Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Merry! (Sunday Snapshot)


Well it definitely was a Merry one.
All those days of preparation, shopping, wrapping, baking and cooking...
then it's over awfully fast.
And all that getting ready is worth every single second,
to see their faces.
We had a quiet, low key Christmas with my own family,
(Dan, me, Nick, his girlfriend Lindsay, Grace and William).
I put my camera down after I took these and didn't pick it up again,
which is good for me to do now and then.
Over the weekend we spent Saturday at my parents house with my 3 siblings
and their families.
A very, very fun evening and as always I laugh till I cry
when I'm with my two brothers and sister Betsy.
I hope everyone's Christmas was lovely!

Ni Hao Yall

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Birthday Boy!

There are very few birthday photos of Will without
him near our Christmas tree.
Will is our Christmas baby.
Recently I asked Will a few questions and thought I'd share them ~
What do you like about the fact that your birthday is on Christmas Day?
(Will) I love that it's Jesus' birthday and it's when the baby King was born.
 I also
really like to get presents.
What are your favorite subjects in school?(he loves school)
(Will) Math and Science. Mostly I like them because I love to learn new things and
how to figure out how things work.
Who's your current favorite Superhero or Crime Fighter?
(Will) It's a tie between Batman and Wolverine.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
(Will) A Scientist, rock star, athlete, and Doctor
We have no doubt that William will accomplish all those things and more!
This mom hopes for the doctor, I dream of him helping children someday.
Happy Birthday sweet boy, we love you to the moon and back!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

"Christmas my child, is love in action."
~ Dale Evans
May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.

~  Author Unknown
 Behind all the commercial-ism of the season
is the simple story about a family trying to get through difficult times.
And a baby born in a manger.
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
~ Luke 2:10-11

Merry Christmas!
May you find the blessings of Christmas - peace, love and and always.
with love,
Dan, Gail, Nick, Grace and William

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Nutcracker (Sunday Snapshot)

It's one of those traditions that started over 25 years ago, before I had children.
I've had this love for the Nutcracker for many years and would attend productions pretty much everywhere we lived.

This is the 6th year that Grace and I have attended our local Nutcracker
put on by the Madison Ballet.
We've gotten where we both can anticipate each and every
dance and are never disappointed.
I'm hoping it's a tradition we can continue and maybe
next year bring Will (if he's up for it).

Taken shortly before we left yesterday.
Grace was playing with two of her Nutcracker ornaments from
the little tree in her room.

Merry Christmas!
We are getting a white one with a big snowstorm that's
hitting Wisconsin just as I write this.

Ni Hao Yall

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Getting into the Christmas Spirit (Sunday Snapshot)

Spirit WM-2
 “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!” 

~ Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Xmas Spirit

I've often wondered, what is the Christmas spirit?
What does that mean?
It seems like people are happier, kinder
and more giving.
It's a shame that it goes away after Christmas is over.
Maybe we can all try to keep Christmas in our hearts
all year round.
Spirit WM
These were all taken this week...
the bits and pieces that I saw of Christmas around me.
Vintage tree decorations that come from my mother in law's family,
Will's school Christmas program, Grace performing at a benefit for a local
charity that helps families, and the lights at a nearby tree lot.
I see Christmas in all the details.
I leave shortly to photograph the live Nativity at our church tonight.
I hope you see Christmas around you.

Ni Hao Yall

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Keeping Christmas in my Heart(Sunday Snapshot)

Christmas Red Coat-7

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
  ~ Charles Dickens

Red Christmas Coat Storyboard

As much as I enjoy seeing the Christmas decorations and giving gifts to people I love.
  It is easy to feel a lot of pressure to get the decorating & shopping done, the cards sent, the presents wrapped and all of the other activities going on this time of year. 
 Unfortunately, it is way too easy to forget about the reason for the season. 
Getting out into the quiet of the snow with Grace was a great way to get back to what is really important: love, family, simple beauty and God. 
 The blessings of the season are with us everyday. 
 We should try to enjoy them as much as we can. 
Time passes so quickly and these days will be fond memories before we know it. 

Christmas Red Coat-2-2

A Christmas Carol

The shepards had an angel,
The wise men had a star;
But what have I, a little child,
To guide me home from far,
Where glad stars sing together,
And singing angels are?

~ Christina Rossetti
written in 1856


Ni Hao Yall

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tradition (Sunday Snapshot)

Tree Farm - WM
 At Christmas, all roads lead home. 

~Marjorie Holmes
Tree Farm Storyboard Dec 2013
Growing up my family had the tradition of cutting
down our Christmas tree and as the years have gone by
and I now have my own family, we've continued it.
We moved to Wisconsin 8 years ago when Grace
was a little one of 3. That year Dan carried her
through the tree farm and it was bitter cold!
We still go to the same farm to find our tree and now
my two youngest definitely help and voice their own opinion
on which is the perfect tree.
This year the tree we chose is the tallest we've ever had.

