Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Not Feelin It...

Holidays were fine. Lots to do, lots to make and wrap and take and bring home and unwrap. Lots to throw away and find homes for and eat. Lots Lots Lots.

Then we all got colds. Thankfully I felt it coming and spent the day before it hit putting away all the new toys and doing all the left over dishes and taking out all the extra trash. Kirk was back at work the day after Christmas and we've barely seen him since. Work Work Work. Then 24 hours later the kids and I all have coughs and colds. And shockingly within 24 hours after that the house looks like a tornado ran through it. How does that happen? But I'm beyond caring at this point. I'm on day three of cold medicine all day and taking care of the kids by myself. If only I could have a few extra hours of sleep and go into a NyQuil mini-coma I feel like I could carry on. But there's no time for that. So carry on in a daze I will.

Dishes are piling up and laundry is out of control. The toys have all found their way back into the living room and spilled out onto the kids' floor. And I don't care. I'll get to it when the fever breaks and the medicinal haze wears off. And I haven't even uploaded any pictures from the holiday gatherings... or videos. I'm sure they're all really cute.... I haven't even looked at them! I'll get to that eventually too.

I made a conscious decision today to switch from my comfortable non-crack-like Alkasetlzer Cold Plus to a 12 Hour non-drowsy (aka Crack) Sudafed Cold medicine. I'm still waiting for the fog to lift and the jitters to set in. Maybe I will have a window of a few hours where I can sweep through and straighten up this joint. Then I will most likely crash hard and require some serious couch time.

Well... I guess that's it for now. New Years is coming up... Everyone have some resolutions ready? I think I do. I'm sure I will post about em on New Years Eve like I usually do when I'm home doing nothing.... But hopefully I won't be sick anymore!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ha Ha Holidays!

I kinda messed up this year and ordered way too few cards to mail out. I usually order too many and have leftovers... so this year I ordered less... and of course, didn't have enough. So if you didn't get a card this year it's not because I don't love ya, it's because I'm a dumb-ass! But here is the card I designed for this year. I love me some Photoshop.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What the...?

So the holiday Par-tays went down this weekend. One all girlie get together with yummy snacks, lots of baby clothes passed along, and some gossip sprinkled on top. Thanks to Lucy and Caroline for being lovely hostesses. I was out Friday until midnight, and only had a couple small glasses of wine. No biggie. But the kids wouldn't let me slow down the day after.

Next day was getting kids ready and packed for grandparent's house - sleepover! Then taking them out there and attempting to do some Christmas shopping with the hubby. Some how we managed NOT to eat lunch or dinner. (Looking back, this is where it all went wrong...) We did all (YES ALL - start to almost finish) of our shopping in a couple of hours and two stores. And we did good. So then we came home for a brief moment of rest and a bagel for me (that was dinner). And then off to a Festivus Celebration. We were kinda tired and irritable before we even got there. But it was fun. There was a contest in three parts (in which I sadly came in third, I had momentary hopes of winning) that was a blast. The only problem was that Kirk was feeling a little to festive a little too early. He got drunk. That's dddrrruuunnnk. Loud, obnoxious, the whole bit. Funny... and not too foolish, just loud and drunk. Why do I care? Cause it was my turn. I was supposed to have full reign to get holiday schnockered. And he was to be my ride home. But he kinda ripped that rug right out from under me. So I sipped my wine and mainly stayed sober. Then Lord Drinksalot passed out in the basement (on a couch, not a cold concrete floor). Almost left him there. But at 2am I decided to enlist the help of someone who wasn't afraid to 'poke the bear' and wake him up. Up he was. Still drunk he was. I drove home and we crashed with a capital C. I'm still tired. And even though I remained sober enough to be responsible, I drank an entire bottle of wine over the course of the five hours we were there...(oh! and a really strong egg not to start off the night) so my belly and my head were a little mad at me today.

Anyway. Soooo.... Yep. That's the story. I did not win the Feats of Strength contest and Kirk did not remain conscious for his first Festivus. Next year.... next year. All in all it was really fun and Thanks to Popps for having us all over to cause a ruckus in his home.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holidays A'Comin!

I think I'm completely unprepared for this Holiday Season... or I have just kindof ignored the things I usually do...

Usually I decorate the tree the day after Thanksgiving, along with the house - stockings, candles, cards, snow globes... etc. This year the tree went up as scheduled (it's a pre-lit fake tree) but the ornaments and all the other trim are still shut up in a big box in the basement... along with all the stockings, kids Christmas books, and all the other festive decor. I just wasn't prepared to yell at the kids EVERY single day to leave the tree alone, or deal with the frustration of the tree having to be re-decorated on a daily basis. The kids are old enough now to do some serious damage and I just wasn't ready. But since the holiday trimmings have remained in the basement, so has all the holiday cheer and festiveness. I keep saying I will get it all out... and everyday I don't. Maybe today will be the day...

And shopping! I usually have a list completed in October for exactly what everyone will get. I do all my shopping online (searching for deals and free shipping and coupons) and have everything arrive before the beginning of December. The the wrapping starts and the pretty packages go under the decorated tree. But with Kirk losing his job this year and money being questionable, not to mention employment being questionable, the gift buying fell to the way side. I have yet to purchase a single gift! Not one! And there is no time left for shopping online so I'm going to be forced out into the Commercial Chaos of the Season... something I loath and fear.

I did get my Christmas card pictures taken in November, on schedule. And my cards made, printed and ordered. I even did Cayce's cards too. But then I forgot to mail them out! They sat in a pile, unaddressed and unstamped, for weeks. I finally got to that yesterday.

