Sunday, February 27, 2011

joy of love (portrait)

portrait 1 WM

I'm kind of behind in the joy of love assignments,
but had to get this one in.
Portraits are probably my personal favorites as far as pictures.
It doesn't matter how many I've taken
of my children in the past.
Every one of them is different in feeling and mood.
And a glimpse of their spirit and soul.

portrait 2 WM

Taken Sunday afternoon of my favorite 8 year old in the whole wide world.
The little girl with the Mona Lisa smile.
Our Grace.

joy of love

joy of love - portrait

Friday, February 25, 2011

8/52 - snapshot


Number 8 of my photo a week project.
These 4 mean the world to me...
They are best friends to each other,
 and their moms are too.

Happy Friday.
I for one will be happy that February is leaving if the snow would too!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

joy of love (hands)

Little boy hands.
Here he's playing with his beloved Buzz Lightyear.
Will's hands are square, strong and still have a little bit of baby chubbiness to them.
Which I love!

joy of love

joy of love - hands

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

black and white Wednesday - the boy who loves water

swim Will blw 2 WM

I always wanted to be Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up.
I can't fly, but swimming is the next best thing.
It's harmony and balance.
The water is my sky.

 ~Clayton Jones

swim Will color WM

(singing) Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.
What do we do?
 We swim, swim..swim.

~ Dory in Finding Nemo

swim Will blw WM

There's something about water that brings
out the fish in 5 year old Will.
It can be bath, pool or ocean water.
This boy loves to swim.
There are days he asks to take a bath twice...and I get the water ready for him.

He hasn't had swimming lessons yet.
What we've noticed is how well he floats.
He's on his tummy in the tub, goggles on with eyes open and playing with toys.
I do think he looks extremely cute in goggles.

Taken last weekend at a China travel group get together...
the kids wouldn't get out of the pool.
And swam the following morning too.
Fun times!

the long road

You can see many more black and whites
at The Long Road to China.

Monday, February 21, 2011

joy of love (staying in)

Staying in 1

Well we're pretty much experts in the 'staying in'
department, since we live in the frozen tundra.
We make the best of it...because we don't have much of a choice.
Our Wii gets a good workout with both littles.
Will loves his Lightning McQueen game
but the current fav for both is 'Lets Dance Kids.'
Will adds a few signature moves of his own every time
they play.

Staying in 2
Besides our daily arts and crafts time for Grace,
both kids love imaginative play, Grace reads to Will, they make up puppet shows,
play Barbies (yes Will does too), and
race around our basement that has plenty of open space and a small trampoline to jump on.

Even though we got another blast of Winter today, I can tell Spring is coming
...our daylight is lasting longer. :)
Staying in 3

Grace's beautiful art set was a Christmas gift from her Grandma.
As I remember it was purchased at the Art Institute of Chicago's museum shop.
I don't see it in their online catalog presently.

joy of love

joy of love - staying in.

Friday, February 18, 2011

7/52 - Winter scene


I drive by this beautiful park with it's ponds and bridges about once a week.
It's near the university and Lake Mendota in Madison.
Sunday afternoon I took a drive and then walked this lovely park in the snow.
I captured these families having fun, it was quiet except for the sound of their blades on the ice.
I find that sound familiar and like it very much.

The wild thing is that in the 5 days since I took this picture,
 we've had a huge thaw and a great deal of our snow is gone...
And I'm sure not complaining about that. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

joy of love (kiss)

joy of love - kisses

Day 15 of joy of love was all about kisses.
We are a family that loves to kiss, hug and tickle so this was an easy assignment.
Oh...and obviously giggle.

