Monday, November 30, 2009


This weeks challenge is We <3 Tooshies . I actually had a fabulous photo of her naked hiney with a cheerio on it, but rules are rules, so yall get Bluebonnet Tooshie. Click the button for more!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Iheartfaces-Autumn Beauty

It's Iheartfaces Autumn Beauty week. This is from our annual pumpkin patch pictures. I just love her curious look. I had chased her around the patch for an hour before finally getting something with her face in it. Click on the Iheartfaces sign to check out the rest of the participants!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fix it Fridays-iheartfaces

opened in raw
bumped up blacks
warmed it a bit
healing brush under eyes and nose
adjusted curves slightly

ran honey retro
ran bakery glazes, green apple
ran creamy chocolate
ran perk 2, vivid
I accidentally left the pole in some of the shots, but don't have time to go back now. Kids think they need breakfast or something ;-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Iheartfaces- My Story in Photos “Thankful”

Not necessarily in this order,

1. How much my children love each other

2. Living in Texas, bluebonnets, Spring, the colors of blue and green

3. My husband, our marriage, that it looks so different than it should if not for grace

4. My sister and her family, my nieces and nephews, how much my brother in law loves them

5. The Bible, our verse, sunlight in my windows, and coffee

6. My dad being in my children's lives

7. Our home, our neighborhood pool, hot Texas summers, silly boys to take pictures of

8. My 8 beautiful blessings here and my 3 who've gone on Home

9. Music, laughter, noise, chubby hands

10. My extended family, crazy as they are (that's my Uncle Vern, one of my favorites)

If you've never participated at Iheartfaces, this is a great week to do it. No judging, just gratefulness.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I heart faces-fix it friday

The original:

The first fix, I was watching a movie while I did it, so don't remember what I did. *blush* I do remember running the Faded Daydreams action was one of last things I did. It's one of my new favorites from Rita at Coffeeshop.

The 2nd. I ran about 4 or 5 actions, just to see what would happen. She came out almost animated and so different, I kinda like it. I remember Moody Pop and Retro Honey from Coffeeshop were 2 of them.

I'm loving learning about my program. I want to eventually volunteer with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (infant loss bereavement photography) as a Photoshop artist and I really need the practice and experience.

I will write stuff down next time cause I'm getting lots of good info from what the other participants share and maybe (although not likely) there is someone with less experience than me who I could help. Maybe not, but lie to me. :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009


It's Balloon Week at Iheartfaces. This week's entry is pretty old, the little man here was 4 and we are coming up on his 6th birthday! Balloons always remind me of him, mainly because for his 1st birthday we filled the living room with them as a surprise for him, only to find out when we brought him in that he was terrified of balloons. Oops. Picture 4 adults trying to chase 50 helium balloons into a bedroom as fast as possible while a one year old is screaming and crying like he's being attacked by aliens and you have a pretty good idea what the party looked like. As you can see, it didn't leave any lasting damage.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fix it Fridays-iheartfaces

First time at doing this with Iheartfaces. I love editing, almost as much as getting the image itself. They publish the original and we get to play with it! That's the original above, here's what I did:

opened in Elements 7 ACR
made it a little warmer
bumped up the black
increased the contrast
opened in Elements 7
ran Coffeeshop's powder room 2
bright eyes
define eyes
did some cloning with low opacity under the eyes
ran Coffeeshops selective color
painted over the hat with low opacity brush
painted over eyes with higher opacity brush
ran the fog remover

I left the bruises on her legs. I have a soft spot for girlie girls with a few bumps and bruises.

Does anyone know of sharpen for web action for Elements? I'm saving up for PS4 but I'm not there yet!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I heart faces-pink

This week in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness, it's pink week!!She definitely was. She was my 9th pregnancy, my 2nd daughter, my 11th child, the only girl to come home.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Child Death Awareness and Remembrance

I am thinking about and praying for the mothers worldwide who have been touched by child death, through miscarriage, stillbirth and beyond. Although it seemed, at times, a grace too hard to bear, it *was* grace that allowed me to know my precious little ones, Lael, Rose and Joseph. Please pray for the moms you know who have been touched by a tiny person who left footprints on their hearts, but didn't stay in their arms.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This weeks challenge is excited. This is my sister and her kids welcoming home their daddy, her husband, our soldier and hero. This is excitement.

