An Afternoon with Great-Grandma Gerrie

Timothy may have croup and Ray may have spent the night in the hospital, but my kiddos and I made the best of today and spent a wonderful afternoon with my grandmother (aka GiGi) and my mom (aka Mimi).

Julia gave GiGi a manicure…

And, at lunch, Noah convinced her to help him play a video game with the quarters Mimi gave him…

These are the days we’ll remember forever.

Capture Life

Do y’all remember when I decided to buy a digital SLR camera and learn how to take “beautiful photos”? Well, it was then that I knew I wanted to capture life – my children’s lives.

Well, I bought my camera – a Canon Rebel XSi – and have been taking pictures, but I don’t really know how to use it. Sure, I’ve been snapping some pretty good shots, if I do say so myself, but I have never ventured beyond the auto settings. Sad, huh?

So, how excited do you think I was when I discovered that Jen – of Jen Stewart Photography – and her husband, Chris, were going to be teaching a photography workshop? It gets even better. This workshop is especially for moms, to teach us how to capture the lives of our kids in photos!

capture llife

We want to empower you to take the best photos you can of your families, and to have confidence that you can record those spontaneous memories beautifully!

You can find all of the details about this fantastic workshop, taking place in Sacramento on January 23rd, HERE. Do you want to hear something exciting? You can save $100 off the price of your ticket if you register before January 11th!

Let me know if you plan to join me, my local friends, so I can look forward to seeing you there! (I have been given a ticket to attend in exchange for creating some buzz, but even if I wasn’t I’d so be there!)

What are some of YOUR best tips for capturing your kiddos in photos?

Goodbye to 2009

It seems 2009 has passed by so quickly. In some ways I am sad to see it go… This year brought many blessings and happy memories, new friends and strengthened friendships. But, this year also presented a lot of challenges for me and for my family. Some that I blogged about. Some that I didn’t.


Just as I did at the end of 2008, I have compiled a list of some of the highlights (and even low times) of this last year.

I hope you’ll enjoy the walk with me down Memory Lane.


*Many people want to know: “How do you do it?”
*Everyone deserves a day just to be grumpy
*Do you ever…?
*I know I’m not an expert
*I had a bit of a blogging identity crisis, but y’all really came through for me and I rediscovered the REAL bloggin’ me

In January, my travels took me to New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia


*With all of my traveling, some people wanted to know why and I felt guilty. Or was I really just worried about what people thought?
*There’s no place like home, this is true, but does absence really make the heart grow fonder?
*I was frustrated and went on a rant about how hard it is to find good babysitters
*We’re not the typical homeschool family. Or, maybe we are
*Want to know what my kids do while I’m away? They reek total havoc!
*My children reminded me not to forget to laugh out loud

In February I went to Nashville, for the BlissDom conference, where I spoke on a panel about how you can make money using affiliate programs. I also had the privilege of attending a red carpet event for the premiere of Only in a Woman’s World in Hollywood


*Because of all of the sponsorships I was blessed to receive I answered questions about creating buzz for your sponsors
*From my heart came the reasons why we homeschool
*All of my kiddos seem to prefer daddy these days… Perhaps it’s time for another?
*There is nothing quite like being a mom!
*There is a lot to homechooling. I shared my 7 Habits of Highly Effective Homechooling
*Special nights are one of the ways we spend one on one time with each of our kiddos
*I became the spokesmom for Johnson’s Baby!
*We are organized chaos

March took me to Austin and our family to Las Vegas, where we discovered many things you should know if you ever plan to take your six kids to Sin City for a week


*One of my favorite songs these days helped me remember where to find my hiding place
*Migraines began to grab a hold of me and I was feeling like I needed a time out

I went to Ohio in April.


*Everyone continued to wonder why I was being invited to all these bloggy events
*Our family was blessed by the fact that I became a Frigidaire Test Drive Mom
*I had one of those days, but had to remember Who is in control
*I thought I discovered why I was getting migraines

In May I went to Orlando with Ray and Josh, which inspired Ray to write a whole series on which Mouse House is better


*Summertime learning is fun and carefree
*Bullies were a huge topic in our house
*We had a very “stressful” day, with Ethan ending up in the hospital, causing me to turn into the type of mother I never thought I’d become.
*Then I ended up in the hospital, leaving the kids in the hands of many trusted friends and family members for days


*Ethan had his EEG and all came back clear, thank God!
*I, however, was robbed, yet again.
*Nine months after it happened I was finally able to write about it, but the memory of it makes me cry, even to this day
*There just may be 3 things you didn’t know about us
*I spent the afternoon with Lisa LaPorta!
*Boy, how we love the the days of summer

BlogHer was in Chicago, in July, and it was so much fun!


*Warm nights and wonderful sounds filled our last days of summer
*I revealed a secret
*Dreams can be odd
*I got rid of what was causing my migraines (and haven’t had a single one since!)
*Ray and I celebrated 10 years of marriage
*We got ready to get back to school by making some “School Years Eve” resolutions

In August, Ray and I headed for the Carribean and made a stop in Jamaica and Grand Cayman


*Ray and I returned from our cruise and I began school with the kids, refreshed from the time away
*The fam and I gave Moxie (and you!) a tour of Sacramento
*Noah, being… well, Noah says, “You do it”

I saw Chicago in September, as part of a team of bloggers sent out to tour the Sears Design Center.


*With the new FTC guidelines looming, I gave my two-cents
*The kids and I went shopping with Phil Lempert – The Grocery Guru
No, we don’t do Halloween. Here are our reasons

I first went to Los Angeles in October by myself. Then Noah was most excited about our trip to see Mickey, but our weekend in Los Angeles was really much more than that.


*Looking for some tips for getting the kids to bed quickly and effectively?
*We had quite the scare when we received a visitor
*I was quoted in a Los Angeles Times article that caused a bit of rukus. Ray decided to give his thoughts on the matter

In November my sisters, Mom and I headed to Hollywood


*I sat in wonder – “Where did my baby go?”
*I was sick. A lot.
*Thoughts on my big family
*Date nights are so very important for Ray and me
*Santa? Nah

2009 was quite a year. But, I do love new beginnings and changes, so I’m excited to see what God has in store for us in 2010!

What are some of YOUR favorite 2009 memories?