Friday, July 30, 2010

Eli and his daddy

Eli and his daddy

Lately this little boy LOVES his dad. He wakes up and the first thing he calls out is DAD over and over again. He wants dad to put him to bed and dad to play with him and dad to give him his bath. It's funny all my kids have gone through a stage like this when they want their dad the most while they are still small.

And to be totally honest with every kid, I always feel a bit sad. I think wait, what about mom. I am supposed to be the favorite. I know they will get bigger and find out that Reg is way more fun than me. But when they are small and no one in the world makes it better like the momma. I like that. It can be tiring but I love the love in it. Does that make sense? But really, he has a great dad. So I totally understand. I love him too :)

If you haven't lately, go check out my photo site here and look at the sessions from lately. I've got LOTS more the I am editing too!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nature lover

Since I started taking pictures I've only considered myself a people photographer. I like taking pictures of people. I like to see their interactions. I like it when I can chat with them. I like their varied expressions. I like seeing the love. I'll always love taking pictures of people. Of course I seriously delight in taking a picture like this.
But lately I've really found a love for nature photography.
Busy as a Bee
Little Blue Bell
And one of the reasons I think this is meaning a lot to me lately is because of my little sister Kelly. Before she died she was really into gardening. Actually some of these pictures were taken in her garden.
The Rose
Red Tipped Leaf
She had one just like this hanging on the bulletin board in her room. I remember the first time I went into her room after she had died. And I saw it there. In a photo collage of pictures of her nieces.
And finding the beauty in the nature around me, it reminds me of her. I feel satisfied that she would have liked this shot or that shot. Or that she would have rejoiced in me taking an interest in something that was a big deal to her.
some funky leaf or flower?
I think one of the ways we can cope with the loss of someone we love is that we find ways to have them be apart of things for us still. In a simple way like this.
ooh it makes me want to get a macro lens. Maybe one day :)
Yes, this is a lot of nature/ flower pictures. But think of it as a tribute to my sister Kelly.
Mr droopy (Miss droopy?)
And a testimony of an all powerful creator that did a really good job.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Spiritual Sundays

“[Your testimony] will increase as you make decisions to keep the commandments. As you lift and strengthen others, you will see your testimony continue to develop.” As you establish personal habits of prayer, scripture study, obedience to the commandments, and service to others, “you will be blessed with moments of inspiration that will [strengthen] your testimony” (see True to the Faith, 179–80).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I love

that this little girl will pretty much ALWAYS pose for a picture for me.
Always the willing subject! We were driving out to G & G and spotted this beautiful field. Lucy was the only kid willing to let me take her picture (well Eli might of but he'd probably just keep running away too!)
Yellow Sunshine
And even smile doing it.

And want to try and shoot me too.
Me in the field

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Family Saturday

So this past Saturday we were all home together. No work for Regan (in between rotations) no weddings for me. No soccer or sleep overs or anything. We were just home together. It was marvelous.

We lazed around for a bit in the morning then got our acts together and decided to do some fun family stuff. Went to the farmer's market first. Picked up some fresh veggies, mini donuts (which the kids LOVED) and some of these.
Gooseberries. (it's been one of those recipes from the Martha Stewart Handbook I've been putting off cause seriously where do you FIND gooseberries. Thank goodness for Hutterites and their fresh produce ;) If you want to know, I made them into this. It was pretty good. I'd adjust the recipe a bit in the future. But not bad.
Gooseberry Pie
Then we went out to the Bird's of Prey center in Coaldale where we saw lots of neat birds.
Burrying Owl
Us feeding the ducks
Bald Eagle
Gordon the Owl
And the kids got to hold a couple too....
Alden and GordonAlden and the mini owl
Lucy and GordonLucy and the mini owl
Eli hiding from the big scary birdRegan and Gordon
While we were there Regan told Alden that he could take pictures with his iPhone - which Alden was VERY excited about. He loves taking pictures of things. A collection of some of his shots. Notice all the strangers? He was walking up to people that were there and telling them to say cheese and taking their pictures. hahahaha When I asked him about it he said I took pictures of people all the time. Looks like he is getting the hang of this thing early :) I'd sure love to buy him a real digital camera. Maybe one day!
Snapshots from Alden
When we came home we went to the spray park for a little bit too. Eli was too afraid of all the sprinklers to actually go into the spray park. He likes the idea but just can't take the uncertainty of when you are going to get sprayed. So he just watched instead.
Watching from the sidelines
Then came home to a late supper and bath and bedtime. It was a good day full of family time.