And we have his family all coming over the day of Christmas Eve, so I do actually have to plan a menu and shop for food, then cook and prepare that food. I also plan to make some Christmas goodies... some fudge, some gingerbread, and some candy. But that can and should wait until right before the holiday. I do however have to shop for the ingredients. I've never cooked Holiday Poultry... a chicken, a duck, a turkey... so I'm almost excited about giving that a shot.... and on the other hand I might just make a big pasta dish with sides. His family is far from traditional (we ordered pizza of Thanksgiving at his mom's house). So my choices will be mainly for me, they won't care if I make turkey or lasagna...

I think today I will get out the Big Christmas Box and Deck the Halls for the season. Hopefully it will shine a little Christmas Spirit around here. I still have two weeks before there's any real threat of being awakened in the middle of the night by Marley and the Ghost of Christmas Past...

So hopefully it will soon be the "Hap- Happiest Time of the Year!"

Here are a few outtakes from the Holiday Photo Shoot:

Friday, December 10, 2010

FotoFriday - 12.10.10

I've got nothing... we've all had a stomach flu and so you get no photos this week... Here's a silly-face family photo from a few weeks ago....

Ain't we pretty!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Flip-in Out!

Three things to report...

One, I got a Flip. I love it. It's fun and easy and even the kids can record videos. We've spent too much time NOT recording the goofy/cute/silly/brilliant things our kids are doing. So let the Flip-ing begin! I'm sure videos will be coming soon. No idea what I'm talking about? Go Here.

Two, Another Craft Fair. Here's the information if you are so inclined to join:
Saturday, December 11, 2010
St. Charles West High School
3601 Droste
St. Charles, MO 63301
North on Zumbehl off Hwy 70
9am to 4pm

Three, stomach bug. Yuk Yuk Double Yuk. First me, Monday night. Then Tuesday morning Logan threw up but didn't seem to care or be phased by it. Then overnight last night Nola threw up in her bed. There's the Double Yuk. But she seemed perfectly fine afterwords. Now this morning she's slumped on the couch with a just-in-case bowl and saying her tummy hurts. Not sure if she's still 'got it' or just hungry from no nutrients. Either way... this may ruin my chances of actually being at the craft fair. I can't send contaminated kids to a babysitter. But my mom will be there, even if I'm not. Even more reason for you all to go and visit her if I can't...

So there's my story.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Craft Fair Blues

So I did it. My very first face to face attempt at selling my photography. Edward Jones Holiday Mart. It was Saturday.

There was so much planning that went into it. Photos printed up to sell, packaging to buy and then all the prints to package up. Business cards to make, order, and put in all the packages. Frames to buy and fix up and large prints to order and frame. A display to make for the frames to hang on. The bins to look for and buy for all the product to go in on the table... Sheesh, not to mention all the thought put in about pricing on all sizes, all sets, all possible and/or potential combos people might want to purchase. What if they want this? What if they want that? I'm not the kind of person to just wing it on the fly... it had to be all thought out ahead of time. And charted, and printed out and put into a binder. And babysitters, waking up early to get ready to leave and set up early for it to start... it was a lot of work.

And on top of all that, this wasn't even my idea. It was my mom's. She wanted to do this with me and I agreed. I don't regret doing it. It was an experience. It was practice. It was something. It was.... a craft fair.

And now for the big question.... How did it go? How much did I sell?
It was a flop. A bust. A bummer.

Okay, that's not entirely true. I did whip up some greeting cards at the last minute (just because I wanted something Holiday-ish at the booth). And I sold one pack of cards. Yep, one pack. All day. One pack. But at least... and thank goodness... I didn't sell NOTHING.

And onto the bright side.... all the work I put into it was not entirely in vein. The prints are still sell-able. The organization is always worth it. And I have a craft fair under my belt... one notch in the experience department. I saw what people liked and what was ignored. I heard lots of comments about how nice it all was, good for the ego. Several people told us we looked very professional, the most professional booth at the fair was said more than once. I was even asked what Gallery my stuff was shown in. (I said, 'You're looking at it!") And I got questions/requests for things that people wanted to see. From one of those inquiries sprang a great idea for a future series I plan to start working on soon.

Now for some quotes and thoughts from the Holiday Mart:

Just because you bought the over sized chef hat in Christmas print at the craft fair does not mean you are obligated to wear it all day AT the craft fair! (with your gray sweat pants and blue sweatshirt with a teddy bear on it)
They aren't selling blinking light-up Santa hats here, so that means you wore that out in public on purpose... interesting....
"Oh! Do you have a picture of the steel mill in Granite city?!" Oh sure, let me just find that one for you real quick... I knew you'd be here looking for it.... Seriously?
"So... uuhh... you just take pictures of different stuff and then frame them?" Umm, yes, it's call photography... Ever heard of it?
Apparently the ladies over sixty are really serious about their black fingernail polish... I saw about 10-15 older women rockin the goth nails.
Children do not like booths with photography. They really, really don't. Especially when there is a tutu/hair bow booth right next door!
And the most frequently asked question of the day: "Did you actually take all these pictures?" Oh, no sir (or ma'am), I stole them all off the internet and hoped that no one would ask. Again, seriously?

So that was my Craft Fair experience in a nut shell. And low and behold... my mom asked me today if I wanted to do it all over again next weekend. Shit... I guess so.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Me! On a Blog! (that isn't mine!)


Yep Yep! I'm on there! Well, not me, but Yellow Mug Photography, so yeah, ME! If you go there and then click on the category "Photography" in the right hand column I believe I'm on the first page... maybe the second! Woo Hoo!


