Monday, April 30, 2012

Family Road Trip: Calgary Zoo

(Laura asked for my data on the shots and lenses so I added it)

A few weeks back we went up to Calgary (day after Easter weekend) since Regan had the day off.

Well I wanted to find a hotel that wasn't just all of us stuffed into one room. Since we have four kids (including one that is a baby and one that is a terrible sleeper) for my own sanity I needed something that would work for our family. I called around and found the hotel called Service Plus. It had a room called the Family Suite where it had one room with bunk beds and then a pull out cot. So Alden, Eli and Lucy could all sleep in there
(f 1.4 at 1/60 ISO 500 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
and then Regan and Oliver and I could have the main room.
(f 1.4 at 1/320 ISO 500 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
It was sooooo much better than a regular room. Especially since we can't all fit in one room anymore. We'd need two. It was great and if we stay over in Calgary again we will definitely be staying there again! It had a complimentary breakfast so we could feed the kids right there and a water slide and pool. Best part was no one else was at the pool so we had it all to ourselves :) Bonus!
(f 2.0 at 1/1000 ISO 400 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
And man did the kids enjoy it :)
(f 1.4 at 1/800 ISO 400 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
(f 1.8 at 1/800 ISO 400 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
(f 1.8 at 1/800 ISO 400 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
(f 1.8 at 1/320 ISO 400 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
I tried to do a timer shot before my battery ran out but it was all blurry - oh well, keeping it anyways!
(f 2.0 at 1/250 ISO 400 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
The next day we went to the Calgary Zoo. When we lived in Calgary we went a lot. We had passes and went quite often. I think it is a great zoo. It's a lot of walking. (I mean a lot!) Some snap shots from the day. (We met up with Susie and Lindsay and kids there too)
(f 1.4 at 1/4000 ISO 1250 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
(f 1.8 at 1/60 ISO 1250 & f 8.0 at 1/800 ISO 500 with Nikorr 35mm 1.8 lens)
(f 1.4 at 1/1250 ISO 1000 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
(f 1.4 at 1/1250 ISO 1000 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
(f 2.2 at 1/8000 ISO 500 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
(f 1.4 at 1/640 & f 1.4 at 1/500 ISO 2000 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
(f 1.4 at 1/800 ISO 2000 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
(f 13 at 1/320 & f 2.5 at 1/8000 ISO 500 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
(f 3.5 at 1/2000 ISO 500 & f 8.0 at 1/800 ISO 500 with Nikorr 85mm 1.4 lens)
One of my favorite things was the butterfly place. All the beautiful stuff in there!!
Flowers at Butterflys
(f 3.2 at 1/1000 ISO 500 with Nikorr 105mm 2.8 (macro) lens)
(f 3.2 at 1/1000 ISO 500 with Nikorr 105mm 2.8 (macro) lens)
We were all a bit of a gong show with three small babies and feedings and all the other kids. Glad Regan was there!! It was a great day! Lots of memories made!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Foto Friday: Our Year in Photos

Month 4 Week 4: Eyes.

For the fourth week of each month we'll focus on details.

To know more about this project you can read my first post here.

Well all my kids have what I call Steed Blue eyes. I have big eyes but mine are green. (I secretly wish one of my kids had gotten green eyes too but oh well!) And apparently my white balance is off now that they are all lined up together.... oh well :) I'd do black and white but then you'd miss the steed blue :)

Alden's Eye
Lucy's Eye
Eli's Eye
Oliver's Eyes (And smile)

Maybe you should see if you can guess which kid is which... except Oliver obviously gives his away.... I just couldn't crop out that smile :) HA!

You can see all my other entries for this project here

Go check out Brooke's over here that didn't go as originally planned but ended up GREAT!

Please tell me if you have a link somewhere for playing along and I'll add the links.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

List 69: Things to do this Spring

1. Plant a garden
2. Clean out the garage
3. Watch a lot of soccer games for all my kids
4. Take lots of walks outdoors
5. Have family pictures taken
6. Take lots of outdoor pictures of my kids

And since a post is better with a picture and I didn't get around to embracing the camera... here
Alberta Sky

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In the Kitchen: Banana Cupcakes

Two Sundays ago after we got home from church Lucy came into the kitchen and announced that we HAD to make some cupcakes. It was two people's birthdays that she heard in Primary and we had to take them some treats. The two people are leaders - one in the Primary Presidency and the other a teacher - not her teacher. A different one.

Regan was on call, Eli had had a hard day and I was tired frankly. But she wanted to so badly. So we made some. And the kids watched me decorate them with the lovely Honey Cinnamon Frosting. They figured out how all three of them could have a beater (two with a beater each and one with a spoon. Lucy drew and wrote on a card for each of them and we all piled in the van. The first house no one was home so I just opened the door and set them inside (this is Raymond!) and the next house the kids (except Oliver :) ) all ran up and delivered them. They were all so happy to have done it.

Obviously them getting to eat the left over cupcakes that day and in their lunches the next couple days sweetened the deal. But what made me the most happy, and I think them too (especially Lucy), is that they did some service for some one else. It was completely 100% her idea. In fact I tried to talk her out of it. I didn't feel like. It wasn't the easiest timing.

Sometimes, in fact I feel like a LOT of times, service isn't convenient. But that isn't the point. In doing things for other people we are made better and hopefully they are helped too. Reminds me of two sayings. One is a little more polite than the other :)

“God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other." - President Spencer W. Kimball

And "Service is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see what you've done, but only YOU can feel the warmth." :) HA!

Yep I know they were just cupcakes, but I am proud of Lucy for thinking of it and for insisting we do it. And hopefully all of them can start with cupcakes and continue on to helping in bigger ways as they age.

