Meet part of our crew…. we have named almost all 10, but we could not name the last 2, since they are identical! We have Guster, Tank, Frisbee, Twitch, Rue, Prim (our 2 smallest), Ginger, and Summit! The entire puppy experience is so good for the kids. We all adore them, and we all are helping with the feeding and clean up duty. Then we all grab one or two and snuggle up to a movie together on the couch, they are soo fun to snuggle, and they like to bury their noses deep in between your arm and body. Are they not the cutest things ever?
My poor blog has been neglected… so sorry, I have been so crazy backed up that nothing is getting on here… yikes!!
I did want to share about my daughter and her baptism day. We are LDS, and when our children turn 8, they are baptized as official members of our church.
This was a very special day for her and for our family.
Hope you enjoy the images.
I took a few pictures of her in her white dress at the Mesa Temple. The baptism was performed on a different day in a regular church building with a font, but the temple is so important to us as a family since it is where we were sealed (married) for this life and all eternity.
Before Addie’s baptism, we had a family brunch at our house with all the cousins and friends.
Mal and I were excited to try some new ideas off of our crazy addiction Pinterest!
So glad I made it into one photo for the day… that’s rare, right?
Cousins are the best!
Oh, and you can check out my personal profile here.
Just had to post these few pictures of mustaches! These are such a fun fad right now, and I LOVE them! They always make me laugh out loud!
This way cool family grew out all of their mustaches just in enough time for our photo shoot!
And this image was taken at the end of our summer edition of “Cake Wars”. The cakes did not turn out, but to end the day in side splitting laughter while the kids put chocolate frosting mustaches on made the day worth it.
And I love these tee’s we made before summer ended.. thank you to my new addiction “Pinterest” for the inspiration! My boys are afraid I am going to put every picture of them on my blog, can you tell? Can’t figure out why..
In an effort to simplify this contest, the entry requirements have changed. Thank you to everyone who has entered so far and left a sweet comment, I will be giving you each an extra entry. I have loved your stories and would love to shoot all of you someday! I will announce the winner on Friday! Thanks for following and supporting my photography, your the best!
I’ve been telling my kids that for years, and this one image says it all! I think I will make it nice and big and hang it on my wall with a plaque under it that says those words; “work makes you happy”! Then when my kids are whinny, I can just point at it and not say a word.. I am sure that my kids will really love that!
This darling girl was helping the other 200+ and our Hope Arising volunteers in Dera, Ethiopia move rocks into the classroom where we were able to help them to have a concrete floor, an improvement from their dirt and straw! The kids were really so very happy! And they really had nothing. We introduced a group of kids to balloons. Introduced them. They have nothing. It made me really ask myself why, and what makes my own self happy and what makes my kids happy. I decided the mall is off my list. But coconut cupcakes from Sprinkles are still on my list. In the top 10, actually.
Being in Ethiopia for the first time was just amazing. Every corner, every moment was something new, and it would take me a week to describe it all. But for now, I have to tell you about one of my favorite experiences. I think everyone should have an experience like this once in their life, and I have Chantal, Rochelle, Betty, and Marianne to thank for allowing me to ride their coat tails and feel like a hero for the day.
We arrived at the High School early Tuesday morning in our green Scooby Doo bus. We knew they were expecting us and that they were going to have a ceremony for the 10 computers that Marianne worked so hard to get donated to the school. But no one prepared us for what we were about to experience. As the bus drove up, we all peered through the windows at what was over 2000 beautiful black students in white tops and pink and lavendar pants standing in the dirt waiting for us, and as the bus pulled to a halt a powerful clapping began, but in unison: clap, clap, clap… as if a procession was about to begin. We piled out of the bus, and the teenager volunteers in our group went right up and into the crowd, shaking hands, and saying hellos as if they had just been reunited with their best friends. The crowds slowly parted, and as the loud clapping continued, visions of the movie Madagascar flashed through my head. We were being heralded as hero’s, and I for one was not deserving. I was just there to record it all through my camera. I was taken in with their faces, so happy, so beautiful and searching mine as hard as I searched theirs. As I met them, they were warm and welcoming, like we were family meeting for the first time. It was so amazing. Eventually the crowd quieted, we were moved to our place in the ceremony, and the event began… a gratitude ceremony for Marianne and Hope Arising, and a presentation of the 10 new computers.
Above is Marianne, she led her community of 1200 people in raising over $5500 for computers and desks at 2 schools. The distinguished man with the white hair is Moosa, the town mayor.
Above is the gift of the computers, and then the school presented H.A. with the gift of their school picture. They were so very grateful.
