Category Archives: Photo Moments

Sept 8 Week in Pictures

Cartwheels, Japanese Mail, and Confidence: Our Week in Pictures

Recently, I have embraced using my phone to capture the moments of our lives. I’m going to try something new  – sharing it with you at the end of each week. (If you’re interested in the stories behind the pictures, scroll on down.)

While the kids were in a class, I got to have a few hours to myself strolling the zoo and discovered something that I have overlooked every time. It was fun strolling through the tall grasses – and it struck me how much my children would not enjoy this little peaceful interlude – which is probably why I normally walk on by without even noticing.

My son taught me that the giraffes follow the palm trees and rest in the shade. Do you see how all but one has arranged themselves squarely in the shade of tree? It sure does space them out nicely for pictures! And, if you look really hard, you’ll notice 4 more giraffes in the background – it was really a lovely photo-op – a close second to my favorite giraffe picture.

My beautiful daughter submitted to having her photo taken with only a minimal amount of resistance – just for me….cause she loves me. :-) You know, she is a teenager now, so I guess they magically decide that they don’t like the camera anymore.

Rex really loves everything about bamboo, so I couldn’t resist this fun picture. I think if he gets his hands on some, one day I am going to find a bamboo forest on the side of our house. I thought about creating one there for him at one time – until I found out how hard it is to get rid of!

After taking this photo from several {dozen} different angles and then having the my initial inspiration turn out the best, I gained confidence to trust my creative juices and took this next photo in one shot. {It’s not in the collage above.}

The only edit done to this is the addition of the text. I’m glad that I didn’t second guess myself and spend too much time on this one.

We had a lively dinner discussion one night about radioactive materials, Chernobyl, and how microwaves work. All inspired because we eat over a world map on our dinner table. Now we have books on hold from the library to learn more.

When unloading the dishwasher one day, my daughter realized that the ice scream scoop was misaligned. I set it aside to “wait for Daddy,” and she asked me if she could fix it. I told her sure. She got it apart, and spent about 15 {ore more} minutes trying to repair it.  She understood what needed to be done, but just couldn’t get it quite there. Then I tried for another 30 minutes or so…. Turned out that the metal was bent – once that was fixed, it works perfectly again.

I love the positions that the gorillas get into. Don’t you just love how she is kicked back without a care in the world? And, those gorilla feet! Who couldn’t like gorilla feet?

I was really digging this one bench and practicing taking self photos. I got a lot of pictures of the ground – and one that was really scary close – but, I think this one turned out ok. Sometimes, it can be fun to visit somewhere by yourself that is usually considered a shared activity {but only sometimes… I wouldn’t want to do it too often}

Monkey has been teaching herself Japanese because she hopes to study art in Japan one day. I surprised her by ordering her the course and university information – and she was thrilled – especially once she realized that, with the exception of the front page, it was all in Japanese!

We almost stepped on this guy as we left the zoo. I was afraid he was dead at first, but he kind of moved a little bit. I would say that he walked, but during my son’s Animal Devotions, we learned that dragonflies don’t walk {they only land}, so either it flew/hopped or this wasn’t a dragonfly. Rex’s theory was that it was drying out, but Monkey thought that it was dying. Funny how much of a difference one little ole letter makes… {I’m hoping Rex was right, so that I wasn’t taking photos of a dying insect.}

Rex asked me to teach him how to do a cartwheel this week, and it took him only a few tries before he was able to get over and land on his feet. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that I could easily do one myself – although we won’t discuss how sore I was the next day! We had a great time, and he feels great knowing that he can do cartwheels like the other boys now. Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of a moving boy with a camera phone?

I’m busy reading Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School which, even given the title, is really directed more towards schooled kids, but I am still learning a lot and gaining so many new ideas. This page spoke to me so much that I had to take a picture so that I remembered to share it with hubby when I got back home.