As an aside, anyone who gets the chance should go welcome the soldiers at the airport. Very cool, no matter what your political affiliations.

Monday, September 28, 2009


This week's challenge was blue. As you can imagine, I have a lot of blue in my life. Blue is my favorite color. Always has been. Good thing, huh? Now I have some pink. Turns out I really like pink too.

These are my kiddos, doing their thang, being who they really are, even picking their nose. Love it.

Check out all the rest of the blue challenge contestants, there is some really phenomenal stuff!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

This article from Elle (h/t Instapundit) has me amazed. It's definitely adult, and definitely secular, but so over the top in both areas, it's like a case study in what's wrong with the world.

The fact that women are selling their virginity is as old as sin itself. I won't comment on that. We've told, explicitly shown and encouraged young women to think of sex as tool, as a biological function, a scientific experimentation, a toy and a business for far to long to pretend I'm shocked when they treat it as such. News flash, nothing is sacred, everything is for sale.

No, the sentence that sent me reeling was this one: "the highest bidder, at $3.7 million, was an Australian businessman, and he reconciled with his wife."

He reconciled with his wife. He was married, although apparently separated, and while on this hiatus he makes bids for a young woman's virginity and his WIFE TAKES HIM BACK????

I'm sorry. Soliciting prostitution, desiring sex with a younger woman badly enough to pay 3.7 million for it, and being anxious to the point of idiocy to be a girl's first sexual partner would all give me serious pause in the reconciliation department.

I'm not in favor of divorce in most situations, I would prefer carefully considered separations that end in reconciliation. I actually believe that separation should only be a step during which both parties are working diligently on themselves in order to come back together and work toward an intimate relationship. It shouldn't be a "hey let's see if living apart works, no, well, ok let's just put some duct tape on it and keep rolling" kind of thing. It certainly should not be a time of experimentation in other relationships! Especially one night stands you just paid 3.7 million dollars for.

I think both he and his wife are fools.

These are the things that make me wonder if I'm the 2 yo or they are.

This rant is now over :-)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This week's challenge was a very easy pick for me. Even though it is pre-digital point and shoot (and therefore scanned), it's my favorite shot of him and the one that immediately came to mind with the catagory name. This is my oldest on his 4th birthday. He was train obsessed, so we took him to Rusk, Texas to ride a steam locomotive (or as he said, a stinkamotive). He was so excited he barely spoke the entire ride. That's my little man, when he gets really emotional, he gets really quiet and thoughtful. He is now 13, taller than me and not quite so train obsessed, but I still see him in my mind as this little man.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Another challenge, but I'm too late to enter the contest this week. Ah well, the challenge encouraged me to take a picture I've been meaning to take for a while.

I found a picture years ago of my great-grandmother bathing my mother in a gigantic bowl on her front porch. I don't own the picture, but I just loved it. A few year after that, my daughter Rose died and it brought me great comfort to picture Rose being bathed by my Granny. Granny loved babies, so I just knew she was there to welcome Rose, bathe her, care for her as I could not.

And now I have a baby girl here, in my arms, to love and care for, so today we got out a big bread bowl :

Monday, August 10, 2009

iheartfaces-crazy silly faces

Another iheartfaces challenge. I'm having a blast with these! All of my entries have been on my kids blog, as they are mostly pics of the kids, but I think I'm going to be moving them over to here as they are really about my hobby (or at least one of them).You'd think with 8 kids I wouldn't need to use someone else's kid in a challenge, but I just love this pic of one of my favorite little girls. I was getting ready to take some pics for her momma and new baby sister and R was helping me get my settings right. Isn't she gorgeous? She's got a dynamite personality too, as you can see.

I've got another of her baby sister that's pretty darn cute too. I might share that one later this week, if you're lucky. :-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Falling in a deep hole

My little girl is having seizures. Out of the blue, no fever, no warning. I would love to say that I am perfectly calm about this, that I understand that these things happen, with no adverse effects, all the time. Especially in my family. But it's never happened like this, not so many, so frequently. Add to that the fact that I volunteer with a population where I can name at least 3 children who started with seizures and ended up with brain get a big heaping dose of crazy.