Me! At a Craft Fair! Four Days until the Holiday Mart. Are you coming? In case you need a reminder, here's the info again:

Edward Jones Holiday Mart
12555 Manchester Road
Des Peres, Mo 63131

South Campus Atrium
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
December 4, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday on Etsy

I'm having a Black Friday thru Cyber Monday SALE on Yellow Mug Photography over on Etsy. Everything is 15% OFF!

Etsy has now created Coupon Codes for sellers to use in their shops! I'm so excited! Before I was leery of trying to create a site-wide sale do to the fact that I would have to change the details on all the listings (which is 35 or more now) and that would have been a ton of work. But now I can just create a Coupon Code and everyone can use it at checkout to get the sale prices. Easy Peasy! The code for Black Friday is THANKS15

And I plan to come up with a discount code for all my blog readers... yep... all 4 or 5 of you!

December 4th I will be at the Edward Jones Holiday Mart. It's a craft fair put on my Edward Jones employees and their families (my mom works there).
Here is the official information:

Edward Jones Holiday Mart
12555 Manchester Road
Des Peres, Mo 63131

South Campus Atrium
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
December 4, 2010

There will be discounted Holiday Prices if you show up! And there will also be a special Holiday Mart Coupon Code given out for the holidays! If you've been thinking of buying something and were waiting of great savings, this is the place to be and the time to buy!
Hope to see you there!

FotoFriday - 11.26.10

What am I thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving Holiday everyone.

Friday, November 19, 2010

FotoFriday - 11.19.10

For a while now I've been working really hard on a new photographic series to sell on Etsy. I ended up with a series of nine photos in three different styles. And I think I'm finally ready to list the series on Etsy today. The series is...

Metal Blooms
The series is of antique water valve handles. I call the individual handles Metal Blooms and the groupings Metal Bouquets. Here are a few of my favorites in each of the styles:

Metal Blooms in Rusted Color

Metal Blooms in Burnt Platinum

...and of course...

Metal Blooms in Black & White

These will be available as individual prints as well as in groups. The prints can be produced in any size square from 5 x 5 to 24 x 24 inches.

Check out Yellow Mug Photography to see the whole series - 27 photographs in all!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Creating Treasures

My photos have been featured in several Treasuries on Etsy, some I listed before. There have been a few since.

But then I started thinking about making a few of my own, featuring my own pieces here and there. So I did. I've made three so far. Here they are:

Tensils & Tines

What Keeps the Vampires Away? Garlic!

It Works for the Zebras!

It's fun to put them together and hopefully will generate a few more looks at my shop. Who knows. As long as it's fun, right? Yep.

I'm going to try and figure out a way to make a Treasury List along side my blog. You know, over there to the right where all that other stuff is... I'll see if I can get it to work. Cause I plan to make lots more Treasuries.

Oh! I've had two sales so far. Just two... but two is WAY more than zero. (It's exactly two more for you math challenged folks out there - hee hee).

Ok - well... that's all.

Friday, November 5, 2010

FotoFriday - 11.05.10

Can you guess where we went on Wednesday?
The St. Louis Arch! The kids had never really been downtown (outside of the car anyway) and Kirk had never been up in the Arch. So it was a first for them all. I was very proud of the kids and Kirk for going up to the "tippy top."

When we first got there Nola couldn't believe she was that close to the Arch and was a little intimidated to touch it at first. She knew it was metal and was afraid it was going to be hot... cute.

Logan wasn't concerned at all and practically ran up to hug it!

We went in, looked around the museum, tested out the display pod (to make sure the kids were really prepared to get inside the real one before paying for tickets), went up, looked down at the city, and were ready to go back down. By that time Logan was well into his nap time and feeling a little cranky and upset... nothing a little Papa-snuggle couldn't cure.

Afterwards we went back outside and played on the steps a while.

The we started our walk back to the car... Nola takes on St. Louis! She and Logan both had a blast!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mr. Karate Chopper

I found this note in one of our junk spots (you know, the places where all your crap that you don't know what to do with ends up). It's obviously from one of Kirk's former employees, but I have no idea which one. I just thought it was really sweet. So put aside all you know about grammar and punctuation and try to read this. (I'm going to type it exactly as I found it, except that it was all underlined and blogger won't let me do that)

Mr. Karate chopper kirk thankyou for
showing me the valuable lesson of
hard work that's the first step of being
a man always keep your beautiful kids
& wife 1 love. Hope to keep in touch

I just thought it was a really sweet thing to get as a boss. And from another guy on top of that. Mind you, Kirk was not his English teacher, but his boss in the kitchen... but this is one case where the thought really does count.

Friday, October 29, 2010

FotoFriday - 10.29.10

Instructions for a Happy Halloween:

1. Have your kids draw funny faces on construction paper

2. Darken the faces (with cutting out shapes in mind)

3. Cut out the shapes

4. Tape the paper to the pumpkins

5. Color in the shapes and remove the paper

6. Cut out the shapes from the pumpkins

7. Nola's Jack O'Lantern (with three "goobelie" eyes)

8. Logan's Jack O'Lantern (pretty good for a 2 year old)

9. Place all Jack O'Lanters on the front porch and light up

10. Place children between the pumpkins and take pictures!

Happy Halloween from the McFarlands!

Monday, October 25, 2010

What a Treasury?

I was asked by a sister-in-law-esque friend of mine to add some St. Louis type things to my Etsy shop so she could include me in a Treasury. A What? Huh? I tried to get a hold of her to ask what that meant, what I had to, how long I had...

