Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 150. Twilight Experience.

Oh dear! From 6:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. - all 3 movies in a row, ending of course, with the newest release, Eclipse.

Once again, I say, DON'T JUDGE! This is just a fun, little way of re-experiencing my youth. :) These movies wouldn't be nearly as much fun to enjoy if I hadn't SO enjoyed the book series beforehand. And my husband not only approves, but encourages it (because he's wonderful and understands that a silly, fictional book series could never compare to my REAL love for him)!!! So, he lets me have my giddy-girl fun, and smiles and nods along. He even escorted me to see New Moon as our anniversary date a few months ago.

(and, no, he did NOT accompany me for the 3 movie experience. Even I couldn't ask THAT much of him!)

"Special" lanyards for the Twilight Experience.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 149. Zoo Day!

Again, with my point-n-shoot. I'd forgotten it does a pretty nice job when the occasion calls for it! Here are a few from that day.

My brother and sister joined us for the day.  I was really glad for that, and so was Shelly.  She enjoyed seeing them again.  My brother was the ringbearer in her wedding, at the ripe OLD age of five years.  :)  Wow... not exactly the same picture we see here, now is it?  :)

This is now.

That was then.  (December 1995)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 148. Water Park.

These were taken the day we went to the water park last week. It was at the end of our afternoon, and my youngest was trying to shield himself from the sun. I suppose it worked! :)

P.S. Only brought my point-n-shoot that day. Obviously, water and cameras don't mix very well, so I didn't want to take any chances with my nice one!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 147. More of Susanna.

So, we played with a little session tonight.  :)  No reason not to have fun during some down time.  Hee, hee!

Yes, boys, she is this beautiful in person... and, yes, she is single.  :) 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 146. Our Build-a-Bear Family.

Once upon a time, there were three build-a-bear animals in our home (not all pictured, unfortunately, due to being packed away, because my oldest child thinks he is too old for such things).  These first furry friends were Christmas gifts from Mammaw and Papa, back in 2004.  It was a fun and special trip.  The boys were accompanied by Mammaw, both aunts and their mommy, on their first trip to create their Build-a-Bears (or in this case, dogs and bear). As the years passed, my youngest son was bummed that we chose a bear for him when his big brothers had dogs!  (He was 3 months old at the time, and Mammaw said he had to have his first Christmas bear (it's a Grandma tradition in our family.).  So, a few birthdays later, he was given a Build-a-Bear puppy, so he could play with his brothers.
And here we are again, our family has grown.  Upon a Science Center visit with our friends, my two youngest (I am making sure NOT to include my oldest son in this, because he would be mortified if he thought ANYONE thought he was deriving any enjoyment from such childish things) begged and pleaded when they saw the Build-a-Bear store during our visit.  As you will see, we now have three dogs (one not pictured), a dinosaur, a sabertooth lion and only ONE bear... which I think is just strange, because isn't the whole point of Build-a-BEAR to build a BEAR???  Whatever.
The fun part was watching them enjoy the experience all over again... each of these furry friends has outfits and shoes carefully selected by his/her owner (my youngest made his dinosaur a girl... I guess he's aware of the absence of sisters in our home????  Who knows, but he gave her a pink Cardinals tshirt, which was just too funny!).  And since we were there with our friends who are visiting from Romania, they got to enjoy the experience, too!  Two of the three of their kiddos, built their own characters, pictured here.  It's just too fun for words to watch their sweet faces beam with such delight.  Sure, you PAY for the experience, but it is worth every penny.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 145. Susanna.

This is my beautiful friend, Susanna. :) She loves photography, too! Today, I showed her a little tip with lighting... the difference between shooting IN the sun, as opposed to shooting under shade, using the sun as light.

Here, you see lots of shadows (in the sun).
And in the next, she is, sitting only a few feet away, under the shade of a tree, facing the light of the sun.  Just BEAUTIFUL!  ...and I LOVE those Snow family eyes!

Might she be making fun of someone?????  Day 130, if you don't recall. :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 144. Snow Pizza!!!!

This is a "days of ol'" memory full of goodness! Shelly's mom would make homemade pizza, completely from scratch, and it is just the yummiest treat! Shelly and Susanna prepared dinner for us last night, and my kids were NOT disappointed. Just as good as I've always remembered. YUM!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 143. Science Center.