joy of love

joy of love - day 15

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

black and white Wednesday - by the sea

sea Grace color WM-2

Lately we've been dreaming of warmer weather,
 and how nice it would be to add some sun and sand.
I found this image of Grace taken 6 months ago on our vacation to Mexico.
As I recall it was the last night of our trip, the sun was setting
 and had just dropped below the horizon (behind me),
the light was low but there was still a little bit left.
I love this one because of her pose (entirely her idea) and expression.
Makes me feel like I'm right there again with my girl. :)

sea Grace black and white WM

For many more black and whites, hop on over to

the long road

Sunday, February 13, 2011

joy of love (their eyes and routines)

their eyes

Day 12 for the joy of love is 'eyes.'
They both have very dark brown eyes that reflect the light beautifully.
Our eyes are the mirrors to our souls and I couldn't agree more.
In Grace's I see happiness, peace and a bit of wisdom thrown in for good measure.
Will's sparkle with fun, some mischief and and a whole lot of intelligence.

sleeping - routines

And for day 13 the assignment was 'routines.'
The routines of our daily lives.
I chose sleeping...
taken 2 nights ago of Will, he fell fast asleep on the family room sofa
right before bedtime.
At 5 he sucks his left hand finger before he falls asleep.
He must have one of his blankies nearby (that's one next to his face)
I think that's adorable.
Will plays hard most of the day and sleeps deeply all night.
He's got to recharge those batteries for the next day! ;)

joy of love

joy of love - days 12 and 13

Friday, February 11, 2011

6/52 - snowflakes

6/52 snowflakes

They continue to fall here...personally I  think we've had enough.
I notice there are different types of snow and even a variety of ways
the snow falls. The above was one of those days where it fell slowly
with large, fluffy flakes.

37 days until Spring!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

joy of love (passion and their space)

Superman - joy of love
For days 9 and 10 of the joy of love,
 our assignment was to capture their passion and show their space,
or place they're comfortable to be in.
Well if Will ever had a passion it is all things super hero.
Superman, Batman, and other assorted characters come alive in our home.
He even changes his voice when he's in character.
Will is standing on his bed, which is definitely his space.
He had a little jump fest after these were taken. ;)

joy of love

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

black and white Wednesday - my heart

black dress 1 WM

For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.

~Rosemonde Gerard
black dress 2 WM

To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

~ Heather Cortez

black dress 3 WM

In my daughter's eyes
Everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light
And the world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me
Gives me strength when I'm weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

~Martina McBride

black dress 4 WM

At 8 years old I'm a big part of her world.
Right now we are best friends and confidants, sometimes she asks questions and we talk...
about life, school, friendships, creating things, her dolls, dance, God, name it, we talk about it.
In five years I don't imagine we'll talk quite so much...
but I hope so.

black dress 5 WM

It's been such an honor to have been chosen to be her mother.
For now I live in the present and relish these magical times
and special moments that a mother and daughter can share.

Grace is all that is good, with the kindest of hearts.
The definition of a gentle soul.
An angel.

black dress 6 WM

Grace and I went out on Sunday afternoon in search of a place with beautiful window light.
We found it at the Memorial Union at our nearby university in a quiet study room which faced North.
It was snowing over the lake and so peaceful.

black dress 7 WM

These were edited with Florabella's new Luxe II actions. For the color versions I used 'Smitten'
and the black and whites, 'Film w/grain.'

Hop on over to Lisa's Black and White Wednesday to see what she's up to
and many more beautiful black and whites.

the long road

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

joy of love (gift from the heart)

gift from the heart

Most days without fail, I'm handed a gift or gifts.
They're carefully made with love by hand and are always for me.
They arrive at unexpected times and I smile at their arrival...
and I've been receiving them since my oldest son was a little boy.
Now my two littlest loves have started giving.

Grace draws, paints or creates something every day...
I keep all kinds of paper, markers, colored pencils and craft supplies available
in a cupboard in our kitchen.
The pictures Will draws tend to be of Batman or Robin standing next to me!
I should have taken a picture of one of them.

