Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Enjoying Life

Life is busy and good. I have been decorating the house for Christmas with LOTS of help from Willem! He covered his eyes today and said "I just LOVE Christmas!!! It brings me tears of JOY!" It sure is fun to have his excitement.
These crisp, wintry days are really nice and if it isn't too cold, I try to get Hazel outside in the morning. When she is irritable or a bit cranky it seems like it makes such a difference to just get her outside for a bit. Today we went for a walk/stroller ride and this afternoon she took a LONG nap. She is in a good mood a lot of the time, but last week we had a morning where she cried on and off for a couple of hours and really wanted to be in my arms. It is hard to get things done around the house when she is in these moods. But I do treasure the time when she cuddles up on my lap and wants to be snuggled or read to. Kids grow up too fast!
I am way behind on my photography blog, I have photographed several families over the past couple of weeks and haven't posted them. My photography is something I really enjoy and I hope I can just continue to learn and grow.
Every now and then Hazel and I pop in on Merit's classroom. Sometimes I bring him Subway or McDonalds when I am at the school to pick up Willem or other times I just have a little something to drop off... Merit's face the other day when I stopped in told me that my drop ins have been a bit too frequent. I imagined there HAVE to be other moms who pop in on a regular basis. And besides, I usually try to find good times like RIGHT before lunch or right at the end of the day. So I asked him last night "Do other kids' moms pop in?" He said, "No one stops by as often as you and Hazel do." I was surprised! And decided then  that my pop ins need to be less frequent. I try to be very respectful and try not to interrupt instruction... oh listen to me I could make a list of reasons WHY it is okay! :) I just need to give this growing, handsome third grader a little space.
I LOVE it that Willem just goes to school half days! One of my favorite times of the day is picking him up from kindergarten. His smile is so bright and I love to hear about his day.

I love going for walks on cold crisp days.
The scenery is beautiful.

Our Thanksgiving was really nice too.
Vic welcomed us all out to his place. The food was delicious and the company was great.

Hazel being read to by Grandpa Vic

Cousin fun
Emily, Luke, Willem and Merit!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I am so thankful for a warm, cozy home!!
Our house feels like home, it is full of my favorite people and lots
of fun and love.

It is sure feeling like winter!
We have had a light layer of snow a couple of different days.

 Vance and Merit watch LOTS of football! It is something
they really enjoy doing together. We also play quite a bit of football out in our yard. I am thankful these boys have so much fun together. I am also thankful
that they include Hazel in their fun, even FOOTBALL!

Willem and I went for a hike Sunday -- it was beautiful!!

This picture is so precious to me!  I am thankful for this little girl!

There is so much to be THANKFUL for!

Friday, November 18, 2011


It is already gone, but it sure was fun.
I loved watching these three play in the snow!
Yesterday was a 2 hour late start for Merit and no school for Willem -- it was so fun to get outside first thing in the morning and enjoy the SUNSHINE and SNOW!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Card making is so fun.
I just wish I knew what I was doing for our famiy Christmas picture/card.
I have all of these little projects I want to complete. Christmas
comes quickly! So I need to get started now.

When I was out spray painting these branches the other day I was totally thinking of my mom. I love the little DIY projects she tackled. We would talk about some of the fun shows on DIY too.
I have really been hit with a wave of missing my mom.
So many things remind me of her.
And sometimes these boys remind me so much of my brothers, Matt and Phil! There are times I think we should have named them
Matthew and Phillip because they are mistakenly called their names fairly often! :)
Lately, it has been fun to be on the hunt for Christmas goodies at the thrift stores.
I keep thinking of my mom while I am there and how she
could appreciate a great bargain. Hazel loves the thrift stores too. She enjoys looking for books there. Especially books about puppies and babies.
I photographed a mother/daughter a few weeks back. The daughter was about my age so just their relationship, maybe because of their ages, made me think of my mom. They asked me to photograph
them together with their head in a picture frame. It was so cute and they seemed to really appreciate
eachother. I almost cried while I snapped the picture.
If you have your mom, hold her close.

I saw a cool idea in a Do It Yourself magazine.
Spray paint bare branches white.
Then buy some little birds to clip or glue on. I got mine
2 for $1 at the Dollar Store.

I'll post a picture of the completed project.
The picture in the magazine showed the branches and birds hanging from the
ceiling, but I think I am going to put mine in a heavy duty vase or pot.

I ordered these stamp sets from my sister Natasha and
am crazy about them. She sells Close To My Heart, a very fun line
of card making, scrapbooking stuff.
Vance's hunting seems to give me more time for card making!  :)

I posted this BEFORE having my coffee!
I wonder how many errors are in my typing.
Have a great day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hazel's first haircut

Although I WISH Aunt Lissa could have cut it ;(
Hazel's first haircut was a fun experience.
She followed all of the stylist's instructions.
The stylist kept calling Hazel a princess which she LOVED.
She sat still and was happy to be sitting in the chair.
It was so cute.

yes, that is a juice mustache!
She had some of my red crystal light before the haircut.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Our weekend was fun. Watching Merit play basketball is exciting! I remember loving basketball as a kid and although I wasn't too into sports, I did enjoy basketball. Merit's team is so fun to watch and they are getting better and better. I love meeting the parents and Willem and Hazel make new friends.

I had a couple of photo shoots Saturday afternoon, church Sunday and then Vance's brother John and family came over. I love these cooler days. We had a big fire going Sunday. John and Katie pulled out a tree and a hedge so we burned that. I am wanting to sneak down to our cabin again for a little card making, but life is really full right now and getting that kind of time is a bit tricky.

Hazel is a poser. She is mostly sweet with a little bit of sass.

The big bros

We have been doing some fall cleaning. Merit's room is completely different and much more organized. I have Willem and Hazel helping me with projects now...

Back to work!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Last week I found this well used old orange dresser at Goodwill.
I liked the orange, but it was pretty scratched up. I decided to sand it and paint it blue.
What a fun makeover. The dresser was $5.99. I bought a couple of cans of spray paint and it looks pretty close to new! It stores books that our large bookcase
can't hold because it is full. And I was excited to use the dresser to showcase an apple picture that I took this fall.
A favorite thing of mine is enlarging photos and putting them on foam core board.

My sisters and I love thrifting together.
I have a few friends who enjoy looking for a second hand bargain too!
Last time Phil was in town he and Will joined me for some thrift store fun!
It is pretty cool when my younger bro likes thrifting too. And Willem is always
excited to hunt for a treasure.

I have been taking lots of pictures lately!
I have had some wonderful fall photo shoots. The weather
has been fantastic and the leaves and fall colors are so nice.
I have lots of my favorite shots on my photography blog.
Being able to photograph and visit with families is a treat. Some of them I know, some of them
I have never met. This hobby/business has been a great learning experience and a lot of fun.

Rudy is such a good old dog. She is thirteen. We have been spending lots of time outside lately and have also been having some fun in our cabin, Rudy is always right there with us. It has been good to see the relationship she and Hazel have formed too.