Saturday, August 26, 2017

Photo Friday 2017 ~ Week 34 ~

You guys, my girl is a cheerleader!  Last night was her first game and she did great and she looked so adorable in her cheer uniform.  Her bow is like bigger than her head but I kinda love it.  I'm so happy that she is getting the opportunity to experience a fun part of high school life while still being homeschooled.  It's really the best of both worlds.  The fact that I was a cheerleader in high school just makes it that much better because now I'm totally reliving all the memories I made as well.  I think it's crazy that a couple months ago this wasn't even on our radar and now my girl is out there cheering with two of her besties.  They didn't do any stunts this game because they had only practiced five times before this game, but I'm really looking forward to the next game so I can see my girl as a flyer.  I'm sure this blog will see many more cheer pics in the future.  Now I totally want to get a zoom lens too.  I've never felt like I needed one before, but this sports photography could get addicting with the right equipment.  I had a lot of fun trying out new things with the stadium lights.  Here are my favorites!

They had a lightning delay so there was plenty of selfie time. :)

Love these sweet girls!

I have no idea what is going on here but I think it's cute.

My fav.  I didn't know stadium lights would be so fun to shoot under.

It's great that my girl has friends on the squad because that means we have friends in the stands too!

Monday, August 21, 2017

One Day in Cincinnati

When we went to Ohio in May to see my new nephew we spent one beautiful day in downtown Cincinnati.  My sister in law took the day off work and took my niece and nephew out of school for the day.  It was like a mini vacay for a day!  I love Cincinnati so much and I swear they waited til we moved to finally make all the improvements they talked about for years before we did.  I'm glad we get to enjoy them now though.  The city is as pretty as ever with so many fun shops and parks.  We started out our day getting donuts in Over-the-Rhine at Holtman's Donuts.  They are known for their maple bacon donut and it was fabulous.  There is a donut place here in Clearwater that all of our friends love and I hate their donuts.  They just don't do it right.  Too many toppings and the donuts are too big...which I realize sounds weird, but trust me, Holtman's does it right.  Wish I could have one of those donuts right now!  

After all that deliciousness we just walked around to all the shops near there.  I wasn't sure if the boys would like doing that, but they didn't complain a bit.  We found this amazing furniture and home decor place that was in an amazing historic building with three stories and a glass floor so you could see up through it to the skylight in the roof.  We all loved it.  My girl is not a fan of heights so it was funny watching her walk on the glass floor.  It was freaking her out.  

We went to a bunch of other eclectic shops and decided to have lunch on the rooftop at one of the many restaurants in that part of town.  The kids loved it and my girl especially because she is a city person like her mama.  After lunch we decided instead of driving to Smale Park we would take the new streetcar.  It was great.  We got a little tour of downtown that way and it was cheap too.  

Smale Park is great and I so wish it had been there when we lived there.  The kids had tons of fun exploring the playground.  My nephew had brought a football and he was throwing it to a bunch of kids who were all using the big slide.  I love how kids will just play with anyone.  What if adults were more like that?

We didn't stay all evening, but it was a fun little day trip and I'm so glad we got to do it.  I didn't take my big camera so these are all iPhone pics. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Photo Friday 2017 ~ Week 33 ~

I totally forgot about Photo Friday until about an hour ago.  We had come home from Bible study this morning and were all doing our own thing and I realized I hadn't taken one single photo this week.  I was trying to think of something cool I could do with the kids so I went looking for them and found them both in my girl's room just hanging out.  They seemed so cozy I didn't want to make them get up so I just decided to take pics of them just how they were.  

My girl was reading a book that I got for her.  She probably wouldn't have picked this one since she's mostly into young adult fiction now.  I wanted her to read the book before the movie comes out though.  Once she's done maybe I'll read it.  

My boy was literally just laying there.  He slept in his sister's room last night on an air mattress.  He has been watching a lot of science shows on TV lately and apparently he had watched something that had a "some scenes may be disturbing" disclaimer on it and he was scared when he went to bed last night.  We had a discussion about what is appropriate to watch so I don't think it will happen again (he watches shows when I run errands so I'm not always aware of what he's watching).  I'm so glad he has such a sweet big sister who didn't mind a bit when he asked if he could sleep in her room.  Some days they argue all day long, but then moments like that happen and it makes me so happy.  After I took these pics I made him read with her and he actually finished a whole book!  That's a pretty big deal for a kid who I usually have to force to read just 2 chapters.    

Enjoying these lazy days while they last!  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Photo Friday 2017 ~ Weeks 31 & 32 ~

This is totally late and I only have one photo to post.  We've had a busy couple of weeks cramming in some last minute summer fun like going to see The Lego Batman Movie (free, of course!) and going to a water park (also free since I scored tickets off Facebook!).  It feels like summer is almost over now that all my kids' friends are back at school.  My girl is starting cheer today and student group starts back up this week and Bible study too.  I'm going to miss our days of nothing scheduled.  Yesterday my kids and I were hanging out in my boy's room playing darts and cards since he finally cleaned his room so that we actually want to spend time in there.  I took a few pics because I knew I didn't have anything for Photo Friday.  The light was bad and the kids were being silly, but I did get this one that I like.  