I knew she had mentioned them before on her own Facebook page about her Etsy store being selected for this or that Treasury, but I still wasn't sure on the details.

Then the very evening I was waiting for her reply I get an email from a woman through Etsy telling me she has chosen one of my photos to be in a Treasury. Really? Okay! After some hard investigation (ie. a few clicks) I figured out that a Treasury is a group of 16-20 items for sale that all fit a category or group or theme, chosen by the Treasury creator.

My very first Treasury: Artistic!!! Yeah!!

And as I was slowly waking up this morning my cell phone chirped at me to let me know I had a new email... and whadda you know? Another photo has been selected for yet another Treasury!

My very second Treasury: World Pasta Day ... :o)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Closing Door

A door is closing today. Hopefully another will open again soon.
For those of you who don't know, my husband lost his job. Today is his last official day of working. The entire store closed because the lease was not renewed. So it wasn't due to any fault of his own but never the less, he's out of a job. And we are now a no-income family of four. Boy oh boy, that's scary.

So the job search is on and even though he has had a few leads so far, they haven't amounted to anything yet. Being given only nine (yes, that's 9) days notice that you will no longer have a job, a career, a paycheck... is quite a blow. Not even the standard two weeks. So although he's discouraged, I'm not. Not yet. It takes time and patience to find a good job. Hopefully not too much time.

But we have family to help and support us if the need arises. And there's always savings and collecting unemployment (which neither of us know anything about but will quickly learn I guess). So far we haven't told the kids anything. We've done pretty good at talking in code and hiding the stress of the situation from them. But after today they just might notice somethings up when Papa doesn't head off to work every day. I guess we can say he's on vacation. But after a few weeks or months of being home (which hopefully it won't come to) they might catch on... The jig will be up... especially for Nola, she's a smart one. How do you explain that to a kid? Not that she'd even know to judge him... but in my opinion it's just not something they need to even concern themselves with. That's our job (unpaying as it may be) to hold that weight on our shoulders. I'm actually looking forward to having him home a little more for a while. For purely selfish reasons... like having more personal freedom...

So if anyone out there in the St. Louis area knows anyone who knows anyone who might know someone looking for a management position in the restaurant field, you feel free to let me know!

Friday, October 22, 2010

FotoFriday - 10.22.10

Butterfly Reflections
~for sale at Yellow Mug Photography

This was taken at The Butterfly House in Chesterfield, MO.

Pardon me for promoting myself but I just can't help it! And by the way, I made my very first sale! And it wasn't to a family member or a friend. A complete and total stranger loves me! A wonderful woman named Megan from MI bought the 5x7 Utensils Set of Three. I don't know her at all but I think I love her! And I really hope she loves the photos that she bought. (And then of course tells all her friends and family and comes back for more!)

One sale down, billions and billions to go! Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and I hope to have a new batch of photos up next week for sale on Etsy so don't forget to check it out!

Monday, October 18, 2010


So... I did it. I got it together and opened up my Etsy site. It's Yellow Mug Photography.

I've just started listing things... but I hope to have a full shop in a week or two.

Anyone need any art for their walls? Need gifts for the holidays? Tell all your friends and family and keep coming back... Coming soon I will have the full line of Alpha Art up and ready sell. I must say, I'm hopeful. And excited. This might actually work. Yippee!

And as always, tell me what you think! Any suggestions, requests, anything... I'm all ears!

Friday, October 15, 2010

FotoFriday - 10.15.10

Not so much a photo today as much as a banner for my new Etsy store!

(click on photo to see it larger)

This is my first attempt at greatness, not the final product (or maybe it is...)
Please tell me what you think. The good, the bad, the ugly. Gimme whatcha got! I promise I can take it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

FotoFriday - 10.08.10

Fotos from Friday... even though today is totally Tuesday...

Here are some shots leaving St. Louis, going over into good ole Illinois.

(Images removed because they will possibly be sold on Etsy... don't wanna give away any freebies! hee hee)

I have no idea which bridge this is, but you could see it from the highway...

And all the way to Illinois we went, to Eckert's Orchards.

Wagon rides to the trees where we picked apples...

There were rides ridden, goats fed, apples picked, wagon rides had, trains taken, sun endured and lots and lots of fun. We have officially decided that this will be a McFarland Family Tradition. But next year we will make the trip in August... that's when the HoneyCrisp apples are in season and those are my all time favorite apples in the World! This time we ended up with Fuji and Golden Delicious... all good, but they're no HoneyCrisp!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Red Delicious

Nola (starting to wiggle): Mama? Is the apple picking farm open today?
Me: Yesss....
Nola (starting to bounce up and down): Mama? Is Papa off work today?
Me: Yes.
Nola (jumping up and down): Mama? Can we go there today?!?!
Me: YES!
Nola (in full spin): Yea! Yea! Yea! Yea!
Nola (full stop): Can we go yet? Can we go now? Can we?
Me: Oh geez...

So, we are going over to Illinois to Eckert's Farm to go apple picking today. But not for another hour at least since we are all currently in jammies. But I hope to have a good batch of apples AND photos by the time we get home. So FotoFriday is not forgotten, but will probably squeak in by the midnight deadline... so come back and check tomorrow!

This is year two of our Apple-Picking tradition. Kirk and I talked about how fun it would be to take the kids apple picking every Fall until we end up taking our own Grandkids... How cute would that be? Grandma and Grandpa? Logan as a father? All of us out in the orchards picking apples and taking pictures every year? Yeah, I love the Fall....

So off to the Orchard we go! This is going to be a Red Delicious day!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yellow Mug Photography

Here we go again.

