slide show

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

You know that thing that happens when your mom visits?

When she paints your youngest daughter's finger nails on the porch. 
And she does the dinner dishes while you get the kids ready for bed. 
And she makes you breakfast. 
And she brings pie and brownies when she comes. 
And she doesn't like her picture taken so you have to sneak them when she's not looking.
And she and you spend hours catching up about anything and everything. 
And she stays with the kids so you can go to the grocery store... alone. 
And she plays Spot It, Ticket to Ride and Trash again and again and again with the kids. 
And she gets up earlier than you so you can sleep in. 
And you try to help her learn how to use her new cell phone but realize you don't know how to do it anymore than she does. 
And the two of you go lookie loo-ing in antique shops together. 
And she uses words like lookie loo. 
And you try to think of a way to make her stay forever. 
And she always has great parenting advice but only when you ask. 
And she always takes your side and has your back. 
And you find that as you grow older, you're really not that different from her anymore. 
And she loves you unconditionally... always. 
Ya that.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mimi on golf

****Registration is now open for 2 of my photography classes, an intermediate class and a beginning editing class. Click HERE for more information.****

This is Mimi's first year playing golf. Honestly I wasn't going to have her participate because she's only 5 years old after all. But then when her brothers and sister were having lessons, someone asked her why she wasn't playing, and she replied with the saddest look and big ol' puppy dog eyes, My mom won't let me. And because this child is generally spoiled and we really hardly ever tell her no (cause really she's just the sweetest thing with the most irresistible giggle that we just cant' hardly ever tell her no. Seriously. I've tried. It's impossible!) I caved in and let her try it the next 2 weeks.
We decided to let her participate in the children's tournament 'cause like I mentioned, she has those puppy dog eyes. That's her foursome below for the tournament. Surprisingly, the girls below are within 1 year of her age. Looks like we have another petite little one. 
And just in case you are on pins and needles about how she did in aforementioned tournament, She scored a 28.  One 1 hole.
I was taking pics and no nothing about golf. But thankfully a lot of her Papa's side of the family does! And she got some great tips from her Granna! 
Let's just say that golf, when you first start playing it, isn't graceful. Nothing about it looks or feels natural. Especially when your 5. There's a whole lot of muscles that have to work together to get a little ball in a little hole that's a long ways away. And truth be told I'm not sure if she enjoyed it nearly as much as she loved doing something Tess and Jude were doing. Sheesh, Mimi would love going to bed early and eating Lima beans if Tess and Jude did it first! There was a whole lot of whiffs going on.
But she sure did look cute doing it and had a smile on her face most all the time even when she didn't make contact, which happened a lot. 

And that's a skill in it's own right! 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A blog to follow!

This is Sennie. One of my former photography students turned dear (cyber) friend. And I WILL meet her in person some day! At which time she'll probably figure out quite quickly that I really am crazy.
As she explained in her blog, she's looking at a pic of the newest member of her family with her 9-year-old daughter, who's wanted a little sister for a long while. They both look a little misty eyed just looking at her. Such a sweet moment.

Sennie is in China right now about to get their newest daughter. Not to mention that she already has quadruplets (yep, FOUR of them all at one time!) and a 9 year old. And an Airstream that I'm totally jealous of! Sennie has the most beautiful talent for documentary lifestyle photography. It's a feast for the eyes I tell ya!

Her blog is Our Mothership Adventures, and it's full of their plain ol' life split between Maine, Florida and on the road with their 5 very soon to be 6 children that she home schools.

Go follow her adventures and soak in the eye candy while you're at it!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Photography classes open for registration!

I just opened up registration for 2 of my photography classes, my brand new class for intermediate photographers and one for beginners too. Care to join me for the fun?

Lightroom 101 is a digital editing class for beginners. It starts in October so it'll be a great distraction when the weather starts to cool off and the days start to grow shorter. This class is entirely online and is for anyone who wants to learn to edit their photos and make the the best they can be. Using Lightroom (an Adobe product) Lightroom 101 we’ll learn how to crop, make photos brighter or darker, boost the contrast and even convert them to black & white photos. We’ll also learn how to whiten teeth, make eyes sparkle, fill shadows and more! You don't have to own Lightroom since you can use Adobe’s free trial and try it out during the class before deciding to buy it. There’s also no need to be “in class” any particular time because you check in when it’s convenient for you. I'll be there the whole time though for questions, clarifications, and to help point you in the right direction on every photo. 

