Thursday, July 29, 2010

back to school...

Almost.  Not yet.  But I can't believe we are already at the end of July!  After really not enjoying last summer at all, I was actually really dreading this summer.  But I shouldn't have has been a lot of fun!  And honestly, the heat really hasn't bothered me. :)  But back to the matter at hand...I am not ready to send this little sweety of mine to Kindergarten!!  Does it get harder with every kid to send them off??  I tell her at least every day..."I don't know what we are going to do without you!!!"  And last night I told her in a gruff voice..."you aren't allowed to go to Kindergarten, you have to stay home with us, because we would miss you too much if you go!!"  She just got this worried look and stared at me until she realized I was kidding!  But seriously...I only get three more weeks with her??  BOO HOO HOO!
I brought her on the much anticipated shopping trip to Target on Monday to pick out her backpack!  After doing much research on the internet about backpacks, Lindsey already had one picked out for Alanys before we went!  She was going to get the shiny pink 'hello kitty' one....even as we were dropping lindsey off at summer school, she told Alanys..."remember, get the shiny hello kitty one!"  Hmmmm....Is it just because she's the oldest, or is she bossy just because??  After much contemplation tho, Alanys chose the beautiful Princess castle one!  Good choice girl!
"Hurry up and stop taking pictures mom, so we can go in and buy a backpack before they are all gone!!"IMG_0462 I go with Lindsey's choice, or go with the princess one!?  so tough to decide :)

Alanys She thouroghly checked them out to make sure she was getting the perfect one :)

IMG_0470 "Take a picture of me too mom....cheeeeeeeeeeese..."

IMG_0472 My big Kindergartner!!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

2010 Photo walk

Last Saturday, I participated in my first Scott Kelby photo walk in downtown Phoenix.  It was a fun walk getting to know the other photographers, and I learned a few things too!  If I am remembering right, around the U.S. on Saturday, there were 1100 photowalk groups and over 3300 photographers walking!  pretty cool!  
This was only my second time going downtown to take pictures, and I hope to get down there more!  There is so much to see and a lot of history that would be fun to learn about.  Here are just a few of the shots I got.....We started and ended at the Arizona Center...




IMG_0189 I loved the flowers against all the concrete and glass!




I really liked most of the pictures, but I think this one is my favorite!

IMG_0257 Does anyone know what this vacant building used to be?? 

IMG_0261 Has anyone stayed at this Hotel San Carlos?  I thought it looked pretty neat!

IMG_0266 Water from the misters...

IMG_0299 And I think this was my hubby's favorite :)


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Tip.....Back button focus

Back button focus....what did I ever do before I knew about you???  Before I knew about this great function, I struggled mightly with my focus on moving subjects.  For example, a processional or recessional at a wedding.  I had a hard time getting my subjects to focus while using the shutter button as my focus button.  Well, those days are done thanks to this tip I learned, so thought I would share it with you here.

I shoot with the Canon 5D, and to set your camera:
1. under custom function #4 set it to #1: AE lock/AF (setting 0 is default)
2. turn your AF setting Al Servo and leave it there!
Normally, I try to put the focal point on the eye of my subject.  However, with a moving subject I like to focus on the largest part of the body, with a high contrast area.  For example, during processionals and recessionals  I will focus on the man's torso area between his black tux and white shirt.  

Back 1
I love that the shutter button is no longer my "focus" button!  And I love that when I am shooting a stationary subject, I can lock in the focus (push the * button with the focal point on the spot that I want in focus) and shoot away, even recomposing, and the focus will stay dead on.
Practice with this before you go out on a photo shoot!  It took me a little bit to get used to, but now I am much more confident that my pictures are in focus!!
Hopefully someone out there found this helpful! :)
photo of the camera and tip from Melissa Jill

Monday, July 26, 2010

what a deal...

