If You Don’t Mind…..

If You Don’t Mind…..

I may have a problem.  Like I need counseling and possibly shock therapy.  I love books.  I have shelves full of them in every room and when someone offers to send me one to review I simply can’t resist.  #bookaddiction

But I realize I have not told you much about all of the writing that’s happening right under our very roof. #mykids

Besides writing a book myself, my daughter Grace has written 4 books and the first three are available on Amazon.  #true

1. Firmament: Radialloy is about a young woman who lives on a starship.  If your teen or young adult likes sci-fi this is a fun adventure!
2. Firmament: In His Image is the second in this series (with the third coming out very soon!) and follows the same main character.
3. Never is a clean, wholesome, family friendly western with slightly more mature conflicts.

She also has a blog where she reviews books and it’s always nice to find clean books for our kids to read.

Grace

My daughter Patience also has a blog that is for budding photographers.  She’s really good at encouraging you to love your family and follow your passion.  Your photo-driven kids would love this.  #itisprecious

Pep

And, if you don’t mind me telling you, my oldest son is making an album of songs that he has written.  He has a website that tells about his vision and he is also wrapping up a fundraiser to help get it made.  #hemakesmyheartmelt

Jacob

Not to be left out, my daughter Hope is writing a graphic novel (kind of like a faith-based comic book) and my other daughter Faith is starting her own jewelry line.  Those are still works in progress. #iamconstantlyamazed

I really don’t mention all of their accomplishments much because I don’t want to be braggy.  But just this once….I had to say it.

Thanks for letting me.  #proudmom

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1L, 4Ds and 5K

1L, 4Ds and 5K

It’s been a girl themed week.

Last Thursday my 4 daughters and I went big city shopping.  It was a birthday shopping trip for my oldest daughter Grace since I was going to be gone over the weekend of her birthday.  We spent the whole day hitting everything from anthropologie to thrift stores.  The girls are now set for clothes for the rest of the warm weather season, which is a relief to me since shopping with them is a test in endurance.  Of me and my wallet.

daughters

For myself, I am on the search for t-shirts with sleeves.  Not long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves.  Just plain old short sleeves that are long enough to cover my arm flaps.  It’s a sad day when you nearly slap someone with your extra arm skin and I am trying to avoid that with sleeves and prayer.

Saturday and Sunday I went to Austin.  I ran my first 5K this weekend.  I did it with my sister….she gave it to me for my birthday and it was a double treat to get to spend the time with her.

I have never had any interest in doing any kind of running or, really, moving at all.  But after walking every morning since last July it was pretty easy.  And on a cool spring morning….almost heaven.

My first 5k

To keep the girl theme going I will be going on a photoshoot for my daughter’s 17th birthday this week.  Shopping is not her thing.  She asked for a photoshoot in the city and as an added bonus she wants to be there when the sun rises to get the best lighting.  Leave the house at 6AM….oh sure.  Because giving birth to you wasn’t enough of a sacrifice.

Next week I need to have a boy themed week.  Those are much easier.  Just dump some Legos in the living room and throw food into the middle every few hours.

Have a great April!

Embracing Modesty, No. 49

Embracing Modesty, No. 49

Wow!  Only 3 more modesty posts to go and the year will be over.  I can’t believe how much we have enjoying doing this series.

Which makes me wonder….what do you want to see for next year?  More modesty pictures?  Or something else like our meal plans?  Or maybe homeschool ideas?  I’d love to hear from you!!!

For this week I am going to show a few things my girls have been wearing.  They are such cutie pies that I have to share some of their looks.

This first look was on a day before it got so c-c-cold.  Faith is wearing a skirt she got at Versona and a layer of t-shirts and a vest.  She made the necklace with 3 bullet cases she found in the yard.

I’ve said before that my youngest daughter, Patience, likes a more sporty look and this picture proves it.  This outfit is her personality to a T.  Most of it we got at thrift stores.

