About Me

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I am a Christian. I am a loving wife to my Army-National-Guard-Recruiter-Husband of 15 years. I am a stay-at-home-mother to our four handsome sons. I am a photographer. My blog is about as erratic, eclectic and random as I am, painted with rainbows of photos and words that are hills and valleys you travel; so lovely sometimes that they hurt you. These are the stories of how far we've come in the last 15 years as Christians, as a family and as individuals.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

{June 19-21} Garrett Turns Eight

First things first, this year Garrett's birthday fell on a day prior to school letting out so instead of hosting a doube party with Hayden somewhere between their birthdays June 21 and July 8 we allowed Garrett to have a single party the weekend before his actual birthday and invite an unlimitted amount of friends from school. 
After a long time of playing the guests litterally started climbing the walls!  So I brought out the cake!

Then everyoneone got excited for presents!

The big hits were cash & an Action Replay for his Nintendo DS

Now, after looking at the pictures I realized just how badly Garrett needed a haircut so on his actual birthday I took him out and did just that!

Welcome to your eigth year Garrett Michael Logo

[to view more of his birthday photoshoot visit Amanda Logo Photography]

{June 17} The Frog Prince Continues

Not much to tell really.  When there's a school play and your kid plays a part on stage you, as the proud parent must attend, take tons of pics and clap the loudest, right?  Well, here's Garrett in The Frog Prince Continues (which I think is a huge coincidence following Lillian's earlier performance of The Frog Prince in Texas!)  He was a frog, can you tell?

{May 17}

Don't ya just love how schools dole out homework assignments for the parents?  Well, at least these were fun and educating.  When I got home from Texas, my wonderful husband, bless his heart, had not gone through the boys' backpacks to check for said assignments so it was a shock to both of us when we had one weekend to accomplish three tasks.
Family Tree:
I had a good time explaining family lineage to Garrett and he liked cutting and glueing the leaves!
It was his idea to cut the grass paper like this, I think it made a world of difference!
On to the next project: a seven-year timeline of significant events in Garrett's life. This one made me a little sad.  Time flies by SO FAST!
and the one that was more educational than fun was the
Endangered Species Posterboard:
The whole report was so good, and interesting!  Garrett chose the Sperm Whale because "they're cool" enjoy reading for yourself if you'd like.

Endangered Animal Report: The Sperm Whale

Sperm Whales are marine mammals that live in all of the world’s oceans sticking mostly to the tropical and cool waters of the Pacific near the equator. The Sperm Whale is the largest whale with teeth. In fact, it is the largest animal with teeth in the whole world. The Sperm Whale was named because of the white stuff called spermaceti oil (wax) that is in the spermaceti organ in its head. The Sperm Whale has a very large head. In the males the head alone can be one third its body length and is shaped like a box. The Sperm Whale has the largest and heaviest brain of all animals. Even though its brain is not big compared to its head or body, the adult male’s brain can weigh an average of 15.4 pounds.
Most whales have smooth skin but the Sperm Whale’s skin is bumpy, like a prune and is gray. They have a thick layer of blubber (-the fat of a whale and other sea mammals, from which oil is obtained) about 4-12 inches thick. Sperm Whales have often been seen with white scar-like marks on their bodies, mostly on their head and they’re believed to be from squids attacking as the whales feed.

Like most whales, the Sperm Whale breathes air. Their blowhole is shaped like an “S” and is on the left side of their head near the front about 20 inches long. They spout (breathe) 3-4 times a minute unless they’ve been diving, then it speeds up to 6-7 times a minute. Sperm Whales have flippers that are five feet long and about three feet wide. The dorsal fin (- the main fin located on the back of fishes and certain marine mammals) of a Sperm Whale is about two thirds down the back and is the shape of a triangle (some would say that the Sperm Whale doesn’t have a dorsal fin, just a small hump on the whales back). The fluke (- either of the two lobes of a whales tail) is thick and also in the shape of a triangle. You can tell a Sperm Whale is about to dive when they lift their flukes very high out of the water.