But you don't have to take my word for it. Here's what Melissa, one of my students, had to say about the class.
I learned so much from the Lightroom class!  Nancy’s lessons are very clear, easy to follow, and packed with information and tons of useful tips!  Before this class I hesitated a lot with my editing, worried that I didn’t know what I was doing, but now that it has been so clearly explained  I am really enjoying it and my photos look fantastic! 

More details and the link to register for the Lightroom 101 class are HERE.  

I also opened up registration for the class, Enlighten Me: A Study of Light and Photography. This online class is for intermediate photographers so all students must be comfortable shooting in Manual mode, be able to achieve proper exposure and sharp focus, and be able to do a clean edit with ACR/Bridge or Lightroom editing software prior to class starting.  The class will discuss many different types of natural light setting including back lighting, low light, and shooting in full direct sunlight. But we won't stop there. Then we'll also take our pics into editing and learn how to polish them up to be the best they can be! I expect this to be a smaller class since it starts quite soon on August 3rd! 

Here's what Deb, a student who to the Beta version of this class, had to say about it. 

It’s soooo good – the best class yet imo (the others have been great too but this one pulls everything together – lots of lightbulb moments & pushing us to try new things) & so much fun!!
The rest of the details and the link to register for the Enlighten Me class are HERE. And if you have any questions about either class, please don't hesitate to contact me.  

I hope to see you there! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Jude on golf

We don't do a lot of extracurricular sports with our younger children, like hardly any unless I child pleads with us for over a year or so. In a world that keeps families so busy that it's hard to keep your head screwed on straight much less have family dinner together, it's one of the things we've tried to reduce as much as possible. It works for us. But unwinding during the summer is different. It affords us more time to do things we wouldn't otherwise. All the children have gotten golf lessons and participated in golf tournaments in the summers. Eventually, at about age 13 or so, they start to try to find ways to get out of it. Golf comes more naturally to some than others. I tried it a few times, and even got lessons. It felt like the strangest thing ever! And even though Jude is a tiny guy, but he appears to be naturally athletic, so golf is one of his favorite sports. Time will tell if he sticks with it, but for now, he certainly enjoys it! This year the youngest 4 children participated, Boo, Jude, Tess and Mimi. 

So here's Jude's take on golf! 
"I think I was done with golf in this pic cause I don't have golf clubs. I lost a tooth the night before! I couldn't find it but then Mom found it on the floor." 
"When I play golf, I have fun. I like playing golf so much. The best part is the lunch we have after (the tournament) They give out trophies. I won a trophy because I had the least amount of hits. I had 5 hits and made it in the hole. The other players did good too, but my cousin got more than me. I was the best. I felt like I would move on and do good on 3 holes. So now I play 3 holes. 

I practice with my brother, Boo. We play all the way to Granna's house, (3 holes) then we get a soda and we call mom and she comes to pick us up.  

Someday I think I'm going to do 18 holes. And I'm going to hit a hole-in-one someday.

Golf is great, but my favorite sport is baseball still."
"I am walking to my ball to hit it with my 7 iron. I used to share with Tess, but now I have my own golf clubs."
"I don't like this picture. It's just a sign. It's silly when my mom takes pictures of signs."
"I'm taking a practice swing. It's hard to see the ball. Then I step and hit the ball for reals. My feet are pointing the wrong direction. I'm going to hit it into the forest."
"After we are done playing, we shake each other's hands and say 'Good game' because we don't want to be a sore loser. I don't remember these boy's names." 
"This is when I won a trophy on one-hole, when I had a 5. I was the lowest score so I won. I tied with someone else, and we both got a trophy. Now I play 3 holes, and I keep on practicing!"

I do love this boy!
Whether it be golf, baseball, archery, rock climbing, dentistry, poetry, or heart surgery... I can't wait to see where he goes!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Stink eye

I'm a blue collar gal and didn't really know 'nothin bout golf till my kids started playing. Now I can drive that cute little cart really well, but that's just about the extent of my skill. 

