Tag Archives: fall

Tomatoes in Late November

Aaron’s family has a “hoophouse”, a type of greenhouse where they can grow some produce year round. The tomatoes are really thriving in there. We went out today to take a look and the kids helped their uncle pick some.









In case you wondered what it looks like at night…

And, if you look really closely in this one, you’ll notice a ghost dog.

P.S. I didn’t entirely forget about Imperfect Fridays, today. But, I did forget to take a picture for it! I will share that I got one of my nicer pairs of shoes completely muddy and gross today. Mud on the outside AND inside. I wore them to walk the dogs in a field, because they were all I had, and the last part of my walk was incredibly muddy.

This was before they got muddy today, but you can see where this is going. And, just so you know how weird I am, I often take photos of my shoes while I’m out on walks.

Thanksgiving 2013

The internet is a bit slow, so please forgive me if I am unable to post tomorrow or Saturday. But, I’ll do my best!

We spent Thanksgiving with Aaron’s family. They have a family reunion with his extended family on Thanksgiving.

To quote another one of my children, “That’s all?!?” Don’t worry, there was plenty to eat. Gus just wasn’t impressed with what was on his plate at that moment.

I love this photo of him. He looks at me like this often, usually when he is puzzled by something I just said.

Aaron, his grandmother and Lena.

After lunch was over, Gus and I snuck off to a little playground. This is a very small town, and as it turns out, they have an old fashioned merry-go-round. I saw a really awesome photo recently, taken on a merry-go-round and I thought it would be fun to try. We weren’t going quite fast enough, but you can get some idea of how it would look.

Gus needed a nap after lunch, so…

Aaron and his brother played cards. These two are ridiculous together. If you’ve never heard Aaron get loud, put him in a room with his brother and a deck of cards.

Lena played blocks with her great-grandmother.

And Reed and I played Legos together.

Because Aaron’s parents live in the middle of nowhere, I snuck out with my camera for a bit tonight after the kids went to bed.


Have I ever told you guys how much I love night photography?


Preparing for Advent

Last week, I saw this neat Advent calendar idea. In short, you can purchase a digital download of a “random acts of kindness” cards, which benefits the¬†Cystinosis Research Foundation. It’s a cool idea, so I purchase the download. But, I realized I can’t do a random act of kindness with the kids each day. There are days where we only have an hour and a half to eat dinner, do bedtime and spend a bit of time together.

But, I loved the idea of random acts of kindness in the Advent season. I decided to use the ideas from the RAK cards for some days, and fill in the rest with Bible verses.

The cards for Monday-Thursdays are Bible verses related to Christ’s birth and why we need Him in our lives. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are a random act of kindness that we will do.

I had to gather some supplies.


I wanted to stamp the envelope with the date, but apparently stamps are crazy expensive at Hobby Lobby. Not happening. I should have printed the date on them, but I ended up hand writing the date on each.

In Photoshop, I made the actual template for the cards. I was inspired by the RAK cards one, but that ones says “Random Acts of Kindness”, so I wanted to make one that was accurate to what we are doing.

I know the little symbol in the middle looks like a sun, but I’m calling it a Moravian Star.

When I went to print them out, I realized that I had no colored ink cartridges. Only black. Oh well.

I could only find 2 finish nails, so I had to hang the two strings from the same nails. It would look a bit better and the cards would overlap less if I had 4 nails.


Can’t wait to start! Anyone have any fun Advent traditions of your own?

Opposite Sundays and Late Date Night

Do you remember my post about going to the beach last Sunday? Yesterday was like the opposite. I wanted to stay in, curled up in bed all day long.

But, I needed to go the store. The temperature read…

But, I did see more of these guys. This picture reminds me of the picture I took a week earlier, but the setting was rather different. Sitting on a piece of drift wood in the middle of the river, on a 65 degree day. Or sitting in my car in Target’s parking lot on a 23 degree day. Hmm.

Aaron and I decided to go on an improptu date night. Our amazing babysitter was happy to help us out, and we snuck out after the kids went to bed.

