Thursday, December 09, 2010

An AMAZING Holiday Giveaway

Wow.  This is a huge holiday giveaway.  My boys would be way too excited if I won this for them.  LOL

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme
TodaysMama and GameStop  are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?
That they each will know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  In the end, nothing else matters.

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?
To be woken way too early by 6 eager children.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?
A huge new sewing studio, complete with all new sewing and cutting tables.  And a natural light photography space in said studio.  Oh, man, life would seem complete then.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
Baking, decorating the house, and singing Christmas caroles with the family.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?
Lots of board and card games.  We do the same with our kids today when we make the time.  Fun times!

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
All of the cookie and candy recipes we use are the same cookies and candies my mom always made.  Yummy!

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?
South, where it is warm.  I would seriously like to take the family to Mexico for Christmas.  Love the snow, but I could give it up for a week or two for some sunshine and warmth.

8. Check out GameStop and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?
Here are my top 3.
Xbox 360 250GB with Kinect
Kinect Joy Ride Game
Kinect Sports Game
Do I have to stop??  LOL  Lots more on the site we would love to own. 
Now, go check out TodaysMama so you can have a chance to win.


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Free Kitties For Sale

Three weeks ago we came home to three new beautiful kitties. Our 16 month old cat had her kittens while we were out of town. She had them in the corner of our bedroom. Yes, we now need to replace our carpet. Gracie has turned out to be an amazing mommy. She loves her kitties and is very devoted to them.

Today I put the kitties through their first photo shoot. They were NOT very cooperative. LOL I don't know what I was expecting. They can't really walk well yet. They are so shaky on their legs. But still, they moved around quicker than I could snap them. It was a stressful photo shoot to say the least.

If anyone would like a free Christmas kitty, please let us know. You must promise to love it and take very good care of it. These little guys are our babies. We love them so much. It is going to be so hard to give them away. :( Sniff sniff.

From left to right:
Hope, King George, and Mau.

Hope is our only girl and my favorite. She is so mellow and laid back, she sort of marches to her own drum. She looks just like her momma, only a little lighter in color.

George was the biggest and the most aggressive of the siblings when he was born. He loves to nurse and will push everyone else out of his way. He must look just like his daddy because he looks nothing like Gracie. Our boys love George.

This little guy is the loudest of the bunch. He is always making noise. We named him Mau because we think his momma has Egyptian Mau in her and he also Meows all the time. He is a mamma's boy. Oh, how we love him.


Hope you enjoyed seeing our babies. And if you would like a Christmas kitty and promise to love it as much as we do, please let us know. We would love to find good homes for these babies.
Thanks for looking,

Friday, August 06, 2010

Rock Your Camera 201: Lesson 1

I started a new photography workshop a few weeks ago.  I am loving it.  It is very challenging, but so full of amazing information.  I thought I would share a few of the pictures from the first lesson.

Here is what you get when trying to get a tired 12 month old to look at the camera.  She threw a huge fit!

And here is what you get when you give said 12 month old a Twinkie.

Mr. TurtleB  Yup, he is missing his two front teeth.

Dinty Moore swimming. 
And yes, I know I have blowouts along the pool edge.  Ack!  Guess I need to work on my composition.  My subjects were not very willing to help or hold still.

Wile E. Coyote pouting because she did not want her picture taken.  It cut into her swimming time.  ;)

Thanks for looking.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Oh, The Shame........

Well, after promising myself that I was going to blog regularly this year and keep my New Year resolutions, I have failed at both. Life just seems to get in the way and I get so easily distracted. What is that about me? I used to be so organized. Now I seem to spend more of my brain power trying to stay organized and yet it just doesn't ever come together. Hmmmm? Maybe the 6 children have something to do with it.

Anyway, I was thinking about my Project365 (failing there too) and my resolutions last night and I decided that I am not going to lie down and just fail. Whatever I get done towards them this year is going to be considered a success in my book. And I have gotten farther on all of them then if I hadn't made the resolutions. So, I will be proud of that.

