Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pumpkin Boy

Luke enjoyed watching the kids carve pumpkins. Lucky for him, I carved his. He did manage to "carve" up the lid a bit with his new teeth.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oh Lordy!

My little monster is at it again. I don't know how we get any school done with him around. He is into everything these days. This gate worked great for the other two kids at his age. It kept them off the stairs. Oh, but not Lukey. To him it is merely a small obsticle in his way to make it upstairs on his own. He easily works his way between the gate and the wall and considers himself home-free, only glancing over his shoulder to see if I'm onto him. And then of course if he does see me, he only speeds up as fast as he can, laughing all the way.

Yes, I have my hands full with this one. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Special Morning

One of our favorite ways to spend the morning in Oceanside is to walk down to the donut store and get breakfast to eat at the beach. A few weeks ago we did just that while my sister visited. We were also lucky enough to watch dolphins surfing in the waves and playing. I think one of my favorite shots of the morning, though, is the one of my mom and Luke sitting there on the rock. Luke taking it ALL in, and mom taking HIM all in. What lucky kids I have to have such a wonderful Nana! <3
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Angel Baby

So does this photo prove he really is a little angel baby? He really is just amazing!
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Monday, October 4, 2010

In the Kitchen

Much in the way of food happens when Aunt Dawn visits. There are the In & Out Burger visits that must occur, BJ's Pizza, and (lucky for me) Ruths Chris steakhouse. Of all these very happy food experiences, this one was one of my favorites this trip (well, not really, nothing could have been better than my date to Ruths Chris with my sister, ummm).

Watching my sister and mom in the kitchen while my older two kids came in and out and "helped" and I wrangled the little one, was really memorable. You see, my sister does nothing half way. It was decided that she should make cannelloni for a family dinner at our parents house. Of course this meant pesto from scratch, fresh made pasta, and kicked up sauce too. This was a four hour ordeal, and worth every minute. Going the extra yard and making fresh pasta makes this dish amazing. She does the same thing for her lasagna, which she made on her last trip out here. I had an extra dish of it stored in the freezer which I waited to eat until I missed her so, and then it was like having her here in the house again. She really is an amazing cook, which is just wasted on that island of hers (sorry Rich, but there are many more mouths in California to enjoy her cooking) :). Anyway, as my mom and sister worked away in the kitchen I ran in and out taste-testing and snapping photos, to which they never complained (thanks girls!!). There's just something about us Wilson's, we have so many memories in the kitchen we might as well have a few of them on film. Anyway, thanks for obliging!

My parents have a beautiful kitchen. They designed and built their house around it (I did say how we have so many memories in the kitchen, right?). It has a gorgeous view of the ocean. Yes, perfect indeed. Mom zipped up the pasta dough and pesto. Pasta is something that our family has been making for years. It's the easiest of recipes, just not so easy (or clean) to do with the littles running around, so I don't do it very often. In our family, it's kind of a right of passage to be the one to turn the handle on the pasta machine. Zach and Emma both took turns, while Nana patiently held the dough.

Dawn made the filling, mom made salad. Lots was happening in the kitchen that day. Perhaps a bottle of wine got opened???

Dawn (again, ever so patiently) rolled each cannelloni and let the kids take turns cutting the dough.

Here are the cannelloni in the pan (one of many pans) waiting for a drenching in yummy sauce.

And the finished product... So tender and cheesy and yummy. We did bring left-overs home and some did go into my freezer. Only, this time I could not wait and ate them the day after Aunt Dawny left. Yes, I love a good food memory!!

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Little Sand Time

This week we had a fun-filled fieldtrip to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. The subject was on tide pools and the kids really loved it. I loved that my sister met us there and seemed to enjoy herself just as much as I did. I love it when she visits us. I have always loved her very much, but I find after every visit I enjoy our time together even more.