His haircut makes him look so much older!  And look at that giant foot of his in the background.  I cannot believe he's going to be in sixth grade!  I love his sweet freckles and the way this looks like an old photo.  I do love a good black and white.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Photo Friday 2017 ~ Week 30 ~

Another week of summer has flown by!  My girl took a kayaking trip with her youth group one day and we had a beach day with a bunch of friends (5 moms and 13 kids!) which was so fun and not nearly as chaotic as it sounds.  Having big kids has its advantages.  I had a photo shoot and brought my favorite assistant along.  I offered to pay her by buying her a new pair of Nike's which was an offer she couldn't refuse.  We finished up the beach shoot before sunset so we got to spend some extra time at the beach just the two of us.  She practiced her cheerleading jumps since she's going to do cheer this fall for a Christian school.  I'm so excited for her!  I was a cheerleader in high school and have so many great memories of that time spent with friends and I always secretly wanted her to cheer but since she's homeschooled I just assumed it wouldn't happen.  This is one instance I'm glad to be wrong though.  I can't wait to see her in action and get some pics of her in her cheer uniform.  For now, here are some photos I took this week that I love!  

After we went to the library one day, we had planned to take some photos around town since my girl had some really cute ideas but they didn't really pan out because it was like 95 that day and some of us (including me) were grumpy so we just decided to scrap the whole thing.  I did get 2 shots that I liked before we quit so here ya go. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Photo Friday 2017 ~ Weeks 28 & 29 ~

We've had a busy couple of weeks with lots of summer fun crammed in.  Last week our church had it's VBS which my kids were finally able to attend for the first time because we are usually in Ohio for church camp but we opted to skip this year.  My girl especially loved being a volunteer at VBS and getting so see all the pastors dressed up as superheroes was pretty entertaining.  I'm glad that our church does such a good job at presenting the gospel and not skimping on the important terms like justification and redemption.  It was a fun week for me too since I got to spend some time having coffee and brunch with friends while the kids were busy.  We also enjoyed last Wednesday being the day of free things with us getting free Chic-Fil-A for dressing up like cows and free slurpies from 7-11 for it being 7/11.  We maximized our freebies by going to Chic-Fil-A twice in one day.  What can I say, we like free stuff. :)  

This week my girl tried a new hip-hop dance class which she loved and will definitely go back to.  We went swimming with friends and both of my kids had sleepovers which my boy was especially excited about since he made a new friend recently and they have really hit it off.  We went to another free movie at the mall (free is a trend this summer) and hung out at home the rest of the time.  Most of the kids around here are starting school on August 10th and I can't believe how soon that is!  I'm thinking we will wait til after Labor Day again.  I am just not ready!  And the kids definitely aren't either, shocker.

My boy has been busy playing with Lego a lot this summer and he made a really awesome hot dog restaurant that I took some photos of the other day so that I can submit it to the Lego magazine.  I also took some photos of the kids at our friend's house when we were swimming.  Here are my favs!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Photo Friday 2017 ~ Week 27 ~

My boy and I had a little one on one time this morning.  He has been cutting his Grammy's grass and earning money so we took his check to the bank first and cashed it.  When we were at the mall last week with his sister he saw a kiosk that sold fidget spinners so he had been thinking about getting one ever since.  Last night I told him I'd take him to get one today and he was so happy.  He's never been happy about going to the mall before, but we went to the Lego store and Brookstone and the fidget spinner kiosk.  Perfect mall trip for a 10 year old boy!  He got a deal from the guy at the kiosk who gave him two spinners for the price of one.  He was so happy that he told me he just couldn't stop smiling.  I love that he's learning about hard work and that he got to see the fruits of his labor today.  I love spending time with my boy and I love that he still will hold my hand at the mall and he even gave me a random hug there too.  I'm one lucky mama.  Here are some pics of my boy and his new toys!

 He got a very unique spinner that kinda looks like a wheel.  It's funny that in all the pics of it you can't really tell that it's spinning but it actually was.

He also got one that lights up so we had some fun taking pics of it in the dark.

I love this sweet boy so much!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Teenagers get a bad rap.  Before I had a teenager I would listen to other mom's complain about their teens and it would honestly make me so sad and slightly terrified about my kids growing up.  Now that I have a teen I'm sure I do my fair share of complaining with my mom friends about the new challenges of raising kids in this stage of life, but if I ever get to the point of scaring my friends who aren't in this stage yet, please let me know.  Because here's the's really not that bad.  It's actually kind of awesome.  My girl is one of the funniest, coolest, most honest and sweet people to be around.  And she's one of my best friends.  I used to always think it was weird when parents would say stuff like that, and I would think maybe they didn't understand the parent child relationship correctly, and in my all knowing, not there yet parenting wisdom, I would kinda judge them.  Not unlike how I'd judge parents of toddlers well before I even thought about having children.  What can I say, I'm still a work in progress!  All that to say that I love being the mom of a teenager.  I still can't believe I'm old enough to say that.  Even in it's sometimes maddening moments of eye rolling, sighing, and embarrassment, it's a very cool thing to be talking about more grown up topics and learning so much more about who this awesome person is that is somehow suddenly capable of doing so many things without you.  So when they still need your advice and your hugs and more than anything, just your presence, it's that much sweeter.  

My girl is my baby, my friend, my muse.  I love her sense of humor, her artistic side, her love of dance.  I love that she is a bookworm like her momma and that she likes to listen to music all day long.  I love her long legs and her long hair, her big blue eyes and her beautiful smile.  I love that she loves to draw and paint and write.  She's smart, she's hilarious, she's a good friend and she loves Jesus.  I mean, what more could any mom ask for?  I just pray that we stay friends and that I have many more years to enjoy her love.  

I took her out for a photo shoot way back in March for her yearly photos.  I shared some of my favorites already here.  I had a ton of favorites though so here are the rest!  And if you are interested you can see her previous shoots from when she was twelve, eleven, ten, nine, eight, and seven.  

This is my favorite. :)

Love this one too.


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