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Monday, January 31, 2011


Jadon has been going to "therapy" for about a month now and I'm pleased to report we are making progress. He is eating carrots, broccoli, and green beans in very small quantity but w/o fighting and making a huge issue of it. Given I know he can do it, I'm definitely holding my ground and winning the battles we do have. Yeah for Mommy!!!

This morning when I went in to wake the girls, they were in the same bed (Addison's).  Kaylee said she was scared in her bed Addison protected her.  I think it was more out of fun, but it was cute.  It's been a long time since I've found them sleeping together.  Sometimes I wonder if they should each have their own room, but I am comforted knowing they are not alone in their rooms so this is what we have chosen to do.

As mentioned, we went to the park and I took lots of pics.  Here are a few and I'll post more in the coming days.  I love the 1st photo except my depth of field was too shallow everyone isn't in sharp focus.

The picture of Addison sitting in the field and everyone behind her is when she said, "I'm Tired of Walking..."
DSC_1767a  DSC_1817 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Whoo Hoo Pictures at the Park

We had BEAUTIFUL weather this weekend so we decided to take the kids to the park.  I was the happiest  "pretend" photographer mamma out there!!!  It was SOOOO nice to get pics of the kids away from the house and I've been editing all weekend.  Get ready!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A bit on Jadon

The golden child of the day, Jadon. Yes, I have to complain just a little bit it's been a really rough day. I've had record-breaking meltdowns from Cody, I've had a little sassy attitude from Kaylee, and I've had tears from Addison in her efforts to protect her toys from the others. All in all, I'm exhausted. If you read over the last sentence, I'm sure you'll notice Jadon's name is not mentioned.

A little bit about Jadon: he is still my most sensitive child and hates to be in trouble. As a result, he is usually in the least amount of trouble. Jadon is also my most affectionate telling me numerous times a day, “I love you mommy.” However, I have to say Kaylee rivals him on the affectionate quotient, but she doesn't mind being in trouble and has a little sass in her britches. Jadon is funny he has an obsession with looking at the back of books to see what other books are available, then he lets me know we need to get those books. Now, he's currently obsessed with the empty DVD cases. He studies the back of them and lets me know what other DVDs we need to purchase.

At bedtime the other night, I asked Jadon for a good night kiss. He informed me that he was all out of kisses, so I gave him a very sad pouty face and then he told me, “the kissing man just gave me some more kisses and you can have one.” He delivered a kiss as promised. When I asked for another kiss he said, “why don't we save it for tomorrow.”

Academically, Jadon is in the lead. I've been trying to teach the kids how to read at home and Jadon is blowing my mind with how quickly he picks things up. He was the first to learn his alphabet at a very young age utilizing a book with the ABCs and pictures. The other night I was teaching the kids the phrases “I see” and “I like.” The girls were being silly and guessing not paying enough attention to get it right. Jadon on the other hand was just acting silly. I honestly didn't think he was paying me any attention, so when he asked to play another game I told him not until you can tell me with these phrases say. I held up the phrases and he said “I see” followed up by “I like.” He knew exactly how to read those phrases and I honestly think it took him 2 seconds to learn it. He was acting silly because he was bored. I've since made things more complicated, but he loves learning. I think he will be my most academic and least artistic because coloring and art are not his things. When a school project is sent home I can always tell which project was Jadon's. In fact, I can tell which are project belongs to each child. Kaylee has the most embellished projects, followed by Addison, followed by Jadon's minimalistic approach.

When Jadon is in trouble and trying to get out of trouble, he likes to tell me “I love it when you smile mommy” and then he gives me a huge goofy smile which I have to say usually gets him out of trouble.

DSC_1674  Untitled-3 
DSC_1653  DSC_1704 

Friday 52 - Week Four "Soothing Repetition"

MCP 4/52 Soothing Repetition
f/2.2, 1/250, ISO3200 (ISO was high so ran Noiseware, did a simple B&W conversion and sharpened... very little editing on this one)

I had every intention of taking a picture specifically for this theme, but when I looked at this shot it just seemed to fit the bill.... so here it is AGAIN (sorry) in a clean b&w.  I see this image several times a day in our house (repetition) and it certainly soothes this little man.  I also thought the banister rails showed repetition.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Requirements in Car Safety

If it isn't hard enough getting 4 little ones into their car seats and buckled when all they really want to do is pull on Mom's seatbelt to see how far it will stretch or try to explore the forbidden area at the front of the car, I now am required to buckle in Jessie (or any other toy riding with us) to make sure they don't fall out of the car should we crash...

I must give credit to Addison for the new rule and I'm glad she is taking her car safety seriously, but 5... Really? Do I now have to buckle in FIVE????

