Saturday, September 06, 2014

Reflection from Dannika

Yes, you have seen this picture before, but it is still one of my favorites. Tonight we had to choose a picture to share with a Cystic Fibrosis Event called Corks and Kegs for CF. They are putting together a little slide show to show and promote the event and they wanted Dannika to tell others what Cystic Fibrosis was in her own words. Her words are too sweet and cute not to share. 

"It's a disease but you can't catch it form me. It's kind of like breathing through a straw. Most people have to take enzymes but I'm lucky and don't have to yet.  Sometimes I cough a lot and if I catch germs from someone it's harder for me to fight it and I end up in the hospital. Your mom has to have one half of the moon and your dad has to have the other part of the moon and if you have CF when you are born it means you got both halves of the moon. It's not so horrible to have CF. Some people say it is, but they just see it in a different way. If you have CF just now that God made you special and He doesn't make mistakes."                 Dannika - age 9

Football Team

I was honored to take pictures for Hamlin Varsity, Jr. High and 5-6th Grade football teams. Here is a little sneak peek at a few from each team. All proceeds from sports pictures goes to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I thank you for your support through your purchase of pictures. 

Attention Parents: I did take one horizontal picture of each child. Those are my FAVORITES, but unless you ordered a magnet, you will not get that pose. They don't work as well with composites and cards. If you would like to order any extras of the horizontal close up, feel free to contact me to do so. You can get a 5x7 or wallets or magnets. You can see a couple of the horizontal shots below. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back to School Changes

A few Sunday's ago our pastor's sermon really "spoke" to me. As we embark upon another school year some changes are being put in place for our family.

2 Timothy 2:22 -  Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

The journey we are on and the reason we are here upon the earth is NOT to follow culture and the world. Are we in the world or of the world? Are we attempting to change the world or are we walking hand in hand with it?

As a parent, we have been called upon to teach the ways of righteousness. Sometimes, we have forgotten the journey, but equipping our children is one of the most important things we can do. We do need to protect and shield them at times. We do need to guard them, teach them and mold them - more like Christ. All that we can do should turn them to faith. The world seeks every opportunity to get them to leave that faith. Now, what did this say to me?

A few weeks ago, we made the decision to keep our girls home this year, to homeschool. That word alone bring hair raising fear to many parents, and I will admit, it may bring a bit of that to me as well. I always rejoiced, secretly or not so secretly, that the kids were back in school, that my life was a little bit more of my own again, and I could breathe. However, this last year, that breathing became labored. I felt deep down a calling that meant we kept our children home to teach them. Not all members of our family felt the same way. This decision was not easy to come to, however, we are starting anew and trying it for 1/2 of the kids.

I want to be clear, this is a decision that we feel is best for us - for now. Will it be like this forever? Who knows. We are taking things one step at a time.

Curriculum - well, we decided to go with Freedom Project Education online school. This means the girls will have an actual teacher, and a virtual classroom and will interact by computer. Is it like a real classroom? No, but in a way, it may be better for our particular situation for now. I do not have to come up with my own curriculum, but we follow what they have set in place. They are common-core free. Yes, that is important to us. They are christian based. Yes, that is also important to us. Seeing God mentioned in a textbook is a wonderful thing. I will be responsible for homework and keeping them on-task. This may be more difficult for one child than the other.

Did something happen at the school to upset us? Absolutely not. Our boys are still there and will have wonderful years, I am sure. We will still be there for almost every sporting event and remain active in the school. Our girls both had amazing teachers last year and had wonderful years. This is a much deeper calling, not from superficial ideals.

I will tell you though, that Common Core and all it brings with it was certainly a contributing factor in our decision. I feel like my children were being "practiced upon." They were pawns in this large game brought on by federal government, millionaires, publishing companies and testing consortiums, and I felt helpless in the mess. As a parent, I don't want to stand by and watch it all go down. I don't think that it will all go away. I don't think that the changes are all good and they aren't for us.

We are looking forward this year to time to be together. Sometimes with adopted kiddos, it's very hard and not always healthy to send them away to be in the care of others for 8 hours a day, no matter how great those individuals are. I am hoping for a more "calm" environment to help aid in learning. I'm also looking forward to fewer germs, but we will see if this will make a difference. I'm looking forward to attending Wednesday night youth classes at church and not feeling guilty for how late we get home. I'm excited to learn some new things that you simply can't fit in when they are in school 8 hours and sports afterwards. We are getting some extra curriculars in that before would have exhausted us all.

So - here's to a different sort of back to school year, but one that we are hopeful for and looking forward to in different ways.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Good Stuff

Thought I'd blog something way exciting today. Bwahahahaha! I was looking at some of my favorite products and thought I would share just in case you all are looking for some goodies! 

Left to right: 
1. Rodan & Fields Unblemish Formula - I do believe I have tried them all now, but this is my old stand by that I really LOVE! I have my teenagers using it as well and does such a good job with clearing up those teenage blemishes - so what's my problem? My face still thinks it's a teenager!

2. Melaleuca Sheer Deoderant - Orchid Scent - This may not be any healthier for you than any other deodorant, but I have come to love the smell and it works for me! The other Melaleuca item I love is the MelaGel. You can seriously use it for most everything from bug bites to scrapes to weird rashes etc. It's my go to gel, but not for the hair!

3. Young Living Shampoo and conditioner in the green bottles in back AND the Thieves Aromabright Toothpaste. Of course I use Young Living Oils daily, but these are some of favorite "getting ready" products. The shampoo and conditioner I like is the Lavendar/Mint. I LOVE the mint in there. It's a tiny bit tingly and smells divine! The toothpaste, may take a brave soul to start using it, but once you use it for about a week, you will not go back. My teeth are white all on their own, no whitener needed, they get sooo clean feeling, and my dentist was way impressed, asking me what I was doing! If you are looking at Young Living and wondering if they are for you, I would love to have you sign up under me - yup, I get a few perks for that, so have to mention it.