But I had to share this picture with you. This is the little girl's golf foursome. Seriously... how cute are they?! And amidst all those proud smiles, look who's giving me the stink eye!
Good golly I love that child for every reason! She might be the death of me, but she's strong and powerful and a challenge to raise and everything wonderful! 
PS - If I'm remembering correctly, I think she scored a 27... on one hole. Everybody has to start somewhere.

Friday, July 10, 2015

An insignificant thing

This is Baby Squirrel.
I know some of you may think of these little guys as vermin. But we're actually quite fond of them here. We feed them and hope they come back. We've even named them.
This year we have 3 squirrels that visit us often. Funky, Baby Squirrel and Baby Squirrel. I thought it was just one baby squirrel until I saw them together squabbling over the peanuts. ps-baby squirrels squabbling over peanuts is just about the cutest thing ever.

Anyone remember This is Daryl. And my other brother Daryl. Ya I know I'm dating myself, but it's like that. This is Baby Squirrel. And our other friend Baby Squirrel. Funky evidently had an unfortunate tail accident. Originally we called him Funky Tail, but it got shortened to just Funky. Ya, original names aren't our forte. We're lucky our kids aren't named Betty and Bob and Sally and John and Bob and Sally and Sally.

This post has no deep meaning or significance. If you're looking for some, stop now. This is what consumes our days at the cabin. A lot of nothing. Nothing, and it's insignificance.

Bliss in short.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Evolution of a Tire Swing

I suspect that eventually, it will happen with all my children. It has happened with all of the bigs so far. As they get older, they don't want to come up to Little Cabin in the Woods as much. It is a boring place after all. But it's sad for me when that time comes. Right around age 13-ish they start to look for excuses not to come. They simply  get to the age where they just don't enjoy making dirt piles in the forest, hunting for heffalumps for hours on end or playing with sticks under the tall pines like the littles do. Or reading a book on the porch, listening to the quiet and solitude of the wind rustling through the trees, and being bored like us adults do. Nevertheless, unless there is a great excuse (and boy do they try) they still have to come and "be a family" at our Little Cabin in the Woods.

Knowing this was coming, I planned a project for the big boys, Patch and Boo.  Their job was to construct a tire swing for their little sisters. No assistance except for a model of one that a neighbor cabin has a few doors down. It's a small town so I gave Patch the verbiage to use at the tire store. "I'm building a tire swing for my little sisters. How much do you charge for a used tire?" The tire was free and came with instructions that if they ever needed any replacements, they would be free too, 'cause really could you resist a 16-year-old boy making a tire swing for his little sisters?! As is should be.
With those eyes, there's not much any of us deny her. Extra dessert. Cuddles. Tire swings.  
Not that the project wasn't without it's fair share of sibling rivalry. It's pretty easy to see who is the alpha dog here. 
4 days later and about 15 trips to the local Ace Hardware, (I'm not exaggerating. Lucky for me he has a driver's license now!) they did it!

And their sisters could not be happier!

And... this kid... the one that actually had to do most of the work...
For as much as he drives me crazy, and oh ya, at times he absolutely does, he still melts my heart. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Pow-Wow in the Pines (The last one... I think)

I wish I had some flag-waving, Uncle Sam patriotic pic for you today.
I don't.
But I do have the last (I think) of the pow-wow pics. It's kinda my favorite.
The movement captured here in combination with the color is more than I hoped to capture.

Come to think of it, I guess it's more patriotic than anything else I could have posted.
Happy U.S.A. birthday!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Pow-Wow in the Pines (I couldn't stop looking at her!)

I don't know if it was the gorgeous contrast of the sky behind her, of those amber brown eyes and dark features or what. But I felt like a bit of a stalker. I stalked her with my lens for the brief 5-ish minutes that I saw her. I don't think anyone noticed. Hopefully. This pic was one of the first that I took, as she stood waiting for her turn to dance.
I wish I knew who she was. I'd love to get this pic to her mama.

Speaking of wishes, I wish I had another pow-wow to go to. I'm running dangerously low on pics to edit and I'm getting bored. I wish someone would hire this pasty white, Caucasian, 1/64th Choctaw soccer mom from the desert to come photograph a pow-wow, cause truth be told, I'd do it for practically nothing. Whatever am I going to do until next year?!

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