Category Archives: Photography

Ethan and Peter

Awhile ago we came here, soon after we moved back to Bakersfield, to do a hike with homeschoolers. Today, I decided to go back in search of green grass growing after the rains. When we bought our house on this side of town years ago, it was a wet year and the hills all around our development were green and rolling. It seemed like a whole other country and definitely not Bakersfield. The last few years have left things parched, dead, hot. This fall the rains returned and I am remembering why this area sold us.

We found ourselves next to the river with rounded boulders, the long green grass I was hoping for growing up in tufts between them, the fog rolling in just as golden hour brought the promised honey hues. It was magical and ethereal, like something out of a fairy tale. However, earlier this week my kids had a meltdown because we went to a park and *gasp* there was no playground equipment. It took them 20 minutes to get over themselves and realize that they could be having a whole lot more fun with the other homeschoolers playing tag. So after that experience, I did not exactly expect them to enjoy today’s outing.  And yet there they were leaping from rock to rock, making up a story about being wolf hunters and not wanting to leave even though it started to get cold and we had a birthday cake to bake.


Today my Ethan is five. It doesn’t seem real or possible and yet here it is. This month is also his youngest sibling’s fourth month on earth.

Ethan has so many fun little quirks. I call him my little engineer. He always wants to know how things work, take them apart and put them back together. He is very sensitive and will wear shirts with tags inside out and hates pants most days (the colder weather is breaking him of this because he really hates being cold more than any other discomfort). His skin is sensitive and prone to outbreaks. His emotions are sensitive too, but in a less explosive way than his next in line brother. He is definitely a giggler though and often laughs his way through life. He goes through periods of loving to dress up. He wore his Beast (of Beauty fame) costume three days in a row this week. He even wore it to his sister’s ballet lessons. A few months ago he wore his Flynn Rider costume in much the same fashion. Yesterday it was traditional Korean birthday clothes. I made him change and wash his face for the photo shoot because I’m mom like that. He is a collector and today was no different, we brought home several clam shells and bottle caps. The usual hunt for the perfect stick was also on.




Peter has rolls upon rolls that I could kiss all day long. They are so puffy and soft like clouds upon clouds. He is very vocal and he is starting to make a noise that sounds something like “Mama.” Or at least that’s what I think. He has the stub of a tooth and as such his cheeks and chin are chapped from the drooling. He’s still easy and sweet. He’s full of smiles and as delightful as babies can possibly be. He sleeps well and tags along on our day to day with ease.






Filed under Family, Kiddos, Parenting, Photography, Ramblings

Meeting Peter

My sister brought my “big” kids back yesterday. I mean I know they are not really all that big or old, but I feel like all of them just aged 10 years in those three days. Jillian is practically a teenager. Henry is especially not the baby anymore. I’ve called him “baby” for the last three years! He’s looking very much like Stephen’s mini-me too. He was SO excited about his new brother.

Andrea has been trying to work on becoming a professional photographer over the last year in addition to her regular, very demanding job as a correctional officer. I don’t know how she does it along with being wife and mother. She brought her camera with her last night and then gave me the raw unedited photos right away. Photographers never do that, unless they are your sister.

My sister and her husband didn’t even tell the kids I’d had the baby or show them pictures over the weekend. So this was their first news of and genuine reactions to Peter.

With not much in the way of editing software myself, I just made them all black and whites for now. Here are some of my favorites. So glad we have these precious images of this moment!
















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2013-2014 school year firsts

First field trip with our homeschool play group to Station 65:










First day of Classical Conversations play camp and parent/tutor practicum:

Henry’s first attachment to a toy:



First clothing phase:
“I only want to wear black. No other colors. Just black.” (It lasted all of four days)


First day of ballet:




First day of Classical Conversations:


First beach trip:




First day of the new liturgical year:


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Filed under Family, Homeschooling, Kiddos, Photography

Independence Day 2013

Such a jam packed day of events and food. I am completely stuffed and worn out. We started our day out in Bear Valley at their big festival with my sister’s family. Then it was home, errands, food prep, friends, eating, swimming, then dessert and a little fireworks show on our street.

