Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

Thanking the Lord this Memorial Day that we have welcomed Shawn home safe from war three times over...and praying for those who are grieving through a very different kind of Homecoming.
I know how blessed I am to have photos like these to share...
Daddy's Home
It's on Pioneer Woman Photography today!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

PW photo assignment update

She chose my photo! It's posted here on PW today!
Coming Home | the moment
I was so shocked and honored to see this photo on the Pioneer Woman Photography site a little while ago. I keep scrolling through the submissions coming in to the Flickr group and I keep reaching for those tissues -they are beautiful. Take some time to watch a bit of the slide show if you can, remember what this holiday weekend is about and give thanks.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

in other photo news

I'm still wading through the Florida photos but took a detour today on another project.  Yesterday, my friend Christy called to let me know that a couple of the photos I took at her husband's homecoming last year were on the Officer's Christian Fellowship website.  I gladly gave OCF permission to use the photos from that day and it has been fun to see them pop up on the website from time to time.  After talking to Christy, I got an email from another friend (who happens to be an excellent photographer) asking me if I had entered Pioneer Woman's latest assignment.  I'm always about fifty posts behind in my Google reader so I've never managed to hear about an assignment in time to take part -till now (thanks, Sara!)  So, I uploaded a handful of favorites (including the one on the OCF banner) to Flickr and will submit them to the PW group over the next few days.  There are some beautiful moments posted there and it is near impossible to browse them without reaching for the tissue box.  As Memorial Day approaches I am so glad I have the chance to use my camera in this small way to say thank you.  May we never forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in their service to our country.
Coming Home | watching for his hero

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This is what happens when one bird gets a hold of one Cheeto...a whole lot of birds come looking for more (mine! mine! mine!) It's really not a good idea to stand still under these guys for too long but watching the kids chase them on the beach and the resulting pictures was worth the risk. In black and white and without the poop-factor, they actually become very pretty birds!

Monday, May 24, 2010

home again

Here I am -home from Florida- tanned, tired and trying hard to catch up on all this.
Mostly just making a mess of my little work space though. I think I'm going to be here a while.
More iced tea might help. Or maybe fewer interruptions. Or perhaps a nap...
Photos are coming, folks! Eventually...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

beach babies

There is something oh so adorable about babies on the beach. The look of wonder (or worry) as they watch the waves, those toddling, stumbling steps among the seashells and sweet little fingers and toes digging in the sand.
Our ever-expanding family will be welcoming two more beach babies this year. Lisa's little girl will be here in July and Nathan and Amanda will welcome their first in November!

Monday, May 17, 2010

how cool is this...

On May 14, 2010, we listened to the countdown and waited for the blast off...

...before running outside to scan the blue Florida sky...

...where we saw the space shuttle Atlantis flying...flying...gone...on its final mission to space.

So cool.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

florida so far...

The kids and I survived our ten hour drive to Florida. In fact, it was actually a very easy trip. I was worried I may get here and not have the guts to drive back home but Shawn doesn't need to worry, we'll be back -eventually!
For now, we are swimming, eating, drinking, swimming some more, eating some more, drinking some more...yep, that about sums it up. I'll be around with more photos but right now, I have a margarita to finish...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

heading out

I'd rather be outside too
"Ousahhh!" she says.  That's Kate speak for "outside" which is where she would always rather be.  We've been out a bit today but mostly we are cleaning and packing and re-cleaning and re-packing (that's just how it goes when you have so many helpers).  Tomorrow we'll kiss dad goodbye and drive down to Florida for some time with family (we are not happy that dad has to stay and work but again, that's just how it goes).
If I decide to emerge from the pool or my lounge chair, I'll be here with fresh shots of sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and of course, my own little ones.
flower picking

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

taking a moment to dream

We are soaking up as much time on The Summer Wind as we can right now. The kids enjoy hanging out at the docks for picnic lunches and whenever possible, Shawn and I love to steal away under the setting sun.
sunset over New Riversailing out of New River marina
We are considering some options for moving the boat to Virginia with us but the task is a bit overwhelming. Having never left the familiar waters of the New River inlet or spent more than one night on board, the cruising life is uncharted territory for our little crew.
Think of the opportunities, though! In the future we would love to spend days and weeks at a time exploring together. Homeschool would become boatschool with the value of hard work being a central theme of the curriculum. Oh it's not easy to live in close quarters for extended amounts of time, we know that, but what a way to learn how to be giving, how to live simply and how to look after one another at all times.
dinner cruisesunset over New River from Gottschalk marina
These are the things we dream about on our peaceful evening sails...when the kids are not with us begging for snacks, complaining about life jackets or arguing over who gets to sit where...Yes, we know the reality that comes with our dreams!
Still, doesn't hurt to dream.
just the two of ussunset over New River