Just after taking this above shot, I continued to walk towards a classroom, when they all ran up and just walked as close as they could without touching me, and 2 boys that knew better English said, “Hello, we would like to ask you some questions,” and so I answered, “Great, I would like to ask you some questions to.” The first boy asked me about what I do and how much certification I had (college and education) and why couldn’t understand why I hadn’t finished college. The entire group plus more listened in. Then the second boy turned to me and asked, “what can you teach us?” I was speechless. That question said so much more than ‘what can you teach us’. It said; we are hungry, we want to learn, to grow and to improve our lives, we are ready, can you help. It was a question much bigger than I was at that moment, and a question that I will never forget.
One of the things the students pointed out when we had some one on one time was the challenge of being able to focus with 3 students per desk.
I love the image above. I could see this one super large on the wall. I love how you could interpret a million different stories from it.
This kid let me take his picture, then started cracking up for the next shot. I love that they have humor and were probably laughing at me. That happened alot.
The library was a must see on our tour of the school. The wall you see behind the librarian is all the books they have. They are desperate for more books.
David, our Canadian teen volunteer showing them where his home is.
I love the picture of their book, and their feet. The book is so old you can’t even read the title. And the feet look surprisingly clean considering their isn’t water to wash with. These sandals were seen all over town, and the shredded pants were very normal as well.
I don’t know how I am going to be able to put into words the experiences that I had while in Ethiopia this last week. It was amazing. We all decided that there is no way to totally bring back what we had, but that you must experience it for yourself. However, I will do my best. I was blessed with the opportunity to travel with Hope Arising and to take video and still images of the town, the humanitarian projects, and the people. It was simply amazing. Everything we did, every moment was a new experience. And in most cases, experiences that blew your mind. Most of the work was done in a town called Dera. It has to be one of the poorest villages in the entire country. The living conditions would frighten you. The biggest reason is their lack of water. To get water, they have to walk hours to a water station, which is dripping unclean water out a little at a time. So, they set their yellow cans in a line to get water unclean and diseased water when it is their turn, which can take days. Then they repeat, year after year after year. Hope Arising has been raising funds to get the water into Dera from a spring in a near by mountain, and the project is almost complete. I was able to see the spring and talk to villagers who are already starting to receive the water between the mountain and Dera and who are already having their lives changed. It was awesome. Totally awesome. Each time we were in Dera the people would swarm you. They wanted to you to take their pictures, but they also wanted to know about us, touch our white skin, and some wanted us to take them home with us. I wanted to take them home with us too. The students are starving for more knowledge. They were so interested in how they could improve their studies. It was impressive. They are a town that is poor, but mostly in opportunity. They were happy people that if given the chance would do better, do more and thrive. I am going to share just a few pictures at a time and a few stories at a time. Here is today’s images.
Here are some of the pictures in the market, the people are so beautiful! Even the dirty little children are so cute, and so happy! Always smiling and laughing! Most of these children were barefoot.
This picture is from a classroom in Dera, they were a uniform school, this was grade 5.
You might remember this sweet girl from here where we took pictures with her Daddy, Arizona Diamondback pitcher, Brandon Webb. Well, guess who turned 5? It was a gorgeous day and the sun was my best friend! I LOVE the sun flare and the gorgeous lighting I was able to capture! This was the type of party where the kids play and play and play and play. No organized games, just letting the kids be kids, and they loved it! And how darling is the birthday girl? Her Mommy is stylish and fun, and she makes sure her little girl is always darling.
The party was a “Tangled” party, and look how darling the cake is! Love that!
Aren’t these kids the cutest things? I was laughing with them all day. They were either being so funny, or just super sweet with each other!
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Just thought I would share a little fun we’ve been having on Saturdays around here. My oldest daughter decided to host an American Girl’s Doll Day Camp for a few weeks. She is saving money for our St. Martin trip and we love these dolls at our house, so she threw it together for a 4 week session, and here is some of the fun that we had!
The camp was a mix of reading some of the stories from the American Girl Books, doing crafts for the girls, cooking projects, a tea party and of course, a quick photo session for the girls with their dolls.
On this day, the girls made honey butter after reading how one of the American Girls makes apple butter for her family. Our girls thought it was so yummy and each took a little tub home.
Then the next week, they made little tu-tu’s for the dolls. I love all the little doll outfits, and made the girls show me what their doll was wearing each time they came. I think my favorite was the purple fuzzy boots. So stinkin’
cute! (But don’t ask me to wear them… LOL)
And each girl took home a CD with pictures for them to keep! We played a few park games like Red Rover and Monkeys on the Ground. I love being a girl, but what I love more is having little girls! I am so grateful for my own two, and that we can do so many fun things together!