Shabby Miss Jenn

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Cheapest Studio Ever

Studio location- corner of my bedroom

Lighting System- the sun

Model- my cute kid

Photographer- the mommy

Results: Priceless

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Little Model

I just had to post these cute little pictures of Liza.  How cute is she?  We were actually trying to get some pictures of Baby Louisa using the nice daylight coming through the bedroom windows.  Louisa, however, had other things planned.  She wasn't much into the photo shoot today.  Perhaps tomorrow.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gearing Up For Halloween

Harrison was able to "practice" being Captain Jack this afternoon at a really fun Halloween party.  A ton of his friends were there and they were all so cute in their costumes.  I loved listening to them as they stayed "in character".  They completely forgot their real names and only called each other by their costume's name.  Perhaps we have a bunch of budding young actors here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Some New "Blog Stars"

My friend Michelle took two of her three cute kids to the pumpkin patch with us this week.  She let me practice my photography on her little cuties, because let's face it- my little cuties are so over their mommy's obsession with photography.  Here are some of my favorite shots

I love this shot of "Baby Jessica", as Liza calls her.  She was too cute standing at my feet wanting to be picked up.  How cute is this little girl???

The only way I could get pictures of the boys was if they had a prop.  That is NOT a stick in his hand- it is a light saber!  I put these three together and sent them off to his mom so that she could take a look.   I had a label at the top- Obi Wan Kenobi.  When Michelle showed them to Ben he was a bit disappointed.  When Michelle asked why she was informed that he wasn't Obi Wan, he was Luke Skywalker.  Sorry Ben!  Miss Jenn fixed it.  I removed Obi Wan from it :-)   

Couldn't resist adding this one in.  How funny was Harrison being?  His expression just makes me laugh!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sleeping Louisa

Isn't she dreamy?  
Sweet little thing...I almost hated waking her up after I snapped this picture.
She was four weeks old the day I took this- yesterday.
Hard to believe it has already been four weeks!
Where is the time going?

Help Bring a Little Boy Home to His Forever Family

My blogging inspiration Rebecca (Rebecca #1), turned me onto her friend Rebecca's (Rebecca #2) cool blog ( see post below).  Confused?  Too many Rebecca's for you?  Well, here is what you need to know:

Both Rebecca's have a heart for adoption and both are on their journey to bring their children home from China.  Rebecca #2 is really close to bringing her little Owen home.  She is currently raising money to pay the mandatory orphanage donation and to travel to China, hopefully in December.  

Over in my sidebar is a link that will take you to Rebecca #2's blog where you can donate to help this family get closer to bringing Owen home.  Wouldn't it be great for him to be home for Christmas?  What an awesome Christmas gift that would be!  Just in case you need an incentive to help this family become more complete, check out the cool things you may win!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


The other night little Louisa gave me a few minutes to call my old teaching buddy from Georgia, Rebecca.  You may recall that Rebecca was the one who inspired me to start a blog.  When Rebecca and I taught beside each other it always seemed that we would pick stuff up from each other.  She would find a cool activity to do with her class and I would do it too or vice versa.  Seems like even though we aren't teaching side by side anymore or even living in the same state, that we can still learn from and be inspired by each other.  How cool is that?

Anyway, last night Rebecca told me about another friend of hers who had this neat blog, We Picture This: A Mamarazzi site ( how cute a term is that- mamarazzi!)  It is a blog to share pictures and photography information and a place to be inspired.  To encourage others to play along they pick a theme and invite people to post two pictures on that theme.  Currently, the theme is Joy.  Of course I want to play along, so here are my two pictures: 

Canon 300D
f/2.8, 1/60 sec.
iso 800
Canon 300D
f/3.5,  1/400 sec
ISO 100

Monday, October 20, 2008

Even a Mom Wants Her Own Mommy!

Louisa is a little over three weeks old now and for the first two weeks of her life she was lucky enough to have her Mom Mom here with her.  The rest of us were lucky too.  Otherwise my kids would have been eating peanut butter and jelly every night and wearing dirty clothes!

My Mom went back home over a week ago now and I have been meaning to post on here as a small way to thank her ( and my Dad who had to live without her for 2 weeks).  Seems though, without my Mom here I can't ever get on the computer!  

