Shabby Miss Jenn

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oops! Not been posting!

OK, so the holidays have gotten the best of me.  We have been so busy that I have neglected my blog.  I have been taking pictures though so I had to share a few before hitting the hay!  Here are a few test pictures that I took with my new lens ( Christmas present from my #1 supporter, Ed).

Harrison has recently started to want to hold Louisa all the time.  He gets so tickled now that she can "talk back" to him.

Look at my little Louisa.  Wasn't she just born??  How is she so big so fast?

Tough boy Benjamin here.  My dad told me he looked a little red ( I had told him I was working on getting my skin tones to look better in pictures).  Thing is, he really was red.  He had been playing basketball when I begged him to stand still long enough for me to take a shot with my new lens.

Ahhh, the terrifically, terrible, twosome.  These two can get into lots of trouble together.  Can't you just see them scheming??

That's it for now.  More to come soon.  We will be visiting with Mom Mom and Pop Pop and all the cousins soon.  A "wanna be" photographer's heaven- fresh kids to practice on!!!

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

Growing up, getting ready for Christmas meant picking out a tree with the whole family, decorating it, decorating the outside of the house, picking out and wrapping presents and doing something special with my dad. ( He took each of us girls shopping and out to eat wherever we wanted.)   I like remembering the holiday traditions from when I was little.  I hope my kids will have some nice memories of our holiday traditions.  

Right now, Harrison seems to be the most into traditions.  For two years he has helped me to make Christmas cookies.  He is known as "Sprinkle Boy".  He loves sprinkling the cookies.  Look how happy he was that yesterday was our first cookie baking day:

Liza was old enough to join in this year and actually do something other than lick the top of the sprinkle jars!  She was excited to join in the fun too.  She helped to dump the flour into the bowl.  She thought cookie making was cool.

Cookie making WAS cool until she got scolded for putting her hand too close to the mixer.  Then, to top it off, I had the nerve to take a picture of "Sobbing Liza".  I don't think she was too happy about that either.

While Liza was melting down Sprinkle Boy started his sprinkling duties.  Can you see why I must buy new sprinkles every year??

The end result, after all the drama, was a nice batch of yummy spritz cookies.  These little things are more than just cookies, they are the result of memories in the making. Hopefully, my little helpers enjoyed making them as much as me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Did Jesus Have a Ponytail??

The title to this post probably caught your attention, huh?  You can thank Liza for it.  Here's how it came about:

 Tonight we took the kids to a drive through nativity.  A local church does it every year and I have wanted to see it ever since we moved here two years ago.  Seems like we always miss it, but not this year!  Although we had a crazy busy afternoon- homework, an early dinner and basketball playoffs for Benjamin, we decided we might as well do our drive through tonight.

We got there about 25 minutes before it was to be ending.  It probably wasn't the best time to go.  There were lots of brake lights as cars were waiting in line to proceed through the different sets.  We made the best of it by turning on the Christmas music, but let's face it- Christmas music just won't cut it for entertaining 4 little ones!  Liza started kicking the back of my seat, Harrison and Benjamin decided they wanted to switch seats and Ed commented that this ( the drive through nativity) may just overtake the Flotilla for his least favorite holiday outing that I drag him to.  As we neared the entrance things got a little better.  Harrison saw some guys dressed up as Roman soldiers.  They had shields and spears and what isn't to like about that??  Liza liked the entrance way because there were some real, live horses hanging out.  Neat, huh?  Benjamin began to get intrigued because there were speakers that were broadcasting the story that we were witnessing.  It was actually really cool.  The scenes followed the three kings from the time that they were awaiting the birth of our Savior all the way to Mary, Joseph and Jesus setting off to Egypt.  What made the drive through nativity even better was what was happening in our car as we drove along.

