Encouragement For The Week

Wherever God has put you, 
that is your vocation.
It is not what we do,
but how much love we put into it.

Mother Theresa


Ordinary Days

We bought this swing for our big tree in the back and it has been a huge hit.

A family trip to the mountains-these two love each other (that does not mean they don't drive each other crazy sometimes).  When Patrick left for camp Janey didn't know what to do.

"Matchies" cousins.  (I found the best deal on bows-lots of them-Janey will only wear pony tails now so they work out perfectly.)

I know NO ONE wants to see school supplies out in July but I couldn't resist a few for myself because look at these prints!  They scream summer all year long so I bought a whole bunch of them to last me through till next year. 

Abbey and I shot a wedding together-we were both so nervous but it ended up being so much fun and we worked well together-we really had a blast.  It was a 10 hour day for me (which is still very tiring darnit) and a 12 hour day for her but it was really cool for me to feel "alive" again artistically.   I wish I could post more pictures but the bride must see them first. :) . The cathedral photos are amazing. And I have to say the couple was so sweet and their families couldn't have been nicer.

Expert lightning bug catcher.  

Summer days are the best.  I wish they could last forever.  I've been reading up a storm and have more books to post soon.


Toddler Tips: The Question Game

This isn't just for older toddlers, but bored, or whiny, waiting-in-line, or car riding children of all ages (and I mean all-I've asked these of teenagers.)  It does two things-distracts, and also shows them that we are so interested in what they think and like and how their minds work.

It's so simple it's silly but I was reminded of this game on vacation when it was used with a whiny to-be-kindergartener that couldn't walk another step on a long hike back up a mountain.  We also play this at night when I don't feel like reading a book-they beg for it!

It's just a long bunch of quick simple questions-as long as you need it to be.

It started out being called "the liking game" and then another version was called "would you rather", and another version "guess who". 

What would you rather have - a chocolate bar or Skittles?
Would you rather have -spaghetti and meatballs or a hamburger?
What do you like better-orange or blue?
What do you like better-chocolate or vanilla?
What do you like better-Halloween or Christmas?
Would you rather live in a big city or the country when you grow up?
Do you like the beach or the mountains?
Would you rather be stuck on a boat or an elevator?
Would you rather hold a cock roach or a snake?

The "guess who game" is one little hint at a time about family members and close friends until they guess who it is.  We also do this with fairy tales, stories, and princesses that the younger kids are familiar with.  It cracks us up how quickly they get these.  Shows you how much they really do pay attention!

The possibilities are endless and kids LOVE this really-and can play for hours.


Another Good Book

I couldn't put this book down-I love memoirs in the first place but this one reminds me a whole bunch of Glass Castle -it's that good.  (It also reminds me of North of Normal and The Distance Between Us.)  

On another note, I hope you all were able to take advantage of strawberry season because we sure did.  We ate about 12 quarts of those babies.  We are now consuming sweet cherries at the same rate.

"All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world."
L.M. Montgomery