I would also love to say that I trust God so much that I'm not worried. It's not really that I don't trust Him, but I realize that my comfort is not His priority. After all, He was in control when my babies died. He was in control when Rose was treated as trash. He was in control when I was abused as a child. None of that changes His sovereignty, or His absolute goodness. These are the things I know:

I know He loves me, and my daughter, enough to allow His son to be treated as trash, be abused, and go through intense physical discomfort, even unto death. I know that if the choice is between someone trusting in Him for salvation and my comfort, He will choose salvation for them. I know there is never pain without purpose. I know I will never understand that or desire it.

So I am fearful, and sad, and angry. But honestly, I have no where else to go. I can either go through this, trust that it is good, and keep running to Him or go through this believing He doesn't care, doesn't listen and do it by myself. If I've got to fall through a deep hole, I want Him at the bottom of it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's wrong with public education?

So I’m listening to Diane Rehm on NPR (I know, I know, but I gotta know how they think)and she’s interviewing Bill Gates Sr. is where you can listen to the interview, I don't know if it includes the caller I reference. I do NOT like this man. He was talking about the Gates foundation and how one of their objectives is to help public education. So of course she asked what was wrong with public education and he basically threw teachers under the bus. According to him, it’s only the lowest scoring college students that want to be teachers, and they are trained poorly, so of course our children go uneducated. So someone calls in and confronts that. Her daughter is a teacher and loves teaching but the constant discipline problems she is dealing with with NO support from parents or admin is driving her out of the field. His response? Well, if the teacher were properly trained to be super engaging and really keep the kids attention and MAKE them WANT to learn then there wouldn’t be any problems. The teacher just needs to try harder.

At that point I stopped listening because my head was exploding with all manner of curse words and the 3 youngest were in the car with me. I cannot believe he actually believes that if a teacher was just engaging enough, all our problems with no parental interest or support and difficult discipline issues would be solved. If I’m remembering right, for about 100 years most kids were taught in a small school where there was one book for each subject that the teacher read from while the children were expected to listen quietly. There was no AV equipment, no unit studies, no internet interactive sites, not really even any effort to be engaging and make the kids want to learn. We expected them to learn anyway. And they DID. That’s the really amazing part, some of our best thinkers were guys who just read and thought a lot. Nobody *made* them want it, they did it because they wanted it for themselves.

It’s not that I think teaching on level and trying to be relevant and engaging are bad. I do projects, we use interactive sites at times, we watch films. But that is not where the bulk of learning is done. The bulk of their learning comes from reading, writing, thinking, and application. Nothing fancy.

Of course this is coming from a man who when asked about Bill Jr as a kid, his response was along the lines of: He was really curious and interested in everything. He loved to read. That’s really unusual.

If he really believes that it’s unusual for kids to be curious, interested and either read or be read to, well, I must have the most unusual family on earth. All 8 fit that description. ALL 8. To varying degrees, but all 8.

I do believe teachers need more pay, more respect, more of whatever they ask for really, but I would really love to hear at least someone place the blame where it belongs, on the families who don't put value on education.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

So this week I didn't give my baby girl a cookie just because she cried that everyone else got one. That one little tear (can you see it?) didn't effect me at all, I'm immune to it after all these years.

I also didn't laugh when her big brother put her on his shoulders and she spit up down his neck into his shirt and then she wiped her mouth on his hair.

I didn't let my laundry pile up until we had no underwear and it took me 20 minutes to find a pair of pants for each boy in order to go to church. I, of course, lay out all our clothing the night before, and do one load a day, every day.

I didn't leave the planning of school off until this morning and then spend most of the day wondering where all our books were. I have a plan I made in August and we have stuck to it. I lay my stuff out for the week on Sunday night, that's what I do.

I did NOT tell my children that if they are going to lock each in the closets, they must at LEAST let the person in there out when they say I want out.

I also did not walk around the house talking to myself about how no one ever puts anything back where it belongs, never, and if they did that I would fall down in a dead faint and blog it immediately WITH pictures, because it would be a miracle and someone should document miracles. I would never be that passive aggressive, I tell my children clearly what I need and how I feel.

