Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Week in the Life : Monday Photos + Words

Well the weekend slipped away on me. Regan just finished a rotation so I was busy being with him. An important thing, that when he has time, I have to have time. He is my first priority. So I was with him. And our kids. I did manage to fit in another photo shoot on Saturday. With a fun, beautiful family that I am already excited about editing the pictures for. (But they are the back of the editing line!) :)

I started this project of documenting my life for a week. I took pictures all day yesterday and I wanted to do a point form jot down about the whole day that I can later use for my album I'll be making.

• got up a little earlier than usual, at 8:30am, to the sounds of Alden and Lucy fighting with each other at the kitchen table (not something nice to wake up to!)
• after their joint time out, we talked about what happened
• Lucy was upset because Alden was filling his bowl too full of milk, and she was yelling at him. So Alden hit her. So she hit him back.
• They both end up in tears even though no one is physically hurt, both of them (Alden probably more so) gets upset at the emotions of the fight more than being "hurt".
• Lucy just loses her temper at Alden not listening to her mothering
• Aunt Susie called and asked if we wanted to quickly get dressed and go to the zoo to enjoy the beautiful fall weather
• We quickly got dressed (about 45 minutes for all 4 of us to get ready - which is pretty good for us!!)
• And met up with Susie at the zoo.
• It was a great day at the zoo. Beautiful weather and no big crowds!
• Saw lots of good animals and played at the playground - which is always my kids favorite part.
• Got a work out at the zoo, while pushing that big stroller with all three kids on! 70 lbs of kids plus the stroller!
• Ate a picnic lunch before dropping Alden off at school
• Came back home with Susie meeting us here
• Sadie and Eli both had naps while Susie and I hung out and Lucy watched a little movie
• I drove to get Alden from school - and we met at our "new" spot, which is the train playground instead of right in front of the door
• Regan surprised us all by coming home early
• We decided to have a weiner roast at Bowness park, so Reg, Alden and Lucy ran to the store to pick up supplies while Susie and I got everything ready
• Invited the Clark family
• Had hot dogs, pasta salad, chips and then smores
• the kids rode around on their bikes & we hung out
• the kids loved playing in the dirt and getting REALLY filthy so as soon as we got home it was quick baths for all - then family prayers, stories, songs and bed time
• then relaxing time for Regan and me - well not so much Reg as he has to get CARMS stuff ready for residency - but I got to lay on the couch and hold Eli and watch Chuck (my fav show)

If you actually read that all you must be bored (hahahaha)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sadie's 1st Birthday

We got to go over to my SIL Susie's house on Monday after school to help Sadie celebrate her first birthday.
Thought I'd post a few pictures I took at the fun event.

SIL Lindsay and James were also in the party.

Lucy was loving it all
Grandma Bea holding Eli.
Alden was loving it (until we tried to make him eat Taco soup for supper!)

The three Steed grand kid girls.

These two loved the whole party atmosphere. Both building up to their third birthdays that are coming shortly!
And the birthday girl (who wasn't so into her party hat)
Eli's first birthday party he attended.

It was a fun time. And I love that we live close enough to attend family parties like this!
That our kids get to be together and celebrate together. I love it!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Today I am

....thankful for a treadmill where I can exercise while my kids play or sleep.
....enjoying editing pictures for a good friend
....loving to see how photographs can show how little ones grow so quickly
....happy to be taking my kids to the first music class
... inspired to do this project next week along with Ali
....playing with new stamps from Tin Box stamps called Tab it....planning how to use my new October kit from Scraptivity

....mostly finished editing this wedding shoot

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Teaching Our Children to Pray

"Through prayer we can talk with our Heavenly Father. We tell Him we love Him, we thank Him for blessings, and we ask for help for ourselves and for others in need. We end our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. Prayer is one of the greatest blessings we have while we are here on earth. (See Matthew 6:9–13; Alma 34:18–27; 3 Nephi 18:19–21.)" - Behold Your Little Ones: Nursery Manual

Teaching our kids to pray is something very important to us. I feel strongly that if more people in this world knew that we had a loving, caring Father in Heaven who watches out for us and is waiting to bless us, and that we can talk to him daily, our world would be a better place. We would treat each other better, make better decisions, generally just be better.

We've been having our kids pray since they were old enough to fold their arms. But I think teaching kids to not be repetitive, but to ask and thank for things specifically is harder to teach.