Friday, May 7, 2010


my Peonies are blooming!
Flowers are blooming! The Peonies are having their best year yet, a Clematis is being much better enjoyed in it's new home on the porch and every bit of table, counter and mantle space in the house is currently taken up by jars and bowls and pitchers of blooms. I want nothing more today than to enjoy them -to be outside working in the garden, playing with the kids and taking photos to share with you. But it has come to my attention this week, that some changes to the way I do that are needed.
I recently discovered one of my photos had been posted to another blogger's site without my permission, knowledge or credit. From what I can tell, it is an "innocent" mistake, a poor decision, but I can't be sure. The post it is attached to is not in English. The blogger has so far not responded to my emails and requests that the image be removed.
after a drink
Recently, I've been thinking a lot about how to better protect my photos. I'm working on that new gallery site and adding a watermark and then there's Flickr or do I simply go to a private page...and I'm overwhelmed. I don't have a lot of time for this which is why I've been thinking about these things but have been slow to act. My blog is something I do in the few spare moments of my day when I have a chance to browse the photos in my camera and record thoughts and memories of favorites. My blog is a chronicle of my family, my garden, my photography. It's a scrap book that doesn't require me to haul out paper, scissors, stickers and tape (uhg!) You can imagine then why I feel so violated by the blogger who used my photo.
I put it out there, though. I am to blame.
bringing them in - peonies & iceberg roses
So changes are coming. Posting may be slow and infrequent for a while as I work through these issues and take some time to do things right. To be honest, part of my mind has been hovering over the "delete blog" button for the past couple of days. Yes, I'm that serious. But I want you to know that you are welcome here, you are welcome to request the use of my copyrighted images, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments. I love being able to share my words and photos with you and I love the friendships that have blossomed from this little patch. I'd hate to lose all that. So rather than freak out, I'm going to try to see this as an opportunity to make things better -to bloom. Thanks for sticking with me.
Clematis on my porch

Thursday, May 6, 2010

the story of my orange tree

Once I had this little orange tree. Then it died. I left the twiggy orange tree sitting in its pot for a couple of months while I considered what to replace it with. Then one day it began to sprout new, green leaves. It was an orange tree miracle. Then one day, my baby girl found those new, green leaves and plucked them all off. She left a pinwheel in their place. The end.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

grumbling & goodness

Lately, we don't have a whole lot of family time. Shawn leaves for work before dawn and comes home well past all our bedtimes -when he comes home at all. If I start to feel sad about moving away from here I simply think back to when I last saw my husband in the daylight.
I could (and often do) grumble about the difficulties of these last couple of years when I know I should be counting my blessings. We've had three children since we moved here and Shawn was present for every birth. That alone is huge in this military life! We are all healthy, we have a beautiful home, we don't worry about how the next meal or the water bill will be paid for and we have a truly amazing extended family. I often quote Philippians 2:14 to my kids reminding them to "do all things without grumbling" and just as often I realize I need to be reminding myself. There's no way around it -time apart stinks, deployments are hard, long days are exhausting- but through it all we have learned to take what time we get together and use it well. The Bible doesn't just tell us what not to do (grumble) but also, "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31) It's why we plant seeds in a garden we are leaving behind. It's why we bought that old sailboat. It's why we spent Saturday afternoon at the park even though the porch really needs to be painted. It's why I'm not angry with my husband for calling tonight to say he will not be coming home -again. It's why we make the most of those long weekdays with friends for play dates, shared babysitters, field trips and picnics. I can fight, complain and grumble my way through or I can choose contentment. I can dwell on injustice or inconvenience or any number of irritations, or I can choose to be grateful. Amidst so much stress, we find peace (and a whole lotta fun). Truly, we have much more goodness in our lives than anything else.

"He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him."
John Piper , Don't Waste Your Life

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

for sale!

...old magazines, toys, clothes and housewares.
Beat up furniture, broken electronics, stuff, stuff and more stuff...
Take it! Take it away! we said. But you can have it for half that! we said.
And take it they did for a pretty penny in our pockets and empty space in our closets.

...and it is best to garage sale with friends. You can sell your junk alone for a few
measly dollars and a lost Saturday morning or you can have a party that pays for itself!

(lemonade photo by Christy)

Monday, May 3, 2010

turning in

I had posts planned in my head. There are photos of the garage sale, the park, the flowers...oh so many photos, oh so little energy for editing and choosing. My eyes are blurry and my thoughts fuzzy so I'll just save those for later and turn in, but not before I snap just one more of the cozy spot calling my name. Lights out, all. Goodnight!
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