I hope you enjoyed walking through this week of our adventures. What did you do this week? I’d love to hear about your adventures in the comments!


banana spider

Unexpected Fun

You know how sometimes when you give a toddler a toy, and all they want to play with is the box? Recently, we had a similar situation at the zoo. Now, don’t get me wrong – some days at the zoo are filled with zoo type activity! But, on this particular day, with all of the zoo animals around, our biggest source of fascination was this Banana Spider – also known as a Golden Orb-Web Spider.

We got to see him (or her) work on the web – taking it down and restringing it. What was really cool {and a little scary} was how quickly he could run up and down the web. Unfortunately, every time I tried to video him, he stopped.

My favorite picture of the day? This one where the spider looks as big as my nephew – gotta love creative photography!

I’m so glad that my sister noticed this guy because we must have stood there and watched him for a good 15 minutes. Do you have any memories of unexpected fun? I would love to hear about it in the comments!


hammocks in a tree

Relax and Renew

When was the last time you relaxed? Let your children relax?

No, I don’t mean the let’s take a day off of school {so that we can clean the house} kind of relaxing.

I mean total relaxation – letting all the cares slip away and just be.

No responsibilities.


I ran across these girls celebrating their Spring Break.

Can you imagine anything more relaxing?

Now, I’m not suggesting that you necessarily need to run out and hang a hammock in a tree, but I did get inspired to try to take some real time off. Not that I would ever be guilty of that fake time off where I take care of housework instead. {Yeah, right.}

So, that’s my next assignment – plan a day {or maybe even a few days} of complete relaxation for the family.

What are some of your family’s favorite ways to cut loose and forget about all your cares? Tell me about it in the comments – we definitely need ideas!

Oh, and in case you’ve been inspired by these wonderfully creative young ladies, they told me that those hammocks are called ENO Hammocks.


Pygmy Goat in the food dish

All Mine! {Wordless Wednesday w/linky}

What would your caption be? Tell me in the comments

I can’t wait to see your wordless (or wordy) posts – link up!

The only good jellyfish… (WW)

Electronic Vacation (WW)

This is going to be my wordiest Wordless Wednesday EVER  lol

Five Minutes into our “Experiment”, the doubts started. A weekend without electronics?!? Had I LOST MY MIND? As it turns out the answer, loud and clear, was a resounding No.

So, what did we do on this electronic holiday you ask?  Well….

Within 15 minutes, I happened across the kids playing together in Monkey’s room (which she rarely allows)

We said goodbye to an era…. My daughter got rid of all her Barbies, Play Dishes, Fairies, etc… It kind of hit me that she is growing up and putting away childish things……

Jacket designed by Monkey

but, before we put them into the Garage Sale box, we got to play together dressing them – because everyone knows you can’t (or shouldn’t) sell naked Barbies.  We also marveled over some of the outfits she had created for them using scrap fabric.  LOL

I refused to let her get rid of this little beauty though – this is a “Board Game” that the Monkey made when she was about 8 years old called “Mathematical Bell”  I put it up high in her closet because I figure it will be fun when she discovers it again when packing up her room to go to college or get married. :-)

We played with Play-Doh together.

 Rex with his penguin army and Monkey with her pretty star.

Rex learned how to climb a tree that he’s had his eye on (AND how to get down)

We did the Laundry (two weeks worth – yikes!)

We went grocery shopping and then cooked most of the week’s meals. (and made quite a mess doing it…)

and, then we cleaned up the Kitchen together (nope, no picture – you’ll just have to trust me…)  – which left us enough time to Play Canasta! 

 What a GREAT weekend!  Rex even suggested that we make it a regular thing and I think he’s on to something there….because this is the first weekend in a long time that I can remember thinking – Wow, that just went by TOO fast!

YOUR TURN:  How do you make sure that your family has quality (as well as quantity) time together?

Not Always as It Seems (WW linky)

Peaceful to Look at…….Difficult to Do

Shrimp Boat picture taken by Gidget on 9/9/2011

Wordless Wednesday — Irony

Wordless Wednesday – End of Summer…Homemade