Monday, July 19, 2010

In the kitchen: Butterscotch Blondies with Chocolate Ganache

A post about the kids? need to edit some pictures.....
A post about crafting? haven't done much of that lately.... been on an editing streak lately.....
A post about photography? lots of new sessions going up over at
A post about scrapbooking? haven't scanned any pages lately.....

So instead.... FOOD :)

Butterscotch Blondies with Chocolate Ganache

9 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line a buttered 8 inch square with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (not overhang) and set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Put butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer, cream on medium speed til pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour mixture, and beat on low speed, scraping down sides of the bowl, until well mixed. Mix in butterscotch chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 42 to 45 minutes.

Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes,. Lift out and let cool completely.

While cooling, make chocolate ganache.

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Add cream over top and cook in microwave until cream gets close to boiling and whisk until smooth.

Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over blondies. Start at the center and work outward. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Guest Post: Getting Organized

When we lived in Nova Scotia my next door neighbor and good friend was Kathleen. She is a professional organizer. Cool hey? Well today, we've got a post coming to you from her where she lives way up in Northern Alberta now.

Take it away Kathleen!!


I like to talk as I work. OK...I talk a lot. I tend to think that talking is therapeutic and a great way to vent and figure stuff out that lingers in the head. As a mom I don't always get the chance to talk at home unless I am speaking about Lego, play dough or what DVD all three children can watch without arguing. That is until my husband gets home. It's no wonder that Mike is so quiet because he gets overload from me as soon as he gets in the door.

I encourage my clients to talk as we work. I learn about the person behind the clutter, history and I hear pain. People who are Chronically Disorganized don't want to be the way they are and are so happy to have someone help them. They are also ashamed at first and I talk about how their home or space is a work in progress and that I am here to support and help them. People talk to me and sometimes they cry. Talking can release pent up frustrations and emotions. It's very healthy to cry so I always have tissue everywhere I go.

Talking is good! I have three children (5, 9 and 11) and I have been talking to them about being organized since they could hear my voice. I use age appropriate words that they will understand. I give age appropriate tasks to stay tidy and then give a short explanation about why we are doing what we are doing. I don't have to give the explanations much anymore. They have heard it all by now. Usually I just have to give a task and it gets done. Not to say that I don't have the normal whining and moaning at times but it's not half as bad as when we first give out the new chores in the Fall. As each child reaches a new birthday they also get more responsibility around the house. I use the expression "I'm not the maid!' often.

If you haven't been talking to your children about being tidy and organized, you can start with a conversation at the dining table. Talk about your own day and about the work that you did around the house. Talk about how doing all this work can be tiring and how each member of the family could help you. Ask them what kinds of tasks they could do to help their house and their family. You can give out chore charts and choose a treat or allowance for the end of the week. Please don't give out more than five chores at a time. Be very specific in what you are asking a child to do. You can't ask a five year old to "clean your room" but you can ask them to 1. Pull up your blankets on your bed, 2. Put your toys in their bins until the floor is cleared, 3. Put all your dirty clothes in the laundry basket ...and so on.

The younger you start the better. Younger children want to be helpful for the most part. Make it fun. Make it the same time every day. Put music on. Above all....let them see you getting organized. They want to emulate Mommy and Daddy. Then one day when you are feeling frustrated and the bedrooms look like a cyclone hit you will get a comment from another parent about how tidy your child is when they were visiting for a sleepover at a friend’s house. Smile and know that your job is done.

I want to share a great little book that gives you the words, strategies and advice to get anyone started on the road to an organized life. Sign up to Follow Me and leave a comment for your name to be put in the draw for "31 Words to Create and Organized Life".


And because Rhonda always leaves a photo I will show you the kitchen that I worked on yesterday. The kitchen is a regular drop zone for people and can easily get out of hand.



Thanks Kathleen!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


None for us. But lots of our friends and families have had babies lately. And Eli is L.O.V.I.N.G. it though! Seriously he is a little baby obsessed. When he sees a baby he has to say really loud "BABY" and point. Church. Driving. In books. Really anywhere. He'll hold a doll and point to it and say baby.
Eli kissing Maggie
He looooves Jen's baby Maggie. A lot.
Eli with Maggie

Here he is with his cousin Gavin (check out his hand on Gavin's head even though Alden is holding Gavin.
Eli with Gavin (and Alden)

With another friend Marina's baby Reggie.
Eli with Reggie

And I couldn't find a picture but he likes to hold Susie's little Hannah too. (Sus - I know you took one before on your camera)

Sometimes still he likes to be my baby and have me hold him like a baby and sing to him. I can't believe how big he is getting! Of all my kids I wouldn't have expected Eli to love babies so much. Before I got out the camera he'd probably been sitting her holding Maggie for like 5 minutes.

