Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Polar Express

I vowed that from Thanksgiving to Christmas this year, I'd make more time for fun with the kids. Last year's holidays just got away from us. So, to start off our holiday fun this year, we took a ride on the Polar Express. The kids were really excited for it!

My sister and Alan joined us (although in the next car).

Ayla enjoyed gazing out the window and relaying what she saw. This was one day where she talked a lot without a lot of sass. We had fun trying to watch for Santa and the North Pole.

The Polar Express provided complimentary hot chocolate and cookies. Obviously this little guy (our friends' nephew) enjoyed it!

Here is my small attempt at getting a picture of the kids together. It doesn't seem to happen much anymore. I know the fact that they were wearing jammies didn't thrill Ayden, but he still had a good time and let me snap a few shots. This was one day that it was perfectly acceptable to lounge around in jams all day. It was actually encouraged!

Next on the list of fun is attending the Wizard of Oz production with Ayvarie and her girlfriends. I might be looking forward to it more than the girls.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My little bean.

She's not so little anymore. Ayla is a full-blown, sassy, but super cute, three-year-old. She rarely sits for pictures, yet last Friday she let me take her outside for some shots. Nevermind that most turned out blurry because it was near-dark and she was jumping up and down. The few that I did get I immediately fell in love with. Here is my favorite from that mini-session.

The next day, we were waiting patiently for Levi to return from work (not expected on a Saturday) so we could go to town. Ayla agreed to a bath and then requested two braids and a barrette. She pranced around the house in her dress topped off with her jacket...because we anticipated leaving soon. I decided to pull out the camera again. Even though she said, "leave me alone", more than once, I still caught some cute expressions.

Here she was dressing the doll on our fridge. Well, she stopped to smile (but not at me).

Then she presented me with one of the most common expression she gives. I'm so glad I caught it with the camera. It has to be one of my favorites of her this year.

I am grateful I have pictures such as this. She has grown so much - even in the past month - and I want to remember my little bean as she is.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I checked out the Workspace schedule this fall and knew I wanted to take a class. Glass beads, jewelry, pottery, painting, or henna? Hmmm....henna. It's a different artform, informal, yet semi-formal. It lasts up to a couple of weeks, not a lifetime. That makes it appealing!

Last night was my first class. I learned to mix and apply henna as well as doodle like I did in any other class. In this class it was encouraged! Here is our first attempts at tattooing each other as well as ourselves.

My arm is the 3rd from the left and my artwork was applied to the arm, 2nd from the right. I can't wait to go back tonight and tattoo up my co-workers!!!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Ayden has been a booger when it comes to taking pictures and it's rare that I get a session with him. Knowing that today might be the last nice day this year (although I really hope not), I took him outside for some shots. There was another reason I wanted to get his pictures taken sooner than later...the middle school will be going through some extensive changes and I really like the existing exterior. Before they tear it up, I thought I'd preserve it in pictures. Here are a small portion from the session.

I love the old chairs!

Obviously I still like the old chairs...
Levi was tormenting Ayden a bit while I was shooting. These represent the love Ayden has for his father.

He's royalty!
...trying not to laugh.
Definitely a goofball...just like his father. Ayla will attest to that!

Monday, August 24, 2009

1st Day of School

It seems my kids enjoyed their first day at school. Unfortunately, they proceeded to have a couple of meltdowns...mainly the two-year-old...not long after they returned to the home base. Ayden is now in Middle School, which seems pretty crazy to me. I swear he grew five inches since this morning. With that, we are trying to devise a really cool plan for fall pictures with this being an important year for him. He's not usually keen on taking time out of his day to pay attention to my camera, but he's not declining!

Ayvarie had a wonderful end to her summer. In the middle of August, we attended the Jr. Olympics in Des Moines, where Ayv competed in tumbling, trampoline, and double-mini. She did great! A gold medal for double-mini and bronze medal for tumbling now adorn the top of her dresser. The best part of her involvement this year are the friendships she has made. Here she is with a few of her fellow X-Treme Team mates.

That same week, we stopped to visit some family at the hospital. The photographer side of me too advantage of the location, although it was definitely not planned. The furniture and lighting there was amazing! It proved to be a great setting, which allowed me with to capture some of my favorite pictures of Ayv that I have taken this year. I am anxious to receive her memory box, which I ordered this week with a couple of these pictures on the cover.

I managed to get a few updated shots of Levi, too...

It was a very busy and exciting summer for us. We are looking forward to fall and more fun times together (before the kids don't think Levi & I are cool anymore).