With the push from my mom I'm going to put some photog prints in a local craft fair in December. In order to do this up right I need to have a website of some kind to put on a business card of some sort to pass out to potential customers at said craft fair.

Some of you may remember my recent venture into photo cards... I had an Etsy store/website, and it end in a big, giant, "FLOP!" Soooo... as I now need to get something out there in the internet world I think I'm going to go that route again. I have so many mixed and mingled ideas for what to really try and sell, but they all revolve around photography. So I'm just going to name myself, my store, my Etsy, my bizz-nass, Yellow Mug Photography. That way I can get the site up and running and put up whatever my current venture may be. For now, I'll start with my photo prints.

Another venture I've been turning round in the ole brain for some time is my photo letter project. Photos that are of everyday objects, resembling letters from the alphabet, and coming together to form words. Black and white mostly, but also in color. So while my main venture for the craft fair will just be prints, I would like to have the letters up on the Etsy site as well and display a few words for people to see at the craft fair (and hopefully fall in love with and rush online to purchase).

So that's lots of work to do, think about, plan for, actually finish on a deadline.... Oh Geez! I almost feel like a work from home mom with no actual time to work... or think clearly about work. Its hard to focus things into fruition with only 10 minute increments of time to devote... I need an office/studio with a locking door. Oh! Now that would be some kind of wonderful! A girl can dream...

Friday, October 1, 2010

FotoFriday - 10.01.10

Sometimes there are moments when all your parenting efforts just pay off.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Check This Out, Baby!

Guess what I found? Going through some old CDs in the basement (You remember CDs right? Those things we all boxed up and stored away somewhere when music went digital?) I found a true gem.

Apparently I made some CD's for my friends on Valentine's Day back in school, Truman State University. Back in the land of Auto Repair Shops and Meth Labs.
Picture it: Kirksville and St. Louis, 2001. For some reason we loosely referred to ourselves as the Ya Ya's... presumably based off the book. (I would say books plural, but after the first one everything sucked, even the movie.) Anyway, I digress....

So! I found this CD entitled: Ya-Ya's: The Truman Years

I'm going to give you a list of what songs were included (links included if possible) and who they were dedicated to. Now, I'm not sure if this made us WAY COOL - or WAY NOT! But it sure is an odd group of music. And while listening to it in the shower today I could remember times spent listening to, singing to, dancing to, each one of these songs, with each one of these people. So, judge us if you will, but personally, I think we rocked! Her goes...

1. Where My Girls At (Shalyn)
2. I Ain't Yo Hoe (Leah)
3. Baby I Got Yo Money (Cayce)
4. It's Gonna Be Me (Leslie)
5. Me So Horny (Lucy)
6. Caress Me Down (Janae)
7. She's A Lady (Hannah)
8. Sweet Caroline (Caroline)
9. Untouchable Face (Caroline)
10. Get Gone (Hannah)
11. Goodbye Earl (Leah)
12. Call Me Darlin (Leslie)
13. Gone Till November (Lucy)
14. Bills Bills Bills (Shalyn)
15. Shoop (Cayce)
16. Fable (Janae)
17. *BONUS SONG* (Ya-Ya's)

Okay - So I hope all of you listed will read this (and listen tot he songs) and get some giggles, smiles, laughs and memories. Deny it if you want - but we all listened to this crap and openly or secretly LOVED IT! You know you did!

Okay - Enjoy.
(no promises on those links... I did what I could with the time I had)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

When I Grow Up

Nola: When I grow up I'm gonna be a Musketeer.
Me: Umm, Okay.
Nola: So I have to watch this movie (Barbie and the Three Musketeers) every day until I grow up so I can know how to be a good Musketeer.
Me: Oh... Okay. (She begged and begged to watch this movie... which we do watch at least once a week.)
Nola: Every day. Cause I have to learn it really good. Okay, let's see... Hummmm... (finger tapping on her temple) Check one: You have to be really cool and wear a pretty dress. Check two: You have to know how to to flip and get on a horse with a really good flip. Check three: You have to know how to use a sword, and wear a mask, and get into a tree in a really cool way. Like flip up on a branch, then you're in a tree.
Me: Yep, I think you got it. So every day, huh?
Nola: Every day.

Five minutes later and about 10 minutes into the movie Nola is gone, in the other room playing with her brother, and I'm watching Barbie and the Three Musketeers by myself. I guess her commitment wasn't as serious as she thought. That's cool though, cause I was hoping more for brilliant doctor, famous author or artist, or President. We'll just have to wait and see how this Musketeer thing pans out I guess.

Just wanted to also include a past conversation (because it was HILARIOUS!)
At bedtime Nola and I discuss things like the digestive tract, all the types of sharks we know, the extinction of the dinosaurs, things like that...
The other night, after going though how the big dirt ball (meteor) came from outer space and made all the dinosaurs sick and not want to have anymore babies, she asked me how people got to earth. I told her there were several major theories - which led to a mini-conversation about what a theory is - and one was the theory of evolution. Which I explained to her was a theory that humans came from monkeys. I did a little more explanation than that, but that was the gist. So she thought on that for a second and asked me if she used to be a monkey. I said no, and tried to explain that once you're born as a person, you are always a person, and if you're born a monkey you're always a monkey...
She seemed to get it and said, 'Yeah, monkeys are really really furry...'
'Yes, they are,' I said.
She thought for a moment and then asked, 'So... Did Papa used to be a monkey?'
HA HA! I laughed and explained it again. The best I could do for a three year old was to say that a long time ago a monkey had a baby that looked a little bit like a person. Then that baby grew up and had a baby that looked a little bit more like a person... until one day there were monkeys that looked like people... and the other monkeys stayed monkeys. She was cool with that answer.