It is ridiculously cute of him.

Monday, July 12, 2010

In the kitchen: Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate Mousse Cake

I've seen this a few places online and wanted to give it a try and then made it twice in two weeks. It's that yummy. The best thing about it is that it's not too heavy. Not as heavy as you'd think being so chocolate and all.

Essentially you just make two round cakes. You can make them from scratch or you can use a mix. Did it once each way. Both taste great.

Bake them then let them cool (this picture I was in a hurry to get the cake done and the stuff was dripping off it :) )

Level off the bottom cake - there are fancy tools to do that but I've never had one and always just used a knife. Which totally works.

Then add a layer of chocolate mousse. Like this one or this one or this one. Any chocolate mousse recipe will work.

So you layer that on top of your bottom cake. Then add skor bits. Top with your other round cake. And cover that with a chocolate ganache. Which you can find here. Then add more skor bits. And enjoy.

It's tasty!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Just a little something to share

Still working out some kinks here and there. But my new photo home. :)
Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I just needed to say

Regan is just the best dad there is because
• he takes the kids on bike rides so I can have some more time to edit pictures
• he makes up stories with characters the kids suggest
• he uses voices in his readings sometimes
Dad's Day 2010
• he gets the kids all excited about whatever it is
• he has the MOST patience EVER. I've seen him "lose his temper" (which compared to the rest of human family would not be losing a temper AT ALL) like twice
• he gets up at 530 am with Eli and takes him for runs on some mornings
• he is a completely involved father, changing diapers, giving baths, wiping snot, etc
• he explains things and talks to kids about his work and his day (which often amazes and impresses Alden immensely)
• he wrestles and plays with them over and over and over
Acting for the camera
• he helps me be more patient with them by giving me the "calm down" look or with a hand on my shoulder
• he teaches them to love me and respect me with his actions and his words
Just the boys
• he bears his testimony of God to them often and teaches them the words of the scriptures
• he is a great example of serving others and fulfilling his duty to God in his actions
• he brings a sense of fun and laughter to our home
• he encourages them to be their very best
• he reads with Alden and works with him on his school work
All this and for so very much more I am so grateful for this man.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

What's been keeping up busy around here lately....

• trying out the new tent in the backyard (while Dad and Alden worked to set it up, Lucy came over to pose for me :) ) the older two kids slept in our backyard with Regan one night and then in the backyard at G&G Steed's another night
• had a Pioneer Primary party where I took vintage photos of all the kids
Vintage Alden
and they enjoyed ice cream in costumes
• had 8 photo shoots in the last two weeks. Two weddings, a vintage grad shoot (which was AWESOME), an engagement shoot, a group of 6 girl friends and and 2 family shoots. (not including the pioneer shoot I did for the Primary)
• Regan finished his 1st year of residency (yipee - we are half way done!)
• enjoyed some time in Waterton as a family
where Reg mountain biked down a mountain where he almost rode right into a black bear. Yep just him on his bike in the middle of know where with a bear on the trail. So he moved to the side of the trail and the bear walked on by (scary!)
(waterton was SERIOUSLY windy when we were there)
• had a group of people over for Chinese Food night - and had some people not show up that said they were coming (which always makes me feel a bit bad)
• celebrated Eli's birthday with a little party where he did not touch his cake (second year in a ROW)...see Alden's hands trying to make Eli look at the cake
Must eat CAKE
with his two bestest buddies - Sawyer and Owen (yes it was hard to get these three busy boys sitting looking at the camera)
Eli and his two bestest pals
• had three days of celebrations between Hill Spring and Raymond for first of July
• stayed up super late to many nights
• celebrated Grandma Steed's, Brooke's and Eli's birthday with a joint birthday dinner
• editing editing and editing
• Alden finished up grade one
Last Day of grade 1
• enjoyed having Regan around since he took off the last 10 days
• reading lots of books - finished the Percy Jackson one (The Lightning Thief and the second book in the series)
• baking cakes and other treats
• having lots of fun