Category Archives: my life

Homemade photoletters: The Weekly Kids Co-op

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart. 

~Phyllis Theroux

 

How about creating something that will make not only your kiddos happy but someone else get a big great smile too!

I thought I’d share with you a photoletter that I came up with as I was preparing for a long road trip ( needing to find things for my kids to do while in the car) and it was my mom’s birthday.

It’s really a simple activity to do but I love that this activity is meant to be passed along and will hopefully bring joy to someone else.

And of course with me being a photographer, my activity includes photos.  I love how photos personalize things and make things that much more special.

So here’s what i did…

Needed supplies:

Some of your favorite pictures printed on regular 8 1/2x 11 paper using your colored printer.

One sheet of construction paper

glue stick

pen/marker or crayon (for a message)

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I basically picked some of my favorite pictures with the kids and their mama (that’s what my kids call my mom) and made wallet size prints using my colored printer and the 8 1/2 x 11 printer paper.

I like using Picasa because it makes printing really easy. I simply select/pin/hold the photos I want to print and then click on the printer icon on the bottom of the page and you come to the page where you’re given the options to make wallets, 4×6, 5x7s, 8x10s and full page prints.  So I click on the wallets layout and you’ll see something like this…

…6 photos (wallet size) on one page.

Depending on what your kids are able or not able to do, you can either pre-cut your photos or have your kids do it themselves. Since we were going on a roadtrip and I didn’t want to have lots of little pieces of scrap paper all about the car, I went ahead and pre-cut the photos and placed them inside an envelope with a sheet of construction paper, glue stick and pen/marker or crayon (optional).

The kids were basically instructed to glue as many of the photos they wanted onto the construction paper to make a card for their mama’s birthday.

Of course, some kids may end up gluing only one photo on the entire page or every single photo you give them; no matter what they do, I think it turns out awesome just because it’s made by their little hands and with love!

For the younger kids who have difficulty writing or don’t write at all, you can write a message either before or after they glue the pictures on.

So these photos are taken during our road trip when the kids opened their enveloped and started on their activity…

These next photos are from after our road trip just to show you how they turned out and what they’ll be doing with them.

This is my daughter’s photoletter…

My son’s…

I loved this part of my son’s letter where he drew a picture of himself having a conversation with someone…maybe his mama…not sure but anyway… I laughed out loud!

So with these photoletters you can fold them into 3rds, insert into an envelope…

stamp it and then put in your mailbox or drop off at your local post office (an additional extension to your activity)! =)

I know it’s seems rather simple but my kids loved looking at the pictures I printed for them and I loved that at the end of this activity, they had something to give as a gift of encouragement.

Hope you enjoyed our little activity!

For more wonderful activities to do with your kids or if you’d like to link up with a wonderful group of bloggers sharing their ideas, check out the Kids Co-op by clicking below (yes…the blue froggy)…

Until next time…

A Dreamer of the Day…

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. – T.E. Lawrence

My little buddy doesn’t always take a nap unless he’s really, really tired. This particular day he asked to go upstairs and said he needed a nap. After a little while I head upstairs to check on him.

I found him asleep and wearing his train engineering cap (he definitely wasn’t wearing it earlier).

I think he wanted to dream about trains! =)

Family Time: The Weekly Kid’s Co-op

I’ve joined a group of awesome bloggers who are coming together online to share their love for family! This group will be sharing their favorite family friendly, unique, fun and/or educational activities with you all in one spot called The Weekly Kids Co-op!  So basically, each week we’ll be getting together to share our favorite family friendly activity and we’ll also be asking YOU to share your favorites as well.  

If you’re like me, I’m always looking for great ideas, tips, tricks to help me in this crazy thing called “Life with Kids!”

So here’s my Weekly Kid’s Co-op activity for the week…

Family Time!

I know this isn’t a new concept or activity but we all need little reminders in life don’t we?

Well, this past week, my husband and I finally decided we needed to just spend some quality family time together.

My husband works all week and I am home with the kids all day…yes! ALL 3 kids! Well, except for two days per week where my daughter M&M goes to school and my little buddy goes 1 day per week; otherwise, I’m home with the kids.

Now you’d figure that being home with the kids most days would allow for me to have that quality time…well…not exactly.

Homeschooling requires time just as much as other things in my life and so honestly, it becomes one of the many things to do in my days… at least right now with a 10 month old crawling around at my feet! =)

So having quality time can easily be missed.  Especially what our kids consider quality time.

In my opinion, quality time is undivided attention. It’s time I can spend not being distracted by something else and just enjoying the moment for what it is!