No matter how old you get ( and I sure feel like I am getting old!) you still want your mom around.  Mom graciously gave up two weeks to come and stay with us while we got adjusted to life with another baby in the house.  She ran carpool duty to preschool and to the elementary school.  She cooked yummy meals for us.  She cooked meals to stock my freezer with.  She washed clothes and more clothes and more clothes.  She then folded, folded, folded those clothes.  She cleaned up dirty dishes, she kept me company when I stayed up late to feed the baby.  She bathed Harrison and Liza.  She read night night stories.  She stocked my pantry and refrigerator- more than once!  You name it and she did it.  Sounds a little tiring doesn't it?  Why in the world would someone want to come and do all of that?  Simple- she's my Mom who is a  lot like her Mom.  I come from a long line of ladies who know how to take care of their family and their kids.  They always say, "you can't fight your genes".  Well, in the case of my Mom, I don't want to fight my genes.  Seems hers are just perfect!  Hopefully, my little Liza and Louisa will grow up to be Mommies as good as mine!

Sleepy time- Mom Mom and Louisa taking a cat nap!

So I Am a Bit Slow- Sister Pictures

Don't they look like they are going to get in trouble??

Liza is so happy to be a big sister!

Alright, so in my last post I said I would share some of the cute "sister pictures" that I took.  Who knew it would take me over a week to do that?  You might be wondering why?  Easy- my Mom left me here with four kids, a husband and a dog!  Yes, I had the easy life for two glorious weeks.  I had my Mom to help cook, clean, rock the baby, wash clothes, rock the baby, run carpool, rock the baby...  You get the picture.  Things were quite nice here.  Then, strangest thing-my dad came and picked her up and took her home.  Darn!  We were hoping to keep her ( although Harrison was wondering who was cooking and cleaning for Pop Pop!)

Isn't this one sweet?  I love how Liza is holding Louisa's hand.  I must say this has taken some coaching.  For some reason Liza thinks when she holds Louisa's hand, her arm, or leg- whatever- that she is supposed to squeeze.  I feel like the old Charmin commercial- Don't squeeze the Louisa!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How Cute Is She?

Look at my little Louisa!  Isn't she just the sweetest thing?   I may be a little biased but who can argue with a picture like that??  I snapped this shot during Louisa's and Liza's first "sister shoot".  Once I get the photos processed I will post them.  Liza was in hog heaven having her picture made with her new sister.  Louisa didn't seem to mind it either.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Beautiful Poem for a Beautiful Baby

We have been home for over a week now and I am slowly but surely getting back on the computer.  Since Louisa's arrival I have gotten a lot of e-mails and it has taken me a while to catch up on reading them all.    I found this gem of a poem in the slew of e-mails that I have been going through.  A fellow Courage to Teach facilitator, Susan Nodurft sent me this lovely poem welcoming Louisa.  I like the poem so much I thought I would share it on here so that you could all enjoy it:

As a Child Enters the World

As I enter my new family,
May they be delighted
At how their kindness
Comes into blossom.

Unknown to me and them,
May I be exactly the one
To restore in their forlorn places
New vitality and promise.

May the hearts of others
Hear again the music
In the lost echoes
Of their neglected wonder.

If my destiny is sheltered,
May the grace of this privilege
Reach and bless the other infants
Who are destined for torn places.

If my destiny is bleak,
May I find in myself
A secret stillness
And tranquility
Beneath the turmoil.

May my eyes never lose sight
Of why I have come here,
That I never be claimed
By the falsity of fear
Or eat the bread of bitterness.

In everything I do, think,
Feel, and say,
May I allow the light
Of the world I am leaving 
To shine through and carry me home.

-John O'Donohue

Thanks Susan for such a great poem!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We Were Visited By the Clothes Fairies!

You have probably heard of the Tooth Fairy- that magical creature who sneaks into kids' rooms, takes their teeth and leaves them money.  You may have even heard of the Tangle Fairy who visits little girls in the middle of the night just to tangle up their hair.  But, have you heard of the Clothes Fairies- kind and generous people who bring you clothes for your kids?  

