This is my first time posting to I Heart Faces. I thought it looked like a fun theme. Smiles! Since it's snowing outside and my kids are fighting inside, I had to get away somehow. And this image just makes me happy!

This was one of cute families that I got to photograph this fall. You probably can't tell that they were all growling right before I snapped this!


a new do

For awhile now, Riley has been getting rather creative with her hair. As in cutting creative. None of it was so bad that it had to be dealt with until she tried to cut the rubber bands out of her hair. I was all for cutting it, but Cameron would always throw a mini tantrum about how much he liked her long hair, choppy or not. But I couldn't take it anymore. It got to the point of having a girl mullet and that just wasn't going to do. Usually I can trim it and be OK. But with it being long, I didn't want to mess it up, not that I couldn't have done worse than she had. So we went to a 'hair store' to get the grown up hair. (I took full advantage of her bad hair by not even combing it before we went. ha!)

the end!


do you like free stuff?

A couple of months ago I started an Etsy shop selling headbands. Wanna see it? Go HERE.


It's been a fun little adventure and has certainly kept me busy. I just had my 100th order yesterday. That doesn't include all the custom orders I've gotten either. Like the one from some lady in Australia who ordered FORTY. 40!

Today, you can win something for free.

Go to a little etsy love and you can win 25 bucks worth of stuff!

Good luck!


Thanks to my friend Shelley for so many of the AMAZING pictures that she took for me!


Fun with Farklers on the Fourth

Cameron was a good sport and decided to help me and try something fun with sparklers (Maren calls them farklers). It was hot outside and mosquitoes were everywhere. He thought, when I asked him, that I was going to be bossy about how I wanted to do it. By the end, he was having fun and we used up all the sparklers. We also found out, he is very bad at cursive writing. (Anerica!) Just kidding. He says that he hasn't written in cursive since the 3rd grade. Plus, it's a little bit hard to know what you are writing in the air.

I also wanted to get a shot of all the firefly's in the backyard. It's the coolest thing. It looks like a ton of twinkly lights all along the grass. But, Cameron was done by then. Oh well.

Can I get an "Ahhhhhhh"?


This was our lesson for family home evening a few nights ago. It was Cameron's turn to be in charge of everything. He starts by saying something about wasting time and never getting it back and then he pulls out a dollar bill from his wallet and just starts ripping it to pieces. The kids eyes were all huge. They couldn't believe it.
Later that night, Cameron said that he thought that he made a pretty big impression on them with his lesson. I stopped to think about it, and I couldn't remember what he said because the whole time I was thinking 'there goes your Whopper Jr. for lunch tomorrow!'
Sorry, but I think you just lost a dollar!


today's lunch menu

I don't know why, but this just makes me happy.

It was funny listening to them eating. Riley would say very excited that she found a "B". Maren would say, "That's not a B, it doesn't have a pokey bum." Then they would laugh really hard.

This is what's on tonight's family movie night menu.


we're havin a party

for this girly! Today she turns 5! She's been on the count down since about 15 days ago. Every morning she would let us know how many more days till her birthday.

Riley is such a joy to have around. (except for when you are cleaning up her messes. which is daily!) She has the best laugh around and has the best twinkly eyes ever!

She can't wait for her party. We are going to be having a little chef's party. All her idea. Makes me totally nervous to have a bunch of 5 year olds donned with extreme mess making equipment, but we're going with it. There will be personal pizza making, cupcake decorating, pretzel dipping and a few games thrown in. She can't wait.

We love you Riley! We are so so so so so so so so soooo blessed to have you!


happy valentine's!

These were what the kids handed out for their Valentine's this year. So much more fun than the same kind that I used to give out when I was a kid. You'd think with how much time that has gone by, someone would think of something better to do. We've gotten pretty good at making our own every year. So this was this years.

My favorite was when Zack was in Kindergarten, he was 5. We were making his Valentine's. We had some bags and a piece of paper at the top and some ric-rac to tie it all off. They were looking really cute and Zack said, very sure of himself, "The lady's are gonna love these." We still use that line quite often around our house. It was pretty funny.


my little Coleman

has a little fear. That's Cameron on the beach and Maren at the bottom of the lake. He said he's been thinking about it for awhile. I guess we won't be taking any trips to the beach for awhile.


Last week I had to go to Walmart, which truly only happens maybe once a year when I give into the pressure and the poverty, and decide I can possibly stomach the trip from the overwhelming feeling of the winning I will get from the mind blowing savings. It never goes well, it always sucks, and I always say (after I threaten to burn it down) that I am never going to go there ever again. But I had to, it was the closest place to where I was. And I needed to get a Mr. Clean scrubber thingy because of the great promises to remove everything.

All because of this, from my darling little babe.

We have MULTIPLE talks in our house about drawing on paper ONLY. Everyone knows this, yet it still happens. It really is a head scratcher. Really.

So, I decide she is going to help clean it off. Before I even hand her the scrubber, she is complaining that she doesn't know how to clean. Uh, how many times have we done this? We continue on. And so does the whining. Eventually, I dismiss her and do it by myself.