Friday, September 24, 2010

FotoFriday - 9.24.10

I've been working on some photos for an upcoming fair where I might possibly make some money. Sooo, I may be using my blog for some testing questions in the coming weeks.

This week I want to show you some examples of a series I'm working on of silverware. I'm having a hard time deciding on which style I like best. I need to decide which style to have printed up for sale at the fair. Here is a spoon in three styles. Take a look, and if you would be so kind, let me know which one you prefer. (They would obviously be printed without the watermark words on them.)

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

For Those With Small Ones

For those of you who read this and have little kids, I think you should read THIS POST. Or if you just want to read a blog that deals with kid/mother/parenting/relationship issues...

The blog is Ask Moxie. She's a single parent of two and has really funny humor and I think we'd really get along in real life.... anyway... Make sure, if you take the time to read this post, that you also read the comments. There's almost as much good stuff in those as in the actual post itself. Moxie also has a co-blog with her ex-husband, When the Flames Go Up. Also very interesting to read. I have them both linked in my blog list to the right if you are interested.

Ok - just saying - good blogs, good post, passin it on.

Monday, September 13, 2010

One Small Step...

"Welcome to the 21st century," said Sprint.
"Oh, thanks..." we said.
"Well, you know... Not all the way into the 21st century, but you're closer anyway," laughed Sprint.

Kirk's cell phone was carrying about a one minute charge, on a good day. Mine would last for about a day, with no usage mind you. We don't think we use our phones that much but we somehow managed to go just over our minute limits almost every month. Being a one-income family of four I had paired down our plans to the absolute bare minimum. So much so that we became ineligible for the phone upgrades. We found this out last week when Kirk went to try and upgrade his phone to a working model.

They told him that he would have to pay full price for a phone. Nope. Not gonna do that! So I looked around and found that there was a family plan that gave us more minutes and unlimited mobile usage. And would allow us both to upgrade our sturdy, yet ancient, phones. So off to Best Buy we went in search of new technology.

The plans go two year, we all know this. Do you remember what kind of phone you had two years ago? Did it text? Did it email? It probably took pictures... but did it allow you to post them to your blog or to Facebook? No. It probably did not. Well, we remember what our phones were like... because they were the ones we were still using. I think the sales girl almost laughed at us. I take that back. She did laugh at Kirk. A few times. He's part handsome husband, part monkey, and part caveman. It's true. Technology makes him want to beat his chest and run back into his cave. Especially small technology without buttons. Yes people, we got touch screen phones!

Kirk was not pleased. He chose the most basic of phones on the display table. One with a flip top, real buttons, not fancy, no bells, no whistles. There was one option in this category. He was thrilled! (This was one of the times the girl laughed at him.) But, wouldn't you know it... they were out of that model. So he was forced into the space age and had to choose between several touch screen phones with... get this... a Qwerty keyboard! Actually I chose the phone and made him get the same model, different color, so I could later explain to him how to use it. I chose pink, his is black.

As we walked out of the store, new phones in hand, he muttered under his breath about how much his new phone sucked. How he was never going to be able to figure it out and how his big ole fingers would never be able to work all those tiny little keys... and the screen! What the hell what that all about? He just didn't get it. Poor Kirk. But, after a few hours of training and lots of accidental calls to his family and friends, I think he likes it.

Now don't get too excited... our phones can text and email and surf the web... but we cannot. There's just no logical way I could justify going for a data plan when we are a one-income family of four and I'm home all day. Yes, I would love to be able to sit outside and be online... checking out Facebook, posting on my blog, emailing, paying bills... blah blah blah... texting while I'm driving, sexting at all hours of the day, sending out naked pictures of myself all over the interwebs..... OH! WAIT! Never mind.... I have two kids to raise, and a house that ALWAYS needs cleaning, and meals to plan, shop for and make... I have no time for a smart phone. I'm barely a smart person!

Our time will come. But it has not yet arrived in the world of the smart phone. I feel it is our duty to at least keep up with the times at a bare minimum for the shear sake that our kids will pass us up before we know it. For now... I will just have a cute phone that CAN do lots of things... and I will peek over the shoulders of my more technologically inclined friends.

One small step for our phones, and one giant leap sideways in technology!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Feeling Better

Well - It's been almost four days, almost an entire box of Alkaseltzer Cold Plus Tablets, several rolls of toilet paper (for Kleenex), and a #2 with no onions and a Coke from Mickey D's and things are finally looking up around here.

I'm not sure if it was the full meal or the cold, fountain soda or the coincidental timing, but after that meal (so thoughtfully brought over by Grandma Lisa) I have been feeling better. After dinner was delivered and my mom left I had this sudden burst of energy. Not only was I sitting up on the couch, as opposed to lying on it for days, but I actually got up and toured the chaos of my house. Holy Crap. A few days of being sick and the house is a disaster. So while I was 'feeling it' I went around with a trash bag in hand and picked up all the trash. Now... why doesn't anyone else around here use the trash can? Or put dishes in the sink? I'm not asking for the trash to be taken out or the dished done, just pick your crap up off the floor! So after a sweep was done of the house I insisted the kids start picking up their toys, also all over the house. By this time a cold sweat had broken out all over my body and I was getting a little tingly.

We quickly got ready for bed, early because we were all worn out from sickness and no naps, and I tried to somewhat straighten up the kids' room. Then Nola says to me, "Well, at least it doesn't look like a disaster in here anymore..." Geeez, they really do listen to everything that comes out of my mouth. Lame!