Friday, July 31, 2009

ISEK Camp 2009

Ayden looks forward to attending ISEK Camp during the summer and he designated this year's camp as his favorite of the three years he has attended. A camp-mate from last year joined him again and a camp counselor (although I'm not sure they're considered a "counselor") recognized him from previous years as well. It delighted Ay to see some familiar faces and participate in some new activities. What a great marketing job ISU Engineering is doing by offering these opportunities. Little do they know that my boy has taught me some things about ISU in the past two days that I didn't know...and I attended and now work there. Way to go ISEK for passing along some cool information!

What would this post be without photographic proof of Ayden's participation?

In honor of Ayden, they set up a grouping of "A" frames (aka: easels)...well, maybe they were there for another reason. I like to believe they're for Ayden.

Here's my boy with his solar car. He told me all about it...and he'll tell you, too, if you ask him.

I'll just throw a few in of Ayv while I'm at it. These were taken a few days ago when she dressed herself in a trendy little grouping. Maybe she'll attend ISU in Apparel, Educational Studies, and Hospitality Management someday.

My kids are growing up too fast!

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 2009 is the best!

I hope I never forget how lovely July 2009 was. These temperatures could stay year-round! It's been highs in the upper 70s and low 80s with a bit of rain here and there. Unfortunately, not hot enough to be too excited to head to the pool daily, but I'm okay with that...even if the kids aren't.

Tonight I was able to post two sessions and I pulled a few personal pictures from this past month into Photoshop for a little play. It feels like the most I've been able to accomplish in one sitting in a long time.

Although it's July and we should be outside, we found a bit of time to go through the closets. Ayla found a hat that was tucked away. I think she's pretty cute in it! She was making faces like a "silly goose" for me, too. Just ask her and she'll agree.

This past weekend was Zearing Days and I took my camera out with me. Ayvarie handed off the Little Miss Zearing Crown Friday night. Ayden played with his friends all day Saturday at the park with the kids' activities they had going on (he won a wrist band at the kids' dance that allowed him free entry on all the rides). Ayvarie performed her debut at the annual lip sync contest while Ayla simply hung out with us. By the way, Ayvarie already has plans for next year's entry. Watch out!

While downtown, I finally captured this sign painted on the side of the building down Center Street. I've been eyeing it since we moved here and hope to do more with it another day.

Then, on the way home, I stumbled across this great grouping of blooming things. Bugs were crawling on them, but they still looked pretty.

Here's some texture...
And here's a different texture...

The kids didn't want the weekend to end, and truthfully, I didn't either. We had a nice time with my parents at the parade and lunch on Saturday, then again at the antique tractor pulls on Sunday. Gotta love small-town festivities!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon

We made it to Amarillo and back. We've been back for a while and I still haven't had a chance to go through all of our pictures. I pulled a few to post on the blog for a quick update. These are all SOOC shots, but I like them just as they are...as natural as the land we were on.

Our visit to the canyon occurred on the last day of our stay in TX, so we only had a few hours to run around before heading over to my Aunt & Uncle's in OK for the evening. The kids could have stayed there all week, I'm sure. Ayden spotted a turkey, Levi had his eye on a bright green lizard not long after he had spied one screaming across the road in front of us, and we all had the chance to view some bugs we're not used to seeing. From the information we received, there is a variety of wildlife, spiders, and poisonous snakes present in the canyon. I followed the kids with the camera so I could soak in the sights (probably to no surprise) and we left just as a storm rolled in. You can see the clouds building in the pictures. A thunderstorm in the canyon would have been a great experience as it sure wasn't a treat to drive in. Ask Levi!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Busy month!

June is proving to be a busy month for us. It really started way back in May, which makes for a very busy year if this continues. Actually, it might have started in April!

Ayvarie had her dance recital Memorial Day weekend. It was adorable...Grease theme and all. Then, the first weekend of this month was the AAU State meet for trampoline and tumbling. She placed first in her flight for trampoline and third in the state in that event. We are so proud of her accomplishments this year. It's fun to look back and see how she was doing just a few months ago and how much she has improved. She will be competing at the USTA Nationals the end of this week, which should be a lot of fun!

In addition, Ayv started t-ball this year and Ayden is in baseball again. Games are nightly between the two, but I enjoy watching them.

Oh, and I'm still keeping very busy with photography. Sessions are tucked in here and there. The kids and I took a break one evening about a week ago to head outside and shoot. It was Ayvarie's request, and it yielded some pretty cool results of all three kiddos. Thanks to our neighborhood funeral home's garage out back. It is the best backdrop. See for yourself.

This is one of my favorite pics of Ayden.Ayla imitates Ayvarie regularly.We see this look regularly.This is proof we have a goofball on our hands. :)

I'm planning to take a lot of pictures down here this week (while still working on those I've taken). It'll be up to my finicky access if I'll be able to get them posted to the blog timely. Have a great week!