After the field trip we decided to head to the beach to see the tide pools, but it was high tide so we were out of luck. I did take out my trusty phone and took a couple shots that will help remind me of the time we spent together that day. Ahhh, the seashore. Is there anything better?
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Friday, September 17, 2010

The Simple Woman's Day Book - 2

This may not happen every week, but it is a fun way to snapshot the goings on around here... (from the The Simple Woman's Day Book at

Outside my window
... The weather has shown small signs of change. A bit cooler (The A/C isn't going on until the afternoon) and a few trees are slowly changing color (as little as they do here in Southern California). I do love the fall and welcome the first day next week.

I am thinking... We are off to a pretty good start this school year. We are really enjoying our curriculum and getting it all done, although it is taking longer than usual with a 9 month old underfoot and teaching 2 grades.

I am thankful for... My sister who is flying in tomorrow. She tries to come home twice a year and we love her visits. She has lived in St. Thomas the past several years (insert *sigh*) and I miss her terribly, but I'm so proud of her individuality and the all-around person she has become.

From the learning room... The learning room is taking over our home, but maybe that is how it is suppose to be?? Learning really happens at all times and everywhere. Although it would be nice to eat at the dining table every now and then.

From the kitchen... Apples, Apples, Apples... we went apple picking last Sunday and I have made apple butter (for the first time) and a new recipe for a delicious apple cake so far with them. I also have some apple muffins on the brain. I made granola for the first time yesterday, and found a new breakfast favorite: Greek yogurt with apple butter and granola : ). Yum!

I am wearing... shorts and a nursing tank (easy access for said 9 month old, who is teething and wants momma 24/7).

I am creating... Spanish flashcards for our vocabulary words this week. I also helped the kids make the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria for school, which we sailed this morning. Man, would I love a scrapbook day, but these days have been more filled with school crafts than momma crafts. Fall is coming, so hopefully that will bring on knitting very soon : ).

I am going... to enjoy this whole day at home (I hope).

I am reading... A Charlotte Mason Companion, Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola. I guess I can't really say I'm reading it. It's more like, I open it to an interesting looking page and read until I get my first interruption (usually half a page) and set it back down.

I am hoping... I can get school back on track for the day after this little lunch break (ah-hem).

I am hearing... Two big kids playing happily with each other up in their rooms, and an absent baby who just went on a bank run with daddy.

Around the house... Still trying to organize school in a way that will make it easier to do. I also need to find a way to organize our photos before they make it into the scrapbooks. Another thing on the to-do list is to baby proof the downstairs better so we don't have as many interruptions while schooling to get the baby out of mischief.

One of my favorite things... Our current three day weekends with my husband. He has had a 10 hour a day/4 days a week work schedule for about a year, and we LOVE all the time that gives us with him. He works so hard for it and for us.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Organizing, playing with Aunt Dawny, meeting with my grandparents financial guru, spanish class/community center/library, dinner at my parents, celebrate the first day of fall...

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nature Study

I am so excited about our nature studies this year. I had started doing them randomly last year, but this year our curriculum has them scheduled in so I hope to be more regular at it. They are scheduled to be done at the end of the school day on Fridays so that you end your week enjoying our Father's World. This last week our Friday did not lend itself to nature study time, but on Sunday we more than made up for it. We drove up to Oak Glen to go apple picking, which is one of my favorite times of the year. While taking a break from our picking we laid a blanket under an apple tree and set the kids up with their nature notebooks and colored pencils. It was perfect! I just asked them to draw anything that they saw. Emma drew a beautiful apple tree. Zachary drew the view in the distance of the mountains and valley below. It really was an ideal moment in my week, and I hope to think of it often as things get trying this week. I think the Lord gives momma's times like these to get them through the rough days.

I was also excited to get to use my new book, Handbook of Nature Studies. There were several pages devoted to apple trees and I had the chance to read a bit to the kids on the way up the mountain. I see us using this book for reference for many years.

Maybe the best part of the day came when we arrived home. While driving into the driveway my wonderful husband commented on how glad he is that I am teaching our kids. He is my biggest support, and he has no idea how important it is for me to hear those word from him. Oh, I love him so :).
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Science Science Science

I have to admit that last year science got put on the back (Bunsen) burner, sort of speak. I could give several excuses, but none of them are very good, so I will spare you. I plan to do better this year.