As we drove through the scenes Liza kept announcing that it was Jesus' birthday.  This in turn made Benjamin tell her to be quiet because he couldn't hear ( he REALLY likes to pay attention when a story is being told).  This little scenario repeated itself each time we drove up to a new set.  Harrison on the other hand kept wanting to know which guys were the kings (he was a king in his Christmas play).  This did NOT seem to bother Ben for some reason.  Perhaps Liza just has a louder voice??  Louisa, unlike any of the rest of them was quiet the entire time.  She was sleeping all snug in her car seat.

As we were leaving Harrison wanted to know why the king (Herrod) wanted Jesus.  Of course, the inner teacher in me came out and I wanted to see if he could understand.  I asked if he were king if he would want any other kings around.  He said he would ( Benjamin snickered as he knew this wasn't the answer I was looking for).  Harrison then announced that he WOULD want Jesus around.  Awwwww.  Melt my heart.  My sweet little Harrison has always talked about God and Jesus in such sweet ways.  Of course, he would want Jesus around!  After this conversation Liza announced that she took her ponytail out and that she didn't want me to do it before night-night time.  "OK" I told her.  Then, since we had been talking about Jesus, and because she had ponytails on her mind, she asked, " Did Jesus have a ponytail?"  So, did he??  I told her she could ask her teacher, and her grandparents.  I am sure they will thank me when they get the question posed to them :-)

(Sorry I have no picture to post tonight.  I can't believe I am posting without a picture!  What is a post without a picture??  Well, silly me thought that we most likely wouldn't make it to the nativity after Ben's b-ball game so I left my camera at home.  I'll do better next year!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Happy birthday to my younger sister, Sarah!  Today is her birthday and I haven't reached her on the phone yet.  So, to let her know I DID think of her on her birthday, I decided to make her today's "blog star".  

That's her up there.  Isn't she pretty?  In addition to being pretty on the outside she is pretty on the inside as well.  She has a very kind heart and is a great mommy, friend, wife and sister.  I wished she lived closer.  We would get into all kinds of trouble together.  Unfortunately, none of us girls live close by.  Bummer!  As little girls we used to make fun of our Grandma Burroughs who did live close to some of her sisters.  She would talk on the phone for so long with our Aunt Charlotte, Aunt Bec or Aunt Mary.  Sometimes our Pop would join in wondering, "what does she have to talk about with them for so long?  She just saw them!"  Now that we are older we are finding that we are turning into Grandma!  We can spend quite a long time on the phone.  Now, granted we don't live close by, but I would dare say we talk even more frequently than our Grandma talked with her sisters.  Thank goodness for unlimited long distance!

Anyway, happy birthday Sarah!  I hope you have had a great day.  I am thankful that you are my sister and my friend.  I hope my Liza and Louisa grow up to be sisters like us ( and Ally too!)  It is nice to know that no matter what there is someone out in the world who "gets you" just the way you are and understands exactly how you got to be you.  I love you! (As do the rest of my crew who all wish you a happy birthday!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Pictures of the Day

I posted earlier that I was trying to do this "picture a day" thing to document our lives in December.  I HAVE been taking pictures.  Lately though, I have just been running out of time to get them on the computer and ready to post.  Here are a few of my favorites from the past few days:

December 6th
Liza loved the lights on the Christmas tree during our breakfast with Santa.

December 7th
It might not look like it, but these boys were getting ready to watch a Christmas parade.  Of course, being the imaginative little guys that they are, they were thinking they were Power Rangers.  Power Rangers and Christmas- they go together, right?

December 8th
Truth be told, the sight above almost made me cry.  I told the boys that we would decorate the tree after I got the lights on it.  They went upstairs, I thought to play.  Instead of playing though they were helping their mommy by bringing down the boxes of ornaments.  I knew they were excited to decorate the tree but there was just something about seeing the two of them working together, laughing and giggling as they tried to maneuver the big box that touched my heart.  Ahh, my boys are growing up and turning into fine little people.