I treasure their gifts and have a special box for these keepsakes...
the problem is I have so many, I have to pick and choose which ones to keep.
If I throw one away and they see it in the trash...they get upset.
So sometimes I do have to hide it. ;)

joy of love

joy of love - day 8

Sunday, February 6, 2011

joy of love (who they love and generations)

who they love - Molly dog

For lesson 6 our assignment was...
who do they love?
Since I'm using Grace and Will as my inspiration,  one of their loves
is our 11 year old labrador retriever, 'Molly.'
Molly is our gentle giant of a dog who looks out for my children when we're outside,
 is quite playful, endlessly patient, and tolerant of my two when she'd rather be taking a nap.
Molly is the only dog I've owned as an adult,
and the sweetest animal I've ever known.

who they love - Grandpa

And day 7's assignment is about generations.
The above was taken at Christmas with Grace and Will's Grandpa
(my dad).
My parents live just an hour away.
Grandpa is still a big kid in all ways,
and is blessed with great health along
with a fabulous sense of humor, and true joy of life!
He'll pretty much do anything the kids ask of him and more.
I love seeing them together.
We are fortunate that we live close and their Grandparents are such a big part of their lives.

joy of love

Saturday, February 5, 2011

joy of love (love to hate)

Day 5 - love to hate. I love that my 5 and 8 year old happily brush their teeth. Not liking the aftermath.
Day 5's assignment for joy of love
is to show something I 'love to hate' about this person or people.
Well, I love that Grace and Will happily brush their teeth twice a day.
They rarely complain, in fact Will embraces it
and sometimes it looks like a party has gone on in the bathroom when he's done.
The above was taken this morning...still not sure who was wrestling
with the tube of toothpaste. ;)
I do get a little tired of reminding them to clean up.

Friday, February 4, 2011

joy of love and 5/52 - blizzard

joy of love - what they wear

The blizzard hit our area of southern Wisconsin around 3pm Tuesday afternoon.
School was let out early and that never happens,
Fortunately we were prepared well and it was great fun
for all of us to be together on Wednesday
and wait for the wind and snow to stop.
We already had 10 inches of snow on the ground and the blizzard left another 15-16.
This was taken of Grace late Wednesday afternoon after the plows had come by and
my husband had finished shoveling and snow blowing.
Yes, sometimes I wonder...why DO we live here?
 Other than living in North Carolina and California for a total of 10 years,
I don't know any other way.
I'm a Midwest girl through and through.
 But, I can do without the blizzards.

The joy of love assignment for today was 'what they wear.'
Thought the above one of Grace was appropriate for us this week!

Happy Friday.

joy of love

Thursday, February 3, 2011

joy of love ( how they look and then and now)

Will collage
I'm catching up on the assignments for Joy of Love.
The above and below pictures are 'How they Look.'
 Will's were taken today in the morning and the one of Grace
shortly after she came home from school.
Their true personalities speak loud and clear from these images.  :)
Grace look WM

And  below is 'Then and Now.'
Will holding a picture of himself at age 2 & 1/2
and Grace with her picture at 12 months, taken shortly after we first met in China.
No explanation needed as to how much they've grown and changed in that time.

GraceWill  look frames WM

joy of love

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

joy of love

joy of love 1

In December I took Kelly Willette's 'Finding the Holiday Joy'
 online photography class and loved it.
So this month I'm taking her free class, 'The Joy of Love.'
Every day we have an assignment and I'm already behind. lol!
I will attempt to keep up but know that it's pretty unlikely I'll post every day,
so I'm thinking I'll combine a few days together in posts.
I highly recommend her classes, they keep me inspired and especially this time of the year
when I have cabin fever.

joy of love 2

The first assignment was to photograph someone you love
doing what they do... whether it's working, playing, eating, etc.
The above ones are of my little man doing one of the things he probably does best,
which is play.
Those mini super hero toys get played with constantly.
I happened to get my husband in the background working on the computer.
He was home because we had a snow day today because of the blizzard.
So I got two of my loves in this one.

joy of love
© Aging with Grace and strong Will
CoffeeShop Designs