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Monday, September 22, 2014

Our 37th Week ~ 2014

Had another great week!  We are getting into our routine now that the kids are back to school.  Wednesday night classes have started back up at church and are going well.  Had a couple more photo sessions, spent time with friends, went to open house at the boys' school, and celebrated Keira's birthday.  She's 16 now!  

This week is pretty much the same.  Except the kids have a day off of school on Friday.  I was hoping to go have some fun with them, but both boys are grounded right now.  {sigh}  It is tough being a mean mom.  :)

As always, I am still participating in Fat Mum Slim's photo a day challenge with Keira being my subject this month.  She is also helping with the photo ideas.  So this is what we came up with last week ...

{September 14: Healthy}
September 14: Healthy
Keira wasn't feeling all that healthy again today ... still fighting a cold ... so she stayed home and worked on her butterfly collage all day. It is due tomorrow, after all. Apparently she works better under pressure. I wouldn't know where she gets that trait from.  :)

{September 15: Remember}
September 15: Remember
In order to remember what she looked like when she was little, Keira occasionally pulls out her scrapbooks. This is one of my favorite spreads. She was about a year old in these photos.

{September 16: I don't like}
September 16: I don't like
Keira doesn't like emptying the dishwasher. It is one of her chores that she tends to put off. Which ended up being a good thing today because she hadn't emptied it yet until after I got home from a photo shoot tonight and I got to take this picture of her in action.

{September 17: Key}
September 17: Key
Keira was serenading me this afternoon with Lindsey Stirling's Master of Tides in the key of G. 

{September 18: Person}
September 18: Person
Keira is such a sweet, fun, joyful, and kind-hearted person. I really enjoy being in her company! 

{September 19: Even}
September 19: Even
Only two more days! (Two is an even number).  :)

{September 20: Beginning}
September 20: Beginning
We celebrated Keira's 16th birthday today!  This is what Keira's cake looked like at the beginning of her party. It didn't look nearly as pretty by the end.  :)  It tasted pretty darn good though!

So that's it from my neck of the woods!  Hope you have a fabulous week!

Linking with Tamar.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


She went from this ...

Keira baby
(hospital picture - scanned from print)

to this ...

Keira now

in the blink of an eye, it seems.

Happy sweet 16 to my beautiful daughter, Keira.  I am so proud of the young woman you are becoming.  You are going to do great things!

But remember, you will always be my little girl.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

This and That

My days have been filled with shooting, editing, and butterfly rearing lately.  God has really blessed me in those areas which has left little time for blogging.  But I thought I'd pop in for a moment to share a few pics.  Okay, maybe more than a few.  :)

August consisted of:

A lot of this ...

And this ...

And this ...
Monarch male

Monarch visitor


And lots of this ...
Mr. & Mrs. Cross

50th anniversary

Mr. & Mrs. Welmann


Noel family

Mr. & Mrs. Hadfield


And let's not forget my lovely assistant on several occasions ...
Lovely assistant

But August wasn't ALL work.  We did squeeze some family fun in too.

We spent a day at Idlewild.  Nick is missing from this pic because he refuses to ride the Loggin' Toboggin.  :)

farm show
We visited our local farm show and the kids rode some more.

Yellow Creek State Park
The kids and I visited a new-to-us state park.  We hiked and swam and explored.  It was a great day!

Keira and I finally donated our hair.  We each got 10 inches chopped off!
Hair donation - after

Hair donation - before/after - me

The kids went back to school on August 27.  I will share their back-to-school photos another time.  You're welcome.  :)

Then September came.  Which brought with it this beautiful baby girl ...

Baby Sydney

And these lovely teens ...
Kyle and Kamryn

And most recently, this polite young man ...

I have four more sessions scheduled this month.  On top of planning a 16th birthday party, helping with children's ministries, and PTO.  And let's not forget homework with the kids, the never-ending piles of laundry, keeping the house somewhat presentable, trying to spend at least 5 minutes here and there with my sweet husband, and making dinner most nights.  Why is it my kids think they need to eat supper every. single. day?!  

I think maybe I'll sleep next year.  :)

Despite all that, we are trying to squeeze in at least a little fun this month.

