Thursday, September 30, 2010

At church

While sitting in church this past Sunday, Lindsey was busy writing in her notebook, and she gave me permission to share 'her story'.  I thought it was so cute!  I always wonder what's going thru their minds!
"At Church"
by Lindsey KuoppalaLindsey letter
Right now me and my family are at church and a sermon is speaking to us.  Right now Taryn is peeking over the bench and seeing what's going on behind us, Trina is staring behind us also, Toni is trying to go to bed, Alanys is sitting down and talking to her friend Emalee, and Kierstyn is sitting down and listening to the sermon. 
At church right now there is about 100 people sitting down and listening, 40 people playing outside, 20 people talking, and 10 people out with crying or hungry babies.
The end.
Isn't that the greatest?!?!  At least one of my kids was listening, and I wonder what Frans and I were doing?  Good thing she didn't put something like mom is trying to get us to be quiet and dad is snoring!  LOL
I love it.  Oh the things Kids say and do!  All too quickly these days will be gone, so I am going to get better about documenting the great things they do!

Living life the way I picture it...

Epiphanie is having a contest on "living life the way you picture it", and they are giving away a canon 5D mark ll camera!!  This is my dream camera, so I thought I'd play along.  Check them out, their bags are amazing! 
I need to include a picture that had a few specific things in it....Here it is!  Good luck to me!  If I win this awesome prize, you will all hear me yelping with glee no matter where you are!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

good morning!

Happy hump day!  It's a beautiful morning here :)


Ok, so I had a friend (who shall remain nameless) call me yesterday and share a 'norwex' story with me that I thought was pretty funny....
She got to cleaning her house with her 'rags', and when she looked out her kitchen window she decided that her car windows really needed to be cleaned too.  So she took her 'rags' and went outside to clean the inside of her car windows.  Well after she got done, she realized that the outside of her car was pretty darn dirty she packed up the kids and headed off for the carwash.  Her car came out sparkling clean, and she realized that the rags really worked awesome on her windows now that she could see through the outside dirt :)  As she drove away, she realized that she still had some time, and the kids were getting cranky because they were  hungry, so she decided to roll through McDonalds.  She got herself a sausage and egg mcmuffin because they were cheap, and she thought that it couldn't be too high in calories because all it is is a sausage and egg and a muffin.  Well, she was NOT happy to find out that she had just consumed 490 calories in one sandwich!  So now all because she decided to clean up a little in the morning, she spent about $10 extra between the carwash and Micky D's, and she would have to work out extra hard at the gym that day!  Not to mention that after all that she picked up her Kindergartner from school, and after spotting the McDonald's bag, and realizing that there was no food left for him, he became cranky too!  AAaaah!  Time for naps!
The Norwex mission is to radically reduce the use of chemicals in your home, and at the same time save you TIME and $$....but what you do with all your extra time and $$, well, that's up to you!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sheena and Robert

Here is just a sneak peek at a few pictures from our engagement session with Sheena and Robert.  These two are a fun couple and we are looking forward to their wedding at the end of October! 



Monday, September 27, 2010

do over....

Do you ever have days or weeks where you just feel...bLAH?  That was last week for me.  And I would like a do-over please!  I only got out to hike a few times, and my eating was horrible, and I feel like my mood wasn't so hot either.  But it's a new week, and I'm determined to make it a good one! 
These pictures were taken on our hike up Camelback last Friday.  Every time I hike I wish I had my this time we took it :)  (Maybe for Christmas I'll ask santa for a little point and shoot camera so it's easy to tag along in my water pack)  



I love the red rocks!

Happy Monday everyone, and like our friend Warren would say....Make it a great day :)

Friday, September 24, 2010


I mentioned a couple days ago, that I am now a Norwex consultant.  And you're probably wondering...what the heck is Norwex?!  Well, let me tell you, that I could go on and on and on about their products, but I will try to just give it to you in a nutshell :)  Their stuff is so awesome, but you can't just take me word for have to try it, and watch it being demonstrated, and I promise you, you will be in love!  Now, am I sounding corny or what!
anywho... Norwex's mission is to "improve the quality of life by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning". 
They have a ton of different cleaning products for personal care and for cleaning, but probably my most favorite, is their rags.  And I guess I shouldn't call them 'rags', because they are much more than that! 
these cloths are microfiber with an antibacterial silver-based agent embedded inside the tiny microfiber.  They are amazing!  You are able to clean your entire house with these cloths while only using water!  You can throw away your windex, and clorox, and pine-sol, etc...All you need is water and a cloth  :)  Cleaning windows with these is so awesome!  It's so fast, and easy, and you won't find one streak anywhere on your window.  You can rub raw chicken on your counter and after wiping it off with your cloth, there is no bacteria left.  It sounds too good to be true I know....but after you see the demonstrations, you will be sold like I was!  Call me up if you're interested in hosting a party!!  I would love to come show you what all they have, and how wonderful everything is!  I do have a few parties lined up for the middle of if you're interested in attending, let me know!
I am so excited to be a part of this!  And I love that I can earn some extra income by selling a product I really believe in, and at the same time, still have time for my photography!
Anyways, If you want to read more about it, check out their website....
And since I can't post without a picture....I was just going thru some old pictures on my computer, and found this one of Trina and "Hazel".  (She used to be at the PHX zoo)  It cracks me up:)