I am all about finding a good deal these days!!  And I am really enjoying becoming a "couponer" (is that a word??)!  I have been doing it for almost three weeks now, and finally feel like I have a handle on how it all works!  Now that I've got my coupon book all organized, it's actually pretty fun, believe it or not!  But then, who doesn't have fun knowing they are saving $$$? 
I thought I would post a few pictures of my new "baby" coupon organizer :)  This thing goes wherever I go, and is loaded with the ads, coupons, rainchecks, etc.  It is so much easier to do now since I've put it all together. 
The beginning of the 3 ring binder are my coupons in nifty baseball card holders!  I found these ones at Office max and staples, but I'm sure you could find them at Target or Walmart as well.  I looked at Walmart supercenter and they didn't have them, but a lot of times the supercenters don't always have as big a selection of stuff.  And maybe I just couldn't find them....So easy to see what I have, the expiration date, etc....  so much better than leafing thru my coupons trying to find one!
I have them all divided with tags marking the different categories....frozen foods, dairy, baby, paper products, office, etc...everyone seems to do this a little different, but this seems to be the best way for me so far.
Behind the coupons are my pocket dividers that hold all my ads, so I have them all with me all the time.  so nice to be able to be in Fry's and pull out the Albertsons ad to compare prices...After taking the picture, I added those little tags labeling which ad is where for fast finding!
And last, this is actually in the front of the binder, is my pencil holder that has all my rainchecks in it.  The only bummer about ad/coupon shopping, is that if it's a hot deal, you have a good chance of the store being out of the product.  So it results in making multiple trips to the store to get those items.  But I'll do it if it's a great sale.
IMG_0458 Before I go to the store, I make my shopping list, and put it in the front, and pull the coupons I know I need and put them in the pink pouch as well.  And on my list I'll write down for example 'bread', and I'll put the price, and the quantity i'm getting, and if I have a coupon.  Can you say EASY!!?  I used the binder for the first time last night at Fry's and Safeway, and it was so easy to use!  And maybe I do look like a total dork in the grocer store...but hey...who cares!?  I'm saving money!!
I also thought I would post my favorite deals of the week here on Monday's too...(This is for the Phx area )
Staples:  Has packs of 500 count multipurpose paper for $0.01!  Cost is $4.99 with a $4.98 rebate that you can send in for or do online, which I prefer, and they will send you a visa cash card.  Can't beat a penny!  The only bummer is that there is only a limit of 2 rebates :(
CVS:  (my new favorite store!!)  Has pamper's diapers for $21.99 with $10.00 of extra bucks rewards, so that's like getting them for $11.99, and I have a coupon for $2.00 off.  final cost:  $9.99
I will use my $10.00 bucks rewards for diet coke 12 packs which are only $2.66
What other deals can you all share with us? 
My friends are all probably getting sick of me talking about this :)  but it is still exciting for me as I just started!  And it is so fun to look up others blogs to see how they do it! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

just because....

I just love these two pictures of my two youngest monkey's....thier expressions in both of them are so "them" !  Trina is such a little fish, and knows how to swim, but is just as happy to play on the steps.  She kept bobbing up and giggling at me :)  If you put her in the pool at 7:00a.m. and didn't take her out until sunset, that would be just fine with her!

And Taryn...that sneaky little thing....anytime the back door opens, she is outside and in her little play kiddie pool before you even knew what happened!  Clothes on, clothes off, either way is good for her!

I'm wondering right now Why I am sitting inside on the computer, when a storm is brewing outside, and it feels so good!  The kids are all out there on their bikes for the first time in a long time, and I think I am going to head out there and join them!  LOVE a good AZ monsoon storm, and this one looks promising! 
But is there anyone else out there that remembers being a kid growing up here, and the storms being so much better than what we get now??  My memories are heading for the green belt and watching the roaring river, and running down the gutters splashing in the water, and the power going out and the flashlights and candles would come out.  Or is it just that when you're a kid, everything is just that much more exciting?  :)  What is your favorite monsoon memory?  And is it raining where you are right now?
Enjoy the rest of your Thursday evening!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Baby Cooper {Phoenix newborn Photographer}

I have lots of fun pictures to share today of Baby Cooper.  I'm sure his mom and dad are anxious to see them, and I hope they love them as much as I do!  He is just 8 days old here, and is the cutest little guy!  Oh to have a newborn to cuddle again....there is almost nothing that compares!  I couldn't decide which ones to post, so I am posting lots of them :)  (but I'm sure you don't mind!)  Congratulations again Troy and Heidi, he is definately a keeper! 