With 4/5ths of the first week of second grade under our belt (ah-hem) we have done pretty well, and even have an experiment under our belts.

Emma's learning about leaves this week, so on our walk at the park last night we collected leaves and today made a book of leaf rubbings. My favorite part was getting to use our new book, Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock to identify the leaves. I can tell we are going to get a lot of use out of this huge amazing book.

Zach is learning the basics of what science is and what scientists do. We did an experiment today to see what would happen if you drop an egg in regular water, or in salt water. I won't ruin it for you. Either try it yourself, or some take a look at his new science notebook where he will be recording his experiments this year :-). I will tell you though, that Aunt Dawny says she floats rather well at that island she is on ;-).
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another Busy Day

We had another busy day today. It started with a visit with grandpa in the hospital. Three kids at the hospital for three hours. They were all so well behaved, I am such a proud mama. Most of the time when I need them to behave in situations like these, they do. The cutest part was the two older ones cheering on grandpa with the PT when they got him up to walk. Grandpa was actually discharged today, which is wonderful. Thankfully my cousin was able to come and take him home, which let us head home to complete our second day of 2nd grade. We also got through another day of K. The day was also full of diaper washing, lunches, homemade meatloaf and mashed potatoes, general baby wrangling, and etc,etc... I was blessed to be able to run out for the first homeschool mom's night out of the year tonight. I am always so encouraged by other moms that are walking this same path beside me.

Yes, it was another busy day in our Father's World. Although, my day ends with a smile as I get to end it with this little sleepy angel. Good night ;-)
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First Day of 2nd Grade

Today was the official start of 2nd grade in our home. Since it was Labor Day, Dan was home which gave me an extra set of hands to hold Luke so I could school with less interruptions. It went really well, and I know we are both going to enjoy this year (both Zach and I). We were able to do Emma's day of kindergarten too, which was incorporated easier than I thought. Now, as for tomorrow, I'm not sure if we will remain this lucky. Things run a lot easier without a babies "help", and Dan is back at work tomorrow. I know we are in for a challenging school year, but I am also confident that it will be full of God's blessings and very rewarding.

On another note, my grandpa fell early Sunday morning in his apartment at his assisted living facility. After the day in the ER we found out nothing was broken (praise the Lord), but his lungs were not clear and he had signs of infection. He is very battered and bruised from the fall, and at 84 years old, he just doesn't heal as quickly as he used to. Unfortunatley, we are finding that he has other very serious health complications that are now in the Lords hands. We are happy he is comfortable right now and he is in pretty good spirits (with the exception of wanting to go home). I am so blessed that my cousin, Christie, is such an amazing woman. Between her and I we are able to handle the coordination of his care and needs along with trying to keep him company. These are the times when you realize just how much family means.

I ask for prayer for my grandfather, that he remains comfortable and that he is able to heal quickly. I also ask for prayer for our families right now while taking this extra care for grandpa is something that is very close to our hearts, it also is a bit taxing on our families and on our normal schedules.

With the exception of my Papa Sam, who we lost just 2 short years ago, I am blessed to have all of my grandparents in my life. My life has been so enriched by these amazing Godly people. I have had nothing but love from them all my life. My husband, who never knew any of his grandparents, has adopted mine as his own. He really loves them all and is such a wonderful example to me of showing respect and love to those who have gone before us.

Yes, I am a very blessed woman indeed.
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Friday, September 3, 2010

2nd Grade? Really?

The end is in sight. The end of 1st grade that is. Zachary has one more day, and I plan on doing it tomorrow. We started 1st grade the begining of January, after having our third child the begining of December. We took a couple weeks off here and there, when we've needed it, but pretty much schooled right through summer. It has worked out very well. I was able to start Emma in kindergarten while still flowing through first with Zach. Now that Emma is starting to flow in kindergarten, I can concentrate on a new curriculum with Zach. The Lord has been so good to us. His timing is so perfect!