Two seconds later, she comes in and says, "I just wanted to draw of picture of you Mom, so you can sleep with me at night."

Ugh. My heart. I use any and all the LOVE I can muster to hug and cuddle with her as we enjoy the masterpiece she created. So it stayed, at least one more night.

my picture is on the left and on the right is a picture of a dolphin


Sunday was the last day for Christmas break for Zack, Coleman and Riley. They had fun not doing the school thing for 2 weeks. They even got bored a few times. They came to me one time and asked what they could do. I told them to throw out some suggestions of what they thought would be fun. All of them included spending money, like bowling, movie, going to Target. (I'm so glad they find this to be a fun past time, just like me.) I told them no, we couldn't do those things now, maybe another day, since it was dinner time. Then they just broke down saying things like:
"We're tired of t.v.!" huh?
"We're sick of playing video games!" what the?
"We don't want to play with toys!" say again?!
I was looking forward to getting back into a schedule having their days filled with things again.

Sunday, it also snowed all. day. long. Cameron and I were talking and I said something to the effect of how bad it would suck if the kids had a snow day.

5:00 am Monday morning we get the automated call from the school saying school was cancelled. Oh well, what's one more day. Plus it was really fun getting to sleep in till 7:45 when the boys came running in saying they were going to be late. I had a little fun with them telling them I wasn't going to make them go to school if they didn't want to.

SO, Monday became the new last day of Christmas vacation and they took dad up on his offer to play xbox as long as they wanted. And they did.

The girls just played barbies and dress ups all day long. I'm sure Maren was glad for the friend.

I got through part of my pile of projects that the girls are playing on.

Riley's school was cancelled for today also. So she has had 2 snow days. I told her she didn't have school today and she was so sad. She was asking me something about it and her voice started to get all quivery and shaky because she has missed going. Hopefully it will stop snowing long enough for her to go tomorrow.


my love letter

Coleman went outside to play. When he was done, he hurried as fast as he could to take everything off to show me what he made me outside.

Here, let me help.

He's so cute!


Coleman's birthday

The 30th was Coleman's 7th birthday. Sometimes it's still weird to think that he is 7. He's still just as cute and sweet, emotional and dramatic as he was when we brought him home. When he was a baby and I would leave him home with Cameron, I would ALWAYS get a phone call an hour later with him freaking out in the background. Cameron would always say that he was "barking" again. And that's what it sounded like. Barking. For no reason at all.

Life hasn't changed much with Coleman. Just this morning as I was sending him out the door to catch the bus that was at the end of the road, he broke down crying. For no reason at all. I don't know what kind of recipe of hormones we gave that kid, but there is always something brewing in that little body of his.

BUT, Coleman also has the best work ethic of any of our kids. He will stick with a job until it's done. No matter what. He will not leave anything undone. The second he walks through the door after school, he pulls his homework out and gets it done before anything else. It's awesome. He is also everyone's best friend. He would do anything for you if you asked him to. With all the good and bad that comes with him, it all balances out to make one pretty great kid.

These were the first pictures that I got of him. This was me telling him to smile good and stop looking so tortured. The ones above are Cameron standing behind me doing the River Dance and promising ice cream.

Coleman got to have his birthday party on his birthday, which he was very excited about. And, it was a "night party". This was a big deal to all the kids. I guess they all were talking about it and how cool it was to go to a party at night. Funny.

This party was also not an exclusive boy party. He invited . . . GIRLS! He either saw it as no big deal ( boys/girls, they're all the same ), he likes the girls he invited ( we saw a lot of the girls sitting close to him ), or he wanted to torture me by inviting more people. I haven't figured out which one it was yet.



I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween. I love the excitement of the night of trick-or-treating, but I hate the prep work just to get out the door. And then I really don't like the asking for candy every 2 minutes for the next 3 months. When you have 4 kids, all trick-or-treating, you kind of make a haul.

Funny story. Coleman wanted to be a storm trooper. We were going to make it, but ran out of time. We had a friend that said they had a costume they weren't using, so we went with that. Plus we already had the helmet. He goes to put it on and freaks out. We finally figured out that the helmet was from Star Wars 4 and the suit was from Star Wars 2. (or something like that) The helmet and the suit didn't match up to what movies they were from. Completely ridiculous! So he switched seconds before we were walking out the door to Darth Vader, which we already had.

Zack was death. Cameron whipped that one together for me. He even sewed the costume!

Riley and Maren were witch princesses. Maren is very specific about that. I made their skirts and their brooms. Can we say extreme? Yep! I only got this one picture of Maren that night, so I had to take them out and get more. They were pretty cute!

By the end of the night, everyone was freezing. Zack and Coleman were done. Maren didn't care either way, she could go home or stay out. But Riley, when she found out we were heading home, she planted her feet and was determined to stay out as long as she could. Even though she was freezing and shivering. Of course, we won! It was cold!