From now on I am just going to jot down random things on this blog and not worry about it making sense. Really, who reads it besides me? And this is for my own record and memory anyway (which is quickly fading). So if you are reading this and are not me, hopefully it won't offend or bore you too much.

Today I have two goals. The first is to plan my weekend so that I get something accomplished. The second is to find and purchase an electric kettle. I am sick of almost getting burned by boiling water in the microwave to make tea or coffee while in the basement kitchen.  We don't have a stove down here, just upstairs in the main kitchen.  So I have to rely on the microwave while in the basement.  Since our home school room and my studio are in the basement, I spend quite a bit of time down here. This morning I pulled out the electric coffee maker and quickly remembered why I put it up in the high cupboard years ago. Yuck! I just can't live without my French press and for that I need boiling water. So I am off to find a safe, reliable, and not too ugly electric kettle for my basement kitchen.

First, here is my To Do List for the weekend.

1. Do all laundry. This is a daunting task as I have neglected it lately.
2. Iron, fold and stack fabric in my studio. Another daunting task, but I am slowing working through my huge stash and it will be so nice when it is all done!!  Luckily I washed it all already.
3. Finish cleaning off my embroidery and sewing desks.
4. Work on making a small garden spot in the brush area of our yard for Babs and I.
If I get even half of this done I will consider it a successful weekend. All of it would be AMAZING!

Chat later,

Sunday, March 07, 2010


I finished the last week of my photography workshop. It feels great, and yet sad, all at the same time. I am going to really miss the other ladies in the workshop. We built a bond over the past month. I am also going to miss all the amazing information and constructive criticism that was given to me.

The workshop was an awesome experience. As I lay in bed the night I turned in my last assignment, I realized that this dream of learning to shoot in manual was over 18 years old. I couldn't believe it when I did the math. It started before I even had my first digital camera. My husband's sister, Sola, inspired me the first summer I met her. She shot beautiful pictures in manual.  That started a seed of desire in me back then. I had forgotten how it all started until I lay there in bed. It's weird to think back and realized that it has been 18 years almost. I guess it really was time I finally learned how to shoot in manual.

Anyway, the following pictures are from my last assignment. This last lesson was all about composition and the "Rule of Thirds" (RoT). These are all of CC. I was trying to recreate a photo shoot done at a studio when she was 3 months old. I wanted to see if I could do as good of a job. I am pretty happy with the results and plan on having a canvas of at least one of these printed for our wall.

CC - 8 months old.

I think the one below is my favorite!

Thanks for taking a look.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Light, Wonderful Light

For week three of my photography workshop we were supposed to "find the light".  I am really fortunate to have some great windows and sliders in my house that let in lots of light.  Here is what I got.


Turtle B, Wile E. Coyote (cheesy smile), and Dinty Moore

What a nut Coyote is!

And my most favorite picture from the week is this one of Little Miss Coyote.  Her true personality is shinning through!

Thanks for letting me share.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Metering, Focusing and White Balance

I just submitted my lesson two assignment for my shooting in manual photography workshop.  I had such a hard time this week.  Lots of great information, but it took me a long time to figure it all out.  We learned when to use spot metering, how to read our histograms, we tried to find our camera's metering sweet spot, worked with using custom white balance, and different focusing modes.  My most favorite thing I learned though was how to use back button focusing (BBF).  I LOVE it!!  Wow, what a difference it makes.  BBF is my new BFF!  LOL  Here are a few shots of Little Miss Coyote, our very spirited and quick moving 2 year old.