December 9th
We have been trying to bribe Liza into using a big girl potty.  When we were out shopping a few weeks ago she saw a Gabriella doll (from High School Musical) that she really wanted.  Ed and I decided we would get it but not open it until Liza used the potty.  For weeks the doll has been sitting in her box on Liza's dresser.  Every now and then she would go and get the box and carry it around but to our surprise it did absolutely nothing to get her to want to use the potty.  Finally, the other day, she managed to use the potty.  Yeah!  She was so excited to finally have her doll that she fell asleep with her.  Just had to snap a picture!

Dec. 10th

Ed and I are always saying that Harrison needs to be in drama.  The boy seriously loves to act things out.  Here is a picture of him from his Christmas play.  He was a king.  None of the boys in his class wanted to be Joseph.  We tried talking Harrison into it by telling him Joseph was a daddy to a king.  He wouldn't have any part of it.  He wanted to be a king and a great king he was!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Look! I DO Exist!

As the mommy with the camera I am rarely ever in a picture.  OK, I will correct that statement.  I am rarely in a picture unless I am around my dad.  That's him up there in the picture.  Growing up, this is how my dad looked during any special events.  He always had at least one camera in hand, sometimes even two cameras AND a camcorder.  ( I think I inherited my love of techno-gadgets from him!)  Anyway, being the photographer of the family has a few drawbacks- mainly, that I am almost never in a picture.

Over Thanksgiving my parents and my sisters and my whole crew met up down at the beach.  Sarah, my younger sister, was nice enough to snap a few pictures of me with my little Louisa.  I don't have many pictures of the two of us.  I am glad I now have a few pictures of us so that Louisa will be able to see that her mommy was just crazy about her from the beginning.

Finally, being the smart kid that I am, I am going to follow my Dad's example.  He fed my love of photography as a kid.  He got me a cool little C-110 camera when I was little and then upgraded me to my first SLR, my good old Canon A-1.  Nowadays, my Dad is actually IN pictures, at least when I am around.  I think I need to go find Benjamin now so that I can give him some lessons on my little digital camera.  Maybe, in about 30 years or so, I will be in some more pictures.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December Daily Pics

OK, so I have been a bit behind on my daily picture taking.  Well, really I have been taking the pictures.  I just haven't had time to download them and process them.  Process them, you might be wondering.  Well, yes- I have to do a little processing on my pictures before I post them.  Since taking my photography class this summer I have become hooked on shooting my pictures in the RAW file format.  RAW files contain more information which makes fixing mistakes a lot easier than JPEG shots.  You can also do some really neat editing with RAW files.  Anyway, I have just gotten behind but I will catch up!  Here are a few of my daily shots from this week.

Tuesday was the first day of Upward Basketball practice.  I LOVE Upward.  Ed and I coached Benjamin's team last year.  This year Harrison is old enough to play so we are coaching two teams- the 1st/2nd grade team along with the 5 year old team.  Oh my!  Are we crazy or what??  It is crazy but extremely fun for a person who loves basketball and playing around with little ones.  Plus I absolutely love how the whole program focuses on character and helping each child reach their potential instead of focusing on winning.  All kids are winners with Upward.  Did I mention that I LOVE Upward??

How cute is this picture?  I call it, "The Best Present of 2008".  I had intended to use this shot, or the one I had pictured in my head, on our Christmas card.  Actually, none of these shots with the big bow made the cut for the card this year.  You'll have to wait to get your card to see what picture of Louisa actually made the cut.

I captured this picture today while at our town's Breakfast with Santa.  Just love the reflection on this one.  I had a ton of pictures from the breakfast but something about this one just stole my heart.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Picture a Day

One of my favorite websites, Jessica Sprague's, has a challenge out for taking and posting a picture a day for the month of December.  Now, what is not to like about that?  Since I am taking another online photography class I need to be taking pictures anyway.  While I won't be posting a picture on this blog everyday ( I have a new baby remember!) I am going to try to post one on her website each day.  Hey, she is even offering a prize each week- a free class.  I want to win that!  Anyway, here is my December 1st picture.  Alright, if you want to be technical it is three pics.  I just loved them all and I have always been an overachiever! :-)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Few More Brother & Sister Pics

Had to share a few more...