By the time they were asleep I was done for. I plopped back on the couch and spent the next several hours watching a movie and some mindless TV. Over night the thunder rolled and I was up with Nola. I was drenched in sweat. Literally. Shirt, hair, pillow, sheets - all wet. Yuk! But I was actually feeling better. I guess I sweated it out. And this morning I feel even better still. I finally showered, and I'm like a whole new person. I stripped all our beds and have hot washes going as I type. I opened up all the windows to air out the germs and turned on the fans. Next I will give the kids daytime baths and hopefully get outside a little today. I fear taking Nola out when she's even slightly sick due to the fact that she's prone to the Pneumonia. But so far her breathing has sounded fine.

Overall, I think we're on the mend. Here are a few things I've learned from this sickness:
1. Nola will tell me when Logan has pooped his diaper. (because I can't smell a thing)
2. Kirk does not clean up spills from the floor. (I found many sticky spots while picking up)
3. The kids are getting better at playing together. (at least when they don't have a choice)
4. Coke may actually kill germs! (I will now add fountain soda to my remedy list)
5. Watching cartoons for three days straight is bad for your sanity. (especially when you have to watch the same episodes of Blue's Clues and Bob the Builder over and over and over again)

I hope you are all germ free. I'm going to get back to washing the sheets... and covers... and pillows... and blankets... and toys... and then the dishes... and then the floors... maybe I should just go lay down! **Cough*Cough*Sniff*Sniff**

Friday, September 10, 2010

FotoFriday - 9.10.10

I'm hella sick - no photos today. Sorry. Maybe next week...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Me: Nola, do you want a cereal bar with your breakfast?
Nola: Lame...
Me: What? I asked you if you wanted a cereal bar with your breakfast... What did you say?
Nola: Lame.
Me: LAME? Did you say lame?
Nola: Lame.
Me: Do you even know what that means? (giggles)
Nola: Lame means, No.
Me: Okay... so no cereal bar then?

Wow. I can only wait with anticipation for the wonderful things that will come out of her mouth when she's four....

Friday, September 3, 2010

Question for The Masses

And by The Masses, I mean you three or four people who read this...

If you were to buy photography as art for your home, office, a gift... any reason really, what types of things would persuade you to spend your hard earned money?

I'm thinking of trying to sell some prints of my photography. And in looking through my work I see mostly personal subject matter that I'm not sure The Masses - that's you and all your friends - would necessarily want hanging on their walls. So I think I need to branch out a little and I'm open for suggestions.


FotoFriday - 9.03.10

Lacecap Hydrangeas. Beautiful flowers from a far as well as close up.

Here is the same photo in black and white. I was just going to post this one, but I really liked the muted greens of the color version as well. Which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beany & Buster

I've been working my butt off trying to finish this photo book for the kids by tonight. It's now 2am and it's DONE! Uploaded, put together and ordered! And FREE! Woo Hoo! The name of the book is:
Beany & Buster
The Adventure of the Magic Wand

Here is the link to the book on Shutterfly:

I'm going to bed...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pictures Pictures Everywhere!

I have photo albums dedicated solely to each kid. They are the size where four pictures are visible when the pages are open and I have it laid out so each open page (4 pictures) holds a month in the life of that child. Nola's is all in sepia, Logan's is black and white.
What usually happens is that I work really hard on keeping up with these albums for a few months... then nothing. I honestly can't remember when I last worked on their albums. I have to go back through pictures, narrow an entire month down to 4 pictures each, then move them to Photoshop to crop and edit, upload them to Shutterfly or Snapfish, and then order them and wait for the mail to come...
The way it's been going for over a year now is that I wait until I get one of those wonderful coupon emails from a photo-upload site that offers a really good deal on prints. I was JUST thinking about the kids' albums the other day, and damned if I ALMOST didn't start the selection process. But of course I put it off. Then I received an email coupon for 50 free prints which expires in a week or less. So now I have to find the time to get through this whole process ASAP so I can get the 50 free deal!

And Shutterfly decided to surprise me the same day with a free 8x8, 20 page hardback photo book coupon! This one expires in three days! And I have no idea what to create a book of.... Last time I received this offer I complied a bunch of my black and white photos and just made a book. I don't need to do that again because it just sits somewhere, not even sure where it is.... So I was thinking about trying to make a story book for the kids. Either with pictures or my drawings. But I have to really get on top of this idea and get moving... I only have THREE DAYS!

And on top of that I've started another photo project (so far it's mostly just in my mind). My sister Cayce is, and has been, making a quilt for me from Nola's baby clothes. It's technically for Nola but I may not let her touch it until she's grown. So my plan... I always seem to have a plan... is to get pictures of Nola in all the clothes, or outfits, that have gone into the quilt. Then I would like to make a photo book, in digital scrapbook style, of baby Nola wearing the clothes with the quilt squares as the backgrounds and frames. And of course pictures of the actual quilt... and maybe Cayce quilting it. I want it to be a really good memory book. In order to do this I have to really pull out the archives and sift through thousands of digital jpegs to find the outfits and pieces of clothing. It will be a ton of work. Plus I have to photograph the quilt squares and turn them into digital scrapbook papers and frames. It may be an ongoing project for quite some time! But I know it will be worth it in the end.
What I picture is me handing a large, beautifully wrapped box over to my pregnant daughter someday. She opens it and sees the quilt that was put together from her own baby clothes that she can now pass on to her own daughter. We can look through the book that shows her wearing all the different squares at all the stages of her early life. I see smiles, memories, tears... yep, it will all be worth it.
(if she has only boys... well then I'll just give it to her to pass down to her own first granddaughter) Memories here, people! We're making memories!