These lovely little cupcakes are a favorite. When you are tired of always making banana bread (although with this recipe I am not sure how that happens!) or just want to mix it up... try out these little beauties from Martha.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas), plus 1 whole banana, for garnish (optional)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

Banana Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Spread tops with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting. Just before serving, peel and slice banana into rounds, and place one on each cupcake, if desired.

Honey-Cinnamon Frosting
1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions : In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat confectioners' sugar, unsalted butter, honey, and ground cinnamon until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

10 on Tuesday

1. It feels like spring is HERE. And maybe summer too.

2. Remember I said I got an ipod awhile ago?? There are some cool photo apps on there. Not NEARLY as nice of a camera as on the iphone that Reg has but it has it's place too. A little collage of shots from my ipod over the last while.

3. I need to do a whole blog post about Easter and all the things we did.

4. And I need to do a whole blog post about some other random family things too. Sometimes I wonder what is the right balance between family stuff and stuff like project life and cooking and all those kinds of things. Some days I have enough to say for TWO blog posts :) HA! What do you think about THAT?

5. I am anxious to get our backyard all done. Especially raised beds and a fence. And a cement pad with a basketball net. I'd love to play outside shooting hoops with my kids!

6. Went to the park today to meet a friend and then ended up seeing four other friends there too. Love it when that happens!

7. Mother's Day is coming up.... thought about a gift yet for your mom & mil??

8. Have you seen this? Scary!

9. I have decided that I want to do food photography. I think it'd be fun for like a magazine or a menu or website for a business. But the likely hood of that is small.

10. I might be getting a tad bit annoying with this.... but here is this again. If you haven't entered yet - do it!

Monday, April 23, 2012


Eli: "Mom is Jesus in the night?"
Me: " What do you mean?"
Eli: "Does he fly in the night in a rocket? Up like in space?"
"Me: "Well he's not in a rocket but I think he's up in heaven."
Eli: "Well, maybe we should get a telescope then we can see him and find him up there."

Eli: " Mom, Alden and Kolten were tipping my chair back."
Me: " Was that fun or scary?"
Eli: "Scary. And I asked them to stop but they wouldn't."
Me: "So, what did you do? Hit them?"
Eli: "No! Maybe I could tell them to freeze!"
Me: "Like freeze Alden?"
Eli: "And Kolten. That's what Diego does."


Friday, April 20, 2012

Foto Friday: Our Year in Photos


Month 4 Week 3: Dad and the Kids.

For this week of this month we'll focus on relationsips.

To know more about this project you can read my first post here.

I tried to get a nice shot of the kids with Regan in the pool when we were in Calgary but they didn't exactly cooperate!
Our Year in Photos

Oliver really was not a fan of the pool and Regan just doesn't have 4 arms.... :)

One more I snapped with him with the older three as I was leaving the pool to lay Oliver down for a nap.
Our Year in Photos

Every day I know how lucky I am to have such a good husband who is such a good father. He totally makes up in the areas where I lack and how grateful I am that Heavenly Father put us together to balance each other out!

You can see all my other entries for this project here

Brooke is on a little vacation this weekend so she'll be catching up with me again next week!

Please tell me if you have a link somewhere for playing along and I'll add the links.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Listography + Embrace the Camera

list 68: places I’ve lived


1. Vanderhoof, BC

2. Hill Spring, AB

3. Lethbridge, AB

4. Cole Harbor, NS

5. EAstern PAssage, NS

6. Calgary, AB

7. Lethbridge, AB

8. Raymond, AB

(In lots of those towns/ cities I lived in different houses! )

And I'm embracing the camera with Emily.

Oliver and Me

Oliver and me Sunday morning using a self timer and tripod in the nice little pocket of light that occurs every day at our house in Eli's room right around 10 am.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In the Kitchen: Grandma's Buttermilk Donuts

There are two kinds of donuts in my life. My mom's yeast donuts and these.
My Grandma's Buttermilk donuts.
Grandma's Buttermilk Donuts

A lovely cake crumb interior with a golden brown coating. Cooled and rolled in icing sugar is my favorite way to eat them!

Grandma's Buttermilk Donuts
2 cups white sugar
5 Tbsp Crisco (grandma says these do NOT work with a substitute!)
5 medium sized eggs
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 cup buttermilk
2 cup milk
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda

Beat sugar, Crisco, vanilla and eggs with an electric mixer until frothy. Add salt, buttermilk, milk, baking powder, baking soda and flour. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Roll and cut into doughnuts. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Makes 41 doughnuts depending on how you roll the dough.

And yep... no measuring for the flour... this is straight out of Grandma's cookbook that I posted about here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

10 in Tuesday

1. We went to my nieces baptism and made it into Easter dinner too. It was great.

2. I went for a walk / run yesterday actually outside. I was tired but I enjoyed the time outside by myself and the fresh air,

3. My kids have started soccer.

4. Last week Lucy had a random swollen eye. And this week Oliver has it. Weird.
11 April 2012

5. I love the view.
13 April 2012

6. I am ready for spring spring spring.

7. One of my favorite shots from our last zoo trip....

8. I love this.

9. Look who got glasses. They are actually only for reading and screens but she's a TAD bit excited about them and wears them all the time.
15 April 2012

10. If you haven't yet, go and enter my contest on my photo blog.

Monday, April 16, 2012

15 on the 15th


Yesterday was the 15th. I'm doing a project this year taking 15 pictures on the 15th of each month.
You can see the other months here.


That's how a Sunday (with Regan on call) was around here.