Male Sperm whales are larger than females. The males can grow to be as long as 52-60 feet long while the females are about 40-46 feet long. They weigh between 27.5 tons (female) and 55 tons (males)! When they are born both male and female are only about 13 feet long weighing only one ton. The female Sperm Whales have babies (calves) every four to six years and are pregnant anywhere between 12 months and 18 months (on average 16 months). When the calf is born it comes out tail first and knows by instinct to swim to the surface of the ocean to take its first breath within 10 seconds, sometimes the mother whale helps and within half an hour, the calf already knows how to swim. The calves drink milk from their mother for the first 2-3 years of its life, taking in about 45 pounds of milk per day. Male Sperm Whales “grow up” at about 18-19 years of age and the females at age 9-10. A female whale will have 7-10 babies in her lifetime. Sperm Whales life span is between 40 (females) and 80 (males) years.

As mentioned earlier, the Sperm Whales dive. They dive for their food. They are carnivores, eating mostly large squid, octopuses, demersal rays and skate but have been known to attack and eat sharks too, like the megamouth shark caught being attacked off the coast of Indonesia in 1998. Sperm Whales eat about a ton of food a day. In order to get to their food source they have to dive an average of about 400 meters (1312 feet) and lasts between 30-45 minutes. They can dive as far down as 3000 meters (9842 feet) and can hold their breath for up to two hours. They use their seven-inch, two-pound teeth to eat these bottom feeders. The teeth in their upper jaw never come down (erupt) and when their mouth is closed their bottom teeth fit into sockets in the upper jaw. Sperm Whales have 50-60 teeth in that lower jaw.

Sperm Whales travel in pods and the bonds in those pods are strong and long-lasting. The sick, injured and young are well protected. This allows new mothers to dive deep to feed when their young have to stay close to the surface because they have to breathe more often. Mothers keep track of their young using echolocation which is a sensory system in certain animals, such as bats and dolphins, in which usually high-pitched sounds are emitted and their echoes interpreted to determine the direction and distance of objects. They use this method to find food as well.

Sperm Whales are now protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Act. The Sperm Whale’s natural predator is the Killer Whale (aka Orca) however, their largest threat is man. They’ve been hunted for their valuable blubber and spermaceti oil for centuries and their numbers are now dwindling. The best way I know to help the Sperm Whale and any other endangered species is to educate myself and others. Become more aware of what we buy, where it came from and if there is a more natural product that could be used in substitution so the demand for the products that require the whale blubber or oil decreases.

Hillary Swank Moment!!!

Please forgive my major malfunction in the last post!  I had a Hillary Swank moment when I failed to thank the one person with whom my trip would not have been possible and that person is my wonderful husband, Brad, who took a whole week off work to stay home and play housewife so I could go to Texas! 

Thank you babe, I love you!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

{May 12} The Winder Wedding

I love these two people so much!  And since I'm so behind on my blogs and have written a ton today, I think I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.  Find them here

Although I do want to say this was exactly like the wedding I pictured my baby sister having.  Small and intimate in a quiet country backyard with horses and boots!  I think this went off perfectly, considering their only other option was the JP (and they almost went with that)!  I'm thrilled to have been a part of THIS!  Thanks to everyone who made it possible, Mom & Jim for using your saved up points to buy my airline ticket, Bonnie & Jimi for "putting me up" in your beautiful home (the wedding site), Adam for CHOOSING us (lunatic), and anyone I may be forgetting please-please-please forgive this old lady for being forgetful!  I love you all!

