Friday, June 27, 2014


Three means you are no longer an toddler, but a big girl and that is what Addy is becoming.  She is on the verge leaving all things baby behind.  She is almost completely potty trained , but needs to make the leap of staying dry through the night.  Bottles are another big hurtle as she is super attached to them.  I have tried just about every sippy cup on the planet and she is not buying them.  She is kind of a terrorist when it comes to what she wants.  She is so stronged will!  I probably need to hire a therapist or something in learning how to deal with her because if I don't we are in big trouble down the road.  I did stand my ground with her today and after 10 minutes of repeating myself she finally did what I asked her to do.  Anyway, I am digressing as this was post was meant to celebrate her birthday.  Addy turned three last week, but because of Avery's surgery we had to postpone her party until this week when Avery could get back in the pool again.  The kids had so much fun swimming.  It was a perfect party!  Happy Birthday Baby Girl! Papa and Mommy love you so much!  Your on your way to becoming a big girl!  Love you!  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Baby H Photoshoot Part 2

It is one thing to take photos of your own children and another of someone else's children.  This past week I completed the photoshoot of Baby H and her family. It was a huge learning experience. I have always been in awe of photographers and the magic they create through the lens. So many things go into making a great photo such as location, time of day, clothing, the camera being used and the lens you choose to use, and with children their willingness to cooperate.  Let's not forget editing because the photographers ability to use Photoshoot and Lightroom translate into maybe a photo that was not usable becomes usable because a switch of a head or a complete cut out of an unwanted item.  Sadly, my Photoshop skills are not their yet.  I wish they were because then maybe I could have saved this last photo. Mom really wanted a photo of all three children, but big sister wasn't buying having her photo taken. We tried everything.  The whole photoshoot mom and I danced around her trying to get her to smile.  Needless to say, the shot didn't happen.  I do find the photo kind of funny.  Thankfully her parents were able to find humor in the moment too!  Being on the other side of the lens I know when you have photos taken you want great photos and it can be disappointing when your children don't want to cooperate.  That is probably one of the reason  These are just a few of the shots that were taken I think they came out pretty good for an amateur.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Winston Goes to Georgia Tech!

Each summer Georgia Tech provides summer camps for students of various age groups.  The camps are pretty difficult to get into and you have to have your school officials sign that you are capable of the work that you will be doing while at the camp.  This year Winston had the opportunity to attend a camp that focused on Architecture.  The students studied the history of architecture, its importance, visited an architectural firm, an then were challenged to create their own street front.  On the final day of camp the children gave a presentation off what they learned. It was a really great experience for Winston.  Harris will be attending a camp at Tech at the end of July on how to develop Apps for computers.

Wow!  What a month it has been and it is still not over.  When I was initially looking at the calender it didn't look like we had much going on, but we have been so busy.  Last night we went to see the Movie How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Harris went to a camp out in friends backyard.  This week we have a couple of follow up doctor appointments, I need to get my hair done for our vacation next week to Williamsburg, Addy is having her birthday party as she turned 3 on Friday, and a homecoming for a family who is bringing their 6th child home from China.  On top of that the World Cup has been on the television every night.  Wow! Who would have thought Spain the winners of 2010 World Cup would have gone home after the first round and U.S.A is playing amazing against Portugal. Along with who would have thought Germany would have not won it's game against Ghana!  Are you watching the games?  What is one your plate this week?  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Her Eyes

There is so much we don't know about Avery.  I try not to think about it because it makes me sad.  I don't know who her biological  parents are, where she was born, when she was born, or any of the medical information that goes along with her birth.  She was abandoned.  Sadly this is the reality for many children in China because of the one child policy and because many parents can't afford medical treatment for their children they just abandon them; however, because it is illegal to abandon your child these children are left in secret with no information in regards to their birth.  When we got Avery she came to us with an eye condition called Stabismus or otherwise known as cross-eyed.  This condition can be present at birth or can occur from lack of brain stimulation like being left in a crib for extended periods of time.  The later is probably the case for Avery, but we will never really know.  When we brought her home we took her to an eye doctor who determined that she would need to wear an eye patch for 2 months and then she would need to have her eyes surgically repaired.  Yesterday was the day.  We arrived at the clinic at 6:30 a.m. and she was the first patient of the day.  The procedure lasted 45 minutes in which they cut the muscle in the eye and re-align the eyes. Sometimes just one eye is effected, but in her case both eyes needed to be repaired.  Poor thing was so sad when we held her again.  She spent most of yesterday in my arms either sleeping or crying as her eyes were sore.  We will be laying low the next couple of days in order to give her eyes time to heal.  We also have to put eye drops in her eyes 4 times a day.  She hates the drops as they sting, but are necessary in order to prevent infection.  While I know this was the best thing for her and her development, I am going to miss her silly eyes that at times were kind of freaky; especially, when she would turn the left eye all the way in.  I have heard mothers say after having their cleft lip-cleft palate children lips repaired that they mourn the loss of the smile they grew to love and this is the case for me with Avery, and at the same time I am so grateful she has the opportunity to have this repaired.  This would have never been the case in China.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sea Base