So, needless to say I have lots of photo-related jobs ahead of me, two of which I should be working on RIGHT NOW! So I'mma get to it!

Oh! Here is a picture of the quilt, not put together, just laid out:

Friday, August 27, 2010

FotoFriday - 8.27.10

On our go-nowhere-far-away vacation this year we went to the St. Louis Zoo twice. Once in the morning and did one half of the Zoo, the second time in the later afternoon and covered the parts we missed the first time. The second time I was much more entertained. The animals are always the same, mostly. But the people are what really fascinate me. So if you were expecting a Friday post of animals, and probably thinking to yourself "oh goody goody, more animals", never fear, I have something much better today!

This guy was not only interesting in his style and dress, but he was camped out outside the penguin exhibit (which smells like a seafood restaurant baked in the sunshine) and sleeping on the bench with his mouth hanging wide open. I have no idea if he was there with a group, or alone for the adventure. But he obviously paused for some much needed rest.

I do have to say... this dude was only the runner up for the highlight of my trip. Apparently it was also Amish Day at the Zoo.... and the Amish completely, absolutely, fascinate me. It's like a hole in the space time continuum ripped open at the Zoo and out walked a slice of history. I had to make myself stop staring. And all I wanted to do was take pictures of them. But unlike Mr. Sleepy Pants, they weren't passed out on park benches for my picture taking pleasure... so I thought it might be slightly offensive. I did try to sneak a few shots but they didn't turn out very good...

I hope you enjoyed this FotoFriday. Be back next week with something even better, I hope. (Although what will really top this dude?)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It Went Well...

The party's over. But it went really well. We've had several really fun days with the boy's birthdays, Kirk's vacation and the party.

Thursday was Logan's actual birthday. We woke up and sang happy birthday a few times. Then I made chocolate pancakes (that's Bisquick + hot cocoa powder) in the shape of smiley faces with banana accents. Here's Big Two enjoying his 'cupcakes', which is what he calls pancakes.

Look how long those legs are! Much longer than a two year old needs in my opinion...

Then we let him open some toys - a 50 pack of army men plus tanks and accessories, and a little motorcycle with two little guys. He loved them! Loved them! Thank you Walgreens!

We played for a while then headed to Chuck E. Cheese for the afternoon. Over all it was a good birthday for little man.

Friday was Big Man's birthday. He had gone out the night before to celebrate grown up style with the boys, so when he came home his gifts were waiting in the living room. The kids were really excited for him to open his presents since they helped me pick them out this year. And kudos to Nola for not spilling the beans for almost an entire week!
His first present was the Perfect PushUp. (as seen on TV) He's been all about working out. We've lost him to P90X, we're in week four I think... So I knew he's love this gift. And he did.

The second gift was his real present, which the kids did actually help me pick out. A new Fire Pit! He loves to burn things and our old fire pit is about five years old and completely junked out. It's a shallow bowl type which is now warped and rusted... just old. The new one is a deep cauldron style with a cute criss cross design on the side. More room to burn stuff, looks nicer and will probably last longer.

He loved it. Then it rained all day.... oh well.

Saturday was the party. It started at 3 and I was barely ready. I felt like I was making decisions all day just to get to three o'clock. Shower, or no shower? Shower and wash hair, or shower and not wash hair. Kid's bath before lunch or after? Make up? What to wear? Ice cakes before shower and make up? Some how it all managed to work itself out... even though I was still icing cakes when the first guests arrived. But I was showered, hair done AND make up on. So at least I was presentable while running around like a chicken with it's head cut off...

People came and we gathered outside (Logan still taking his nap for the first hour of the party). Eventually he woke up and we grilled some hotdogs. All the kids got to eat on their ZOO PALS!

We hung out in the back part of the yard where the shade of the pecan tree made it much cooler. There's Kirk in the background putting together his new fire pit.

After some pool, some grub, some playing and chatting we came inside for gifts and cake!

Kirk and Logan, matching in their camo shorts and wife-beater shirts, ready for presents.

Logan loved all his gifts! He was a good opener, and not easily agitated by the two assistants he had (Nola and Allyson). The grown ups were the ones yelling for all the other kids to get out of the way so we could all take pictures... I guess it's just always that way.

After presents we moved onto cake and ice cream.
Going back in time, here are the un-iced cakes, ready to be turned into Zoo Pals

I chose to go with Punky the Monkey and Shelly the Turtle. Here are the results:

I'm very aware that Punky looks more like a bear than a monkey... But I had all of fifteen minutes to whip these suckers out... that left little time for careful details and a slow steady hand. Shelly was all I got done in those 15 min. Then I was doing Punky with an audience and I really just wanted to be done so I could visit... I rushed him a bit.

Logan was asleep for all this so it was a surprise to him when I brought out the two cakes... and he made all the rushing and mistakes okay by exclaiming, "Zoo Pal Cakes!" He didn't care if Punky was a Bear or a Monkey... he just wanted to eat him!

And as the question was being asked around the room, "Turtle or Monkey?" everyone else seemed to enjoy them too. After cake we went back outside for more playing, visiting and pool. When there were the chosen few left behind (kidding, it was just the last people there) we roasted marshmallows on the new fire pit, chased lightning bugs, drank some wine... We wrapped it all up by 8:30. It was really fun. I'm glad we had the party here and I'm SO GLAD that Mother Nature cooperated and took away all the rain that was in the forecast.

Now I'm ready to plan a grown up get together in the yard ... no kids allowed! (But I can still make animal cakes!)