Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sweet Smiles.

My little boy has lost three teeth in the last couple of weeks... two of those came out just today.  He was so brave and SO excited!  Of course, we all went on and on about it.  After the excitement had died down, we all went about our Sunday afternoon business.  Moments later, I came into the living room to find him snuggled up with my husband on the couch, in complete dismay... face buried in his daddy's cheset, tears just rolling down his sweet, pink, freckled cheeks. 

I was surprised, to say the least!  Just minutes before, he was elated!  I sat next to them both on the couch, and asked, "WHY are you so sad?"

My husband whispered an answer, "He looked in the mirror, and says he doesn't like his smile."

Needless to say, this mommy's heart broke into about a million pieces, right on the spot.  Oh, how I long for my children to realize how wonderful and special and beautiful they are.  If I could only show them who I see when I look at them.

Now, you and I both know that the toothless smile of a mischievous, little boy is not only priceless, but ridiculously adorable!  My hope was to convince HIM of that.  :)  I proceeded to have a conversation with my son (all the while, he remained cozily snuggled on his daddy's lap).

We talked about growing up and changing and how it's all part of God's design.  We talked about all the ways he was getting older, and how cool that was.  I explained how he should be so proud of that smile, because he so bravely earned it!  I also told him how horrible it would be for everyone if he quit smiling!  This little guy has a personality that lights up a room as soon as he walks into it.  For those of you who know him, you know that's no understatement. 

Then, I brought out the humor... (because this appeals best to him).  I pointed out how silly we'd all look if our faces continued to grow, and we still had little, tiny baby teeth! 

Last, but not least, personal relation... I told him the story about how his uncle lost a baby tooth when he was only a toddler (after a minor household injury... poor guy), and it only added more character to his already beautiful smile.  My little boy lifted his face toward mine, and I could see his eyes were starting to brighten.  Then, I told him that his Mammaw had to have all of her baby teeth pulled before she was even in KG, and she didn't have ANY at all!  That story even brought out a giggle  ...and after the promise of a treat from the candy drawer, his wonderful smile had fully returned.  He graciously shared a chocolate bar with his brothers, and life was back to normal.

Wouldn't it be nice if all parenting dilemmas were so easily resolved?

The whole situation brought this song to my mind.  It has become a favorite in our home.  We took the boys recently to see Mercy Me in concert, and they were absolutely awesome!  Take a listen to the lyrics.  It has a very sweet message... one I hope my boys will learn early in their precious lives.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Mother's Day Fun.

Little gifts from little hands.  They warm a mommy's heart, indeed!  This was a favorite of mine.... and it's not even mine!  :)  This was the Mother's Day necklace my nephew made at preschool, for my sister.  I've seen a LOT of crafty gift ideas in my years of mommyhood, and this has to be one of my favorites!  so sweet!  She wore it proudly all day long.  :)

After eating our weight in spaghetti, salad, and treats like THIS for dessert (another Aunt Holly creation)...
we all went outside to play off some calories.  :)

This is what my backyard looks like when my family comes over.  :)

This was some entertainment for the afternoon... my brother, tormenting my dog with his RC truck.

She just RAN, and RAN, and RAN!  :)

Then, we got a couple of the boys in on the chasing action. 

We always have so much fun.  :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Mom.

We had a great day yesterday.  The sun was shining.  All the siblings came over, as well as my mom.  The kids played.  We laughed.  We ate... a lot.  It was a typical Freeman family get-together.  :)

My brother and his wife (along with baby) gave Mom a new birthstone charm to represent their little guy, for her family necklace.  She got pictures (always one of her top requests... to receive, NOT to have taken of herself... EVER!) and a DVD she wanted.  I think she had a good day.  She has certainly earned it.

My mom is a constant.  Not a single one of us can say we remember a time when she was NOT around.  She stayed home with all five of us, and cared for every need.  She washed the clothes, she paid the bills, she gave the baths, she helped with homework, she made the dinners, she read stories.  There are fourteen years between me (the oldest) and my baby brother.  That's a LONG time to continue adding a newborn to the mix!  And she kept on truckin'.  :)  ...enduring all five of us through our teenage years!  I can't even imagine.... having a teenager who is first driving, and a child going through his terrible twos... AT THE SAME TIME!  I can appreciate that sentiment in a completely new way, now that I am a mom as well!