We had two Clothes Fairies visit us this weekend.  As you can see from the pictures, Liza and Louisa ( and their mom and dad!) were blessed to receive a ton of clothes from my sister, Sarah, and my "sister friend", Amal.  Both have two girls and both have been clothing Liza ( and now Louisa) since they joined our family.  My attic is a storehouse of little girl clothes from size newborn to 4T.  Each season, I just make a short trip up a flight of stairs, pull out a big, plastic tub of clothes and my little girls are outfitted for the season.  Nice, huh?  Nicer still, and something that speaks volumes about Sarah and Amal, is the fact that both are "consignment queens".  They work church consignment sales, they consign things, BUT they unselfishly pick out the cutest stuff and bring it to us.  So, this is a big, ole, public THANK YOU to my clothes fairies, Sarah and Amal.

But, that's not all...

The Princess Fairy came to visit us too.  That's right, the princess fairy- AKA my neice, Molly- sent Liza (and eventually Louisa) princess dresses and shoes.  Now, important to know about Molly is that she LOVES dress up shoes.  When I pulled not one, not two, but three pairs of dress up shoes out of the bag I just had to know how my sister managed to get them out of the house.  I found out that she laid out all of their princess dresses and shoes and gave Molly the job of  "picking out everything that Liza NEEDS for dress up."  Molly took her job very seriously and picked out dresses and shoes.  Liza sends a big thank you to her cousin for sending her such nice things.

Friday, October 3, 2008

How I Get My Photos to Look So Cool

One of my favorite recently posted pictures:

I have had a few people ask me about the photos I post on my blog.  Most people want to know what kind of camera I use.  Some others have asked if I use templates for the photos.  Well, here are the answers!

You guys know me- I am not a professional photographer- just a person who really enjoys photography.  Several years ago Ed fed my obsession with photography by getting me a Canon Digital Rebel.  I have loved the camera and fell even more in love with it this summer after taking an online photography course from Jessica Sprague's website. 

The photography course got me taking lots of practice shots and learning even more about Photoshop.  During the course of the class I ran across this awesome website and blog that offers actions to use in photoshop, mcp actions
Actions are basically a series of recorded steps that are used in photoshop to tweak or enhance your photos.  One of the neatest products that Jodi has on her website is her Magic Blog It Board collection.  I use the blog it board collection to help me make the cool collage type photos that you have seen on my blog.  The set is really easy to use and you end up with these awesome looking pictures.  If you are at all interested in posting pictures similar to the one above on your blog or website and you are a photoshop user, check out MCP Actions!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Not Quite as Planned

I am bound and determined to have plenty of baby pictures of ALL of my kids.  Ask my parents how many baby pictures there are of me, their middle child.  Honestly, I think there is like one picture of me as a three or four month old.  Then suddenly I am a toddler in their picture collection.  So, since I have a complex about not having any baby pictures of myself, I decided I would try to snap some pictures of Louisa today.  

I have been looking at quite a few photography blogs and I wanted to try out some of the cute shots I had seen.  Before getting Louisa involved, and perhaps a bit cranky, I enlisted the help of Liza, as my photography assistant.  From my class this summer I knew I should look for some good natural light and I should go ahead and get my settings correct.  After a little bit of complaining from Liza ( I had to threaten to let Harrison be my assistant- sibling rivalry always helps!) she finally let me snap a few shots.  Here is one of the cute ones: 

(click to enlarge)
At this point Liza started to enjoy her little photography shoot.  She decided to use some props.  This prop, Jessie the Cowgirl, just happened to be close by as we found her hiding under the stool I had just moved.   It is amazing what I can find under my furniture these days!  Anyway, Liza, suddenly having fun, kept telling me, "Take another, Mommy!"  I now have lots of Liza and Jessie pictures.  Not sure what I will do with all of them but Liza seems happy to have so many pictures of one of her favorite movie characters.

(click to enlarge)

It was finally time to try to get some pictures of Louisa.  Unfortunately, my little Louisa decided she didn't really want to cooperate.  I had seen a cute picture of a baby curled up with their cute little bum in the air.  While trying to recreate the pose I discovered that my baby prefers to be clothed.  She wants nothing to do with being in any pictures with her tushy showing.  I also discovered that Louisa is a bit impatient.  She didn't want to give me any second chances at setting my camera if I didn't get it right the first time.  I missed quite a few shots.  After all was said and done I did get one picture that I loved just because it showed her cute little eyes.   I think she looks a bit mischievous.
(click to enlarge)

So, although I didn't get the pictures I had planned out in my head I did get some cute little shots of my girls.