I am very excited to start 2nd grade with Zach. We are in love with our curriculum, My Father's World. This year we will be studying US History, the many names of Jesus, Singapore math, language arts, spelling by sound and structure, an art program called I Can Do All Things, music study, and a spanish class once a week with friends. I'm sure I am leaving something out. It is going to be a full year with all of this being new and teaching kindergarten too, all while keeping a baby happy. It really is amazing being able to stay home with my kids and be their teacher. Zachary has been a joy to watch grow and learn for over 7 years, and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to teach him at home.

Now, will someone just please tell me how these years are going by so quickly. How in the world can I be the mother of a boy in the 2nd grade?
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

5 Years

Zachary welcoming his sister home from the hospital

When I found out I was pregnant with a little girl, I honestly wondered what life would be like with a daughter. Zachary would be 2 years old when she was born. We were so in love with him. He had made us a "family". "Boy stuff" came easily to me (dirt, sand, trucks, bikes, ...) , Zachary was so laid back and easy going. What were we in for with a girl?

Emma at the BMX track for practice

Well, I had no idea. It was not as difficult to get used to as I thought. Emma Dawn came into this world quickly (and by "quickly" I mean, any faster and she would have been born in the hospital parking lot). Emma is an amazing little girl. She can be more of a girly girl that I have ever been one moment, then jump on her BMX bike and keep up with her big brother. She lives in a sort of a fantasy world, that I'm so privileged to get glimpses into. She is soft-hearted and kind. She has an amazing love for Jesus, and we were so lucky to get to hear her ask the Lord into her heart when she was three years old. She has taught me so much, and I'm sure my lessons are only beginning. Speaking of lessons, she has just started kindergarten a few weeks ago and she has been a joy to teach already. She so eagerly wants to learn and do well. Perhaps one of the best things about having a little girl is that I have gotten to watch my husbands heart grow even more. Oh, the love this girl has for her daddy is incredible!!

Buried in the sand at the beach

Mt. Laguna, modeling for the camera

I'm so happy to celebrate this day with her. Her 5th year of life. I am so blessed that the Lord sent her to us to raise for Him. She enriches my life so much. I am one lucky lady to be the mama of Emma Dawn.

My beautiful kindergartner on the 1st day of school

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

His Gummy Smile

I had to take a few photos today of my babes gummy smile because he just might wake up in the morning with a small pearly tooth. I can not say that I am looking forward to it. I love his little gums. It's a part of him that still says to me, "Yes, I am still your baby". I know he will always be my baby, but this is just another milestone in his growth, and I just don't want that "growth" happening too quickly. I would, however, like this uncomfortable time for him to be over. I just can't imagine the pain of cutting a tooth and then having a new sharp edge in your mouth to try and get used to. Awww yes, growing pains are hard on the babies and the mamas.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

This is a new idea I got from The Simple Woman at I think I will find it a fun way to snapshot what is going on in my life.


Outside my window... I am blessed to see the only tree we have on our property gently blowing in the breeze.

I am thinking... Feeling lonely is not always a bad thing.

I am thankful for... My amazing husband who takes great strides to help me, daily.

From the learning room... School was (thankfully) done everyday this week, which included a field trip Thursday to the aquarium. I have been given hope at teaching two children for the first time this year.

From the kitchen... I cooked (or we ate left-overs) everyday this week (so far). This is something I strive to do more often. Eating out has become a bad habit out of my laziness to not plan meals ahead.

I am wearing... Let me just say, "Thank you Lord for elastic and cotton" I've been in my comfy clothes all day and plan to stay that way!

I am creating... For today my creating comes in the form of this blog.

I am going... No where today, and that's just the way I like it : ).

I am reading... Lessons at Blackberry Inn by Karen Andreola. After finishing her Pocketful of Pinecones last week I couldn't wait to start the sequel. Terrific read for this homeschooling mama.

I am hoping... Dan does okay with all three kids on his trip to OC for the evening.

I am hearing... Only the typing of my fingers and the A/C going on and off. Quiet is so rare.

Around the house... Trying and succeeding at keeping up with household clutter, although that is always a work in progress.