Frank and Harris returned home last night just in time for Avery's eye surgery this morning (more on that later) from Sea Base. What is Sea Base?  A camp run by the Boy Scouts for Varsity Scouts that provides a week long scuba diving adventure in the Florida Keys.  Scouts from all over the United States attend the camp along with their leaders and dads.  The camp is home to about 500 individuals at any given time. The boys had a blast. I tried to get Frank to write this post because some of the stories he tells about the week are pretty funny like how one day they got kind of lost. I guess the compass didn't work and they got separated from the group.  They ended up being a mile away from their boat.  Thankfully, no one was hurt and the boat found them.  I am so proud of Frank for going with Harris because Frank hates camping.  He always says to me, "There is a reason why men built homes, and it was to get away from the elements.  Why do I need to go back."  It was hot, sticky, the food was not so great, I don't think anyone got any sleep all week long, but he did it and for that I am proud.  Did you ever go to camp as a kid?  I did ! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

One year ago, 5 years ago "Corner View"

A year ago, we were getting ready to celebrate Adelaide's second birthday, Roman had an MRI, Winston went to Germany to spend the summer with his Oma and Opa, Harris went to a camp at Georgia Tech,and Avery was in China waiting for a family while we were desperately waiting to see her face for the first time. This week Winston is at Georgia Tech at a camp, Addy is going to turn 3, Avery is getting braver and braver when it comes to going in the pool, Roman is on the other side of surgery and doing fantastic, and Harris and Frank are in Florida scuba diving with the Boy Scouts.

5 years ago, Harris was in Germany with his Oma and Opa, we traveled to Maryland to see Tim and Clara get married and then went to visit Cousins in Boston.

5 years has brought lots of adventures, lots of growth, and many memories and here I am still participating in Corner View.  Many have moved on, but I will probably be here till the day we all decide it has run it's course.  I have met some in person and grown to love and care for all those who participate each week.  To see more Corner Views around the world go here!  We would love to have you join us on our adventure each week.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Baby H

Last week I did my first newborn baby shoot and boy was their a huge learning curve involved on my part.
Now I have been taking photos of my children and all our adventures from the beginning of time, but it isn't every day that I get to take photos of little babies.  There is a saying that the baby is in control and that is was so true on this day.  Our best laid out plans to create certain poses were not in the cards.  This baby wasn't buying the whole idea of getting naked despite my home being warm enough to feel like we were on a tropical island.  Isn't she sweet!  We are going to take some photos of her with her family tomorrow if the weather cooperates.  It has been raining here on and off for the past week.

Here is what I did to prepare for this shoot: I  purchased a white noise app for my phone, I bought two large white foam boards at Office Max which were great for reflecting light and would have been used as a back drop had the baby been interested in doing some of the poses we wanted to do.  I laid out everything in advance like headbands, extra blankets, wipes, and baskets. I had an extra memory card and batteries were charged.  I turned off the air-conditioning and fans.  I set a couple hours aside for the shoot and boy did we need them as miss wanted to eat. I did buy a external flash because it has been cloudy here, but in end I didn't use it and took it back. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Would you leave a Child in a Car alone?

