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Friday, November 28, 2014

Casey {Senior Portraits}

Hello all!
I think this is my record for the longest I've gone from blogging yet!
I have oodles of pictures I want to post that I get overwhelmed, and just don't start. I should go don my Nike shirt, and follow it's suggestion: Just Do It. ;)
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Ours was pretty low key, with our pastor's family being out of town, (they always come for Thanksgiving! They're breaking tradition!!!!!!). So instead we had another family over, and the guys that were on shift from the Fire Dept. 
Yep. Thanksgiving with Firefighters. :) They had juuuuust enough time to eat, then they got a call... and another call.... and a move up. Poor guys. Ah, the joys of being in the Emergency Services. Lol.

Life has been craaaaaaaaazy busy lately! The majority of my days have been  so filled with various projects I need to get done, that often times at night, when I sit down in our living room I realize it's the first time I've actually really sat down. You know those days? Although I have had several more relaxing days too, so that has been nice. :)

Anyway, before I start rambling, (like I'm prone to doing. Just ask my friends. I send loooong random texts all the time), I wanted to share some of the senior photos I did for a friend back in August.
She was a trooper! We planned them for a certain day in the evening so we could shoot during the golden hour. Then I messaged her and asked if we could reschedule since I possibly had something going on that evening. It wasn't super important, but I wanted to attend an event. Turns out, she was planning on going to the same event!

C'mon, one does not simply skip a Newsboys concert at your state fair. You just don't. ;) 

We brainstormed a bit, then decided to do them early in the morning. Heh, yeah. Two not-morning people doing pictures at 7-ish......
It worked quite well, all things considered, and I'm pretty happy with what we got. It helped that Casey is super photogenic. Sure made my job a whooooole lot easier!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Jillian + Dawson {Sneak Peek}

I had the privilege of being a second shooter at a friend's wedding last month, so I thought I'd share a quick picture with you guys. :)
I'm still editing the rest of the pictures, so it might be a week or two before I get around to showing you the rest of them. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dirty Dishes , Chia Seeds & Missing my Mommy

Today was pretty crazy. 
Funny how when the mother is gone, life changes. 

Mom  says I tend to be an over-achiever, and sometimes I laugh at her and dismiss that thought with a wave of my hand. Today I realized that maybe it's true. Lol.

My Grandparents on my mom's side both accepted Christ, (praise the Lord!), so she left for Mississippi early this morning, before I was even awake, so she could attend their baptism. :)

So, last night I set the alarm for  zero dark thirty, (or maybe it was 7 a..m.. But they're pretty much the same if you ask me), and actually got up when it went off. :) Got up, then crawled back in bed. O_o
I was so groggy, it was like I had to go to bed for three minutes before I could get up. I guess I needed that three minutes though, 'cuz I felt fine after that. ;)

It was weird being the only one up. Weird, yet peaceful. I did a quick workout to get me all waked up, (Emily grammar. Get over it.), got dressed, and had my devotions. It was wonderful. :) 
It was kind of funny, I grabbed my bible, and wasn't sure where to read, so I asked God to give me something that would help me through my day. Ephesians 4 came to mind. I figured it was probably because my pastor had sent out an e-mail saying that's where we would be on Sunday. So I sat down in my corner on the couch, and proceeded t read from Ephesians 4.

MAN! As I was reading that, I started to squirm in my seat.  Right off the bat it was telling me to....

walk in a manner worthy of  the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

And get this....
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

I was hoping for something more along the lines of the Proverb that says, "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." 
But no, The Lord knew what I need to read, and it came in handy as I went about my chores.
I'd be washing dishes, and one of the kids would run up to me: "Em, Carver hit me on the head with a light saber!"..... "Em, Noah took the motorcycle away!"....."ELMY! Audrey spit her tongue out at me!", etc... and I would be silently chanting to myself, "Patience, patience, patience,patience...." :)
Unfortunately, I don't have the patience of a saint, but we're all still alive to tell the tale, so all is well. :)

Shortly after my devotions, small people began to emerge from their beds, stating that they were hungry, so breakfast was started, and soon their little tummies were filled. I remembered mom said to have the kids pick up apples outside so as to keep the wasps at bay. I sent them out and began working on that yearly task that, I have to admit, is not my favorite: Applesauce.
Armed with nothing but an apple-peeler-corer-slicer, and my determination to see this box of apples empty, I began the long and arduous task. Okay, so it wasn't that bad....just a little odd to be doing it by myself. 
Five hours later I had six lovely jars sitting on the counter top. I should get a medal..........
World's Slowest Applesauce Maker

Although, it wasn't five straight hours, so I'm not as slow as you might think. ;) Lol. Part of that was kitchen clean-up.