This next picture of Hope shows her personality too….she likes a simple outfit with a teeny twist (as in the tights).  She got the sweater and skirt at JCPenney.

Grace is my classic girl.  Scarves and hats are the name of her game.  And oh my this green is her color!  Knowing what colors look good on you is a great way to know how to shop.

And oh the red hat…..how adorable is that?!  I am not a hat person….I mean I want to be then I try one on and realize, nope, not good.  But Grace wears them so well.

It’s such a delight to see what outfits my girls put together each day.  Winter is a fun time to play with layering and leggings. And boots….how could I forget the boots?!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the Embracing Modesty Gallery with all of the posts from this series!

And don’t forget to let me know if you have a preference for what series we should do for 2014!

Embracing Modesty, No 37

Embracing Modesty, No 37

Since I’m at the Blog Elevated conference this weekend, I didn’t have time to take pictures of what I was wearing.  So I grabbed my girls and said, “Hey, go outside and take pictures of what you have on right now!”  We can show the real us….what we wear all day, every day when we are just home and hanging out.

Faith is always fixed up.  She’s a chip off the old block in her jewelry and cute shoes.  The black skirt is from Cato, the top was anthropologie Black Friday clearance, the shoes are from Shoe Carnival0

Patience has a more casual style….she’s just cuteness and comfort.  I’m 93% sure everything she has on in this picture is from Cato.  Except her Toms & headband.

This last one is Faith again.  Count on her to do something off-beat with her hair.  She likes to experiment.  Her skirt is from Cato, her t-shirt from Target, the vest she made with scraps and her necklace is a feather and a piece of ribbon….nothing gets past this scrapper.

I have had so many teen moms tell me they struggle with finding appropriate clothing for their girls.  We just keep out eye out and get it when we see it.  The spring is the best time to find skirts, the fall is good for tops.  I know.  It’s a pain.  We keep out eyes out at Cato (obviously), Target, Old Navy and sometimes when we’re really in a hunting mood we go to Ross or TJMaxx, although we are usually less successful there.

Thanks for joining us and be sure to check out our Embracing Modesty Gallery for all of the posts in this series!


 

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Have You Ever Thought About the Number 43?

Have You Ever Thought About the Number 43?

Last night I was putting Levi to bed and he asked me, “Mommy, how many seconds does it take to put me to bed?”  I didn’t feel like giving it much thought, so I just answered, “Oh, I don’t know, about 43 seconds.”  “Oh,” he replied with a serious look on his face, “43 huh?  That’s a number you don’t think about everyday.”

It’s so true.  I don’t really give the number 43 enough thought.

Yesterday afternoon I had a rare treat of going out to lunch with some of my good friends.  When we’re together we always, always laugh until we should be embarrassed by the disturbance we are causing.  But we’re not embarrassed.  The disturbance just makes us laugh even more.  That’s the best kind of friends, the ones you can laugh with, then get serious, pray together then make fun of each other.

One of these precious friends is moving away and she asked me if I would like to come by her house and see if I wanted any of the “junk” she was leaving behind.  When we pulled up to her old workshop she gestured toward a pile of wood scraps, “Do you want to rifle through this?”  I looked back at her with a puzzled expression, “Why would I want a rifle?”

I may need to get my hearing checked.

But I did take a car full of treasures home with me.

I’ve got big plans for the leaky wheelbarrow and broken chair.  And you can expect that big sheet of wood to show up somewhere in my etsy shop.  Nothing goes to waste around here.

Today I’m taking Patience to the big city for some much needed Mommy/Patience time.  We’ll stop at the craft store then have lunch and drive back home.  It’ll be a quick trip, but plenty of time for girl talk.  Maybe we’ll discuss the number 43 and decide if we need a rifle.

These are clearly subjects that I have neglected for too long.

Have a great weekend!

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A Birthday Weekend

A Birthday Weekend

One of these days I am going to put my feet up and leave them that way for a week.  But then I think, someday the kids will all be gone and there I will sit with my feet up and wish I had things to do.  So I embrace the business.