I found this, which I think is great:
"I begin by saying “Dear Heavenly Father”; (raise one finger—keep fingers raised throughout the activity verse)
I thank him for blessings he sends; (raise second finger)
Then humbly I ask him for things that I need, (raise third finger)
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. (raise fourth finger)"
[“I Pray in Faith,” Children’s Songbook, 14]

So I've come up with a little set of cards. I made them on the computer. I thought I'd post them here so you can download and save them if you'd like. I am printing them off and coloring and laminating them. Then putting them onto a ring. Then before prayer the kids can pick out what they would like to pray for. I left two blank so you can put a picture of your family or have them draw something or fill it in yourself.

You don't have to use them all, if you are another religion and want to teach your little ones to pray to God, you still can. Just use the cards that work for you!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Guinness Book of World Records

This past Saturday all of the Stakes and Wards of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints participated in a food drive. The entire city of Calgary was given bags to fill and then on Saturday we picked them up.
Our family had a little route to pick up.
The kids were excited about helping.
That Saturday we set a new record of food collection in one day for the Guinness Book of World Records. It was $1 million worth of food.
Pretty cool to be involved in something so big.
That can help so many. And so good to get our kids involved in doing service!

Lots of missionaries helping out the effort!
You dropped the food off at the mall in our area, where big semi trucks waited to be filled and driven to the destination.

Those big cardboard boxes were filled and then a forklift lifted them in the back of the trucks.

oh and some new photos are popping up on my photo blog fairly regularly lately. If you haven't, go check them out here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bringing Reading to everyday

Since we've got these three around here...
I've had teaching and learning a lot on my mind.
Really in the forefront of my mind since I've had kids.
My mom went back to school and became a teacher, a grade one and grade two teacher.
So she knows all about preparing kids for school and for reading. I mean it's her job to do that.
So she has been teaching me, for quite a while, about all the things I can do to help my kids.

My mom always made words come alive for us.
We were read to long before she knew that it was such an important thing to do.
We are a family of readers.
I remember often finding my father immersed in various books when I was younger.

My kids aren't reading yet. But Alden is so on the verge I can taste it.
My mom gave him some beginner reader books. And he can read the first four.

In case you didn't know there are two ways to learn to read.
One is the phonics method. You know the sounding out route.
The other is memorization. Which in fact, is the way most people read.
Think about it, how many words on this post, so far, have you sounded out?
I'm assuming not very many.

That's cause there are all in your head.
A kid who is read to a lot, learns to read the memorization route.
It's more natural. It's the way our brains work.

So we've been reading. And we'll keep reading.
But since Alden is getting closer and closer, I've been trying to make words and letters come more alive. Not only noticing things myself, but making sure my kids see them.
Like this big letter we saw on our Sunday walk.
Some of the specific things we try to do around here:
1. Read to our kids. A lot. We don't set a time limit. But we do read every night before bed. And as often as they want. My mom told me one rule she had for herself as a mother. She always would read whenever a child would ask. I try to do the same.

2. Go to the library. Often. And let the kids delight in the amount of free available books. On any topic they want.

3. Encourage them to write and draw. With papers, markers, pens, crayons. Anything.

4. Let them see us reading and enjoying books. On all kinds of topics.

5. Point out letters and words we see in every day surroundings. Now Alden spots them and is often asking us to read words to him. Lucy is already starting to do the same.

I'm hoping that all these things help my kiddos realize that reading is so important. Through words we can learn about anything. Religion, science, flowers, cooking, woodworking, photography. There are words about anything. A whole wide world of reading ready to be discovered.

When Alden read the first beginner reader, he was amazed that he could do it. And he said to me about three times, "I read that?!" in a mix of surprise and excitement. I can't wait for him to continue on this road of reading.


For more information on reading and your kids check out these sites:

Simple Things
Star Fall
Early reading
Love of Reading

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In the Craft Room: Stamp challenge

Every month we have two stamp challenges at Scraptivity.
I posted the one on the 15th.... and thought I'd throw it out here too.
A little stamping challenge for ya'll.
Something a little playful.

Use something that is not a stamp, and use it.
The best thing about trying this is that there are tons of things around your house to use.
Dishes, tires from dinky cars, potatoes, sponges.
Look around you with your imagination!

This one I used bubble wrap.

I used a cup on this one.

Ever used something that isn't a "stamp" and used it for stamping??
If you have, leave me a link in the comments, if you haven't, try one and post it online somewhere and leave me a link in the comments! I'd love to see.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blogs i love

My friend Mary had a list on her blog.
A blog award list.
Which I was honored she'd pick me!
There are lots of blogs I love.

But the ones I check almost every day are:

Ali Edwards - I find her work very inspiring. And i love that she posts often. That encourages the looking every day. :)

Tara Whitney. The photographer I most look up to. Admire. What I would give to spend a couple hours picking her brain about what she does. Or following her around during a shoot. Or even getting her to do one for me. Aaahhh to dream!