This one was taken in our bay window. The light coming in is REALLY bright. I am struggling with taking pictures here. I know it might not be the most ideal spot, but I want to master it because my children love to sit there.
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/3.5
ISO Speed: 200
Spot Metering w/ Meter at 0.
CWB w/ grey card.
Focus was C-AF and BBF

This picture was taken in her bedroom. The walls are painted Pepto pink. The window is to the camera right. The shade was down (I should have opened it) and it was mid afternoon. I think it is underexposed. I didn't want to up my ISO because I thought they were looking a bit grainy.
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/2.2
ISO Speed: 1000
Spot Metering w/ Meter at +1/3.
CWB w/ grey card.
Focus was C-AF and BBF

And finally, my favorite picture.  This was taken in our family room. I love the light in this room. I was between her and the windows.  I actually got a lot of really good pictures here, but this one was my favorite though.
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/3.2
ISO Speed: 400
Evaluative Metering w/ Meter at +1/3.
CWB w/ grey card.
Focus was C-AF and BBF

Thanks for looking!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rocking My Camera

I started a photography course last week called Rocking Your Camera.  I'ts all about learning to shoot in manual mode.  I am LOVING it!  I got my DSLR almost 5 years ago and have been wanting to take a class.  I finally am.  I have learned so much in the past week. 

Here are my 4 pictures I submitted today for my first assignment.  They are straight out of the camera (SOOC) with absolutely no editing.  We had to keep our shutter speed at or over 1/125 for all of these and could only use natural light.  Oh, and we also had to use a prime lens, which Sveinn was sweet enough to let me purchase so I could take this class! 

1. Outside -  ss 1/1000,   f/2.5,  ISO 100  It's a tad underexposed because my camera was using the snow to meter.  We are learning this week how to fix that.  Woo hoo!

2. Window Light - ss 1/400,  f/2.0,  ISO 100 
The light was coming in a window directly in front of her and I was between her and the window. It was bright and she had a hard time not squinting.  I should have moved her back a bit and adjusted my settings to get my exposure right.

3. Inside (low light) - ss 1/125,  f/2.2,  ISO 1250
This was in our entry and there was a little bit of light coming in through a south facing sidelight, but for the most part it was pretty dark.  May be a tad underexposed and also shows a bit of noise because of the high ISO I had to use.

4.Choice - ss 1/125, f/2.0,  ISO 800
This was taken mid afternoon and the light was coming in the window from the left.  I love this one!

I'm pretty happy with how I did considering I have never shot in manual before.  Thanks for looking.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dirty Rice w/ Smoked Sausage

I was watching Food Network last week and they were making dirty rice with smoked sausage. It looked really good and I have always wanted to try dirty rice. What better time to try it than now since I have to try a new recipe every month because of my NY Resolution #3 anyway. So I asked Sveinn to stop at the grocery store on his way home from work to pick up what I needed. However, I forgot to check my pantry for rice. I knew that the last time I made rice I had a couple of bags still, but I had forgotten that Babs had made rice awhile ago. First mistake.

So I go about sautéing the sausage and veggie mixture and things are smelling yummy! Then I go to make the rice and I find that I don't have nearly enough rice to feed this hungry family of 8 (-1 infant). Ugh! I do have brown rice and decide to make that instead. Not a good idea because I never make brown rice correctly. For some reason it always turns out pasty for me. This time was no exception. So 45 minutes later the brown rice is done and looking kind of gross. I mix in the sausage and veggies (minus the green peppers because my family hates green peppers) with the rice and viola, my dirty rice dish is complete.

I am looking at this dish and I realize that not only is the rice a big glop of starch, but their is not nearly enough sausage in it to feed this big family. I should have had Sveinn pick up two packages. Oh well. Everyone did try the dish and most of them liked it. Some of the kids liked it a lot! Unfortunately, I don't think I will be making it again. I might try it one more time to see if it is better with white rice maybe. We will see.

Anyway, I did fulfill my resolution #3 goal for the month. I made something I have never made before. So I will count it as a success overall. :)

BTW, everyone was STARVING for breakfast in the morning. ;)

Here is the recipe for anyone that might be interested.