We did that this past weekend with my kids.

My kids love bowling! I’m not sure why they love it so much when they’ve done it only a handful of times but they totally do. Funny what are kids LOVE right?

Anyway, we had such a great time!

We only bowled for 2 games (maybe an hour and a half total…2 at the most) and all of us had a blast!

Here are a few photos from our time together…

Quality time is hard to make happen! Believe me… I know! We get pushed and pulled in so many different directions but spending time where we aren’t distracted and can focus on our family is so important!

Do you make family time  a priority in your family? What do you like to do when you do spend that quality family time together?

Please do share, I would love to get more ideas of fun things to do together.

And one last thing…don’t forget to have your camera with you! As a photographer, I truly believe that every part of our life is beautiful and is camera worthy! I hope you take the time to express your life and love through your family this week and capture some of those to times to remember forever! =)

Well, I hope you enjoyed my post for this week’s  Weekly Kid’s Co-op .

Remember, this is The Kid’s Weekly Co-op so we’ll be back every week with great activities and ideas to share.  And if you have some to share as well, please join us!

Check out the other blogs participating int his week’s Kid’s Co-op below…

Until next time…

Let’s Lasso the Moon
Imprints from Tricia
Peanut Blossom
Nurture Store
All Things Ardithian!
Kid’s Cog Works
My Creative Family
Awesomely Awake
Carrots are Orange
Life & Love Expressed
My Adornables
Sky View
Small Types

Birthday cards

January just seemed to fly by! February is on warp speed.  And I just celebrated a birthday in February which brings me to the title of my post…”Birthday Cards”.

My favorite birthday cards always come from my kids. You can count on them making me either smile and melt or smile and laugh at loud! And this year, I both melted and laughed out loud. =)

My first card was handed to me by my little buddy.

“This is for you mommy! Happy Birthday!”  I immediately said thank you and held him on my lap as I proceeded to read the paper he handed to me.

It’s a card made from computer paper that’s usually found atop my printer. It’s folded in half.

Front page reads…

From: Your Buddy (with 2 stick figures…one taller and the other smaller)

I  open the card…

“I love you so much.”

Back of card…

To:Mom

Melt my heart! I gave him a big hug and he gave me the biggest smile! These are the moments that makes being a mom all worth it!

My daughter gave me a birthday card too.

Front of the card reads…

To: somewone special (Mommy)   Note: “somewone” is not a misspell.  She wrote it exactly as is! =)

From: M&M

smiley face =)

I open the card…

Happy Birthday Mommy your “20″ wow you look young to be “20”!!!! :)   And no, i’m not 20 but you get the picture! ;)

love, M&M

p.s.  You’re the best! 

I had a BIG smile and was laughing out loud inside!

That’s why I love homemade cards…you can’t buy this kind of love and laughs! =)

Do you love home made birthday cards as much as I do?

Well, I hope you enjoy “your day” this 2012 and I hope you get to enjoy some homemade birthday cards too!

Until next time…

Learning to love vegetables…

I think i’ve shared this before but one of my hopes for this year is to eat more healthy. My diet’s not terrible but it’s not great either.  I just know I can do better and one of the ways I’ve decided to improve is by eating more vegetables.   In my quest to do that, I’ve decided to try at least one new vegetable recipe a week hoping to learn to love vegetables while doing something I already love…taking pictures.

The first recipe I decided to try is Baba Ghanoush.   I decided on this recipe since i love dips (one of my favorites being hummus) and this recipe only called for 5 ingredients! I just love easy recipes! The star of this recipe is the eggplant.  Did you know…

::  Eggplant is a fruit;  actually, it’s botanically classified as a berry.
::  It’s native to India and
::  85% of all eggplants are produced in 5 countries (China, India, Turkey, Indonesia and Iraq)

So eggplant isn’t really a vegetable? Well, it’s botanically a fruit but culinary wise, it’s considered a vegetable since it isn’t sweet.  Anyway, I’m glad I can consider it a vegetable considering my title post. lol! Well, enough culinary knowledge…time to share some photos with you! =)

So I got all of my 5 ingredients together…

blog_babaganoushplate

turned my oven to broil and broiled the eggplant while turning it every 5 minutes for a total of 20 minutes.

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I let it cool for just a few minutes then peeled the skin back.  This was so easy to do since broiling made the flesh of the eggplant pull away from the skin.  I then just basically scooped the inside of the eggplant onto my cutting board.

blog_roastedeggplant

I decided to chop the eggplant as well as the other ingredients rather than put everything into the food processor. Of course, the food processor would have made everything super quick.  Chopping is just the more traditional version.

blog_choppedeggplant

I then combined all the ingredients into a bowl.

blog_babaganoush3

And voila!…

babaganoush1

It was all done and ready for me to eat!

