Wednesday, November 27, 2013

High School Musical Live

I am going back and blogging some of the smaller summer moments that mean a lot to me.  A major problem with falling behind is that I tend to miss the small moments.

Back in June we took the kids and Nana to dinner and then High School Musical Live at the Miller Outdoor Theater. We did an evening show so that the weather would be pleasant.  We had a fantastic night!  I cannot say enough good things about.  I was shocked that Colton enjoyed the show as much as he did.  Cannot wait for the opportunity to do this again!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gorgeous Senior Pictures

Its no secret I enjoy photography.  I enjoy my camera.  I love the editing process.  I just enjoy it all around. Anytime I am asked to do a session for someone, I am honored to have someone new to practice on.  I am still learning so much about posing, lighting, Photoshop, shooting and editing in RAW so I am almost always up for a new lesson :)  

When I was asked to do her pictures, I was nervous.  She wanted her senior pictures taken and a graduation announcement designed.  She didn't want the tradition ones you could purchase, she wanted trendy and modern.  I am not sharing those as they are still to be mailed out, but I am thrilled with the result!  And I learned so much.  Thanks Laura for the opportunity!  

These are a few of my favorite images!

I also learned that I LOVE taking pictures of big kids :)  Amazing how much better she obeys compared to my 4 year old.

We Jumped

Disclaimer:  If you are a real cliff jumper, sky diver, hang glider, etc, ignore me in this post.  I am apparently a chicken so to me this was big.

I mentioned in the last post we jumped.  I felt that these pictures deserved their own post.

Inks Lake has this area called Devils Water Hole.  It is a set of rocks that crazy folks like to jump from. Since we have always visited Inks Lake during spring break, this is something we haven't experienced yet. It is entirely too cold for that in March.  My kids REQUIRED this during our August trip though.  The "normal" jumping rock is approximately 20ish feet high and the tallest being approx 40ish feet high.  EVERYONE from our party jumped on day 1.  Here is everyone in order.




Emma (Rusty is not throwing her, he is making sure she is far enough off the rocks to be safe!)






Two pictures are missing here.  One of Aaron jumping from the higher peak there on the left of the picture.  Approx 40 ish feet high.  From my understanding it was a fairly painful jump :)

The second missing picture would be me.  It took an additional 24 hours for me to muster up the courage to jump.  And, in all fairness, I am not even sure I ever really mustered up the courage.  I did not like the idea of being the only one, THE ONLY ONE, in our group to not jump so I forced myself.  Y'all words cannot describe how scared I was.  Petrified.  Terrified.  Anxious.  Panicked.  It was horrible.  I physically could not jump.  Petrified is probably a VERY accurate word.  I couldn't move.  My husband was waiting for me in the water, I was squeezing Aaron's hand way too tight.  I could not jump.  My legs would not work.  My brain simply could not understand why I was jumping from perfectly safe ground.  The best I could muster up was more of a tuck and fall off the rock :)  Very cool huh?  Um no.  Apparently I didn't look like I would make it to the water.  Looked a little to Rusty and Aaron like I could smash my terrified self on the rocks on my way down.  I did not however.  I survived.  With no one to take my picture.

In my attempt to look cool and keep up with the crowd I think actually made me look silly.  Oh well. Let this be a lesson.  Stand against peer pressure.  Or I should get new (more chicken like) friends?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Our Last Summer Hoorah

We finally got the opportunity to show the Collins' family Inks Lake.  Being we were planning to camp in August, knowing the Texas heat and all, we prayed HARD for water sites.  And water sites we got!  We lounged, we ate, we drank, we swam, we jumped, we even got to see a meteor shower 2 nights in a row. Gorgeous views, great friends.  I cannot think of a better end to a CRAZY summer!  And now I will flood the rest of this post with pictures!

Dalton and Colton feed the ducks early one morning.  It wasn't foggy out, my camera was just fogged up. Kind of a cool accident I thought!

Emma and her love of Little Peoples.

That were played with inside the big kids "Sunnyside Day Care."  Yes, the same day care from Toy Story 3.

Jackson just because he is cute.

And Rylee because she is cute.  And I never knew how happy freckles could make me until this kid.  

What most days looked like.

Unless your Kinley.  Then, your days involved booster seats and cheetos :)  Ok, not the ENTIRE time ;)  

And proof we were there too.

Up next...cliff jumping.  It deserved its own post.

Friday, November 22, 2013

How We Camp: Equipment

I am working on a post about our final camping trip of the summer.  yep its November.  and I still posting about summer.  slacker.

Before I get to it, I thought I would post about our favorite camping stuff.  Anytime someone hears we are camping in the summer they think we are crazy!  I thought it would be fun to share some different posts on things that have made camping easier for us.  First,  I have compiled a list of our favorite pieces.
  • EZ Up canopy.  Shade.  'Nuff said.  If you can have 2 (which we do) even better. We keep tables holding our food and supplies under one and we sit under another.  We have a canopy that has detachable sides.  PERFECT for hanging to block direct sun when your cooking/prepping meals.  Standing over a hot grill with 110 degree sun beating down on good.  You will hate camping and never want to do it again.
  • A great, high velocity fan. A great fan helps keep cool sitting outside as well as helping inside at night. We have one similar to this one that you can find here
  • Until 2 years ago, we tent camped.  Even in a tent, I want to be comfortable.  Enter large tent and air mattresses.  A large tent means you can put multiple air mattresses, a fan, and your bags in with you.  Convenience will always make you enjoy camping more.  Similar one here.  Let me also add that you should have a tarp under your tent as a prep for unexpected rain.  
  • We no longer are tent campers now though.  We're movin' on up...Similiar camper found here. We purchased ours used on Craigslist about 2 years ago for a great deal!  Now, camper shopping on Craigslist is a blog post of tips all by itself!  
  • This next item isn't a MUST have but it is a great convenience that we LOVE.  It's a table and grill set. Very convenient!  We eat like kings when we camp so a good grill IS a necessity for us!  This is the exact grill here  and table here.  Rusty loves that it doesn't sit on the table, getting the table dirty and greasy.
Sam's Club Table and Grill
  • For this next tip, we don't have an actual brand we are in love with, but we always have a few ice chests.  One ice chest for just drinks!  That will be the most opened chest and also the one if it isn't a certain temperature, you aren't going to get sick!  A second ice chest holds just food. It's opened the least amount therefore staying coldest.  Therefore no food poisoning :)  Always a plus.  Often we take a third ice chest just for extra ice.  This is especially beneficial if your camping for more than a weekend and will need to replenish your other ice chests often.
  • And for the occasional cold nights we just use a small space heater.
  • Oh and a recent discovery.  Camping with small kids?  A cheap-o small tent.  Portable playroom! Then they are confined if needed and no child is tracking dirt all day long in and out of the "main" sleeping quarters!
Maybe this will help anyone planning a trip in the future.  Maybe everyone knows these already.