She has often said that she doesn't really know that she has any exceptional talents or gifts... which makes me laugh.  I guess she doesn't consider the never-ending patience of Job, a talent?  Or her way of easily forgiving, and loving unconditionally, a gift?  I would say that bringing up five children who are still thankful to call her "mom" is quite an accomplishment in itself!

My mom and her boys... How is it that a son can ALWAYS add a little extra excitement to the mix???  :)  Just look at all of these expressions!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Nephew.

I had the privilege of spending the day with my wonderful brother and his beautiful wife.  I love them... (and after we had some photo fun, our OTHER wonderful brother joined us for a yummy steak lunch!  I also LOVE steak!  YUM!)  ...Thanks again, Jacob & Lisa!  I can't WAIT to meet my new nephew.  I know you guys are going to be such great parents!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Well, hello, Birdies!

A few weeks ago, as he commonly does, my husband was working hard in our yard, getting all kinds of spring clenaing out of the way.  I helped him the first year we lived here.  ... and then... well, that's not what this post is about.  Anyway, he came inside for a quick break and said to me, "We have THREE birds' nests on the house.  What do you want me to do with them?"

I responded, "Well, are they hurting anything?"


"Then, I say leave them be."

"Yeah, I figured you would say that."

Well, just take a look at this sweet Mother's Day surprise!

All three nests have baby birds living within, tweeting to their little hearts' desires!  (I could only get pictures of one, so you'll just have to trust me about the other two.)

And all three mammas are caring for their babies, so lovingly... protecting and feeding them.

Isn't it such a coincidence that we would have THREE?  :)  My favorite number!

Happy Mother's Day, to my three birdie friends.  May your baby birds grow up to love and thank you for all that you've done to bring them into the world.  :)  (...we're not going to focus right now, on the fact that eventually they'll fly away from their nests AND their mammas... just let's enjoy the moment.  :)

Purely for the fun of it...

Photographer.  I guess I can officially call myself that, by now, right?  I remember the days long ago, when my husband had to "push" me into making my "hobby" something more.  "I REALLY think it could be something you'd enjoy," he coerced.  Our marriage has a lot of those instances... I'm nervous in starting something new.  He gives me that loving, little nudge.

"But, Honey, I don't even have a nice camera."

So... he bought me a nice camera.

"But, Honey, WHO would want me to take their pictures?"

"Oh, I don't know... the people who've already asked you even though you've made no formality of doing it professionally."

"But, Honey, WHERE would I even begin?  Photographers have websites and printing labs..."

So... he looked into how I could build my own website.  And he researched online printing labs.

Before I knew it, there I was... working on starting my own, little business.  I had built my own website (yes, for those who still think Jason did it... he didn't.  It was all me.  :).  I had created a price list.  I had reviewed and tested several printing labs to find one that met my standards.  I created business cards.  I had even made a Facebook page!

And my sweet husband encouraged me all the way.  He filled in the gaps when I needed help (he's so much better at technology than I'd ever begin to be), and he even came up with the clever name... ilLaurastrations.  :)  I liked it.

Since then, little by little, I've had so many opportunities to learn and grow in what I originally called an interest... or a hobby.  I've taken a couple of classes, but there's no better way to learn than just getting out there and doing it.

That was two years ago now.  Business isn't necessarily "booming," but it's enough to provide a little extra cash in the piggy bank, and certainly enough to keep me busy on occasion.

And I'm still having FUN with it.  I love that there's no limit to learning and growing.  There's always something new to play with.  And my husband continues to spoil me with a new lens or piece of equipment every time I so much as mention it.  :) 

No, it may not pay the bills (though it has been known to fill in some gaps now and again!), BUT it is certainly a wonderful outlet for me.  For example...

Some dear friends of ours asked me if I could take a few headshots of her daughter.  Just some fun among girls.  Are you kidding?  OF COURSE!  We had a GREAT time.  So...  all of that to say... ENJOY my little photoshoot of our model in the making!  :)  She's a beautiful, young lady... inside AND out!  :)

I talked my friend into taking just a couple of snapshots, too... mommy/daughter pics are just priceless!  Obviously, pretty runs in the family!  :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

...and another SENIOR! :)

I had the pleasure of photographing this young man's entire family about a year ago (he's the oldest of four).  We used to go to church with this family a few years ago, and it doesn't seem like that long ago!... but I am constantly reminded of how quickly time passes and our children seem to grow before our very eyes.  I loved catching up with him and his mom, and seeing what a confident and mature person he has become.  I can't wait to see what the future has in store for him!

My photo
ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.