And then this happened. Pulled over. Ugh. We had a headlight out. The officer was super nice, and after checking our insurance and Aaron’s drivers license, he let us go with a warning and told us to enjoy the movie.

After the movie, Aaron was insistent that he didn’t want to get pulled over again, so we made a late night Walmart stop and changed the bulb in the parking lot. Wow, what a date night, right?

Since apparently this is a blog about my kids, I’ll share a few photos of them, too.

Just more after school photos.


Girl has mastered the monkey bars officially. Sitting on top now.


Mint or Caramel?

We had Aaron’s sister, brother and brother-in-law over for dinner tonight. With no time to grocery shop this week, Aaron working today and my lack of desire to take 3 kids shopping on a Saturday, I resigned myself to ordering pizza. And baking something that we had the ingredients for.

That left the important question.

But, as I pulled out ingredients, I realized that I did not have what I needed for brownies. No cocoa for my favorite brownie recipe. However, we did have unsweetened chocolate. I found this recipe, and decided to give it a try.

First, you have to melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler.

Melted buttery and chocolate goodness.

Meanwhile, I recommend setting your refrigerated ingredients out. Let them warm up to room temperature.¬†Always a good idea when baking. One of your eggs might even roll off the counter and then you can blog about it. Imperfect Saturdays. It’s a thing.

Add some sugar, but don’t make the mistake I made. Stop daydreaming and pay attention to how many cups you are adding. In the end, I figured it out, but boy was I worried for a few minutes there.

Once you’ve added all of the ingredients for the brownies, put them into pans. I decided that I can’t let anyone down and took a bit of the batter and turned it into mint brownies. You can do this with mint chips, mint Oreos and/or mint extract. Whatever minty stuff you’ve got. Except gum. Or toothpaste. Skip those.

You should definitely do all of this while listening to one of the Doctor Who soundtrack albums. Since today’s the 50th anniversary of the first episode today, that is essential.

Letting your kids watch a movie while you bake might buy you some peace.

While you wait, wait, wait, you can sit on the floor with your dog.

After you are done with the brownies, you still need to make the best part– caramel. At this point, I realized I had no cream. So, I followed this easy recipe for caramel with milk and butter. Yum.

After pouring the caramel on your brownies, you still have the difficult question left.

Mint or caramel?

Imperfect Fridays

Imperfect Fridays. It’s a thing.

Okay, okay, it’s not a thing yet. It’s a thing that I’m starting.

Last Friday, I shared about my struggles with depression. It resonated with many of you and I got lots of feedback that even if it didn’t resonate with you, many of you told me it it was a brave thing to do.

Imperfect Fridays is my attempt to do a much milder version of that every week. I spend 6 days sharing carefully composed and edited photos with you, and I want to take at least one day to show you something that hasn’t had all of the gritty edited out. What makes me a tad bit uncomfortable or even embarrassed. Because you’re a real person, too, right? And because life is imperfect.

We women can be really good at showing each other just enough to make each other jealous, and my goal is to do a bit less of that.

Welcome to my messy life.


I took this photo before I had the idea to share my Imperfect Fridays with you, but it still hints at some imperfection. Food on the table, instead of his plate, which of course, was him, not me. A sliver of laundry baskets in the kitchen. They practically live there. And, Reed and Lena’s art baskets to the right, with their other random papers shoved in front of them. Baskets help conceal some of the mess.

Lunch with a 2 year old. Food all over the table. And his shirt. I’m okay with that. There’s no place like home, even when your home needs to be cleaned.

What I originally planned to share today, and this is too cute not to share… Aaron taught Gus “Talk to the Hand.” That was the cool thing to say when I was in elementary school. Gus’s attitude lately is a casual “nope”, so “Talk to the Hand” is very true to him.

I know someone out there won’t believe my sweet, quiet husband taught him this. Here’s proof.


So, Imperfect Fridays. Anyone else want to help me make it a thing?

The best part may be that you can forget to share, and that’s a perfectly Imperfect Friday.