IMG_9663 1 These daddy and baby pictures just melt my heart!

IMG_9705 1


IMG_9722Marveling in God's creation!  Another special gift from above!

IMG_9736 I just love these next three of mom and baby!


IMG_9740 1

IMG_9750 1 So sweet!

IMG_9813 oh baby, don't cry!

IMG_9826Heidi wanted this picture, as it very much signifies their crazy busy life right now with Troy in school!
IMG_9833 Big Yawn!  It's tiring doing all this posing!

IMG_9862 He slept thru the whole photo shoot, until the very end!

IMG_9869 and I love these last two of him all curled up!

Untitled-2And my favorite I think.....and how beautiful is my friend Heidi...she looks amazing for just having number 5!!

Wouldn't you agree that he is one adorable little guy!?
On a different note....make sure you hop on over to Kim's blog and check out the awesome card kits she has for sale as a fundraiser for our Mother's retreat this fall!

Monday, July 19, 2010

mid-summer excitement....

July is always a busy month for us!  Frans spent the first 5 days of July in Minnesota for our church's summer services and his high school's 20 year class reunion.  He had the camera with him, so I didn't get any pictures of our family get-together over here for the 4th!  By the end of his trip, I was starting to wonder what I missed more....him or my camera!  I'm JUST KIDDING :)  We really did miss him, but I was glad he had a chance to go...he needed a vacation!
We celebrated Taryn's 1st birthday!  How in the world did a year pass already since she was born???  It just amazes me how fast time goes sometimes :(  She is ALMOST walking, she loves when we all make her laugh, she loves to be held by mom or dad, she loves being outside and in the pool, she is the light of our lives!!  All the kids RACE to get her when they hear her wake up in the morning or from her nap!  I really love this stage she's if we could just keep her here for a while :) 
We celebrated her birthday at Bartlett lake with my sister and her family...
IMG_9191 She did not like us singing Happy birthday to her!  We sang to her all week long, and she loved it, but when it came down to singing at her "party", she was not thrilled...I guess she just figured that it was HER party and she could cry if she wanted to!

IMG_9203 The lake is the best place for that frosting!

IMG_9249 Once we put her in the water, we couldn't get her out!  She loved it....

IMG_9283 And one more shot I got of her that I just love!!  I printed it to a 12x16, but am thinking that I would really like it on like a 20x24 cool would that be!
IMG_9336 1
This month we also celebrated Kierstyn's 8th birthday....she had a few friends over for a day of swimming...My beautiful 8 year old!  She is so tenderhearted, has a very unique individual style, loves to wear boots with any outfit, has a beautiful smile, is very expressive and i love her face expressions, is very bubbly, and is so loved by us all!



In other news, I have started coupon/ad shopping, and after just 2 weeks into it, I am loving it!!  I am excited to go to the store now to see all my savings :)  Who would have thought that I could enjoy grocery shopping!?  I have found a few online sites that I get coupons and and to name a few.  Are there any other sites that you can share here?  And any pros out there, feel free to share your information!  I posted this on my facebook a week ago, and got some pretty good tips from lots of ladies, but I welcome any other tips/advice!! 
I was pretty excited on my first shopping trip...I spent $72 and had $59 in savings, and my 2nd trip I spent $55 and saved $40!  So I'm off to a good start I think :)
And speaking of a good deal....stay tuned tomorrow for a way to purchase some greeting card kits from the ever so talented Kim Kesti 
She put together some card Kits to help us raise some funds for our Mothers retreat!  Thank you Kim :)
Happy Monday!