Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat

Another year, another bag full of candy!
David, Bren and I went
trick or treating
tonight with Bren's BFF, Miss K.
It was so much more enjoyable for her this year
because she had a buddy to
go with and a large neighborhood to
door knock.

We were out by 5:30 and home by 7:00
with a bag full of goodies to sort through.
David and I will,
of course,
need to make sure that the
reese's cups
are safe.
You know we do.
And so, another year will go in the books
and the snow princess will retire her wand
for the season.

You know, I would feel really guilty
about swiping some of Bren's
reese's cups
if it had not been for
a series of super steep hills
in our neighborhood!
Check out the view from the top of this one!
As I type this,
the sugar shock has definitely kicked in!
We allowed Bren to have three peices of candy tonight
and she's bouncing off the walls!
She and Miss K are practically trembling
with energy!
It's gonna be a long night!
I hope you and yours had a great one!

Tee Time!

We had the privilege of modeling

If you check the site out now,
Bren is on the front page!
That always makes us feel so honored!

Sheila, the owner/designer of
Baby Go Retro
is so talented!

She always comes up with the
funnest fabric combinations.

Her clothing is wearable and kid friendly.
Bren just loves Sheila's creations.

If you've got a little girl on your Christmas list
this year,
check out Sheila's site
for some very unique and
affordable designs
for fashionable little girls.

We love it when Sheila sends
samples our way because they
always inspire creativity in us.

She makes the kind of clothing
that causes me to know exactly where
I want to shoot them right out
of the box.

And that is fun stuff for a photographer!

Thanks Sheila,
for letting Bren be one of the faces
of your fabulous new lines!

And thanks Bren,
for letting mommy
snap away
after all these years
and for still having a great time
doing what you do!
You're the best sweetie!!

And thank you readers,
for letting me indulge in these
kid fashion/modeling post
every once in a while.
I hope you enjoy them!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Palooza!!!!

Today was the long awaited trip
to the pumpkin patch with Bren's class!!
As we were about to deboard the bus,
it was announced that
the farm was completely out of
all small and medium pumpkins
large pumpkins were growing scarce!
So our rule of
"don't bring home what
you cannot carry"
went out the window.
The new rule?
Grab the largest, most awkwardly shaped pumpkin
you can find,
call for your group mom to load it into
a wheel barrel
and then run all over the pumpkin patch
like crazed five year olds
while said adult
struggles on loose gravel to
navigate her over-loaded
demon possessed
wheel barrel
in the general direction of the bus!
Seeing 22 five year olds trying to fit 30 pound pumpkins
into target bags
(because they are perfect
for carrying the expected small pumpkins in!)
was a funny sight,
but not nearly as hysterical as it's going to be
watching mom's face at the bus stop
when Johnny proudly rolls the oversized
orange fruit
down the bus stairs!
"Surprise mom!
Look what I got at the pumpkin patch today!"

I had three sweet little girls in my group.
They had so much fun at the petting zoo,
the bounce house, the train ride and the hay ride!
It was a full morning of Fall fun!

Each child was allowed to pick a small gourd to bring home too!

As promised,
here are the results of our
pumpkin projects!
The polka dot ones are my favorite!
I got the idea from Better Homes and Gardens.
We just used an apple corer and mixed up the plugs
to create colorful dots!
Cool, huh?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Fabulous life of Mike.....

Because I can't bring myself to
purchase school photos,
I try to keep my kid's portraits updated.
So from time to time
I will take one or two of them out for
a photo shoot.
The boys are long overdue,
so yesterday was Michael's turn.
I have to drag Zach kicking and screaming
into the hair salon
before his turn....
don't hold your breath!

I am quite smitten with this child.
I have been ever since I was first blessed by
his chubby little cheeks
and striking blue eyes.

Sadly, this is the best representation
of my memory of him
when he was just a little guy.
I'm sure there are more photos that I could scan in,
but they are burried in bins
far too deep in the storage closet
for me to get to them quickly.

Here he is with his sister.
A bit older than that adorable little boy
who keeps running around in my memory
whenever I notice Michael's current height,
but still just as sweet!

Michael is a lover.
Can you tell?

I know I have commented before
on some of his finer qualities,
but I think there are a few that are worth
expounding upon.