Alex was excited to be old enough for the Young Eagles plane rides this year.  He looks so small in that plane!
plane ride

The kids have next Friday off of school, so we are hoping for nice weather so we can do some more hiking/exploring at a nearby park.

We also had more of this ...
tagged Monarch
Let me know if you see her (or any of the others I have tagged - TLA 175 - 183 so far).

My last caterpillar got into its J form yesterday ...
Last cat

And went into chrysalis today - shortly after this handsome male emerged from his chrysalis.

I'm sad to see this year end, but it has been a remarkable year!  If the last four make it to adulthood, I will have raised 156 Monarchs this year!  WOW!  156 miracles happened right here in my office over the past 3 months!  Praise God!  Planning for an even better year next year, God willing!

Lastly, Keira is taking a photography/graphics art class this year as an elective (which makes this mama very happy) and needed to create a collage.  She chose to do a butterfly collage.
Keira's collage

Isn't it spectacular?!  All of the photos are mine except for the white dots around the edges.  Apparently I don't have any photos of white butterflies.  :)  The only requirement for the project was that she included at least one photo of herself.

The template was cut out using the Silhouette machine - each wing section is about 10 inches.  She cut each photo out and placed it all on a black foam board.  Once it was all stuck down, she cut around it with an exacto knife.  Needless to say her teacher was impressed.  :)

Well, I need to get back to editing.  I hope to blog more about each session and my Monarch journey this summer soon.  Hope you are having a great day!

Linking with Kim today ...

Little by Little

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dolphin Tale 2

UPDATE:  Giveaway now closed.  The winner is Lori!  Congratulations!!!  Your prize pack will be on its way to you soon!

I'm sure you've seen by now that a sequel to the fabulous Dolphin Tale movie is coming out.  In fact, it is in theaters TODAY!  I'm so excited to see this movie!  My family loved the first one and are anxiously waiting to see Dolphin Tale 2.

Here are some great links to check out regarding the movie:
Official Movie Website: http://www.dolphintale2.com
Twitter: @dolphintale

As a fun way to promote the new movie, I was sent a cool t-shirt and sunglasses.


If I had more time, I would have taken a picture of myself or one of my kids in said t-shirt and sunglasses.  But, alas, business has been very good lately, so extra things are not usually an option.

I wish I could tell you more about the movie, but we haven't seen it yet.  Make sure you watch the trailer!  And if you see the movie before I do, tell me how you liked it!  We are going to have to squeeze in some time to go see it soon.  There's nothing like watching a good, family movie on the big screen.  And this looks like a great movie!

For further promotion of the movie, I have been given a promo pack (t-shirt and sunglasses) to give away to one of my readers.  All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me the last movie you saw in the theater.  If you count drive-in theaters, the last movie I saw was Planes: Fire and Rescue.  It was teamed up with When the Game Stands Tall.  Both good movies.

Last day to comment is Thursday, September 18.  Winner will be drawn randomly and added to the top of this blog post on Friday, September 19.  I will also notify the winner by email so be sure your email shows up (none of these noreply@blogger things!).  Or indicate your email in your comment.

Thank you for hanging in there with me!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Our 36th Week ~ 2014

How it is that we are a week into September already?!  We are settling into our routines now that the kids are back to school.  I'm still editing my eyeballs out.  I have been so blessed lately with photo sessions, but oh the editing!  It doesn't look like things will slow down much either.  That is both good and bad, as you can imagine.

I am still participating in Fat Mum Slim's photo a day challenge on Facebook.  For September I decided it would be fun to include my daughter, Keira, in each photo in honor of her 16th birthday (gasp!) on September 21.  So here are last week's pics ...

{August 31: 10am}
August 31: 10am
Today at 10am I was watching this beautiful lady emerge from her chrysalis while I was getting ready for church. A few hours later when I released her, she was more than ready to fly but was gracious enough to allow me to take a couple photos first.  After releasing the 5 females that emerged today, we have successfully raised and released 125 Monarch butterflies so far this summer! With still more to go.

And that concludes August's Photo a Day challenge!