I had grand plans to take a nap or do something relaxing while the monsters,  *KIDS! I meant kids!*, were sleeping, but then I decide to make granola.
Now, I have never made granola in my entire life, but I'd seen my mom do it, and Pinterest is out there for a reason, so to Pinterest I went. 10 minutes later, after much deliberation I had selected "The Best Pumpkin Granola". I generally don't believe it when the recipes say they're the best, but this was the only one I had everything I needed for it. ;)

I pushed up my hoodie sleeves and got to work. 
Mistake #1 was forgetting that I was halving the recipe when I did the spices, which surely wouldn't be a big deal because I looooooooove cinnamon. :) I wasn't too sure about the salt however.....oh, well.
Mistake #2 was putting it back in the oven after stirring it at the 18 minute mark, for 10 more minutes like the recipe said, even though my gut was telling me NOT TO DO IT. 
Sure enough, I pulled out the delicious smelling pan of pumpkin granola goodness aaaaaaaaand........it was burnt. -_- Grrrrrr....   Looks can be deceiving I thought, so I popped a cluster in my mouth aaaaaaaand......yep. It was burnt. -_-
No pumpkin granola for me.

By the time I had the kitchen RE-cleaned, and folded the last of the laundry, I heard, "Eeeeeeeeelmy! Eeeeeeeeelmy!"  Which we all know is the 'I'm-awake-can I get up now?' cry, coming from the deepest corners of the house where the monsters, *KIDS!*, (what is wrong with my computer?!?!) sleep. I poked my head in Audrey's room to tell her she could get up, and was greeted with, "I'm wet."
"okay, just get some clean clothes, and I'll change your sheet in a minute."
I go into Noah's room and am greeted with, "I'm soaky wet." -_-
"Okay, let's get you changed real quick." 
Unfortunately, Bobble, (Noah's blankie), ended up slightly wet, so I mentally added putting that in the wash on my to-do list along with Audrey's sheets.
Then mom called. I must have been so ecstatic to hear her voice, (c'mon, she'd been gone for nine whole hours!), that the sheets, and blankie totally slipped my mind.
Good grief where does the time go?!?! I looked at the clock and realized it was time to start heating up dinner. Gourmet Chili Mac. Oh, yeah. 
Of course, I wanted to make something healthier for myself, so while that was heating I again returned to pinterest to see what yummy thing I could conjure up. And forgot briefly about the mac 'n cheese. O_o 
Don't worry mom! It only scorched a tiny bit. I really do have this under control!!! ;) So I took my computer to the kitchen and never left that pot's side until it was done, and attempted to stir, FB message my sister, look up a dessert recipe, and make my dinner at the same time. I tend to get sidetracked easily, in case you couldn't tell. Lol.
When dinner was finished I looked around at my once clean kitchen, which was now a mini disaster, (it's been worse), and let out a small groan. But this time I recruited a younger sibling to help, and it went by much faster, especially since I turned some of my music on. :) Soon it was sparkling again. :)
Then I decided to make snack.
Which, again, came off Pinterest. I really like pinterest. :) 
How can you resist something called 'deep dish chocolate fudge oatmeal bars', or some such name.
I know. You cant.

We usually have snack at 7:00, and when I started it was 6:50-ish. I figured it would probably take 30 minutes to bake, then it would have to set up, so it would be late, but I could easily have the kids in bed before 8:30. Hehe. At 7:45 I ran out of patience with this thing and stuck it in the fridge to see if  it would set up....it did. Haha! VICTORY AT LAST!!!
8:00 had us getting jammies on, and reading "The Memoirs of a Goldfish", which, by the way, is really cute. :) 
15 minutes later, with some fear and trembling I cut into this concoction of mine. Jacob requested cookie bars I had made a few nights ago, but I suggested these instead. So, of course the whole time I was making these I was afraid if I failed, he would be bitterly dissapointed, and never let me live it down that I MESSED UP HIS DESSERT! We Menne's take our food seriously. Nothing is worse than looking forward to a certain food, only to have it be a flop, or worse- someone tries something else, promising it will be just as good...and it's not.
I passed bowls out and waited for the verdict....
One by one, smiles lit their faces, and "Mmm...that's good!" came from mouths full of oatmeal and chocolate goodness. It was a hit. :)
Which is good, because there's still a very large pan sitting on the counter.
I believe it was at this point I finally remembered the luandry.
Teeth were brushed, hugs and kisses doled out, kids were tucked in their beds, and I was left standing in a very clean, quiet living room, with just Jacob. I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself, since dad wasn't home, and Meg was at the station. I did a few wanna-be headstands, re-wiped the counters, made an overnight oatmeal-chia seed concoction, (I'm always making concoctions), Made dad's dinner when he got home, and blogged, (obviously), in the living room by myself.