My fourteen-year-old pyro inner self loves this holiday. My nearly thirty-year-old current self (with three kids melting down way past their bedtime and a nervous wreck dog) is so over it.











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Filed under Family, Photography

Frame it!

When I was a kid I remember my dad liked taking photos, he had a seemingly decent camera, maybe a couple of them. There were some photo albums from before we were born where you could tell taking photos was a real hobby of his.

My parents had a couple albums from our childhood that I remember and a box or two of photos that went with us on all our moves (my mom says my dad and I have the “hermit crab itch” and that explains moving so much). They also had school pictures and group shots of us from Olan Mills every few year. One particular blue ruffle dress with white polka dots made its rounds on all of us in these.

Get ready, I’ve got some real gems here:







But overall it wasn’t a huge amount of pictures. Many of these same pictures are in the same frames they’ve been in almost all my life in my dad’s house.

With digital photography, we get instant feedback on our photos to be able to see what is and is not working and we are not constrained by rolls of film. Even though I am not a professional photographer by any means, I am definitely developing my own style and way of capturing our daily family life. I take tons of photos all day long and a good amount of them, even iPhone photos, are things I’d love to have framed on the walls in our home.






If we did this though, we probably wouldn’t have any wall space or space for other artwork. I mean, for now we have room to grow, but if this keeps up that will definite happen. The second highest number of boxes we’ve packed is that of picture frames and photos (first is books, nearly a dozen boxes of them at last count).

So what do you do with all of your family photos and daily life photos? Are they on your hard drive? The best of the best framed throughout your house? Professional photos only in frames? Scrapbooks or photo books for everything else? Do you swap out the photos in frames as your family grows and changes?

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On why I can’t stop writing.

The thing is I have had plenty of friends that have had blogs and abandoned them. Basically they just stopped writing, never intentionally, but stopped just the same. I think it speaks volumes that I wrote out a whole explanatory post about why I might stop writing. Who am I kidding? I can’t stop. It is just the way I process life. An oddity in this is that I would really like to be a journaler and have attempted several times to do so. I have a whole drawer full of half-filled (sometimes less than that) journals. It wasn’t until I started blogging, however, that I finally stuck with it. I think there are many reasons for this. Convenience being one (as I write this from my iPhone while simultaneously watching over my playing kiddos with a load of laundry going). The ability to intersperse text and pictures easily is also key. At another phase in my life I plopped down a ridiculous amount of money on scrapbooks and scrapbooking supplies that mostly never got used. This blog is my journal, my free therapy session, my scrapbook, my photo album, my recipe book, my testament, and my record of my life and the life of my little family, for better or worse.

So, for posterity’s sake and the sake of all the other reasons I just mentioned, this is what we’ve been up to in the little over a week since my last post.

Lots of dress up:


Lots of reading:

A trip to the new doctor:


A birthday:

A trip to Disneyland:


Lorax crafts:


Crafting with sister:

The dictator, being a dictator and demanding “Mao!” (more) and “mines!” (mine):

A trip to the circus courtesy of my dad:


Lots of raspberries, it’s Sparrow’s love language:

More proof I should have been born in the 1800s:



Filed under Craftopia, Family, Gourmet Lisa, Homeschooling, Kiddos, Parenting, Photography, Uncategorized

Citrus Classic Balloon Festival Part 5: Airshow

I have had this post in my drafts for a bit, it was supposed to publish with the others, but I wasn’t quite finished with it. So here it is a little later.

After we returned from downtown Santa Paula, there was a small airshow put on by the plane enthusiasts from Santa Paula Airport. My sister brought her lenses with her that day and I got to play with them. I had fun trying to get shots of all the neat planes. There were also two people that landed in parachutes. When warning everyone to get out of the center of the field, the announcer kept refering to them as “meat missles” which was funny and awkward at the same time.

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Filed under Family, Kiddos, Photography, Travel