Monday, December 27, 2010

Where has December gone?

I was updating the family blog and realized that December is almost over, taking 2010 with it. It seems that we all begin the whole " where has time gone by" during this time... but this year, it seems especially so. I am nto sure why, but I feel like December was so quick, and many of my favorite things were missed... like singing tons of Christmas hymns.. now that Christmas is over, I find myself thinking I did not listen to Christmas music that much... and fudge, I did not make any Christmas Candy, nor did we decorate gingerbread men and houses. Hmm... We did do a lot of other things, but still, some of our favorites seem to have been missing.

So, what is in store for 2011? What big plans do you have? The Shaver family? Well, I am not sure about "big" plans... but I predict it will be a busy year again, just doing the things we do to entertain and take care of a family of small children.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Jammies

This year, I let the girls pick out their own jammie material, which was a huge challenge for me. You see, I have this vision of matching jammies, and do you think the girls picked out matching material? Even material that is coordinating? Of course not. But it was cute material, and it was what they wanted... so I made them. And, this year, they got matching snuggle blankets to go along with it....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ornaments on the tree

It is that time. Time to trim our tree. I love this time of year. I love decorating for the holidays, the white lights, the nativity sets, the stockings... and the ornaments. I am sorta particular about our ornaments. I do not like plain old balls, I prefer more detailed ornaments. And, for the most part, I can tell you where each ornament hanging on our tree came from, when it was given to us or purchased and if there was a reason, what it is. And as we hang them on the tree, I think about this.. it makes for a very special time for me. I do not bore my kiddos with all the details of each ornament yet, but we do talk about ones that I know they will find fascinating..each of their "first" ornament, and such.

I recently saw this devotion on Ornaments.. and it really hit me as to the meaning of this season. I need to spend as much time examining what Jesus has done for me this season as I do on my ornaments.... and celebrating Him this year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Civil War

I did something crazy... I went without my girls to the football game! hahaa. All season (yes, we are dorks with season tickets), I have gone to the games and tried to watch while both girls climbed over me, asked for food, and by the fourth quarter told me they were done watching football. Don't get me wrong, the girls love going to see the Beavers play. The enjoy tailgating and are mesmerized by the beginning of the game. Allie especially loves watching the Beavers "run out of the big helmet". But by the fourth quarter, the excitement has worn off and they want to play.

So, for Civil War this year, we hired a sitter for the day (yep, whole day.. tailgating before and after), and brought two of our friends to enjoy the game. While we did not win, it was like walking back in time. Being on OSU campus with Kyle, no kiddos to keep track of, and just enjoying the world around us. I think next year I will pick one game again... but only one game. I have to be honest, I missed my girls.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Trip to Albertsons: Coupons ready!!!

I recently listed to a presentation on couponing at a MOPS group, and have started testing the waters to see what I can do and what I am willing to do.

Today, with coupons from Albertsons, double coupons, in store deals and manufactured coupons... I scored this....

for $5.46. Less than $6 I got four boxes of cereal and 6 packages of veggies. Now, I realize for some of you this is not huge as you would have saved even more, but I am proud of my 25.34 in preferred savings, $3 in manufactured coupons and $2.50 instore coupons!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Composition: Final Week of Oh Shoot

This was our final week of Oh Shoot, and while it was a great week and answered a lot of questions, I am still trying to work on lighting from last week.. but here are a few of my shots!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh Shoot, Week 5: Lighting

Yikes... the lighting lesson. I need this. I had not figured out what White Balance was or how to change it on my camera. This by far has been the most challenging for me.. and I still need a ton of practice...

Like I said, these are not great... but they are cute kids! :) I still need to figure out lighting more and play with it.... but now I do know how to adjust my WB, and know what the symbols mean!! :) That is a start!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oh Shoot Week 4: Focus

So, week four was all about focus, changing focal points, etc. So, our assignment was to capture pictures using one of two focal point techniques, ensuring your focal point is not in the center of the picture..
Actually, this was technicaly easier than I thought.. now I need to work on the creative aspect of how to compose the picture... Though, I may need new subjects to finish my class.... my current models are about to go on strike!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Missing Home.

You know when you are born and raised somewhere, how it becomes a part of you...?? Well, that is how it is to be from Alaska. It is part of me. When I left, I think I knew I would not move back there to live.. at least not for a very long time. I have fallen in love with Oregon and living in the "lower 48" and the freedom to travel so much easier. Also, I have adjusted and become wimpy and enjoy the mild climate.

Yet there are times when I miss home... so much that I dream about it. Right now I am missing it.....

I found this video.... it is amazing.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Fall.

Have I mentioned how much I love FALL??? I do, I love the crisp cool air. I love the colors. I love the feeling of comfort and cozy when wearing long sleeve shirts or sweaters that have been put away for the summer months. Now, mind you, we are just beginning to experience the color changes, and it is over 70 degrees here this week so no long sleeve shirts... but I can still get ready!!

So, more pumpkin it is....

I just mixed up a batch of vanilla pudding, added some raw cinnamon and a few of my favorite things (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cinnamon), then layered with graham crackers and whip cream.