{May 12} The Big Day {part one}

Another surprise for the Bride:
(I rotated this but it's still posting sideways, sorry, I tried)
Please tilt your head to the left and proceed.
Not only did we (Mom, Bonnie, & soon-to-be mother-in-law, Susie) break in to "Bride"nap April for a Bachelorette Breakfast - since we couldn't throw her a Bachelorette Party (I'll tell you why in a second), we showed up with another surprise guest! Our other sister, Lauren, was also able to join us from California! (we couldn't have a Bachelorette Party without all of us, now could we?)
We took April to one of hers & Bonnie's favorite restaurants:
(just for fun: are people in Texas really this slow?)
Here we enjoyed the biggest pancakes in the world! (everything is bigger in Texas, I guess)
I'm not sure you could hear, but in the video April was refusing to be "bride-napped" until she'd had some coffee... she's happy now!
While we were here, April took the opportunity to dole out gifts she had purchased for those of us who'd help in the wedding planning process.
I'm not sure what was given to Susie (sorry, bad memory & no photo)
Mom received a tear bottle; a symbolic gift of love
Bonnie & I received matching key-to-my-heart sisterly love necklaces!
Thank you SISTER!!!  It was all MY PLEASURE!  I LOVE YOU SO!

Now that all the sappy stuff is over with... funny story time!
So, we were seated near one of the front windows, behind the entrance where unfortunately there was no screen on the door.  Every time a new patron would enter they held the door open for the flies.  Of course, once trapped inside, the flies frantically looked for an escape... MY WINDOW, which was of course closed.  They didn't mind attempting to grab a snack in their distraction though, but I wasn't having it!  I grabbed a nearby napkin and started taking them down one at a time!
I was determined to get them all!
Until inevitably...
Just as Susie was saying, "at least you're just killing flies, not breaki..."  Thanks alot, Susie!  And I thought I was the Jinks (pun intended)!

So we all stood there dumbfounded. Until our brilliant waitress bursts out with, "was that the baby?"

We couldn't help ourselves... we all just about died laughing!  I mean, really?

Ok, so, all joking aside, no one was hurt in the breaking of this window (other than the flies, of course) and all repair costs were covered by the insurance carried by this lovely establishment.  In fact the owner had just one question, "Did she kill the fly?"  However, that doesn't mean Bonnie & April won't have to wait for some time before being able to enter one of their favorite places without hanging their heads in shame over lit'l'ole me and some dead flies. 
Let's just say, it won't soon be forgotten by any of us!  Leave it to me to insure that this Bachelorette Breakfast was a memorable one!
Happy Wedding Day!

{May 9-11}

Well, as you can see by the title, I'm back to playing catch-up!  So much has been going on, my life just got so busy, some things had to be neglected... I'm so sorry blog family for neglecting you!

Ok, I mentioned a surprise trip I was taking in the last post... well here it is! My little sister, April and her boyfriend of nine and a half years, Adam, have been through just about everything together, they've been together since they we teenagers and they have two beautiful daughters together. They have struggled through some hard times and enjoyed plenty of good times and now, just before Adam heads to Afghanistan for his new position at BAE systems as an Aerotek contractor they are FINALLY getting married!  Too bad there wasn't much time for planning, and with school in session still, April was under the impression that not many people (myself included) would be in attendance.  So I surprised her!

I video taped me walking out from my phone while Bonnie and Mom (they were in on it) took pictures!
(please ignore my hair (for the remainder of this "trip"); I am, afterall, in Texas)
Since I arrived in the early evening we were able to spend some time eating, laughing and catching up before "hittin' the sack (as they say in Texas) 'cause we were gittin' up at the butt-crack 'a dawn to tend to the horses!"
Mom's horse: Davis Indian "Indy" & me
April's horse: Rebel (on the left) & another horse on the ranch who's name I don't know! haha!
Jimi & Ryder with Diamond (Bonnie & Jimi's horse)
Adam with another ranch horse
There were horses of all shapes and sizes literally coming out of the woodwork!
April & Mom brushing Indy
Mom loving on her horse
THAT'S RIGHT!  I rode a horse!
...and so did Mom

After an early (and long) morning at Devon's Ranch we finally went out for some grub (right, Adam?)

Later that evening we all went to Lost Pines Elementary School to watch Lily perform in her school's rendition of The Frog Prince
Lillian was a squirrel and Liberty dressed up for the occasion (she put her make-up on)

So that's what happened in the three days I was in Texas prior to the main event!  Tune in again for more on the Winder Wedding!