Would you leave a child in a Car alone seems to be the biggest question being asked right now after reading this article?  Don't judge me, but I have!  I have left my children in the car while at Domino's or at the dry cleaners, but then my car wasn't probably more than 10 feet from me and I could see my car at all times. I have never left my children in the car while getting my hair done, getting my nails done, or while grocery shopping.  My mom use to leave me in the car.  I remember clearly her running into Kmart or the grocery store for an item or two. I was never left in the car on a hot day or for more than 10-15 minutes.  I wasn't kidnapped.  I am sure I even developed patience from the action.  While I do not agree with this woman leaving her 4 year old in the car even if it wasn't hot, does it make her a criminal?  In my opinion she should have made the child go in with her or turned around and left without getting the child the headphones. At 4, I don't believe the child would not have known not to open the doors for a stranger. Would I have reported her?  No, unless the child was in danger because of heat exposure, and this child wasn't.  The reason why I am bringing up the article is do you know what your state laws are?  Do you know how old your child needs to be in order to stay in the car alone or home alone for that matter.  The article got me curious about what my state laws were on this matter.  A few years ago, I got a ticket for not moving over for a police man.  I didn't even know it was a law.  It had only been made a law a couple months previously.  When I went to court they gave me an opportunity to speak to an attorney.  I told the attorney my story and he told me ignorance is not a plea for not guilty.  Since it was my first traffic offence, I got a reduced ticket!  It was still pretty stiff.  Anyway, What do you think?

Roman 2010

Friday, June 13, 2014


My little boy is no longer a little boy.  It is hard to imagine he is almost all grown up!  He is now taller than his father and I by an inch. This week he past the test to get his permit to learn how to drive.  Immediately following his papa gave him his first lesson in a near by parking lot to celebrate!  How is is possible that the baby who cried all the time, who turned into a curious and adventurous toddler, who turned into a boy who loves all things in regards to computers is now old enough to drive.  I am still having a hard time wrapping my mind around this, but the reality is that the time has come (insert a little bit teary eyed.)  We are so proud of him!  He worked really hard his freshman year and brought home all A's except for one B in an advance level math course, and we will take that B as it was really hard to achieve.  This week he is off to Florida with his papa and the Boy Scouts to Sea Base a diving school camp.  He is fast on his way to becoming a Master Diver! Well it is Friday and I am looking forward to relaxing.  Oh and check out that smile!  He got his braces off!  Nothing to major on my agenda.  I just finished editing my first newborn baby shoot.  Boy was that hard and I am not sure I have a career in shooting newborns.  The poor little baby wanted nothing to do with having her photo taken.  I did get some great shots of her with her mother and we might try to give it another go in a week or too!  Definitely, we will be watching some soccer.  While I am still rooting for Germany which may be a long shot after loosing one of their best players in a friendly match the day before leaving for Brazil, I am happy that Brazil won their first came against Croatia 3:1.  Winston and I watched the game while enjoying Ice Cream Sunday and popcorn. Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Collections "Corner View"

If you know me, you would no I am not much of a collector.  I just don't like dusting and to be honest I find stuff begins to own you not the other way around; however, if one were to look at it from another perspective maybe I am a memory collector.  I have albums and albums of photos, scrapbook, and blog books.  I have kept some form of journal since I was about 12 years old.  Thursday is the beginning of the World Cup Soccer Championship.  Winston has begun his collection of soccer stickers.  He purchased his album yesterday and a giant pack of stickers.  This tradition began 6 years ago when we lived in Switzerland. The boys have about 3 albums now.  So here I am collecting sweet memories of what my boys love collecting.  I know this is last weeks topic, but we were in the hospital and I guess is better late than never right.

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane of Spain Daily, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Blessing

A Blessing is certainly what Avery is along with the rest of our children, but today was a special day in which my husband gave our daughter a blessing in our church congregation.  When a child is born, fathers give their children and name and a blessing.  We believe these blessings are words inspired from God that are meant to guide and direct our children throughout their lives.  A blessing is separate from being baptized as we don't baptize babies.  Now Avery isn't a baby, but she is still intitled to a blessing.  It was a special day for our family!  This past week also marked the 5 month mark of her joining our family.  We love this little girl to the moon and back.    I love my family even when a couple of them act crazy when we try to take family photo's!  Thank you Avery for joining our family and making it even better!  Thank you Nana for making Avery's dress.  The dress was extra special as it was made from my wedding dress!  

A Day in the Park "Photography Shoot"

Recently, my neighbor asked me if I would take some pictures of her and her boys.  I was thrilled.  She wanted them to be natural and so we came up with the idea of doing a photography shoot in the park.  At first the boys were not buying the idea of getting their photos taken, and a quick decision to have her bring their scooters with them saved the day.  They came alive.  It was pure magic.  In a year or two the girls will be in school full time and I think I would like to turn my hobby into a way of making a little extra cash.  Until then I need to build a portfolio.