Friday, February 27, 2009

A little TARGET...

I had to post these pics (and completely embarrassed that I actually was snapping away in Target!!!) but if we are planning on taking the kids somewhere & we ask Madden where he would like to go, he says he would like to go to Target or Walmart. And his reason??? To go to the toy section and see all the Transformers. It is a very hilarious (and mildly annoying at times) ritual that we have when we go to the store. We have a super Walmart that we do most of our grocery shopping at...so I grab the cart and Tim takes the kids to the toy section so Madden can "see" the Transformers. After our tiny photo session this day...I promised him we could go to Target to look at the Transformers. He has a ton at home...but he likes to show us the few he doesn't have and tells us he wants them for his birthday. :-) And if you ask him their names? He can name every last bloody one of them. LOL!!!! So, with no further a do...here is Madden in his glory at Target in the Transformer aisle. :-)

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He could really sit and look at them for hours...
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Holding his own "Jazz" because we can't go anywhere without a few Transformers...
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This is a child who is clearly in his glory...oh my!!!
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How can a mom say no to this face??? PLEEEEEEEASE he asks??? But, I had to. I get used to it by now. He can wait for his birthday!!! :-) But, sometimes he gets "lucky" if Nana is with and she lets him buy one. :-)
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He seriously inspects them like an expert...
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So sorry buddy...none today. :-( He seriously understands and says goodbye kindly to them and says "See you next time!!!" :-)
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Valentine's Day...A bit of a late post. :-)

I love Valentine's Day. So, I always make a big deal about it. Mainly, because I love to let the kids know that this is a day to show each other how much we love each other...and that we should do so every day! :-) I always make a nice meal for all of us, have some sort of dessert and some yummy valentines treats to share. :-) Per Tim's request, I made stuffed shells (YUM!) with garlic bread and then the girls and I made a heart shaped cake complete with delicious frosting & sprinkles. :-) We had candy hearts and lollipops for the kids treats. I always make sure I pick up some valentine plates, cups & napkins to eat from. The kids love to decorate for any occasion, so a few packs of cheap supplies always is a hit! :-) We had a great time sharing our love and Tim and I celebrated the following evening, thanks to my sis Amy & Andy watching the kids.

Just being cheesy with the candy hearts...but they were yummy!!!

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Eating! (She had a bad cold & wasn't feeling the best. -( ...but she still had fun!)
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Yummy cake!!
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It didn't take long for this to be gone. :-)
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I love this picture because look how dirty Makenzie's face is!!! LOL!
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Amara's Dora valentine...She wouldn't let go of them for days!!!
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Real Love

Just a little excerpt from the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan that I wanted to share today:

"The best things in life are gifts from the One who steadfastly loves us. But an important question to ask ourselves is this: Are we in love with God or just His stuff?

Imagine how awful it would feel to have your child say to you, "I don't really love you or want your love, but I WOULD like my allowance please." Conversely, what a beautiful gift it is to have the one you love look you in the eye and say, "I love you. Not your beauty, your money, your family, or your car. Just you."

Can you say that to God?

Our love for Him always comes out of His love for us. Do you love this God who is everything, or do you just love everything He gives you? Do you really know and believe that God loves you, individually and personally and intimately? Do you see and know Him as God your Father?"


This is why I really like this book. When I read, yes, I like to be encouraged, but I love more than anything to be challenged. I love to know that the words and thoughts that challenge me, draw me closer to God to find out the "why's" and "how's" in life. Nothing is impossible. No amount of wrong behavior or wrong thinking on my part is too far off to be changed. And isn't that part of the reason as to why we are here? To find a faith and love in a God who made us for His purposes? No matter how big or how small those purposes are, we do have a purpose and who we are truly supposed to be and what we are meant to do begins in our hearts. For me, my life has been a constant struggle of negativity, bad attitudes and doubt. Over the last few years, it seemed as if God was putting extremely difficult people in my life. And I would wonder...why is my life full of difficult people? But, God has shown me that these people that I have viewed as difficult have been a source of showing me the junk and bad stuff in my own heart. I had to come face to face with attitudes in myself and deal with them. I had to learn to make choices as to how I was going to respond. I admit, more times than not, I let those situations bring out the worst in me. It's not easy when we've been taken advantage of, lied to, talked about, gossipped about, and belittled. But, nothing that anyone else does to me deserves the responses that I sometimes gave. I am responsible for myself and my own attitude. And the same goes for each of us. We are going to face difficult situations and difficult people. But, it is OUR choice how to respond/react.

Like I stated earlier, I have just been so grateful for the ways that I have been challenged through this book. It has ultimately led me to seek out God's book and really evaluate where I am in my own thinking and in my own heart. I am drawn to the ways Jesus lived. The simplicity of his words, yet the ability to change lives through his example. He sets the bar REALLY high. It's almost overwhelming at times to think that's how HIGH I have to lift myself up. But God gently reminds me that HE will lift me up that high. I just have to be willing to let Him.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Are you KIDDING me?!?!?!?

Tabloids, celebrity news...yadda, yadda, yadda...but I couldn't help but stop & read this one going around. The whole bit about Jessica Simpson gaining weight and now she's FAT??? I just saw this picture from a link on my yahoo that referenced this photo being of the NEW, curvier & overweight Jessica Simpson. If she is considered FAT, then the rest of us are OBESE! I know people aren't supposed to look up to Hollywood or the media for opinions, etc. but when our culture (and ESPECIALLY our YOUNG GIRLS!!!) are being bombarded with these types of headlines & stories...it makes me want to freak out!!! This is just ridiculous. How sad. Dear God, please protect our daughters from these sad, sad opinions and outrageous claims!

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Makenzie :: Just some winter fun...

{I Posted The Same Pics on My Photography Blog As Well...so I apologize for the sideways photos...they are resized for my business blog. You can see them better at www.stacilphotographytheblog.com. Thanks!!!}
I enjoy being busy with work & I enjoy some down time, too. :-) When I have down time, I do like to keep busy shooting...so what better way to do so than to do mini-sessions with my own children?!?! Plus, I am still investigating different locations to do sessions this spring/summer. I really like this location I found right down the road from us. It's an old, abandoned one room school house. I had my eye on it this fall, but never had a chance to go over there and take a look around. I loved it! The actual school room is boarded shut, but there is a open porch on the front. The outside of it is really neat, too...but I'll wait until the snow melts to go back there. :-)

Makenzie is a very versatile subject. She's very good at following directions...even on a FREEZING cold day. :-) Here are some of the pics...

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