One of my favorite things... The completion of a school day well done. One where my kids are left with wanting more and all are brains are happily stimulated.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I'm looking forward to spending the afternoon tomorrow at an end of summer party, followed by a Sunday with no real plans. I also want to continue to practice being calm and patient with myself and my family.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

This photo of my family was taken a week ago today. We said good bye to our dog Jack (on the right) that day. He had been our first boy and we got to love on him for almost 12 years. It was a sad day, but also a good day. Sad to say goodbye to a trusted friend. Good that our family got to experience this life and loss together.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Wool Soakers

My wonderfully creative mother knitted Luke another pair of wool soakers. We use wool soakers for overnight to keep our bedding dry after a long night. I purchased his first pair, and love them. Wool is very absorbent and we have had great luck with it stopping leaks. I asked mom to knit him a pair and she did, super quick too. I had considered taking it on, but was worried that they would not be done until he was potty trained. Well, the first pair she finished turned out great, but she underestimated the chunk of her grandson. They work, but, lets just say the more coverage the better. So she made a second pair, and they are perfect! So cute too in his camo colors. The leg cuffs are long enough, and the waist goes up high enough... they are perfect. Such a lucky little boy.

So my latest request, a long pair for winter ;). We are so lucky to have such a talented Nana.

Oh, and by the way, ignore the fact that the cute baby is playing in the dirty diaper pail while mommy tries to snap the perfect photo.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

<3'n School

Today was a good school day. We have lots of fun with school, but if I'm being honest, some days are much better than others. Today was good.

Today began the first "real" unit of kindergarten for Emma. She did really well, just as I expected. I also managed to get Zach's whole school day in as well as his reading time and some extra math practice. In the middle of our day we managed a trip to the library. Usually a trip mid-day would throw the whole day off, but we managed to stay on track today. By no way was it a perfect day, but I am rejoicing in just getting done what needed to get done. God is good, and I believe He is using this time to teach me how to teach two grade levels, keep an 8 month old happy, keep house (whatever that means), keep commitments, try and work, etc... I am a work in progress, and I am learning how to let go of my fears and just trust that God will meet me where I am and get me through what NEEDS to be done. I have no control of anything, so I might as well just hand it all on over to the Lord.

Any how, the above photos are from today and yesterday. Zach has been working on fractions this week. Today I got out the measuring cups and let him play with water. "How many 1/4 cups will fit into a cup?" Oh yes, we had fun. That was followed up by cutting up and apple for snack into 1/2, then 1/4's, then 1/8ths. Yes, fractions can be fun and yummy.

The other photo was yesterday. We put together Emma's "Creation Book" that she had made the first 7 days of kindergarten. Zach decided to get his out and compare them. That was fun for all of us. It was really fun to hear Zach be able to read it to us and see the progress he has made the last couple years.

Yes, we have fun homeschooling. It is not all great, but I am so happy that this is what we have decided to do. And I am happy the Lord continues to meet me right where I need Him and continue to teach me too.
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Monday, August 16, 2010

sleeping baby

I don't think I can over do the sleeping baby shots. They are so stinking cute when they are sleeping. I'm sure I will look back on them years from now and think about what a great sleeper Luke was (yeah, right). There is just something so peaceful about their little baby breath all hot and humid on you. Their relaxed face. The sweat on their head. It is so hard not to touch them. Play with their little round feet. Stroke their chubby cheeks.

As I type this (on an insanely small phone) my baby is fast asleep across my lap, snoring his little baby snores. Off to a precious dreamland I cannot even imagine. What could he possibly be dreaming about? He knows so little. I suppose he could be dreaming about his big sister stopping to spend some time with him at a game of peak-a-boo. Or his brother running by with some toy that's "not for the baby" but looks like so much fun. Or the doggy that now gets to be in the house and is starting to look like more and more fun, and less and less scary. Maybe he is dreaming of daddy and the way he gathers him up and holds him so strong and securely. The way he takes him outside and shows him the moon. Or maybe, just maybe he is dreaming of being on mama's cozy legs, cradled perfectly, warm and full of good milk, so happy to finally be in bed for the night. Is this a glimpse of that perfect peace that surpasses all understanding? Possibly.