See those smiles?  No, it wasn't me.  They knew they were almost done. 

Very rare moment captured here.  Brother wasn't moving!  How do boys have so much energy??

Love the emotion in this picture.  It isn't technically perfect but can't you see that these two have fun together?

Thanks guys!  I had a great time taking your pictures!

Check Out These Cuties!

I got to practice my photography again!  This time I borrowed some kids that we met through football.  Check out these two cuties!

This is big sister.  I told her she looks just like a model.  Don't you agree??

I don't like the light in this picture at all.  The sun was just in the wrong place to make the shot work but we had to try to get a "by the water picture."  ( And thank you to the big guy in the picture.  I know he was dying to get wet!)

Ahhhh!  How cute are this brother and sister??  He's a football player and she is a cheerleader for his team.  Doesn't get any sweeter than that (except this picture!)

Not the greatest picture but I love the lines in this one.  Can you tell we were chasing brother for part of the shoot?

Here's the big guy himself.  Benjamin really wanted to go with me to take the pictures but there is no way I would have gotten this shot.  The two boys would have been running wild!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Few Firsts

This has been an unusual week.  It started off with snow flurries.  Yes, we saw our first snow since moving back to NC over two years ago.  Ben was so excited he decided to hop out of the car as soon as he got home from school so that he could catch the snowflakes on his tongue.  The poor child has been wanting some snow.  Turns out Ed and I aren't so great at picking out places to live that meet the kids' desires to see some real snow.  Atlanta and now here- just not snowy places...

Another first- Liza picked out her first "big girl" hat.   Those of you who know Liza know that the girl has a big head.  (Ed calls it her secret weapon. And he does mean weapon.  You don't want to get head butted by Liza, or Harrison for that matter!)  Since it was cold we made a trip to Target where Liza got to shop where the big girls shop.  Seems her head has beat the rest of her to the big girl section of the store!  I think she did a nice job of picking out a hat, don't you?

Last, but not least, I actually captured Louisa's smile in a picture.  I have been telling people that she is learning to smile.  At this age though it seems that it is gone before I can tell anyone to come and see.  While it isn't technically her first smile, it is her first captured smile.  Isn't she cute??

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Check This Out

I was reading a photographer's blog and she mentioned that she used animoto to create these really neat slideshows for her clients.  So, me being the curious person that I am, hopped right over to the site that she mentioned.  It is very cool!  30 second videos are free so I decided to try it out. Talk about easy!  I uploaded my pictures, told them which ones I wanted to emphasize, picked out some music and wa-la, I got this cool slideshow.  Any of you that are geeky like me, and like new computer, techy, photography stuff, go check it out at !

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Old Baby In a Basket Picture

(click to enlarge)

OK, so it may sound crazy, but I have always wanted to put a baby in this basket that we have.  Sound weird?  Yes!  But here is the deal.  When my Dad and my Aunt were clearing out my grandparents house we came across this old basket.  It is a really neat basket with wide strips of some kind of wood.  It is a nice, deep rounded rectangle shape with two sturdy handles.  My aunt says that my Grandmother used to put my Dad in it as a baby although it was really her laundry basket.  I must say her laundry basket was a lot nicer than the flimsy plastic one that I have!  Anyway,  I just love the basket.  Up until this picture we had used the basket to keep our toys in our family room half way contained.  The other afternoon I finally decided that if I didn't get my "baby in the basket" picture then I never would as little Miss Louisa seems to be growing like a weed on Miracle Grow.  So, Liza, my little helper, helped me to take all the toys out so that we could line the basket with a soft pillow and a pretty baby blanket.  Then, because it was such a nice day ( 70 some degrees in November??!!), we took the basket outside under the trees.  I must say Louisa wasn't a huge fan of the basket.  I got more pictures of her screaming then I did of her smiling.  Not quite what I had envisioned in my head, but hey I got my pictures!  Just had to post this one- the best of the bunch- so that everyone could see how my newborn has transformed into an infant.  Where did my new little baby go????  