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Have any of you ever had one of these??

I have never had any interest in energy drinks.  But I brought home several free samples of these babies from the women's expo last sunday, and finally yesterday decided to try one.  I had it at about 6:30 yesterday evening.  (why I thought I would need boundless amounts of energy in the evening, i'm not quite sure!)  So anyways, I didn't notice that it gave me a major energy boost. Until...about midnight.  When I'm laying in bed wondering why the heck I can't fall asleep!  I want to get up at 4:30 to hike, but now it's 12:44 and I'm still wide awake!  ARGH!!  Never. again. At least, not anytime past noon!  I'm not sure what time I finally was able to fall asleep, but needless to say, I didn't hike.  I did wake up to my alarm, but knew that if I stayed up, I would not be a happy camper today!
And I wouldn't have had any patience for these two cuties of mine!
Trina loves when she can make you laugh, and her laugh is so contagious!  It's loud and funny, and I love it!

And this little runt....she's quite the character.  She makes me smile too :) 


Happy Thursday everyone!
I am hoping for cooler weather this weekend!  It has been so darn hot, and I rescheduled an engagement shoot I had for last weekend to this weekend with hopes that it wouldn't be 110 degrees!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tuesday Tip....What is ISO?

If you are just switching over to shooting in manual from automatic, you may be wondering....what does ISO mean??  Well hopefully today's tutorial helps you and you are able to become more familiar with it!
The ISO on a digital camera is the same thing as 'film speed' on a film camera.  If you wanted to shoot with different film speeds on a film camera, you had to change your film to do so.  With digital camera's, you are able to change the ISO (film speed), and do it while never changing out your memory card.
The ISO determines how sensitive the image sensor is to light.  The lower your ISO, the better quality picture you are going to get.  The higher ISO you go, the more grainy or noisy your picture becomes.  On a bright sunshine-y day outdoors, you probably won't need to set your ISO higher than 200.  But when you start getting darker or are indoors without a flash with low light, you will need to set your ISO higher. 
This series of pictures of Lindsey shows you the difference in ISO settings.  They are all taken at a shutter speed of 1/100, and an f-stop of 2.8.  The sun had just set so it wasn't very bright out.
Starting with my ISO at 100:

and my ISO at 320
and my ISO at 500


and my ISO at 640

and my ISO at 1250

and at 1600

and another picture of Lindsey with the ISO at 1600 indoors with low light and no flash...  Notice this picture is a little more 'noisy'.  (It might be a little hard to tell here)


When your digital camera is in automatic mode, the ISO speed is chosen
for you to suit the level of light available at that particular time.
If you set your camera mode to "P" (program AE),  you can choose your own ISO and your camera will then set the shutter speed and aperture automatically.
In manual mode, to change the ISO setting on your SLR camera, press the ISO button then
use the up/down or left/right buttons to change the speed.
Hopefully this tip was helpful for some of you! 
have a great Tuesday!  And feel free to let me know if any of you have any photography/camera questions you would like to see answered on here!  (Or you may also email me privately)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

story time...

Happy Monday morning y'all!
Like my hubby posted on his facebook, my "wordless wednesday" was so wordless, that it brought us right through the weekend!  Well, I took a few days off there, but I'm back! :)
My girls were all about the dark this weekend!  Don't know why, but every once in a while they'll do this.  Shut off all the lights, and want me to light all kinds of candles, and they round up every flashlight in the house!  This time, we had no working flashlights, so the light off of Frans' video camera was their 'flashlight'. 
I came in the room and saw this, and thought it looked pretty neat :)  Kierstyn kept them entertained for a long time reading to them!
Have any of you ever been to the women's expo?  I went yesterday with some girlfriends, and we had a great time!  My friend Michelle was really hoping to get a free haircut, and she got her name drawn for one at Toni and Guy, so she was fired up about that....and the cut looks great on her!  (was thinking I should have brought my camera, but didn't!)
We wandered around there for a good 4 1/2 hours and had some good laughs!  And I even came home all excited about becoming a Norwex consultant!  Have any of you heard of Norwex?  (If not, well, that's for another post!)   I'm just thinking that I need to get out like that with the 'girls' more often...:) 
Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