Michael runs.
He runs FAST!
Last year Michael tried his hand at cross country for the first time.
He made it all the way to the State Meet and took 39th!
A few meets before State,
Michael had an altercation with another runner.
At the end of the race, the runners grab a number
according to the order in which the crossed the finish line.
Usually there is someone there handing them out as they see
the runners cross.
Michael and another runner were racing to the finish.
Michael beat him by about two strides,
but he ran past the number person.
When he went back to get his number,
the boy he beat had grabbed the number before Michael.
This put Michael in 5th instead of 4th.
Not really a big deal
except that where you finish over the course of
the cross country season determines your
consideration to run for the State Meet.
So where Michael placed was important to him.
Michael went to the boy and said,
"You know I beat you. Do the right thing, man."
The boy refused to give up his 4th place standing
and gathered up a group of team mates to support him.
There was a bit of back and forth arguing,
and other testosterone driven actions.
Michael kept his cool though
and over time
he got over the anger of feeling as if he'd been shorted.
The rivalry between him and this boy
continued to be heated
during subsequent races .
Flash forward to the State Meet.
This boy and Michael were both in it.
After Michael finished, he told us that
in the first few minutes of the race,
he was three or four runners behind
this boy.
He saw this boy trip and fall pretty badly.
Knowing Michael's spirit,
I asked him if he wanted to stop and help the kid.
He said,
"Oh mom, it killed me not to stop.
I thought about it the whole race.
I wanted to help him so bad,
but I saw that some parents standing along the race path had already
gotten to him ."
That is My Boy!

Michael also has the gift of comedy.
His hilarious sense of humor
brings so much laughter to our family!
We used to call him our little Jim Carey.

As I watch him grow into a young man,
I am increasingly proud of
his character,
his compassion,
his work ethic
and his determination.

He's always the first person to give me a hug,
the first to encourage, and
the first to notice the little things.

He's also the first to bring silliness to a whole new level!
His enthusiasm for the lighter side of life is contagious.
We are so blessed as a family to have Michael in our lives.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch!

We were finally able to plan a trip
to the Pumpkin Patch
on Saturday after Bren's soccer game.
(Where she scored two goals, I might add!)

Bren found two perfect pumpkins sized right for painting.
Today I'm going to get the paint and then we'll
paint those little guys tomorrow.

We had apple cider and kettle corn.
The smell of spice was in the air.
It was the perfect day for the pumpkin patch!!

We drive by this place on our way home from
Seattle or Everett or anytime we are coming from South of here.
I think it's so beautiful!
When we first moved here, we traveled down this road
that winds through cow pastures and old farms.
We were in separate cars so David could not gage my reaction.

He and Zach were seeing

broken down rusty cars in yards,

tires and old bikes strewn around garages

seemingly on the verge of collapse,

smelly, muddy pig pens with makeshift fences,

and dilapidated old farmhouses.

They were guessing that I was already in tears over having to live here!

Madison and I were seeing

barns with peeling paint that would make
awesome photo backdrops,

sweet little farms with sheep in the pasture,
open fields flanked by treed hills,

and lots and lots of green!

Isn't it funny how perspectives can be so different?!

We took a hay ride around the field.
Bren wasn't sure she wanted to board it,
but ended up having a great time!

This flag was in the center of the corn maze.
We are thinking of going back with the older kids and letting them
do the maze.
There were all kinds of "clues" to find along the maze
that were losely based on government since this is an election year.

We didn't spend very long in the pumpkin fields
since we'd already gotten our large pumpkins last week.
We stayed long enough to oooh and ahhh
over some of the more unique ones
and then headed back to the tractor to ride back to the barn.

Some of the more exotic farm animals........

Bren is almost four feet!!!
She's going to catch me sooner than I think!

I'm gathering the items we need today
to complete our pumpkin projects
and then tomorrow will be
pumpkin-palooza at our house!
The seeds will be a-flyin!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall Social Success!

The Snow Princess had a great time Friday night
at her school's Fall Social,

and so did her Mom and Dad!

We set up on the stage of the gym for a busy night of
mini photo sessions.

Here is my set-up.
I was really happy with the chestnut
paper backdrop.
It was perfect for showing off just about every color
of costume that was thrown at me
and had a warm Fallish feel to it.
The red stripe in that gigantic American Flag
proved to be a bit of a thorn in my side
because of a slight red cast it kept throwing
on my subjects,
but it's nothing a bit of editing won't cure.

Here is Bren letting me do a few test shots
before the party started.

And here's one of my test shots.
It's a little on the bright side,
but one of the only test shots I kept.
I had to do quite a bit of tweaking,
but in the end,
I found a lighting set up that worked consistently
with lots of different heights.
We were there for two and a half hours
and were busy the entire time!
I have alot of editing to do,
but once I get permission from some of my favorites
from the night,
I will put them on the blog!

Bren had a blast running around with her friends all night!
She did dances like
the hokey pokey
the chicken dance
the electric slide
head and shoulders, knees and toes.
She was so worn out by the time it was over!