We took the kiddos to the Science Center this week, and oh my goodness, they had fun! Picnic lunch and a Build-a-Bear treat included (more pics to be posted later). Susanna caught a quick moment for us with her camera. Good times!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 142. Sleepover.

My two youngest wanted to share their room with their friend for this night. They all bundled up in sleeping bags on the tiny floor, with two perfectly comfy beds remaining empty. Ahhh, to be young again. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 141. More Twilight Silliness.

So, my sweet friend has arrived. We've had a fun time this week. The kids have played to their little hearts' content. We've stayed up late, chatting. We've eaten... a LOT... We've shopped... a LOT... and we've laughed even more. Shelly's little sister, Susanna, is along for the fun, and she brought this lovely keepsake gift for me, upon their arrival. Yes, it's a Burger King crown. Is it not just too fun for words? Yes, I think so!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 140. My Dad.

Here we are, on Father's Day. :) I'm blessed to get to spend the holidays with my parents. It was a typical Sunday... hanging out, eating lunch, the kids playing with playdo in their playroom. ...Sundays at my parents' house have been the same since I was a little girl. Feels good to go home.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 139. Father's Day.

These are the most recent pics I have of my dad. I took them on his birthday a couple of months ago. He's holding his most recent pride and joy, his first granddaughter. Oh, she makes him light up, I assure you.

Father's Day holds a lot of meanings for me. There's a little girl in me who remembers snuggling with my daddy... waiting up late at night, to see him when he came home from work. I remember loving to go for Saturday drives with him, just to spend time alone with him (as opposed to sharing him with my siblings). He was the BEST person to ask all of my Bible homework questions. :) (In case I've never mentioned it, I went to a Christian school.) My dad has always worked hard and loved hard. He is where I get my passion... and, well, he is also where I got my nose. :P He was and is commited to his family, and more importantly, to God. My most vivid and consistent memory would be of him, reading his Bible... usually with a cup of coffee on a table beside him. 

He's my dad, and I love him.

Then, there's this guy.  :)  He also holds special meaning for me on Father's Day.  Without him, I wouldn't have my beautiful three sons. 

My dad often teases that my sister and I went completely against the "old tradition" that a girl grows up to marry a man like her dad.  And I argue back that I married a man who is similar in all the ways that matter.

He is strong in his faith.  He works hard.  He is a man of character, who keeps his word.  He loves and protects his family.

He's the father of my children... my husband... and I love him.

My heavenly Father has blessed me abundantly, but He is who we should find our ultimate comfort and security.  Every year, this song comes to mind.  It is simple and sweet, and a true reminder that He loves us so much!

♫ There is a place that I know
Where I need more often to go
A place of amazing comfort and rest
Where a smile is never rare
And Your love is as free as the air
And I lack for nothing
When I can see the love in Your eyes
And know that it's all for me
I fear nothing at all
When I'm safe in the arms of my Father
And if I ever fall
I take comfort in knowing
That You are there

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 138. Lillies.

I never knew there were so many kinds!  THIS is the color I have at home, next to my mailbox. 

I saw these gorgeous red ones in our church parking lot, and I like these MUCH better.  What can I say?... I'm just a RED kind of girl.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 137. Family Night.

We've concluded our week of VBS.  Sixteen children came to know Christ!  YAY!  :)  My boys had a great time, singing and praising Jesus... learning Bible stories, and spending time with their friends.  It was a blessing to be a part of... but I'm truly tired and glad it's over... until next year, of course!  :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 136. Old Friends.

Do you have friends who "knew you when"? :) Of course, that term has varying levels of degrees... WHEN could be just about any time, right?

This is me and my long time BFF, Shelly. :) This picture was taken on her wedding day, December of 1995.

Outside of my family, Shelly is the only person who has remained a consistent part of my life, since way back in the days of "knew me when." Have you ever read or seen the movie, Anne of Green Gables? Anne speaks of her truest, closest friend, as her kindred spirit. That was Shelly and me, from day one... kindred spirits. We met in a VERY precarious stage of life, when every young person begins a journey of ALL kinds of changing... MIDDLE SCHOOL! I was in the 7th grade and she was in the 8th.
This one was taken in May of 1990.  Yes, I am wearing a NKOTB tshirt.  Oh dear.