wordless wednesday


Tuesday Tip...shooting in Manual

If you own a DSLR, and are shooting in fully automatic...this week I challenge you to switch over and practice with shooting in manual! Once you see how much better you can make your pictures by being in control of your shutter speed, ISO, and f-stop (aperture), you will never go back to shooting in automatic! 
What does f-stop (aperture) mean?
The aperture and how it works can be confusing to some of you.
The aperture is the part of a lens that determines how much light is
let through to the sensor.  If it’s wide open, lots of light gets through. If it’s closed
down, only a little light gets through.  Aperture settings are expressed as decimal numbers, and work opposite to the way you’d think... a higher number will let in less light than a lower number.  Each aperture has an Open, and a
Closed – the most and least light it will let in. In between it is what is known as the
f-stops, or aperture settings – numbers like f1.6, f2.8, f6.0, f16.0, with many in between.  And not all lenses will have the same apertures....for example.. a cheaper lens may only open to
f3.5 or a f4.0, not letting in as much light as a more expensive lens that will open all the way to an f1.6.
When you change the f-stop, it will affect your "depth of field"
In these two pictures you can see the difference.  the lower f -stop (I had it at 2.8) causes the background to really be blurred.


and with the higher f-stop (this one was set at 8.0) the background isn't so blurred.


What is shutter speed?
The shutter is what determines the length of time the sensor is exposed to light.
Shutter speed is usually expressed as a fraction – 1/2, 1/30, 1/80, 1/125,
etc. Some professional cameras go as high as 1/2000, or even higher.  
The longer the shutter is open, the more light is hitting the sensor.  A shutter speed of 1/4 means that the shutter is open for one quarter of a second, while a shutter speed of 1/2000
means it is open for only one two thousandth of a second. 
A slow shutter speed picks up camera motion, and is one of the primary causes of blurry pictures.  A safe rule for most situations is that you want a shutter speed of at least 1/50 or 1/60, but the faster, the better.  If you go much lower than that, you will need a tripod, or you will have a blurry picture.  But keep in mind, that if you are using a tripod, it will still blur a moving object.  This picture was taken with a tripod with the shutter open for 2 seconds.  Notice that the lights in the water are blurry because the water was 'moving'.   
 While practicing with shutter speed, Anita got this great picture....and with a tripod she could have gotten the greener and rocks around it to be a lot sharper.  Anita, do you remember what your shutter speed was for this?
Waterfall web (Medium)

And one more picture....just shows a difference between automatic and manual....  This was taken in open shade, and they are straight out of the camera.  The one on the left was taken in automatic, and the right is manual.  Much nicer picture in manual! 

Maybe next week I will touch a little bit on ISO, but for now, practice with these two things.  And let me know how you do :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

what a weekend!

What a weekend it was!  Our Mother's retreat this weekend was wonderful!  And now it's Monday, and I am thinking..."Is it really over already?  Is my work really done?  How did it come and go so fast??!"  It was a lot of work, and I am SO relieved to be done, but it was also fun at the same time.  And I was able to relax at camp too :)  That is, until I got a call.  At 3:00. And that's A.M. not p.m.  Mind you, I had just barely fallen asleep maybe an hour earlier... It was my friend Michelle..."we have bed bugs, do you have another room you can move us to?!"  OH NO!!!!!!!!  Are you sure??  Bed Bugs???  Say it isn't so!!  My skin instantly started crawling, and of course we then had to check under our beds!  (good thing there were none!) 
So after getting them a new room, and calling my brother the bed bug expert (sorry for the middle of the night phone call scare ben!!) it took me a while to get back to sleep!  What a night and what a morning it was!  I can now say that I know all that I care to know about Bed bugs!  Ever wonder what one looks like?  Here is one that looks just like the one I saw....nasty little creatures hey!?


But despite all that hoopla, camp was very refreshing and so uplifting!!  So awesome to be surrounded by so many other mothers who share the same trials and temptations and joys as I do!  I didn't bring my camera, but did take a few with my friend Denise's camera.  So when she gets them posted on her facebook, I will have to 'steal' a few!  We ended camp by stopping at our friend Diane's house in Prescott, and got a wild ride with her on her new golf cart :)  It was a good weekend!
For Carol's wrap up and some photo's, check out her blog
I'm off to get some cleaning done, my house has been getting neglected for too long :(
And I'll leave you with a few more pictures that are a little more pleasing to look at!  My two sweeties!  Taryn is just thrilled I'm home, but she hasn't wanted to be real close to me yet!  She's still a little mad at me for leaving her for the weekend :(  But maybe now she won't be so attached to me.  She much more preferred Frans than me all evening!