That's about all I didn't do, how about you?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Not me monday

So here I am Not Me-ing again. Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not spend countless hours retouching photos for my Facebook account. I would never spend that much time refining my memories instead of making them and then waiting for people who see them all the time to comment.

I did not try and stay asleep while one of my 7yos was at the side of my bed hacking his lungs out. I sprang out of bed with the quickness and compassion of Florence Nightingale, with my make up on too, and then since it was 6am,

I didn't go back to bed and make my husband get up with the kids, who proceeded to let them scrounge for whatever breakfast items they could find. Nope, I got up and made a wonderful breakfast for the kids while whistling.

I don't spend my Friday nights messing around on my laptop, next to my husband on his laptop, while the children watch "Clone Wars". We sit in front of a fire sipping tea and do read alouds from classic literature.

I didn't say "get off your brother's head" so many times this week, I feel like I'm saying it in my sleep.

I did not sing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from Rocky Horror when my very manly husband came back from the dr with a report of low testosterone (Test-toss-ter-oni, the real San Fransisco Treat, quick what sitcom?). I lovingly built him up.

What didn't you do this week?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Not me monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Yeah yeah, it's sue me.

This is s a fun little therapy session. You go through your last week or so and tell all the things you absolutely did NOT do.

I did NOT let my kids watch endless hours of television because I'm tired with being up a sick child. Homeschool mommies don't do that.

I did NOT spend Valentines day eating take out from a drive through in front of Mama Mia with my husband over at our babysitters empty apartment(cause they were babysitting for us!). Normal people make reservations and get dressed up and fight crowds instead of eating totally yummy Mi Casita and watching a fun movie in jeans and t-shirts.

I do NOT sit around and quote Word Girl and Spongebob with my kids. Especially not the last one. No self respecting Christian mommy would let their kids watch that.

I did NOT spend Friday night running to Walmart to get these stuffed animals and some candy for my kids Valentines day. I was ready early this year, having planned weeks in advance just like Kate from Jon and Kate plus 8(stop laughing!!)
I most assuredly did NOT laugh so hard I had to start it over and then until I cried at(do not listen to this in front of children, seriously) this. No self respecting Christian would find anything that uses the f word that many times that funny.

There ya go, what I haven't been doing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hubba Hubba

This is the kinda guy I could swoon for:

Watch more SpikedHumor videos on AOL Video

Thursday, January 22, 2009

March for Life

I'm not usually very outspoken on politics or controversial legal issues, at least on the net, but this is an issue that is personal for me. *thanks to Floyd at for the link from his site*

Because of this country's view on life, when my daughter died at 16 weeks gestation in 2000, my husband and I were not only denied the option to see her after birth, but had to fight the hospital to get access to her body later. She was called products of conception, medical waste and we were told she had been disposed of. Thank God she was not and
we did eventually get to see her and were given permission to have her cremated with dignity. " You want a funeral home to pick up the medical waste removed from your body?" was the question. Yes, we want a funeral home to pick up our daughter. Even though we did get to see her, she was in a small jar with formaldehyde, so I never did get to kiss her good-bye. But she was fully formed, perfect in every way. She was even smiling.

I understand that there are extenuating circumstances that make abortion palatable, or even necessary (in ectopic pregnancies for instance). I counsel parents who have chosen to interrupt a pregnancy when faced with the choice of one hour of life with their child or wait for stillbirth. I have grieved with parents who believe with all their hearts that the choice they made was for the comfort of their child and would give anything to have
them here. But the vast majority of abortions are not performed in these cases, they are performed because a woman believes that death for the child would be better than parenting for her. And because of these women, my child was disrespected. After all, we cannot believe it is a child when it dies naturally and not believe it when someone doesn't want it. We want to. We want to believe we are big enough to have both in our minds, but we aren't. Not most of us. Not me, and apparently not the hospital I had Rose at. I believe my much wanted baby was just as much a baby as a child who was not wanted. They believed she was medical waste, just like the abortion they performed earlier that day.

I don't have any pictures of my sweet girl, but I do have pictures of her brother, who also died at almost the same gestation 2 years later. These are fairly graphic, but I believe they say more about the humanity of these children than words ever could.

Please pray for those marching today. Please pray for President Obama as he considers what to do with the FOCA . Please pray his heart will be changed toward the unborn and that life can be respected in this country.