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Artsy Ones- Old Fashion Fun

For some reason these pictures reminded me of the good ole days.  The time when kids would entertain themselves outside for hours with no need for electronic gadgets or games.  So, with that in mind, I took the bright colored version and processed it with a vintage feel.  Which do you like best??

A Few More

Have a few more to share.  For some reason I can't get them all on one post!

We found an old tree log that provided some entertainment as a balance beam
We hid behind trees.

More balancing on the tree log.

Tree logs aren't just good as balance beams.  They are also good benches!

Look!  I must have cracked them up!

New Guest Stars!

My friend, Cindy, let me practice my picture taking skills on her two cute boys.  We had a good time yesterday tromping through the neighborhood trying to find the perfect fall colors.  Luckily, the lots that haven't been built on yet were recently mowed so we didn't have any super huge, overgrown weeds to deal with.

I love this shot because it so captures how I see the two boys.  Older brother is a bit more serious while younger brother lets loose a bit more.  ( They are the perfect playmates for my two boys!)

Here is another cute picture.  I love this one but the next is my favorite of this little guy...

Look at those eyes... that smile....
Can you say heartbreaker???

Here is another nice shot of big brother but like with little brother, the next is my favorite of the big guy..

Look at those cute dimples!

Are these two cute boys or what???

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gotta Love Fall

So, I have been driving up and down the road ( I spend half my day shuttling kids to and fro) admiring all the beautiful fall foliage.  I have been thinking about how I need to try to snap some fall-ish pictures of the kids.  But, let's face it- I can't even manage to get two loads of laundry done lately.  How the heck can I manage to take fun pictures of the kiddos?  Well, as the Nike slogan says, "Just do it!" and that is exactly what I did.

I have to admit, I had to bribe the boys.  What was the price?  A can of Sierra Mist.  We don't drink too many soft drinks around here so to the boys, their own can of soda was too tempting.  Then, when I told them they could play football while I took pictures, it pushed them right over the edge.  

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Fun

I took a gazillion pictures yesterday and had such a hard time picking out which ones to put in my blog  board.  The ones above were some of my favorites.  I love the one with Liza asleep on my floor.  The anticipation was simply too much for her.  She wore her Little Mermaid costume around all day and crashed on my bedroom floor mid afternoon.  Unfortunately, she woke up on the "wrong side of the floor" and was quite a crank pot for our picture taking once everyone was all costumed up.  I think I have one other decent picture of her in her costume.  

I absolutely love the pictures of the boys.  As you can see they cooperated nicely with their momma.  Someday they will appreciate how their momma preserved their moments as Robin ( as in Batman and Robin) and as a basketball player ( I can't tell you which one he was but he liked his uniform).  

The awesome pumpkin was a joint creation of Benjamin and myself.  Of course, before we could make the pumpkin face we had to deal with the pumpkin guts.  Benjamin and Liza were really excited to help out ( It was Harrison's turn at being a crank pot during the pumpkin carving.)  They had a good old time scooping out the innards of the pumpkin and fishing out the seeds.  By the time that we were ready to roast the pumpkin seeds Harrison had snapped out of his attitude and helped us salt the seeds.

As for the candy picture, I had to put that in there after the comment that Ed made upon his arrival home.  As he walked in the door and saw the candy bowls sitting on the dining room table just waiting for the trick or treaters, he complained that I got the cruddy candy.  He thought that my candy selection would make children not want to come back to our house.  I don't think the candy looks too bad.  Do you?

Of course, missing from the board is our little Louisa.  She didn't have a costume per se but she did have this cute little outfit courtesy of her mom mom.  For her Halloween was nothing but a quiet house hanging out with her daddy as mommy took the other wild ones trick or treating with the neighbors.  Hey, I think she likes Halloween already!