Jessie (yes, the doll) looks pretty happy though.... (it's hard to see, but Jessie is wearing a seatbelt - she's a bit short for the shoulder belt.  Should I get her a car seat??)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Little Black & White

No time for words today... it has been a rough morning....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ever feel like you are bleeding money??

I can't believe it's almost February and time to pay another year's registration fees at the kids school. I'm continually amazed at just how expensive it is to send four little kids to school two mornings a week. If I didn't need the break so badly and if the kids didn't get so much out of it, I'd have to drop it due to the overwhelming expense. But, the kids do get a lot out of it and I do get that much needed break. I think the timing for registration kind of stinks though. After all we just finished up Christmas, we just paid our property taxes, and we are about to pay our federal income taxes. There was a time when I got refunds, but the past few years we've had to pay. Along with many other expenses lately, I feel like money is just rolling out the door.  At least it's providing additional motivation for me to cook (YUCK)!!  I'm going to the grocery store Thursday and plan to prepare some recipes sent to me by friends.

I have not yet convinced Jerry that we should homeschool the kids, so this time next year I'll be deciding where the kids attend kindergarten. There are so many factors to consider; expense, location, and schedule. Their current school goes through kindergarten, but the kindergarten program is only four hours a day. Compared to other kindergartens I've looked at, this is considered a short day. The other kindergartens generally have about a seven hour day which seems a bit long to me. From a cost perspective, the four hour day and seven hour day schools cost about the same. Personally, I think the four hour day is too short and the seven hour day is too long. But, I hate paying seven-hour prices for four hour days. So, at this point I just don't know what to do. Thankfully, I still have another year to decide. And thankfully, I still have another year to save as much as possible before embarking on the oh so expensive five day a week schedule.

Here I am moaning and groaning about preschool and kindergarden...  we still have college and weddings in our future...  YIKES!!!!

On another note, I loved the storyboard used in my recent posts, but learned that when I turn the blog into a book which I do every year as a keepsake, the board is considered one picture and thus multiple photos are sharing the space meant for one photo (hence they are VERY SMALL)....  so, I've learned how to place photos side by side on the blog to try and solve this problem yet keep a storyboard feel....
DSC_1624a  DSC_1641a 

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Heart "Innocent Wonder"

She Still Believes in Fairies & Unicorns

I love this picture of Kaylee.  It was just a candid shot of her taken in her room while getting the kids ready for bed.  Visit I Heart Faces for all the other fantastic Innocent Wonder photos.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Friday 52 - Week Three "Shades of Grey"

f/3.2, 1/250, ISO 320.  Heavily edited with MCP Magic Dark/Light to enhance Cody and minimize the triplets.  Also used Florabella London with reduced opacity and masking over Cody to remove effect.

This is my favorite picture of the week and while not totally grey, sepia, or black & white, I do love the muted grey colors behind Cody and the fact that he is the only one lit.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Shutter Love Tints

This weeks theme at Shutter Love Tuesday is Tints, so I chose this photo of Cody from the bathtub play pictures I took earlier this week and added a rose tint and soft rose vignette.  Check out all the other awesome shots at Trendy Treehouse.


A Few Goings On

Well it seems like we have quite a few things going on here. 

First, Cody has gotten sick. He has had a cough for the last few days, but it wasn't until yesterday afternoon that it started to disturb his sleep. Yesterday afternoon, after sleeping about 30 to 45 min. he woke up crying. Unfortunately, I was unable to get him back down. So, I took him downstairs and he got in bed with me and we rested. During the night last night, he woke up several times coughing and with a slight fever. We gave him some Tylenol and he did okay the rest of the night. Unfortunately, this morning he was not able to go to school.

As I mentioned in an earlier post,  Jadon is not a very good eater. I took him to a therapy evaluation a couple weeks ago, the therapist decided it was not a muscle tone issue but an aversion to certain textures and a very strong will. So now, every Monday morning we go to therapy. Ms. Caroline, is working with Jadon trying to get him to try new foods. We are starting out with carrots and I'm so happy to say that he is eating them for Ms. Caroline. But, for some reason he's just not as willing to eat them for me. I guess that's to be expected, but he's not getting away with as much at the dinner table anymore. I'll keep you updated as to how this goes, but I'm hoping it goes very well given Jerry is pretty reluctant to the whole process.   He is convinced that I'm wasting my time, but I guess only time will tell and I'm looking for any help I can get.