Simple Mom I love her outlook on life. And she writes so well. I have been really encouraged by some of the things she has written. And it helps me to want to live more simply.

Heather Such a sweet friend. Love her. Love to read about her life and see her great scrapbook pages. Love her photos. Wish that we got to see each other more in real life.

Mary I love her wedding album she is sharing here. Love it. Such a good scrapbooker. Great photographer. And a sweet girl.

There are lots others that I read all the time.
In fact, a long list as you can see on the side bar.....
But these are the ones I make sure I check often.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tales of Toddlerhood

A cut up cereal box can entertain children (and watching parents) for quite a while.....
And This little girl likes to make sure we are wearing the same color each day.
She insisted on wearing her striped shirt. Cause I was.

And when I ask to do her hair, she says "mom are you having a pony tail or a bun?"
When I say one or the other, she says "me too."

She cracks me up.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Your reflection

When you look at your reflection, what do you see?
Someone you love.
Someone you don't.
Someone you admire.
Someone in need of a hair cut.
Or eye brow waxing?

For me, it rotates.
(But for the record, I need a haircut and an eye brow plucking ;) .)

Some days I am happy with who I am. Some days not so much.
It is interesting how you'll be going along and right in front of you appears something.
So big you are surprised you didn't see it coming.
How weren't you aware that it was part of you?
And somethings you know it's there, but you are afraid of it.
Or afraid of the work involved in changing it.

"Our task is to become our best selves. One of God's greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final." - Thomas S. Monson

The thing that stands out the most to me in that is his use of the word joy.
Do you find joy in finding those failures in yourself?
I don't think I'd use the word joy, personally.
But maybe I should be.

Instead of worrying about why I did that, or how I let something happen, or if the person I upset is still thinking about it, etc...
instead what if today I said, with no overarching all consuming guilt, "well I can fix that. Nothing but straight up from here."

" And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." - Ether 12:27

"And he said unto me, My grace
is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

It is encouraging to know that we can improve. It's hard. But it's part of the plan.
In fact, it's the whole point.
To get better, each day.
I am grateful. That I get the chance to improve.
To make myself the best I can be.

Today I am committing to taking one thing that I know I need to change about myself.
And making a plan to change it.
Not just hating that part of me, but making a solid decision to change it about myself.
And talking it through with my best friend and with Heavenly Father.
Because this change thing is hard.

What about you?
Can you find one thing that you've been putting off changing, and start.
Make a plan, talk to someone about it.
And start becoming better.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

my big blessings

are these three.

Aren't I lucky!!

Thanks for all the kind comments and encouragement on Monday's post. It's nice to have support in my endeavors. Especially one that I love so much!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Photo Talk: A mom with a camera

So I've been thinking this past weekend about taking pictures.
Since I had three photo shoots on Saturday. One wedding and two baby shoots.
I have this.
I am a mom with a camera.
To some that is not a flattering way of saying it.
Yes, when I was in college I took photography.
The real deal dark room kind of stuff. (Which shows how old I am. :) )

But really it wasn't until I got my Nikon D-80 last year that I really really got into taking pictures for people. College was more of a photojournalism since it was learning to work for newspapers.
But really, I am a mom with a camera. I am no expert. But I love taking pictures.

I've learned a lot.
I read this post from my friend Emily. And so much of it rang true for me too. I mean questions that run around in my head about me. And what I want to do. How serious am I about all this.

I love taking pictures a lot.
Weddings are really my favorite. Everyone there is so happy. So in love. And they know that pictures are part of the deal. They expect pictures. (Instead of being forced by your wife to take pictures.) It's what you do at a wedding. And everyone is so looking their best. Love it all. Love to see the different kinds of ceremonies.

Weddings are my favorite, But I do love taking them in all kinds of situations.
And I've been fortunate to take pictures in many different occasions.
In the first few days of life. (This is Finn my newest nephew from Brad and Whitney.)

Taken pictures where I shared some very private, tender, heart wrenching moments in the last few weeks of someone's life. Where I felt as thought I was imposing upon their grief but also so honored that they would want me there with them. With such raw emotions.

Been lucky to do weddings with all kinds of different brides and grooms.
(The wedding from this past Saturday morning... aren't they FUN!)
And really I think I love it so much cause it is love. All different manifestations of love. Love in new relationships. In changing relationships. Events declaring love. And learning to love.

Love in my own family. (Another new nephew recently born to this family.)
Generations of love in other families. (from the most recent wedding shoot again.)
It's capturing how alive and well love is in families and couples.
I want to get better. I really want to attend this workshop. Or something similar. And learn more.
I don't know where I am going with my photography business.
But right now I know, i love doing it.