{September 1: In my cup}
September 1 Photo a Day: In my cup
Hey, how did she get in there?!  :)
(I wish the background were nicer but I've been messing with this idea long enough and this will have to do. Too much work awaiting me.)

{September 2: Stripes}
September 2 Photo a Day: Stripes
Vertical and horizontal. (I didn't ask her to wear stripes today. She did that all on her own.)

{September 3: Button}
September 3 Photo a day: Button
After a long and tiring day, both Keira and I were pretty uninspired with today's prompt. So this is all you get. Her with her Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, who both have buttons on their outfits. They were given to her by a sweet older lady who had "adopted" Keira as her granddaughter. 

{September 4: DIY}
September 4 Photo a Day: DIY
Keira is taking a photography/graphics arts class this year (which I love) and her first project is to create a photo collage. She decided to make a Monarch butterfly. She is just in the beginning stages - we have one part of a wing cut out with the Silhouette machine and a couple pictures printed to check the sizes. I can't wait to see the finished project!

{September 5: Upside down}
September 5 Photo a Day: Upside Down
You knew I would have to fit a Monarch photo in this month somehow, right? These two caterpillars were hanging upside down in the J forms getting ready to pupate. Keira was checking them out for me. 

{September 6: I need ... }
September 6 Photo a Day: I need ...
Keira says, "I need these boys to get out of my room and leave me alone! Mooooooooooom!"

Well, that's it for now.  Thanks for stopping by!  
Linking with Tamar:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our 33rd Week ~ 2014

This is going to be quick.  I have LOADS of editing to do.  Especially after having my computer go flaky on me Sunday morning.  I was able to have a friend fix it and I am back in business, but not having it for almost two whole days has put me even further behind than I already was.  :)  I have to admit that I am looking forward to the kids going back to school soon.  That way I won't have so many interruptions and distractions throughout the day.

Just a reminder - I am still participating in Fat Mum Slim's photo a day challenge.  I really enjoy having a prompt every day to try to interpret.  Here are last week's photos ...

{August 10: Art}
August 10: Art
The best art is made by the Creator's hands, not human hands.
I got to stop and visit my love, Slick, this evening. (Our neighbor's baby horse.) He's getting so big. He even came up to see me and let me feed and pet him, which absolutely made my day. He still has a blaze in the shape of an F on his face. All natural artwork.

{August 11: Mirror}
August 11: Mirror
When I was cleaning out one of my containers of Monarch caterpillars and giving them fresh food, I found these two snuggled up together on a stem. Looking like a mirror image.  (I think I shared this one before - maybe for Scavenger Hunt Sunday - but it fit this prompt and I hadn't shared it there yet).  :)

{August 12: Gather}
August 12: Gather
Had to head out today to gather some leaves for my hungry caterpillars. These big guys can really eat! 
We released two more butterflies today - both males. Still have LOTS of caterpillars, as you can see. Believe it or not, this is just a small sampling.

{August 13: Inside}
August 13: Inside
I love seeing the butterfly inside its chrysalis just before it emerges. Today we had two beauties joining us. Happy day!
Did you know that the chrysalides are actually clear and what you see is the caterpillar (then butterfly) inside? There have always been questions about the gold dots on the chrysalides. While they are still a mystery, I can tell you that they remain there after the butterflies emerge.

{August 14: Give}
August 14: Give
My friend, Reva, who also happens to be a relative, shared a photo of a ducky night light on her page last week. I instantly fell in love (yes, I am 5 years old :) ) and asked her if she would buy one for me and I would gladly pay her back. Instead she graciously offered to give one to me. It arrived yesterday from sunny Florida. Isn't it the cutest?  :)

{August 15: Clouds}
August 15: Clouds
Saw these lovely clouds the other evening while walking around our neighbor's property.

{August 16: Clean}
August 16: Clean
I was totally drawing a blank on this one until I stopped to fill the car up with gas and saw the car wash. So this is my $4 photo for the photo-a-day prompt. Hey, my car needed cleaned anyway.  :)

Linking with Tamar:

Have a great week!  I will be editing my eyeballs out!  And prepping for another wedding on Saturday!