 Finally, I got the itch to photograph things other than reluctant children. So, I forced Jerry in front of the camera the other day. I have to say it was nice to have somebody holding still in front of the camera, but I was unable to elicit a smile... It was more of a "Plleaase get me outta here look."  Even though he was reluctant, and even though he refused to smile,  I think it still made for a nice picture.  (Did I mention, I love this guy??... With all my heart).


Monday, January 17, 2011

Rub A Dub Dub... 4 Babes in a tub

Friday morning, we washed Cody's "doggie" and gave it to him before his nap... that was the last I saw it the rest of the day.  Before bed, we looked and looked, but finally had to give up.  Cody woke several times throughout the evening and once during the night due to the missing doggie, so I was determined to find it on Saturday.  We spent the day at the boat show, so when we returned, the hunt began.  

A big surprise was promised if the doggie was found.  After much searching, Kaylee found doggie hiding in a drawer (a drawer Jerry and I both had checked several times, but it was pushed back far enough that we missed it).

Oh no, now we need a surprise.  I had purchased Pochahontis and put it back for a special occasion.  Now seemed the time.  We pulled out ice cream sandwiches, let the kids bathe in Mommy & Daddy's tub, and then we all curled up for a movie.  

That night, Cody slept without a noise... he had doggie back...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Birthday Cake Diving


As I mentioned in a previous post, Addison took a dive (or was pushed...) into her Daddy's birthday cake shortly after blowing out the candles.  I finally got around to looking at the pictures my Dad took and wanted to make sure these made it into the 2011 Blog book for the kids.

Friday 52 - Week Two Illustrate a song

MCP 2/52 "Beautiful Dreamer"
f/2.8, 1/250, ISO320. Sharpened in post processing with unsharp mask and high pass filters and of course used MCP's Eye Doctor (a favorite of mine by far).  I also reduced the saturation and added a light vignette.  Adjusted the curves to brighten the midtones and bring out Kaylee's skin.  Finally, I added a gradient map with a yellowy cream tone in Overlay 70%.


This week the theme is "Illustrate A Song."  I took this picture this week and thought Kaylee looked so sweet looking off, so I then chose the song Beautiful Dreamer written by Stephen Foster.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tea Time Rewards

My Dad got a carseat for Christmas so he could take one child at a time on a special day with PawPaw every now and then.  Jadon was the 1st to go a couple weeks ago and he had a BLAST!!!  He talked about it often and how it was boys only.

Yesterday, my Dad decided to take one of the girls and both girls have been wanting to go... how to decide???  I was going to have them pick a hand behind my back (one hand empty and one with a prize) and explained only one of them was going to get to go and the other would go next time.  You could see Kaylee REALLY wanted to go....  Addison jumped in sweetly and said, "I have an idea.  Why don't you let Kaylee go this time and I'll go next time."  What???  Are you sure???  She was sure and no tears were shed as Kaylee drove off in PawPaw's car.

To reward Addison's sweet gesture, she got additional teapot items to go with the teapot Grandma Barb got them for Christmas which has been a favorite gift.  This has alleviated some of the fighting and now they all have cups and saucers.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Give a Boy Bubbles

Give a boy bubbles and he'll give you a smile...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Photo Session... The Real Story

Ahhh yes, thought I'd share some of the truth behind yesterday's "photo session."  (Pay close attention to Cody in the middle)

No Pain, No Gain??  Please note, no children were actually injured in the making of this weeks I Heart Faces photo...  and like a true professional, I never stopped clicking and capturing the drama as it unfolded.

Ok, truth... Cody was sooo wound up and having soooo much fun... he actually just dove off the bed.  He was a bit shocked, cried only momentarily and then returned to hugs from the others.

Funny, somehow I have the song "No more monkey's jumping on the bed" going through my head???  Hhhhmmmm???

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Heart Smiles


Check out all the SMILES at I Heart Faces this week!!!

Jerry's 47

This weekend we celebrated Jerry's birthday with a trip to his favorite restaurant, cake, and a few presents. For the most part it was pretty low key and much to my surprise, the kids kept his gift a secret.  The highlight of the birthday however was Addison's dive or fall into the cake.  Yes, shortly after we sang Happy Birthday and the candles were blown out Jadon while vying for position next to the cake pushed Addison and she landed head 1st onto the cake.  I did manage to hold onto the cake thus saving it from landing on my parents beautiful carpet, but Addison was a mess and I pulled a few strands of hair  out of the cake prior to serving.  Ahhh, never a dull moment.  I haven't looked at the birthday pics yet (my parents took them, I didn't have my camera), but hope there are some of her to post...