1 Medium Onion
1 Green Pepper (I skipped the GP because my family doesn't like it)
1 Clove of Garlic
2 Stalks Celery
1 Package of Smoked Sausage (I used 1 package of Hillshire Farm and wished I would have used 2)
1 Tbs Oil (I used EVOO)
1 cup Chicken Stock plus enough Chicken Stock to Substitute for the Water in the Rice
2 cups Rice (I used 4 for my big Family, thus the reason I should have used more Sausage)

Slice the sausage and chop the onion, green pepper, garlic and celery. Sauté all five of these ingredients in 1 Tbs of oil until browned. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and simmer on low heat. Meanwhile prepare the rice according to the package directions eliminating any butter or salt and substituting chicken stock for water. Once rice is done cooking and the liquid is gone from the meat and veggies, mix all items together and serve.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone!

So I decided to make 5 New Years Resolutions and keep track of them here on my blog.

Resolution #1 - Master a new foot on my sewing machine and/or serger each month. This month I am going to master my ruffler foot.

Resolution #2 - Read through the whole Old Testament.

Resolution #3 - Try one new recipe each month. I was going to try my mom's potato salad recipe for January, but I decided to make Dirty Rice w/ Smoked Sausage instead.

Resolution #4 - Take part in Project 365 for 2010. "Take a Photo a Day and See Your Life in a Whole New Way."
Resolution #5 - Destash the dozens of bins of kids clothes I have been holding onto. Goal to accomplish this: To create 10 listings a week in my eBay store.

So, how am I doing so far?

#1 - I pulled out my ruffler foot, printed off an e-Book that will help me learn how to use it, played around with it for a bit, but I haven't mastered it yet. I do plan on spending a lot more time on it this next week.  I have a dress I want to make for Wile E. Coyote that has loads of ruffles on it.  So that is motivation to figure this thing out.  I need to have the dress made by the end of the month for a contest I would like to enter. Fun fun fun!

#2 - I am still on Genesis. But hey, I am working at it. :)

#3 - Like I said above, I was going to make my mom's potato salad, but then I watched food network and someone made dirty rice with smoked sausage. It looked really good and sounded easy. I wish I would have tired my mom's potato salad instead. :(

#4 - I've taken a picture each day and am having a blast. I just need to get them all downloaded and posted on my Project 365 Blog.

#5 - I've pulled out and set up my backdrop and lights for taking pictures. I also went through CC's closet and drawers, pulling out things she has grown out of. I pulled out bins of boy clothing that Turtle B. has grown out of also. I haven't actually found the time to start listing things, but I am working towards it and making progress.
One week down and 51 more to go.  So far I feel pretty good about what I have accomplished.  Especially considering last week being our first week back at home schooling after the break and also having 3 birthday's (Sveinn's, mine and Dinty Moore's) and our anniversary last week.

Thanks visiting.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Happy Birthday Brenton!

Dinty Moore turned 10 years old on January 6th.  It is so hard for me to believe that he is already 10 years old.  We didn't do anything special.  Dinty wanted to just stay home.  I think he knew that he was getting video games for presents. (Turtle B?  I knew I shouldn't have let him go to the store with me when I went shopping for presents!)  Anyway, the birthday boy wanted to be able to just hang out at home and play video games all night.  Sveinn stopped and picked up some Papa Murphy's pizzas on his way home for us to bake for dinner.  We all had a nice, relaxing evening in.  Dinty said it was the best birthday he ever had. 

Turtle B and Dinty Moore

More Games

Babs decorated the cake according to Dinty's directions.  She did pretty well for her first time.

Coyote, Dinty and Turtle.  Check out those expressions.  LOL

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Check Out These Adorable Buttons!

Tessa Ann of The Button Shop is giving away a set of her buttons on Amy Priddy's Blog (Priddy Creations).  These buttons are amazing.  They took my breath away.  Today is the last day to enter the contest, so hurry.

These are my favorites and below is the set she is giving away.  Arn't they beautiful!