How was your weekend? 

Friday, September 10, 2010


My big 1 year old has discovered the car!  And now you can hardly keep her off it when she's's so cute!  And she especially loves being wildly raced around pushed around by her big sister Trina :) 
No time for chatter today as I am off to camp in less than an hour!!   
Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

last day....

My last day to get everything pulled together for camp, and what am I doing??  I'm baking cookies first thing in the morning, so the kiddos have some treats for the weekend while I'm away!  As if I don't already have enough to do today!  Geez...  I'm making monster cookies and I'm hoping that the name alone keeps me scared away from having one, even tho they are starting to call my name louder, and LOUDER and LOU....well, you get the idea!  I will have more than my share of treats this weekend at Camp, I don't need to start early!  My first time making these and the kids all had one and said they are good!  You know you don't bake much when you hear one the girls telling another girl..."she's making cookies, and they're for us, and for no special reason at all!"  Hahaha..!  What a hoot she is ;)

How many of you have kids home from school today??  Of all days, I have them all home today!  They had monday off, then went back for Tues and Wednesday, now today off for some kind of fall recess, then back to school for Friday!  What's up with that?!  You would think that they would have just given them Tuesday off or else tomorrow off.  But whatev, they're here, and I hope they are good girls for me today!
I'm off to get something accomplished!
Happy Thursday everyone!
ETA...Kendra, the recipe for these cookies is from the Rockford cook book...Maria Bratt's recipe.
4 eggs
1/3 lb. butter
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1 1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. white Karo syrup
1 lg. bag M&M's
6 C. quick oatmeal
1 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3 tsp. baking soda
2 C. peanut butter
1 C. chocolate chips
mix all ingredients together .  Roll into balls and flatten. Bake 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
I actually only put in about 5 Cups of oatmeal, and they came out good!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sweet Nelson...

Jana and Robert were here from Colorado this past weekend and we were able to squeeze in a photo shoot with them and baby Nelson.  I'm sure the weather was much cooler in CO than it was here, It was such a HOT day, but we survived it!  Here are a few of my favorites from the day...
IMG_8703 1


Isn't he just the cutest?!

IMG_8986 1

I love his cheeks!

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Thanks Jana and Robert, it was fun getting to know you a little bit!

Kamp Kipa

Good Tuesday morning everyone!
I am taking a few minutes breather before I hit the ground running for the day :)  For me it's off to get my haircut (finally!!) then get some cleaning done during baby's nap-time, then off to the dentist! (ugh!!)  I have been putting off the dentist thing for quite some time now for several different reasons...but I can't put it off anymore!  I need two wisdom teeth pulled, so today is just the exam and x-ray.  I think I can manage that fine.  I think I can.  I think I can. 
I am the director for our church's mother's/ladies camp this year up in Prescott, and it's this weekend!  EEEeeek!  I am getting a little stressed out now hoping that everything goes fine!  With that, and the dentist, I am a bundle of nerves right now :)  So I will have a busy week finishing preparing for camp and running around doing last minute things.  
Frans was up at Kamp Kipa, our church camp this past weekend working, so I took the girls and met him up there for the day on Sunday.  I hadn't been there for quite a while, so it was really neat to see all the work that's been done!  A LOT has been done, and it is exciting to see it coming together.  A few pictures of our day...
Kierstyn and Toni looking out of one of the boys' cabin windows...
The porch of the same window, new door, new railings, etc...

Taryn standing on the new steps leading up to the cabins....


Inside of the main lodge (kitchen and two bedrooms and a bathroom are behind me).  They are building two rooms at the front of the lodge.  probably for storage and an office of some sort.


Shot of the main lodge from up by the girls cabins.  Roof about half done...


some of the girls cabins...


T Bomb loves having her picture taken!


visiting up at the upper ramada...several Prescott folks were there...


T Town looking cute as ever :)


Trina with her new friend Nora, who did NOT want me taking a picture of her!  She got a serious pout going on!

Untitled-1 And eating watermelon was all serious business for this guy!! 


Frans got the hang of this thing pretty quick...what are they called...kick tide's or something.  I wasn't about to try it!! 



and of course the little spoiled T Bear....  she was loving it up there!  (that is until she fell asleep and then woke up too early!!  time to go home!)


It was so nice to get away for the day and relax a bit!  (But sorry for so many pictures!!)  It was a fun day, and we need to get up there more often!