The moral of my story?
Mothers are amazing things. After doing one day by myself, I have a lot more appreciation for my mom and everything she does! And I don't  even have to get up at night with a baby...

I love you mom! And we all miss you already. :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I've been nominated. :)

So many times while reading other's blogs I've seen that they've been nominated for such-and-such, or been awarded for _____. I never thought I would be one of those blogs. 
But that has been changed. Thanks to Kyle B. :)   
Call me weird, or crazy, or ridiculous, (probably the most suitable word), but when I saw my name in his list of nominee's, my heart rate quickened, and I just about jumped up and down in my chair, (even although I know it was probably because he couldn't think of anyone else ;)).
What can I say? I'm very easy to please. :) I enjoy the simple things in life, so this made me happy.
Be sure to check out his blog, and say "Hi".

So... here are the Liebster Award Rules... 

- Acknowledge the blog that nominated you.
- Answer the 11 questions the nominating blog created. (Continue reading!)
- List 11 bloggers with less then 200 followers that deserve some recognition.
- Write 11 questions for them to answer.
- Notify them that they have been nominated.

So, the questions from Kyle:

1. What is your favorite memory you have of yourself when you were less than ten years old?
Oh, boy. That was a looong time ago. ;) It would probably be the time we went to Cedar Point when I was around six or seven. Sadly though, I was too short for most of the rides, (I remember crying because I couldn't go on one of the roller coasters), so I had to go to 'Snoopy Land' -_- It was rather humiliating for a thrill seeker like me, but I laugh every time I think about it. The things we did to try to sneak me on the rides were crazy... 

2. If someone had to describe you in one single word, what do you think that word would be?
Well, I'd like to think it would be 'Awesome', but in reality I think it would be more like 'Insane'. Lol. Someone used the word  'Neat', recently. I'll take that.

3. It's perfectly sunny outside and you have the whole day to yourself. What will you be doing?
KAYAKING!!! After I steal a Kayak from a friend that is... 

4. If you could meet one person from the Bible--other than the Big Man Himself of course--who would that someone be?
Hmmmm...I think it would be pretty cool to meet either Daniel, or Paul. They're both my biblical heroes.

5. What is your favorite season of the year?
If I have air-conditioning, and access to a pool, then definitely summer! If not, then probably fall.

6. You are in Wal-Mart with ten bucks of spending money in your pocket. What will you buy?
Wow. That's deep. Lol.
  A pocket knife and sour gummy worms. If you can even buy a decent knife for ten dollars that is...

7. What is your favorite pastime?
Do I have to choose just one? :)  Photography, volleyball, air-softing,  running, and  working out are a few of my favorite things. :)

8. If you could be transported to some time in history, what time would that be?
Uhhhh... The 40's maybe? I'd have to give that one some more thought.

9. Care to share something you have done that was really embarrassing/awkward?
I'm kind of an awkward person all around, and if given enough time I could probably fill a book with embarrassing situations, but right now most of them are escaping me...
One time I was at the recycling center helping with the dreaded job of unloading our recycling cans, (I was pretty tired), and was throwing stuff into the cardboard slot. After a while I noticed an older gentleman watching me. He smiled at me and said, "You know you're putting milk jugs where the cardboard goes." o_o He very kindly gave me -his cane so I could fish all the jugs out...

I'm also really good at saying things that come out sounding completely different than what I intended.
Cait and I were watching an action movie one time, and there was this one scene where all these Military guys, (can't remember what branch they were), where piling out of their vehicles. I, (being me), said, "I gotta get me some of those!"   I was referring to their cami's,  but of course it didn't sound that way. Cait will never let me forget that one...
Yeah, I can't think of anything REALLY embarrassing right now...I'll have to consult my sisters. They have a good memory when it comes to things like this. Unfortunately...