Every young girl needs at least ONE true, blue friend... the kind that tells you that you have lipstick on your teeth... or who lovingly listens to you as you pine away over the ginormous crush you have on a guy who will NEVER be interested... but she would NEVER be the one to tell you that.  :)  She loves you unconditionally.  She keeps your secrets.  And she is never jealous (as so many girls can often be). 

Shelly and I spent so many nights, over at one another's houses.  We shared clothes, we shared secrets, and we even shared our families.  We were as close as two friends could possibly be.  We would stay up all night long, planning our future friendship, and how it would be when we were old (like, in our thirties!)... how we would get married to men who would be best friends, and how we would buy houses next door to one another (or at least in the same neighborhood), and our kids would grow up, being the very best of friends, just like we were.  We would name our first borns after one another, and if one of us had a boy and the other girl, they might even get married one day!
(This one, fall of 1993)  Yes, we had all kinds of plans.  What is it they say?... "We make plans; God laughs."  Shelly went to college, while I endured my senior year of highschool.  It didn't take us too long to see that our lives (and our friendship) were already taking different courses than our young, teenage hearts had been set on.
January 2009.  Many, many years have come and gone since the days of our youth.  Our lives ended up taking very different roads.  Shelly met the man of her dreams when she went to college.  Shortly thereafter, they had their first of three beautiful children, and a couple of years after that, they went to her husband's home country of Romania to be missionaries there.  Ten years ago, I stood in an airport along with her family, with my face buried in my husband's chest, tears exploding from my eyes as we watched my kindred spirit leave to fulfill her calling to serve God in another country.  They've been there ever since.  I, on the other hand, made my life here with my own wonderful husband and our three children. 

Shelly and I hardly live next door, let alone in the same neighborhood.  We don't really share the every day details of our current lives.  We're both busy mommies and have our hands full keeping up with our families and life's responsibilities.  The cool thing is that over the years, we've held onto that free spirited, true-blue friendship that we shared so long ago.  We've seen each other grow from immature, inexperienced, sometimes rebellious young girls, to the women we are today.  I believe there is value in the relationships which have seen you through the course of where God has brought you in your life.  It's a good reminder.

I pray that my own children will have authentic friendships with people who will stick with them along the way, through the good and the bad; friends who won't judge them for the mistakes they make, but pray with them and love them; friends who will keep their secrets and their trust.  This is an invaluable friend, and a blessing from God!

Shelly and her sweet family come to America to visit every so often.  We've been blessed to be able to visit during the births of all of our respective children (or at least, shortly thereafter).  Our kids may not live next door to one another, but they certainly have fun when we all get to visit and spend time together! 

We get to spend the next couple of weeks with them, and I'm looking very forward to it.  Usually, at least once, Shelly and I get to sneak away, and spend a day, just us girls.  We leave the kiddos with our husbands, go out to eat, and do a little shopping... I get to help reintroduce her to all the luxuries of America (like Oreos and Payless Shoe Source and her favorite, TACO BELL!) and we revert back to a couple of giddy, teenage girls, sharing stories, laughing and even sometimes crying.  After all, being a kindred spirit, means knowing the good and the bad... and loving, encouraging, supporting, and praying for one another through every second of it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 135. VBS!

Ah, yes, VBS!!!  These would be my own, three little hombres.  :)  Loving Lifeway's "Saddle Ridge Ranch" theme this year.  We had plenty of material to fit right in this week.  :)

Story time with Ms. Teapot.  :)
The music time is great for the kids.  We are blessed to have some WONDERFUL leaders teaching the kids these songs... including these young men.  What a sight to see teenage boys, authentically enjoying their role as they serve these young children!  They are AWESOME, and the kids LOVE having them there!!!!
Total sidenote.  So, check out these SHOES!!!!!  Are they a boot?  A sandal?  YES!  And I find them completely adorable.  I have no idea how I'd pull them off, but this young lady does it well.  She has a fantastically fun and funky style, and I LOVE it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 134. More Eyes.

Pictures of my kiddos' eyes. I think they are all variations of the same!

My photo
ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.