and the differences between the way he and Angie grieve.  Also, Angie ends with a chapter on how to help your children through the grieving process, which is full of great information for anyone who is walking the path of loss.

Favorite Line:
"It is easy to be a believer when He gives you a miracle."

First Line:
"If there is one thing I have learned about raising daughters, it is this:  it is an unspoken law that if you are running late, you will not be able to find the sixth shoe."

Last Line:
"I am grateful that we approach miscarriage, stillborn, and infant death differently now and that there are so many resources for women who are trying to figure out how to navigate this path with their families."

Rating (5/5)

Books Read this year.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The book,Never Let Me Go , is billed as science fiction, but the science fiction aspect of the book is really just the background of the book.  This book is a lovely piece of literary fiction that follows three students through their lives and relationships.  It's shrouded in mystery, revealing bits and pieces of the truth of these students lives as we move through their years, ending in a complete picture.   It is written in a conversational tone and the narrator often meanders in and out of stories like she's remembering the past. To some this might be annoying, but I found it endearing.    Due to the nature of the story, revealing too much of the plot would spoil much of it.   I liked figuring out what was going on myself, and so I will give the same respect to you!  If you would like to know the plot ahead of time, then read below the line.  If not, then skip the section in between the lines!

Kathy, Ruth and Tommy are students at Hailsham.  As the story progresses we learn that they are clones, created solely as organ donors.  Through their donations, most serious diseases have been eradicated from society.   Hailsham is an innovative attempt to raise these clones with an education and a rich environment.  An attempt to prove that there is humanity in each of them.  It is a failure, as it is closed down by the end of the book.  But, for the short lives of the Hailsham students, it provides them with depth and meaning.  

Kathy is the narrator and is telling the story through her perspective.  She is a carer, someone who takes care of the donors before becoming a donor herself, and has been for a number of years.  Due to her success as a carer, she is allowed to choose her donors.  In this way, she is able to reunite with Ruth and Tommy.  The relationship between these three is complicated, like all relationships.  We are able to see their love, their hurts and forgiveness.  The book also shows that humanity is humanity.  We try to segregate groups from society, but inside we are all the same.  We all love, we all have hopes and dreams, we all have fears.

First Line - "My name is Kathy H."

Last Line - "I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be."

Rating - (4/5)

Wordless Wednesday - Ready for the Snow

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I ♥ Faces - Family Fun

This is a family picture from last year - and it remains one of my favorites.  I love the varied faces of the kids ... and I love Sarah with her hand over her face.  

Photo Challenge Submission

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Alex's First Birthday Party

Alex doesn't turn one until Thursday,  but we celebrated today with family.   After perusing Pinterest for ideas, I decided on a sock monkey theme.

Alex and his new sock monkey.

Big hugs!

The birthday banner I made.

Wall of photos ... all of our favorite photos of Alex from his first year.

The cake.  It didn't turn out quite as well as I was hoping.   The top was supposed to be a sock monkey's hat, but I don't think it quite looks like one.  Oh well.   It still tasted pretty good.

Jada trying to persuade Alex to open one of his presents.

He finally decides to dig in, LOL.

Trying to grab Blowing out his candle.

He didn't dive right into the cake.  We had to remove the fondant and break it up a bit to get him started.  He did eventually make a mess!

All of his month by month pictures are hanging behind him.

We enjoyed a fun afternoon and were thankful for all of our family able to make it ... and missed those who weren't able to be here!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ten on Ten

ten on ten button

Ten pictures ... in ten consecutive hours ... on the tenth.



Monday, January 9, 2012

I ♥ Faces - Best Face 2011

I love this capture of my two girls ... so young, so innocent, so beautiful.  They've both already grown up so much since this picture was taken in the early summer.   Time just keeps marching on.  I'm thankful for the young ladies they are becoming, but am even more thankful that I can forever hold them at this age through my camera lens.

i heart faces is featuring the Best Faces of 2011 this week.  I'm sure there will be some amazing entries.
: I Heart Faces Photo Challenge & Photography Tutorials

My Favorite Pictures - 2011

As I was looking through all my pictures last year to find an entry for the i heart faces challenge,  I found a number of pictures that I love from the last year ... some I actually love the photo itself, some I love because it brings back such great memories.  I finished my project 365 in September and have very few photos from the last 3 months of the year.  I've realized that I need to get back into trying to take a picture every day.   The memories are too good to miss!

Here are MY favorites.  I'm realizing as I spend more and more time pursuing my love of photography, that it is art.  As with any art, it is subjective.  What I love, someone else will look at and say, 'meh', and that's O.K.  These are the photos that have spoken to me this year:

I love this picture of all six of my kids.  This was taken during our staycation this past year.

I'll forever love this picture, too.  This was the first photo shoot of our completed family.   I'll never forget the fun we had piling up while the timer was beeping away at us to hurry ... in their excitement, Caleb and Jada may have been a little rambunctious and knocked the wind out of me, LOL.

My three beautiful girls.

Alex at 6 weeks.   This was the first shot I got of him that I loved.  He looks so little now, but I remember at the time thinking he was so big!

My three boys.  They're so handsome!

I love this picture.  It's probably one of my favorite actual photos of the year.

Alex, all serious and oh so cute at 2 months.

My two big girls looking so beautiful!

Alex and Sarah in their 4th of July garb.

This is another one of my favorites from this year.  I just love the kids' faces.  I couldn't have paid them to have this reaction!

DSC_0016The first and last picture of Alex with Papa Joe.  Sadly, Papa Joe passed away a few months later.  I'm thankful we got a picture of Alex with him before he did, even if it's not the best.

I don't know why I'm so drawn to this one, but for some reason I am.  I just love the feel it has.  And, it doesn't hurt that Alex is so darned cute!

All the kids, minus Sarah, my sister-in-law Kristen, and my two nieces at Miche Tavern.  This was just such a fun day.  The Tavern was great, and our visit to Monticello later in the day was too.  This picture will always bring me back to that day ... and I love the way they're posed!

My favorite shot of Jada on her sixth birthday.

I love this silhouette of my family (without me or the babies) fishing on the lake at my Grandma's.

Another silhouette from the same evening of my nephew, Malachi.

I love reflection pictures!  I love Alex's expression and that I also have my Mom, Dad and I in the shot as well.

Alex at 9 months.  His eyes are so blue in this picture.  I'm also partial to the 'look up' pose with little ones.

Caleb on his 11th birthday.  He's changed so much in the half a year since this was taken.  His face has completely changed and gotten longer.  This will always be the last picture of him as a little boy.  Makes me feel a little sad.

I love the look of adoration Rachel has in this picture.  I also love that the other kids are in the background just going about their business.

Rachel on her 8th birthday.

Josiah on his 9th birthday (a little out of order).

Sarah at her 2nd birthday.  What a fun year it has been with her!  She certainly has kept us all in stitches this year ... and possibly given us all a headache from her constant chatter, LOL.

This year also brought my introduction to my ipod touch and the instagram.  Although the quality, obviously, is less with these I love being able to capture life as it happens.  Here are a few of my favorite instagrams.

 1.   2.   3.   4.5.    6.7.

1.  Alex all bundled up for sleep.  This must have been taken in the few weeks that he took a pacifier.
2.  The three girls eating breakfast one morning.  I love this slice of life!
3.  Sarah 'holding' Alex.
4.  I love the girls' faces in this one.  We were waiting in the car and were just messing around.
5.  Sarah checking out lightening bugs.
6.  Sarah with colored pencils.
7.  The girls playing in the leaves.

2011 was a great year!   Looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us in 2012!


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