I think I love this entire experience so much because
we get to drink yummy hot apple cider and
the fragrance of the fresh trees outdoors always
speaks of Christmas to me.

(Taken yesterday afternoon, the hazy light was gorgeous)

Tree Farm - WM-3


Ni Hao Yall

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Snapshot (Thankful)

Will Nov-13-8

As I write this November is 2/3 over and Thanksgiving
is nearly here.
I realize that I almost got through this month without doing another blog post
but decided to get this one in.
It's been a busy month for me for various reasons, but not too busy to reflect a little bit about
what I'm thankful for...

Will Nov 2013 Storyboard

I'm thankful that Will is a happy person and that he surprises me almost everyday. 
The things he knows and asks about, the things he thinks about and does - always make me smile
 and wonder how we got him. 
I'm thankful that Will is smart and kind - it will make his road a little easier.  I'm thankful that he has a strong belief in God - it will give him strength through hard times.  I'm thankful that Will loves his family - it makes our Wisconsin winters a bit warmer.
And finally I'm thankful that I get to be his mom.

Will Nov-13-9


Ni Hao Yall

Saturday, November 2, 2013

No Tricks, all Treats (Sunday Snapshot)


tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets
and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins.... Merry October!
~Rainbow Rowell

Halloween Collage 2013

Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story. 

~Mason Cooley


They start talking about Halloween starting in early September,
and Will usually has thought of what he'd like to dress up a good 6 months
before Halloween. His costumes get a lot of wear as he wears them at home frequently.
This year he went as Ironman and Grace is a 'Weeping Angel.'
I took very few photos of our Halloween evening because it was a rainy one but it didn't stop my trick or treaters by any means.
Probably my favorite image was the candid one below as they checked out their loot in between houses.
It may have rained but they still had a great time!


Ni Hao Yall

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October snapshots (iphone style)

October is almost halfway over.
We're in a good routine and my kiddos have been great about getting up early to get
ready for school
and completing their homework in the afternoons.
 Dare I say this...we are about 10 weeks away from Christmas.
1. Top left. 'Bruce Wayne' in black and white. 2. Grace making
lemon sugar cookies for her classroom (she has become quite the baker).
3. Ballet has started again for Grace. I have finally mastered the ballet bun
for her hair. 4. Gourds and mini pumpkins. 5. Grace with a sequined kitty cat mask.
6. We made a quick trip to Chicago for a girls China friends get together.
7. 'Frenemies' Jack kitty and Zoe dog, they rarely get this close together. Usually Zoe is
chasing the cat. 8. The leaves are starting to fall here. 9. Sweet little farm stand selling pumpkins.
I wish Fall lasted longer than it does, but for now we are savoring every
moment of it.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Welcome Autumn (Sunday Snapshot)

If you stand still outside you can hear it...
 Winter's footsteps, the sound of falling leaves.
~ unknown


October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came,
The Ashes, Oaks, and Maples, And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And every thing was grand;
Miss Weather led the dancing;
Professor Wind, the band....
The sight was like a rainbow
New-fallen from the sky....
~ George Cooper, "October's Party"

Grace October Storyboard 2013

Autumn is here in Wisconsin.
This week our yellow leaves popped,
next will be the oranges and reds.

It's my favorite season for many reasons but
as a photographer I notice the light is low in the sky, golden
and delicious in color.
This week I took Grace out to a new location and loved the light in the trees.
I can't get enough of seeing these Fall colors
and spending as much time as we can as a family



Ni Hao Yall

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Little Boys and Football

Football Will Collage
A Mom's Observations About Flag Football
(Now Will is the first of my 3 children to try flag football,
so it's new too me. These are some things I noticed)
~ There's quite a bit of energy out on that field of little boys
and it's not necessarily going in the right direction
~ Pulling a flag seems to be harder than tackling
~ There is some little boy that cries on every play(after all they're only 7)
~ The favorite play is "RUN!"
Will might be small but he's quite fast.
And it's really been a joy to watch him play.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

It's all about Apples (Sunday Snapshot)

Apple Picking-11
When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves
Welcome wool sweaters.
~ B. Cybrill
Apple Picking-2-2
Fall has finally arrived in our neck of the woods.
Why do I love Fall so much?
 Maybe because for us Midwesterners it's 'just right' as in not too cold,
not too hot and humid, and not too rainy.
  Cool nights and bright blue skies have arrived.
So to celebrate Fall's arrival we made a little trip to a local farm that offers apple picking.
This is a new place for us this year.
The one we used to frequent had gotten crazy busy and
we were pleasantly surprised by the Appleberry Farm.
Apple Picking Storyboard 2013
Now, what do I do with all these apples?
No worries, our two apple picking helpers have plenty of yummy ideas!
 I need to get busy. :)

Apple Picking-3-2


Ni Hao Yall
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