All I know is when I see this little angel sleeping and there is a camera close by, I am going to take my chances at the shutter waking him up because someday seeing these photos will bring me right back to where I am right now. A very blessed mama.
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Pocketful of Pinecones

I recently became brave enough to start reading a "real" book. Reading anything besides picture books and books from our curriculum these days is pure leisure, and leisure just does not happen often these days. If it does, it usually consists of sleep. Anyway, I thought since this books chapters are only two or three pages, at best, I would give it a go. I am so glad I did!

Pocketful of Pinecones, written by Karen Andreola, is a wonderful book that tell about nature study in a very fun way. She writes this book as a fictional diary of sorts that goes through a whole year, season by season. The diary is written by a mother in 1935 who decides to homeschool her two children. She writes about her days and her learning how to teach her children. From the back of the book, "Woven into the story are more than 100 examples of what to look for on a naturewalk, Latin names for the living things observed by the characters, study questions, nature poems and verses... , a supplement containing selected quotations by Miss Charlotte Mason, an annotated list of books with a nature theme - both fiction and non-fiction." It sounds like a lot to take in, but it has been such a wonderful encouraging read for me, not only as a teacher, but as a mother and a wife.

I am nearing the end of this book, which is a milestone with three kids underfoot. I have enjoyed it so much that I would be sad that I am nearing the end, except that when I ordered it from, it had such wonderful reviews that I also order the sequel, "Blackberry Inn". So I look forward to another wonderful book to come. And just imagine... two complete books under my belt! Amazing ;-).
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Luke on the Uke

Dan has been trying to play uke with the big kids a couple times a week. They are starting to pick up on a couple chords and getting good at strumming. I am hoping one of them learn to play I'm Yours, which I have had in my head for weeks (and sounds great on the uke).

Last night Luke tried his hand at the uke. He was actually strumming a little, but mostly he was just plain adorable. I'm a little bias, but he is darn cute!
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

School Days

We have been schooling through summer with Zachary taking a couple weeks off here and there. He started 1st grade in January and it looks like he will complete it early September.

Emma started kindergarten last week. She has been so excited to start, I couldn't hold her off another week. Our K curriculum starts off gently by teaching creation the first 10 days. It's perfect because I feel like I have training wheels on while I learn to teach two grades at once.

I had hoped to go to the CHEA conference again this year, mostly for encouragement as a mother and teacher. But the conference fell on Zachary's birthday weekend and we made other plans. Although I missed the conference I have been listening to many podcasts and reading a book called Pocket Full of Pinecones by Karen Andreola and this has been refueling my batteries for the upcoming year. We are excited to continue our journey of homeschooling this year, and so thankful that the Lord has led us to this path.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Corny Baby

He may be a little young to eat corn on the cob. He probably should have a few teeth first, but this kept our little man so happy at Joe's Crab Shack. And you have to admit, he is adorable!!
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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Valentines Photos

These are a bit late to my blog, but I wanted to get them here...

We've been going to a beautiful baby store in Redlands lately to purchase cloth diapers called Kissui. We happened to be there one day when Patrice Gaspard-Nelson was doing a fundraiser for the people of Haiti. For a $5 donation she would take valentines photos and give you an 8x10. Well, this mama is a bit slow at getting #3 to a professional photographer, so I thought I'd try it out. It was a rainy day and she was taking photos just outside the shop. My babe was sleeping, but she had me lay him on a little rug she had on a door step to an empty shop next door. The results were amazing!!

I'm so happy I asked her to take another of my three kids. It too turned out beautiful.

I am so happy with these results and happy to have been at the right place at the right time.

Friday, February 26, 2010

This moment...

A moment I want to savor...Sleepy Happy Baby in his favorite spot wrapped to mama.

5 Things I'm Thankful For

Here is a quick list of 5 things I'm thankful for right now...

These three precious children

This playful man.

These chunky hands.

Our beautiful rainy weather this month.

These kids and their mamas.

Just 5 of the many things I have to be thankful for.