Honestly, this was so easy to make.  I really loved the overall flavors but thought I could have used less garlic.    The next time, rather than 2 cloves I’ll probably be using only 1. Of course, I should have known, the first clove I chopped looked larger than normal and could have really counted for two.  Anyway, lesson relearned… You can always add more of something but you can’t take anything away.

blog_babaganoush2

If you’d like to try this recipe here it is…

Baba Ghanoush (from 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes Cookbook by Carol Gelles)

1 medium eggplant (1 pound)

1/4 cup lightly packed fresh parsley leaves

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (basically 1 lemon)

3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced*

*The actual recipe calls for 2 cloves but I modified this so you can add accordingly.

1.  Place whole eggplant on a grill or under a broiler. Cook, turning about every 5 minutes, until charred all over (about 20 minutes).

2. Cut the eggplant in half, scoop out the flesh, and discard the skin. Let cool.

3. Place the eggplant, parsley, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic in a food processor container fitted with a steel blade. Process until the parsley is finely chopped. Let stand at least one hour for the flavors to meld.

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With my first attempt being a bit more garlicky than  I’d like as a dip, I’m thinking it would be perfect in a Greek style hamburger. Hmmm…a burger with lettuce, tomatoes, few slices of thin red onions, this baba ghanoush spread on the bottom (or top) layer of the bun, and some feta? I’ll have to eventually try my crazy idea sometime. But that will have to be for another future post! =)

I hope you enjoyed this post! I’m really excited to share more of my journey into the world of vegetables through photos and recipes with you!

Until next time…

Changes and more photos of course!

If you’re a regular on my blog, you’ve probably noticed I’ve recently made a few changes! There’s been an addition here, a little subtraction there, and there will probably be a few more changes along the way.  Why?   I figure change is always good…or is it never good? Well, I’m hoping it’s good!  =)

Anyway,  I finally cleared the house of  everything Christmas this past weekend.  Yay!!!… for life moving in the right direction! =)

So before too much more changes take place and since I did use the word Christmas on this post, I thought I’d sneak in a few more photos from that December holiday shoot I shared with you on the post “A Christmas Extension”.

The shoot and kids were just so much fun I’d hate to miss sharing these with you…

Bye, bye Christmas!

Until next time…

A Christmas Extension

For some, Christmas has come and gone. I am fully aware that there are many who have already packed up the holiday ornaments soon after December 25th in preparations for the new year. I’m not so inclined to put the decorations away yet; in part because it wasn’t until a week and a half before Christmas that I finally got our tree up this year.  Anyway, our Christmas decorations are only a few of the pretty and tidy things I have around the house right now! Since going on vacation right after Christmas and having been back for only a couple of days, our house is currently under clean up from the annual tornado that hits our home sometime during the holidays.  And if you’ve already read my previous post, you know I’m working on  “BEING” in the moment and so I’m trying very hard not to succumb to the pressures I personally feel with having to get myself in some kind of order for the new year and that order points to having to get the Christmas decorations down and put away!

I know I’m not the only one who feels this pressure around this time of year.  Am I? My husband said to me earlier today, “We have to take the Christmas tree down today!” to which I immediately but calmly replied, “Why?”. He reminds me it’s January. January? What made January 1st (or even December 31st) as the day Christmas officially ends?

I just have to ask…Why are we so quick to put away the decorations? I’m sure there’s a possible number of reasons for the need to get the decorations out of the house.  Is it crazy to want to have the decorations up just for a little bit longer?

If you are one of those who’s already put the decorations away I hope this doesn’t bother you at all! I wish my life would allow for such organization at the moment!  There’s definitely nothing wrong with having your decorations put away.  I’m just wanting to say that there’s nothing wrong with having decorations up past January 1st ( probably an attempt at convincing myself that it’s okay that I have nothing put away).

So I’ve decided to allow myself a little Christmas extension.  I’ll eventually get those decorations down but for now, they’re still up in my house. And who knows…it may actually be a week or two before I can get them down. But I’ll get them down.  I am absolutely sure I’ll have all my decorations down before Valentines day! ;) Now if you happen to come over to my house next month and see cupid along side decorations on a tree…PLEASE help this girl out! lol! =)

Finally, on the topic of Christmas, here are a few photos from the north pole (a fun Christmas session I did in December)! =)

I’ll be sharing more from this session in the next post so check back soon!

Thanks for reading!