10. What goals do you have for the future?
I was just discussing this with my mom the other day. :)
First off, graduate High School and get my licence,  so I can get a job and buy a car. Maybe do a photography internship and see if it's something I would like to pursue as a career, volunteer at the Fire Dept., or join up with C.A.P. (Civil Air Patrol). Honestly, I'm not too sure at this point. Which bugs me, because I like to have a plan. I may not always stick with my plan, but I like having one. :)
Maybe I should just go after my childhood dream, and become a NASCAR racer...
"Haven't any of you ever had a dream?!?!?"    ~Tangled

                    11. What is the best decision you think you have ever made at this point in your life?                    to accept Christ! Duh! ;)  After that, probably the choice to buy my orange AF shirt. It works wonderfully for night runs. It GLOWS when headlights shine one it, and is almost kind of blinding. :)

Thanks for the fun list of questions Kyle! So, apparently I don't follow many small -ish blogs, because I can't come up with eleven. Oh, well...
I nominate:

Katie at Menne Meals

So now, the fun part... Muahahaha...

1. You've been told you only have 48 hours left to live. How will you spend your time?
2. What was you Childhood dream? 
3. Someone is trying to break into your home. What will you do?
4. Pet Peeves?
5. Favorite movie?
6. What are you craving right now?
7. Anything in particular you think you're good at? And don't worry. It ain't bragging if it's true. ;)
8. I KNOW you have embarrassing moments. Spill. Please?
9. Who would you consider you closest friend, and why?
10. If you could do ANYTHING you wanted for the day, what would it be?
11. What is your favorite scripture, and why?

There's my list of random questions. :) 

If you don't have a blog, but would like to answer these, feel free to leave a comment!!! I would love to hear your thoughts! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hi :)

Oh, wait....what's this? Could it be a blog post? {Gasp!} ;)

Sometimes we all need little breaks in life from some things, which, in my case, would be blogging. Or maybe I should say big break? I did kinda leave y'all hanging for about six weeks. Sorry about that. :)

But yes, I did come back from MO, and I had a fantabulous time. :) I actually have a blog post from that which has been sitting unfinished in my post files for weeks now. {inserts sheepish grin}   
 Today, however, you get pictures from our CA trip!
Oh, did I not mention we were going on a family vacation? Wow, now you're probably really feeling out of the loop. :)

We left Saturday, June 14, at the crack of dawn, (or maybe it was more like 6:45. Which in my book is still early), to begin our 11 hour drive.  
11 people, 1 dog, pillows and blankets for everyone, suitcases, pack & play, strollers, and an insane amount of food. We do like our food. :) Basically, if we even thought we might need it, we took it.

The first couple hours of our drive went pretty smoothly. Aaron slept, and the kiddos were all content to watch out their windows, waiting for their first glimpse of California. They didn't quite understand how far we were actually driving to get there. Poor unsuspecting little souls. We stopped briefly at a rest-stop to change toddlers out of pj's, and get breakfast passed around, then we hit the road again.

After eating, the kids decided it was time to break out some of the toys/activities we had brought. The only problem with this was that they would play with it for about two minutes, then decide they wanted something new. Imagine this for about seven hours. -_-  
You can tell we don't often travel as we stopped every two hours to get out and stretch, and let someone go to the bathroom. :) I think I can say I've seen every rest-stop from here to CA. ;)
By the time 11:30 rolled around we had some pretty cranky kids on our hands since they were up early, and they obviously do not like to sleep in the car. Unlike me. :) Put me in a car, and I'm often out like a light. It's great.
12:30 had them asking the question of the ages: "Are we there yet?" You can imagine the groans that went around when we told them we only had 4 more hours to go. Lol.
We drove, and drove, and drove. Until finally, we heard the wonderful words, "We're in CA!" But we still had a couple hours to go...

Now, the day before we left, we had the car seats on the second bench of our van arranged so that Connor, Audrey, and Noah were all next to each other. Being the *wise* sister that I am, (no comment Katie), I thought to myself, "They'll probably fight the entire time we're driving if they're next to each other, so let's move Audrey up front, and I'll sit between Connor and Noah. Genius!"  Let's just say that was not a good idea. -_- I spent the whole drive trying to find a position that didn't have cars seats jabbing into my shoulder blades. Not fun. Not fun at all.

