Santa Visit 2011

As some of you may know, my kids don’t have the best track record when it comes to visiting Santa.  It started in 2007 with a photo I can now laugh openly at, but I was mortified the day it was taken.  I fondly call it “Season’s Beatings”  Poor Santa…I hope Taylor didn’t do too much damage with her clothes hanger.


Taylor obviously didn’t hold any grudges and Santa seems to have recovered.  But Emma is noticeably absent from our 2008 photo.


In 2009, Aaron decided that he was too old for a photo with Santa and Taylor opted out, too…leaving Emma, who was more that happy to see Santa.


Last year we did not do the Santa thing, although Doug and Emma ran into him at the WalMarts and she was able to see him and disclose her lengthy Christmas list.  Unfortunately, we don’t have any photos. 

This year, we skipped the mall when we found out that Mr. C. was hanging out at out local American Legion.  Aaron opted out again, so we took the girls over to see him,


Emma was prepared and recited her letter (that she wrote with Doug and we sent out last week) to Santa.


Taylor was a little wary and only got close enough to get a candy cane.

I look back now and can’t believe how much I used to stress out about the Santa photo.  I’ve learned to enjoy the moment, horrendous or not and I am just thankful that we are happy, healthy and able to share this and every season with those we love.

Happy Holidays!

School Photos

People sometimes wonder why I pay money for school photos when I take so many photos myself.  There are a couple of reasons, really. 

1.) Continuity- I started having Aaron’s done when he was in kindergarten (before my interest in photography) and I wanted to continue the “tradition”.

2.) Ease- Sometimes my kids get sick of my sticking my camera in their faces.  Simple as that.  These the only photos I don’t have to worry about.

So, I shell out a crap ton of money for school photos.  The sad thing is that I get so geeked out about them.  Starting about 2 weeks (after picture day) I check the kids’ backpacks daily for their pictures and squeal with delight when I get them.

Unfortunately, I had a setback with Taylor’s pictures, so I am just getting them.  That’s the thing that stinks about letting someone else handle this stuff…mistakes can be made. 

Cliff notes version:  I sent in money on Taylor’s day only to have someone at the school (or the photographer) lose said money, only to find out the day before retakes.  I couldn’t find the outfit I had dressed her in on her original day, do I had to do something else.  Then, I get the photos and they are okay, except that she has glasses glare.

So, without further distraction, our 2011-2012 school photos:

Aaron – 7th grade



Taylor – 2nd grade



Emma – Kindergarten


All in all not too bad, right?  I kind of wish Taylor was smiling…but then again, she rarely smiles for school photos.  She almost looks a little mad.  Probably because the photographer wasn’t near as good as her mommy.  =)

Halloween 2011

Another Halloween has come and gone.  Emma is already geared up for next year.  I had to talk her out of counting down till next Halloween.  I told her starting on October first would be just fine.  Then she asked me how many days it was until October first.  It’s 335, in case you were wondering.  Hopefully I can get her interested in counting down to something a bit closer, like, say, Christmas, which is a mere 54 (yikes!) days away.

Anyhoodle,  we had a fun evening of trickin and treatin, all the kids had fun, even Aaron who didn’t dress up or trick or treat last year.  We told him he’d miss it, but apparently mom and dad are not as smart as an almost 12 year old.  We must  be as smart (or smarter!) than an almost 13 year old, because he admitted that maybe we were right (shocking!).  So Aaron trick or treated with friends and Doug and I went out with the girlies. 

Picture time!

Aaron wasn’t really a specific character.  He was just scary looking.


It’s a mask…I swear.

Miss Taylor made the perfect Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.


She totally rocked the ruby slippers.

As I posted yesterday, Emma was naughty and nice (half angel, half devil).


You have no idea how appropriate this costume is.

Some photos from our outing:


All three kiddos.









We had a great night!  All of us were so tired when we got home.  The kids were still kind of out of it this morning!  I always love Halloween, I can’t wait until next year!



Happy Halloween!  This is one of my favorite holidays!  I don’t like to dress up any more, but I love getting costumes for the kids.

I only have one kid picture to share for now, but I’ll have more tomorrow!


This is Emma at her school party this morning.  She’s half angel, half devil.  I’ve been saying that for years.


Campy Campersons

The weekend after the 4th of July, we finally got around to taking our new camper (known henceforth as The Rambler) out for a weekend of camping fun.


We went out to a campground that’s not too far from home.  My sister and her husband have a seasonal lot there and seeing how it was our first run with The Rambler, we figured it would be a good idea to be near someone who knew what the hell they were doing.  It’s a good thing we did, too, because we managed to leave the keys to The Rambler at home.  While we were able to get in, we were unable to get our hose and cords out of the locked compartments.  Luckily we were able to borrow spares from my brother in law.

It was pretty hot that weekend and I was glad we had air conditioning.  My sister invited my mom over on Saturday and we all just chilled and had fun.  There were some kids camping nearby and Emma hung out with them a lot.  We barely saw her most of Saturday!

I really enjoyed this trip.  The 2 times we camped last year I was dealing with the aftermath of my sprained ankles and didn’t get a chance to roam around and take photos.

I sure cured that this time!  I took lots of photos!


The Rambler





Doug and Emma



Kristi and Kenedi









Rob and Kenedi









Emma the Fish


Doug,  Aaron and Rob


The lake






Monarch Caterpillar





Emma is sad because it’s time to leave.

We had a great weekend!  Of course, it went by way too quickly, but I’m hoping  we’ll make it back out in the next couple of weeks.