4. Babycakes Simply Soap - this is one of those things I stumbled upon via an adoption Facebook friend. She makes hair products for my Destiny's hair and some bug spray and Ouchie Butter that we really love to use. The simply soap is GREAT in the shower. Smells fresh and clean and it's all natural - guess that's always good. I think it is -

5. Venus Embrace - just LOVE this razor. I used to just use Shaine's and wonder why there was nothing that shaved that smooth for women? I still don't really know why there is not. The Embrace seems to come pretty close though. I watched Dr. Oz and he informed his viewers that you should NOT share razors - so I went out and bought my own. I tried a few of the other Gillette ones for women with all the goopy softening and enhancing stuff - yuck! They are awesome for the first use and then - too goopy for me! 

Let me know your favorite go to products - fun stuff I tell you!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Baby Jonas and Family

This teeny weeny little one came for pictures last week and I must say, it "almost" made me want another little one at my house. He was simply precious. Thanks for sharing your best side with me Jonas. Sneek Peaks are a little late as it seems my family has been keeping me running in too many directions. I am finally finished editing and I gave you quite a few to peek at. Love them all! 

Myrtle Beach Vacation

A Myrtle Beach Sunrise is something one really must experience. The beauty of it breathtaking. Devan was for sure our beach bum, or should I say early riser. He was up for every sunrise and scavenging for seashells bright and early. I did manage to get in two of these sunrises - better than none! 

This view is one I really didn't ever get sick of. All these condos and the ferris wheel in the background was a welcome sight every morning. The actual Sky Wheel itself - a little bit scary! I'm not sure if Myrtle Beach is always windy, but it really was breezy for the entire week we were there. Well, stick us in a little box however many feet in the air with a bit of a breeze going through our enclosed capsule and Destiny and I were ready to bail. She did take it upon herself to push the emergency button after round four of the ride. I can say I did not really mind one bit. I don't like heights all that much. The rest of the family loved it all!! 

We learned a few of the beach rules during our stay too. The life guard sets up his or her set of chairs and umbrellas every morning bright and early, which Devan watched every morning. One must pay to rent these fancy beach chairs, which may be considered highway robbery, BUT… after a day we realized it may be worth it. No one is allowed to put up an umbrella in front of the rentable chairs and umbrellas. All public umbrellas must go behind, thus keeping the best view for the rented chairs. Cool. We did rent our chairs as we did NOT want to buy and haul home chairs and umbrellas. NO room with all six of us traveling for 26 hours. 

Now, we tried to find a vacation that the whole family would enjoy. The beach seemed perfect, and I think it really was even though the oldest was bored. How can you be bored at the beach? I don't know. I guess he is not the bask in the sun type of person… yet! And the youngest, well, the pool was her favorite. The sand was not so comfortable for her. She did put up with it a few hours. Bubbles helped a bit...

We had to go to one of the ALL YOU CAN EAT crab buffet places. NOT at all cheap. Food was pretty ok, if you want to stuff yourself full, which I did not. Crab legs were fun and the kids did enjoy it. This was the silly faced picture - oh boy. 

I wanted to share just one of the boogy boarding - and it was even Dyllan who I did capture in the ocean. I did not get to try this activity as I hurt my back the first night throwing Destiny in the pool. Not at all fun. For those who suffer back pain, I now feel your pain. Wow - it really knocks one down for the count. OUCH! I'm glad to report I am back to almost 100% again, and hopefully I will never experience that type of pain again. 

These last few pictures were of the fishermen who staked out their spot every morning right in front of the condo we stayed in. One morning a two foot shark was even caught, which Devan got to see. It's true, you snooze, you lose! And - they even had a shark attack two life guard stations down from where we were one day. We never did hear anything more about it, so hopefully it was nothing too awful, but still, the following day we stayed out of the water more that previous days. SHARKS - no thank you! 

So until next time, thank you Myrtle Beach for a wonderful vacation which I always appreciate more a few weeks upon arriving home. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lake Norden Lakers - 2014

Lake Norden Lakers - just a few pictures to share from our baseball pictures. We were a little later getting them taken this year. It just seems to have been a busy summer for everyone! My motto is always "Better Late Than Never!" This applies here as well. I have just placed the order, so all is well and I'm done editing for the night. Whew. That is always the best feeling in the world. Good thing, because I am tired! 

Just wanted to share an individual picture - love the eyes. 

Here was a sample team and individual picture on a composite. 

And these three just had to have some special friend shots. Love that these three girls play on the team and although I did not stay to watch the game, I'm guessing they are quite good. Girl power! 

I am hoping you all had a fun season and wishing you good luck in the state tournament, for those teams going on to play. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Marcia and Jake

I am so honored to show you just a quick peek at these two from last night's session. I just started some editing and these were from the first few we took. LOVE!!!! 

I seriously cannot wait for the wedding for these two. Marcia is a somewhat distant relative of mine - her mom is a cousin to my dad. She has been a constant source of hope, support, and understanding during Dannika's journey with Cystic Fibrosis, as she, herself, has CF. It is truly an honor for me to be able to capture this special day in her life. (…and Jake's too!!) Hope you enjoy these two peeks - I will keep plugging away. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Moeller Family

Talk about CUTE!! These girls rocked this photo session. I can't even believe how amazing they were. Great job little ladies. Hope you love them too!! We did sneak in a few of the whole family and mom and dad did great as well. It was a beautiful evening for some picture taking. 

Love this last one - not sure which is my favorite though. So hard to choose when they all were so good. Thanks for a fun time.