Man, it felt like we were NEVER going to get there! By the time we were an hour away, I wanted to get out of that van SO BAD! Noah had one of those Leap Pad toy things, where you press the button and it tells you what letter it is, and his favorite button was the letter 'W'. He pressed that button over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over....until I thought I was going to go insane. Lol.  I felt like Shi-Fu out of Kung-Fu Panda. "Inner peace...inner peace....in-in-inner peace..."
Thankfully that toy is no longer in the house. It has been accidentally maliciously destroyed. ;)
And he kept kicking my knee too. That got old really fast. 

We did FINALLY make it to Chris and Katie's house though, and everyone was in one piece!!!
HALLELUJAH! After unloading all of our stuff, (of which there was much), we crashed on the couches, and floor, and waited impatiently for our pizza to cook. :) Papa Murphy's stuffed crust pizza... doesn't get much better than that.
Chris had to work that day, so we also had to wait impatiently for him to get home.

The first night was pretty rough. We put all four toddlers in one bed at the same time, which was a BAD IDEA. Many spankings, and much frustration later, we separated some of them, and moved them back after they fell asleep.
I don't know about anyone else, but I slept like a brick that night. :) Although it was a little squishy trying to sleep on a love seat, despite the fact that I'm short.

Sunday was pretty low key. We went to church, and just kind of chilled, before BBQ-ing for Father's Day. Man, I ate so much yummy food on that trip, it's crazy. :)

Here we have Katie trying to chop her finger off    cut watermelon. 

And here's a one-eyed me waiting for her to chop her fingers off. It was a very tense moment.

Monday we went bowling! I LOVE BOWLING! Lol.
Not entirely sure why I enjoy it so much.

Tuesday we toured the Jelly Belly Factory which was fun. :) 

A family picture with all of us looking amazing in our Jelly Belly hats. ;) 

Afterwards we headed to Old Town Sacramento, where all the boys went to the train museum, and we girls wandered around the shops and had fun. :)

This place has quite the thing going on. They've got every kind of sock imaginable. From military socks, to clown fish socks, to Super Hero socks that have little capes attached to the back. You name it, they've got it. Made me wish I liked wearing socks. :)

 Megan found the cure for internet addiction!!! I would probably never get on the computer if using this was my only choice. Gives me the shivers.....

 Some of my family members seemed to think I needed this shirt. I can't imagine why. ;) I'll admit, I was very tempted to buy it. :)

 Ah, yes. The doughnuts. This was quite the experience. The young guy making the doughnuts was very outgoing, and made sure to include everyone in the pastry-making process.
Pictured below you have me dancing, while shaking up the powder sugar doughnuts.  My dancing skills are so impressive, I got hired on the spot. ;) We may or may not have video footage of this event...

Wednesday was our last day, and we decided to head to a nearby park so the kids, (big and little), could get some energy out. After that we went home, ate ice cream sandwiches, (best thing since sliced bread!), and started the fun job of packing everything back up.

We said our goodbyes early the next morning and got back in the van to begin the looooooong drive home. Whoopdy doo...
the way home seemed even longer than the drive there, even though I didn't think that was possible. We did however stop at Crater Lake when we reached Oregon. We've lived here almost my entire life, and we'd never seen it before.
The drive up was pretty scary though. Driving a fifteen passenger van up a mountain that has nothing to keep you from going over the edge? Quite terrifying if you ask me, especially since I'm afraid of heights.
But it was worth it. :)

After getting stuck on the mountain due to rocks falling on the road we did finally get down, and began the last leg of our journey.
We were all so eager to get home, but of course, you can't travel on an empty stomach, so we made a pit-stop for pizza at  the Eugene Costco. It felt weird to be so close to home, yet so far.
Just two more hours... We could do this...
Unfortunately Aaron decided to cry most of the way home. -_- I was able to sing him to sleep with my fabulous voice for a little while, but I couldn't seem to remember any of the songs I know.  Funny how that always happens.

Oh the joy, the indescribable joy when we pulled into our own driveway!!!! We left CA somewhere around 6:30 a.m. and got home at 8:30 p.m., so it had kinda been a long day. ;)

We had kids in bed, the van, and coolers, and several suitcases unpacked, Meg and I went for a run, and had the house tidied all before 9:15, that's how eager we were to get life back to normal. :)

Bub and Katie, thanks for having us over! It was good to see you guys, and I enjoyed our time. :)
Although, there really is no place like home. :)