Thursday, November 17, 2011

bitting, party of eight | nappanee family photographer

this summer i did a very quick (30 minutes or less) photography session with my brother's family. my sister-in-law needed a few photos for a local magazine article she was writing, and here are some of the shots that we got.

we didn't have much time, but i love the idea of "poses" that bring out the personalities, and even with eight people in one photo, i think this one comes pretty close...

although she didn't get to use her headshot for the article, i have to post it because, as my youngest once said while he watched me editing her photos...

"she has such a cute face!"... and a beautiful smile and heart to go with it.

thanks guys - it's always a pleasure♥

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

christmas organization - getting it together

how are your organization skills? is planning your thing? are you good at it?

me - i'm a planner slash list-maker. i live by the list. in fact, i practically have a list of the lists. problem is, sometimes i'm not so good at it. sometimes i forget the list. or i lose the list. or i have plans for a list, but forget to make the list.

seriously, i'm not so bad at it, but i can tell you this... i don't plan like i used to.
these days i "selectively" plan. (sounds like a sister to selective memory, right?)
i plan what i have to, and hopefully don't miss any of those "have to's" if i'm lucky.

the christmas holiday is one of those things that i normally plan. i've tried different methods... kept lists, filled binders with ideas, made advent calendars... i've just plain filled the family calendar with all sorts of activities and traditions. none of these "methods" has stuck with me for very long.

back in 2006, when my youngest child was a mere 7 years old, he surprised me by giving me a lovely red journal for christmas. the truly wonderful thing about it was, although it wasn't on my christmas list, i really did need a journal to record all of our christmas traditions, activities, and gift giving. a christmas journal... it was perfect!

just last week i was wondering about last christmas, trying to remember the details of what we did, gifts we got our boys... that sort of thing. it also occurred to me that i was frantically searching for the perfect size christmas tins at the last minute. why was i doing that? did i write it down? i may still make my lists and write things on the calendar, but i confirm everything we did in that journal. it's my memory on paper.

so i pulled out my handy, dandy, christmas journal to see just what i'd done last year.

much to my dismay, i DID NOT RECORD CHRISTMAS 2010!
WHAT THE HECK? this just threw me into a tailspin.

HOW am i going to remember what i did last year?
WHAT did i need those tins for?
SURELY i needed them for a good reason - but what was it?
WHATEVER will i do????

{i fully realize the insignificance of the little things i obsess about, but this is how my mind works}

now, to remember all the details from an entire year ago. ouch.

to make things worse, last christmas was weird. i didn't plan anything new and we didn't stick to any of our previous plans. we didn't put up a tree - we were just.that.lazy. we thought that as long as the boys didn't care, we wouldn't even bother with getting it out. what's the likelihood that two people as lazy as us would have kids that weren't just as lazy? yep, we pretty much had that deal sealed from the start.

honestly, that is what happens when i don't plan. if we don't have plans or a schedule to follow, the bare minimum gets done. we would all just be blobs on the sofa or in front of the computer screens. nothing deliberate, nothing intentional.

so right now, i'm getting a leg-up on the plans. i'm not going to over-commit, but i'm going to put in an effort. i've got my christmas to-do list started and already have some plans in the works. i'm even thinking of braving a christmas-gift-list-less year. yep... no christmas lists.

this could be the new me... live dangerously, but with a plan.

*if you're thinking about planning and would benefit from an actual christmas planner, check out these cute diy christmas planners.

Monday, November 14, 2011

19 yrs ago

photo courtesy of the big boy

due to my usual lack of planning, we tore our 15 year old son away from his computer yesterday afternoon, during the crazy-windy, typical november weather to take a few quick snaps of us on the back porch.

not exactly ideal conditions for a proper portrait, but my guy's smiling, so that's good enough for me.

happy anniversary babe♥

Thursday, November 10, 2011

fall art project | nappanee photographer

this year, i'm trying to incorporate art into the 6th grader's schedule on an every-other-week basis. i thought about laying out an entire curriculum plan this summer (like being ready ahead of time... that would be amazing!), but instead, it's a work in progress. i'm trying to work it into his history or science or wherever it might tie into something he's already studying. if that happens, it will probably be a happy accident, but i'm doing my best to stay current. i always feel like if it's not planned ahead of time, it will probably flop.

so far it's worked out and it gives me time to get projects ready on the off weeks and it gives the boy a break. me, i don't need an "art break" but i guess art can be tasking on an almost 12 year old boy.

this summer i found a plethora of art teacher blogs. once you start looking around, you'll find that there are entire communities of blogs dedicated to everything you can think of and art teachers is one of them. i've bookmarked tons and will try to share from them often.

i found this project here where it's entitled layered fall leaves. this project is done using actual leaves to trace shape & veins and then the outlining is done with a black sharpie (or in our case we used an american crafts slick writer permanent marker because they're not as "bleedy" as sharpies) and then the coloring is done with oil pastels.

*this is my 2nd time using oil pastels and i am not impressed. i'd frankly rather use crayons. maybe the brand i'm using is just cruddy. someone tell me if they have good experiences with oil pastels so i can see what i'm missing.

i think the boy did a great job; he's very creative. he came up with his own way of blending all by himself & it looks nothing like the sample on the blogsite i got the project from, so i'm impressed.

now i'm off to search through another blog community that i'm SO excited about {enter sarcasm here}: math.... proofs for geometry, to be exact.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

how i spent my summer and didn't blog about it

oh my goodness.
i haven't been on the blog since july. JULY.
this summer came and it went... soon we'll be getting ready for thanksgiving.

where has this year gone?

and i know very well that i'm far too old to be writing anything entitled
how i spent my summer, yet here i am.

honestly, i don't really want to talk about my summer.

but if i did, i could tell you about how we stayed home. a lot.
and that we only went swimming twice. all. summer. long.
i could tell you how our garden really stunk and the canning was almost nill.

i could also say that i spent nearly every waking moment researching for this school year, and making sure i was ready to officially home school a high school student. my brain literally hurt at the end of each day, but it was exciting.

i might also tell you that we saw all the big super hero/action movies (thor, green lantern, captain america, pirates of the caribbean, cowboys & aliens), but that might be a little too much insight into the real priorities in my life.

all i know is that i was busy and i did not blog.
and i really didn't miss it. {insert cringe here}

so, i've been thinking about blogging and about not blogging.
i think i'd really like to get back to it. i think i've got some things to say and maybe some resources that others might find useful.

i've got lots of ideas for posts ranging anywhere from that i'm loving, to teaching my guys greek & latin roots, to an art curriculum i'm designing, to why i tried the no-shampoo method of washing my hair this year.
(yes... yes i did & i know you can't wait to hear about it)

now, i know that all sounds just awesome, yet i find myself struggling just to keep the toilets clean these days!
just keepin it real, peeps.

so how am i going to fit blogging in there? i don't know.
and now i'm having a conversation with myself.

so, give me a shout out. tell me how you do it all, if you do it all,
and what the heck... even if you don't.

throw some encouragement my way!

i could use it right about now.

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