Later that evening, the girls decided to fix my hair and worked for at least an hour brushing, adding rubber bands and bows.  They then insisted we take a picture which is below, but the photo didn't do the new style justice so I cropped most of it in order to include all the kids (I love Addison's expression).  Needless to say, when they went to bed...  I tried to remove all the bows and rubber bands... YIKES!!  I honestly thought some of it would have to be cut out..., but fortunately it was all removed with minimal loss of hair.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Trying Something New...52

I've signed up to do Project 52 with MCP Actions....  Yes, 52 photos a year/1 a week with weekly themes. This weeks theme is "Around the House" so I chose the fire truck which adorns the boys room...  
Week 01
 Thought I'd share some editing info on my MCP 52s for my fellow photography lovers...
f/4.0, 1/125 &  ISO720
MCP Color Finder (selectively used @ 12%)
Florabella London (32%)
Custom curve Adj
Sharpen & Vignette

Thursday, January 6, 2011

One Mom, Four Babies, and A Restaurant

Last night Jerry went to a basketball game since one of his brokers had tickets and he was past due on some work networking.  I love him because the 1st place he wants to be is home helping me, but I encouraged him to go for work and for a break from us.  We all need to get away from 24/7 kids and wife from time to time and he NEVER gets that break.

As a result, I was on my own.  I had recently purchased Mulan for the kids with the intent of giving it to them at a future date, when they had been extra good or when I needed it as a distraction for them.  Didn't realize the need would arise so soon.  When they woke from napping, we watched Mulan and then I thought I'd try taking them to dinner on my own, which I have never done.

I kinda thought, if I can give them 100% of my attention with games and conversation it would be ok... and it was.  We went to a local kid friendly spot. I ordered their favorite foods and we had a nice time.  It had it's challenges, but I managed.  When the food came, they all started making demands on me at once...  "I want mac & cheese."  "I want ketchup."  "I want a drink."  "I want I want I want".....   WHOA!!!!  Mommy can't take care of everyone at once.  Calm down and I will get to you.    Jadon, you 1st...  here is your Mac & Cheese."

After that, we ate and talked and our waitress (who know us well) was great and got everything out fast, including the check, so as soon as we finished eating......  we were OUTTA there before things went south.

The last picture of the toys my Mom and I thought was too cute.  The animals were meticulously placed all over the train set, from giant bugs to elephants and dinosaurs.

It's funny... below are Kaylee and Cody.  I have two kids with thin lips (Kaylee & Jadon) and two kids with full lips (Cody & Addison), but they all have beautiful little mouths just the way they are.

My Girls


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Alert the Media!! We Have A Winner!

I have successfully prepared TWO great dinners.  The 1st had a minor glitch, but I recovered with ease and the second I pulled off like a pro.  What did I prepare you might ask???

The 1st meal was cabbage rolls (my Mom's recipe) - the glitch? The rice was baked with the rolls rather than in the rolls, but delicious none the less and it even made it more kid friendly (if they didn't like the beef and cabbage, they could just eat the rice and sauce).

The 2nd fab meal was spaghetti pie (once again my fab mother's recipe)....  Delicioso Yum Yum Yum Yum (for all you Dora the Explorer lovers out there).

My Mom gave me this sign years ago....  Ha!!!  I'll be a spatula slinging gourmet before you know it!!!

New Years Day Play

New Years Day...

My parents offered to babysit, but not for dinner and not for a special event.  No they offered to babysit from noon until whenever to allow us to do whatever we wanted.  I honestly can't remember over the last 4 years being able to just go and do anything with Jerry.  We have gotten away for dinners, parties, or other commitments, but just free to shop, lunch, play.  Can I just say it was AWESOME!!!!

We went to lunch (a light lunch since we knew we would be out for dinner), then we hit several furniture stores trying to find a couple items for the house.  We drove to the square and got Jerry a pair of sunglasses (he recently had lasik) before heading off to a sports bar to let him watch some football and we just talked.  At dinner time we walked to a nearby restaurant and had a lovely dinner with the huge square Christmas tree outside the window.  When we left dinner we noticed they had the horse drawn carriage ride going, so we took a ride around the square before heading home.  It was LOVELY and wonderful spending time one on one with my husband.  THANKs MOM & DAD!!

Here is Kaylee sporting her NEW beloved pillow pet and fairy wings.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Some Time At The Park

We took the kids to the park the other day, so thought I'd share some pictures. I'm also doing a little experimenting with new photo sharing formats and tools.


I Heart This Face

Kaylee, Show me your brown eyes

The challenge at I Heart Faces this week... your best face photo from 2010.  My favorite is Kaylee in the tub showing me her brown eyes.  Have fun and of course check out all the incredible entries at I Heart Faces.  I'm #36 if you want to vote... no judges this week....