Not bad.. not my favorite, but good for the day. Does not keep well, as the graham crackers get soggy... but it was tasty that night!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oh Shoot, Week 3!! MANUAL!!!

This is the week we got to try out manual... it actually seems easy enough from the lesson and video, then I went to practice.

So, lighting is a challenge for me, but since that is the lesson in a week or two, I just faked it. I realized the thing about manual is that you have to basically reset and start over again after each picture... well, I guess if you are super good you may not have to or it goes fast, but for me, the beginner, this takes time and work for each shot.

Here is a shot from my first practice session.. as you can see, the lighting is off...

Then here is another while practicing. I chose my aperture first, then used my scale to adjust shutter speed, etc. This one turned out decent, but wish the model was looking at me.

And here is what I will turn in for homework... now, again, I feel like the color is off a bit in their face, and I am assuming this is my lack of knowledge about the lighting. I chose to turn this in as homework, as I want feedback on it. :)

Aren't these girls cute? Best of Friends...

We also had a creative assignment, where we were supposed to think of a color and take a picture.. I did take some fall photos, then captured this one of Shannon. I am not sure what color it reminds me of, but it sure makes me feel happy.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall... it is here !!

So, officially Fall is here.. and while the colors are just beginning to change around here, I enjoyed a nice cool run this morning and could smell Fall coming...

To celebrate, I decided to make a Fall treat...

I used a few of my favorite things...

Mixed 'em up...
Put 'em in a pan...

And put it in the oven, enjoyed it an hour later.....

I. Heart. Fall!!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oh Shoot Week 2! Aperture!!

Oh Shoot! This class is great. I have learned more in two weeks taking this online class, than one year reading my "books". Goes to show I just learn better having someone walk me through it, whether on line video or in person.

So, week two was all about apertures... this is what I wanted to learn most! How to get the bokeh I desire (bokeh is photo slang for background fuzziness). :) see, I am even speaking the language!!!

Here is my homework!!

Closed Aperture

Open Aperture

Some practice shots!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Oh, Shoot!!!

I have started a new photography class, and am super excited. Yes, in my spare time, I will be doing homework once again. But luckily, this homework is fun and will only make my life more enjoyable... It drives me crazy to not understand why some photos turn out well, and others not.. and I know I have a great camera, I am just not using all its great features.. but in 8 weeks, that will not be the case.

Week one: Shutter speed. Here are my attempts at shutter speed..... Our homework was to take pictures of moving things at a fast and slow shutter speed....


this last one was a bit dark because my ISO needed to be increased... oh well, gotta learn some how. ;)


Also, we learned about panning and were supposed to practice this.. I actually thought these turned out pretty cool..

I am super excited to see what the next week brings...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dear Abby....

I just returned from a long trip... My family went to Ohio and then to Texas.

Ohio is where my mom and my brother live. I have not been there to visit in a very long time, and it was the first time we had gone for more than a night. So, it was way overdue. I had avoided going for a long time, for many reasons that seem to long and complicated to list. Mostly it comes down my own feelings and trying to find ways to be there, enjoy our time, and not get wrapped up in issues of the past.

And, while I feel that was accomplished, I have come home with a heavy heart. Actually, with an ache in my heart. Not even sure I know what to say about it. Just that my heart hurts.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pike Place Market



So big, a little girl can barely carry them...

Pasta... Check out all the kinds of Orzo.... So many to choose from....

And the veggies and fruits.. Fresh, local, beautiful (and yes, my nieces are beautiful too).

What do I love more than Pike Place Market? Fresh Halibut from Pike Place Fish Market!! I didn't get any pictures of them throwing those babies, but boy, they are so yummy.

Friday, August 6, 2010

35 years...

So, today is my 35th birthday. Now, I must be honest, I am not one to get all worked up over the years nor really that excited about birthdays. I mean, after 16 and 21, they all started to run together.. :) I was not bothered by the big 3-0, nor am I bothered by 3-5..... At the same time, I am at a point to reflect on where I have been, where I am now, and were I see myself going.

I thought about listing 35 blessings I have or have had.. but really, there are so many I am not sure where to begin.

You see, I am living a very different life than I grew up experiencing, I am doing things I never thought I would do (firstly being a stay at home mom, among others), and am pondering what comes next for us... (no, I am not talking about baby number 3). I am not always content, but I am always happy. I am not the picture perfect mom, but I do my best and I love my children with everything I have. I know I am not always as patient with them or Kyle as I would like to be (a constant source of prayer...), but I know when to step back and breathe. Compared to others, I probably lead a boring life, but it is mine and I love it.

But I am not comparing myself to others. Life isn't about comparison (that is how we get into conflicts).

In 35 years, I have seen a lot, accomplished many things that I am proud of, and made many friends. I know my journey is not over and that there is a lot more left to do. I know that each day I need to be thankful for the moments and blessings. I plan to live a lot, laugh more and love mostest!!! :) Really, what else can we do?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Card Making

So, I was hoping to put these photos into a collage, but as you may have seen on my previous post, I am PSE, here are some pics of my recent card making adventures thanks to my Cricut Cutter....