Last Friday I took Grace and a few of the other kids to Austin for her birthday.  It was Grace’s 22nd birthday and there were some shops there that she likes, so off we went.  But not before the brothers and sisters gave her some gifts.

It was the most gorgeous drive.  The Texas wildflowers are in bloom and we just soaked it all in.  So, so pretty.  I could have kicked myself for not taking my camera.  These are from my phone.

Noah was dying to go to the Lego store.  He probably would have stayed all day if I would let him.

On Saturday morning Patience and I went out to a friend’s farm.  They were having a planting party for their enormous garden.  We went to take pictures.  I’m not much of a dirt person.  I will let Patience show you the pictures she took because I was busy sitting and fanning myself.  I can give you tips on decorating, but I’m not much help when it comes to gardens.

Yesterday I filled shop orders while the boys mowed.  Don’t you just love a freshly mown yard?  It smells so good and feels so crisp and neat.  Crisp and neat makes me happy.  I could live on a golf course.  Except I don’t play golf and I don’t want to.

Today is Patience’s 15th birthday so we’re off again to do some shopping.  She invited her sisters to go, so we’ll paint the town red and be silly.  I am sure there will be some Chick-fil-A involved and probably a lot of trying on clothes and wondering why they make everything so tight these days.

Maybe tomorrow I will put my feet up.  This is a lot of activity for this tired mamma.

 

First SLR Images

First SLR Images

Patience finally, after saving for over 2 years, bought herself an SLR camera.  She’s been playing with it for the past few days and wants to show you a few of the pictures she’s taken.

Our ugly, falling down fence never looked so good.

Be still my heart….

Cool!

This last one is a card they have listed in their shop, Little Women….

How exciting to watch Patience learn to use her new camera.  She’ll learn more in the next month than I have learned in 2 years of having my camera.

Youth.  Ya gotta love it.

Kid to Kid: Try New Things

Kid to Kid: Try New Things

by Patience

I’ve been busy with my camera lately.  These are a few of my favorites from last weekend.

I love playing with Scrabble tiles.

My sisters make great models for me to practice my close ups.

I’ve also been using my photographs to make Christmas cards for our etsy shop, Little Women.

I hope to encourage other kids to try new things and follow their interests.  I just have a point and shoot camera and free Gimp photo editing software.  I love learning new things by trying the different buttons on my camera and playing with lighting and scale.

Whatever you want to do….ask your parents to help you and work hard to learn. You never know what God has planned for your future!

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Patience’s Weekend Pictures

Patience’s Weekend Pictures

by Patience

We visited with friends over the weekend:

 

My sister, Grace:

 

Levi:

The field behind our house:

White Background

White Background

by Patience

 

I love white backgrounds, but unfortunately I don’t have a studio or a seamless white background like the pros.
 

I had Levi sit on a piece of foam core: about 24″x30″, and literally the edges of the photo are the edges of my makeshift white background.  The trick was just not showing any edges, so it looks like my resources are a lot bigger than they really are.
I used two light souces. 
 
1) The flash unit on my mom’s SLR. I just pointed it directly up at the white ceiling of the room, so it would bounce down as nice, even light. 
2) Mini blinds!  they may not be the nicest looking blinds, but they are awesome for diffusing window light, and getting just the right amount of light in your photo, at the exact angle you want it. 
 
In this photo, he’s placed, directly next to the window, and I had the blinds mostly closed, but a little bit open, letting more soft, diffused light into my photo.

Even with careful light placement, without a big professional get-up, my white background is never going to be pure white, it usually turns out as a medium-light gray.  So how do I get it to look really white?

I use a tool on my photo editing software.  I use a free program called GIMP.  I use a section called levels, and it’s used for making color, and brightness adjustments to your photo.  In this photo, I picked the white eyedropper in the lower right hand corner, and clicked on a few of the spots that were supposed to be white in my photo, and voila! A perfectly white background.  Now all you have to do is make minor color adjustments, and you have a profesional looking white backround!