Of a little girl and sunshine

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My trip to Colorado in April inspired me in many ways. One of those was in using my flash more in my photography.  So earlier this week, I decided to just get out there and play with it.  Thankfully Boo was willing to be my model. 😉

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I enjoyed it 😉 Purposely, I chose to do it in the bright afternoon sun. Why? Because the conditions were NOT exactly ideal…and because they never are when we want them too.  I wanted to play with them in a less-than-ideal-situation partly because if  we always sit around waiting for the perfect picture taking situation to happen… we’d wouldn’t get many pictures taken!

(the book and pen were her choice – not mine! 😉 I was just glad she was letting me snap her picture 😉 ) Good chance to play with rim lighting.

 

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I think this is my favourite picture of the afternoon. It’s something about her expression, I can’t explain it. Almost as if there’s a hint of the woman she’s going to grow up into.  One of those “catching a moment” pictures

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Always, Aims

P.s. Note to self: If you’re planning to play with your flashes…it might not be the best idea to a get a five year old who doesn’t usually sit still anyways…to be your model. 😉

Real Life

It’s a “real life” kind of day. You ever had one of those? That day when your mental “to-do” list is growing faster than the coffee is brewing…and you look around and see all the must-dos that haven’t even made it on the list yet!

Life has been busy. (Obviously because I haven’t been blogging! Did you miss me? 😉 )

Easter was awesome – it’s one of my favourite holidays – it’s about taking time to remember, to come that point of utter thankfulness for what Jesus did me – for us! We enjoyed some gloriously warm sunshine.  We had a great time of fellowship with extended family and friends – uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, etc. It was loud. It was beautiful.

I said good bye to this guy.

20121229-SAG-03647My younger taller bro, Mitch.  He’s in the Philippines for a couple months to do some mission work.  He and his friend will be updating their blog if you want to follow what they’re up to! I’m SO excited to see what God will do through them!

Last weekend I road tripped with some of my sibs to southern Alberta.  It was fantastic. Lots of laughs. New perspectives on the theme of the weekend: forgiveness. Fellowship with old and new friends. Road trips are just (almost) always awesome.

So why is it a “real life” day? Because I just looked around my room and saw the mess (clean but unfolded laundry) I saw my tax papers in a pile. Unwritten blog posts. All the normal stuff that hasn’t been done.  It’s about priorities, right? No my room doesn’t look like a show room at a show home, but I got to have some cuddles with a squishy 9 month old. No, my taxes aren’t done, but some of my friendships are stronger because of some good conversations for which I ‘made’ the time.  Real life happens… to all of us.

So enjoy your real life for what it is, take a moment to enjoy the friendships you have, give that baby an extra kiss, take that moment to read the Word.

Because I promise you – your room will still be messy tomorrow 😉

As crazy as April has been so far – it won’t be slowing down! I’ll be heading back to the States next week 🙂 I’ll blog when I can!

Always, Aims

Define: Normal

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Today marks the first official Family Day here in British Columbia! A long weekend between Christmas and Easter…is well, kind of awesome! It’s a day meant to spend with your family.  So here’s a peek at some of the people with which I get to spend today.

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But it’s a little of the “other side” of us…or perhaps a more normal side 😉

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As a plaque in our living room reads: As Far as Anyone Knows, We’re a Nice Normal Family. As much as the words make us laugh…there’s definitely some truth ringing there! 😉

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Always, Aims

All of Us!

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What better way to start the New Year than with a blog post of my entire family?! Ever since I started blogging people would ask here and there for a picture of all of us… Well, here it is – finally!  With a couple of my brothers not living at home and other’s jobs which require commuting…It’s rather seldom that we’re all together at the same time…so when we did a little family get-away last month I jumped on the opportunity even though it was snowing outside! My family was awesome enough to run outside – get a little wet- and still smile! 😀

Well, there you have it – a picture of my family!

Always, Aims

Grandpa’s Hands…

My Grandfather’s hands.

This picture is special to me for sentimental value as much as anything else. A picture of my Grandpa, doing something he loves to do.  A man who plays every note by ear… a man who, when he was young, used his lunch breaks to play guitar. A man who, shared his love of music with his children, and who in turn poured that same love into their children.  I’m one of the grandchildren, who has grown up surrounded by music, and the love of family…the love of my grandparents.

I don’t think I’ve realized how blessed am…to have grown up with all four of my grandparents close by. To be showered in their prayers and affection, and to learn from how they have lived their lives.  I couldn’t begin to write about everything I’ve learned from them… but a couple things that come to mind. First and foremost, their love for Christ…and how they have all strived to live His love, and to share His love with those around them; wether strangers, friends, or family. To keep a sense of humour, even in tough times.  When I think of the marriages of both sets of my grandparents, I know what “true love” is…and I know it’s more than fuzzy feelings inside, because I’ve seen them come through some hard times, and I know it’s possible to adore your spouse even after over 50 years of marriage. To do job, and to do it right. Take time for the ones you love. Think before you act…it might lead to injury if you don’t.  Generosity.  Hospitality.  Caring about “un-carable” people.  Think of others before yourself.  Well the list could continue…and continue.  Suffice to say…I’ve been blessed; extremely.

And, I’m thankful.

Always, Aims

An Outdoor Concert

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been spending some time with my family this week. 🙂 We spent the long weekend out of town and stretched that into Tuesday and for some that carried on into Wednesday.

Yesterday, our “family band” gave some guests a little outdoor concert.

Trying to make a longish story short… there were about 10 RVs parked in our baseball diamond over night.

They’re on their way across Canada (how cool is that?!) The evening’s entertainment included a little Southern Gospel music. 😀

Our band…

The man who started it all, my Grandpa. Instilling a love of music into his children who have passed it down to their children.

Grandpa started the band years ago when my mom and her siblings were kids.  It’s grown to include their spouses and the grandchildren.  Over the years we’ve played in church and different nursing homes throughout the city.

Violins…

Cellos…

Bass Guitar and viola

Cousin love 🙂

The keyboard.

The newest addition to the family band. The Double Bass!

He was tuning at the time I took the picture, hence the serious expression. 😉

More guitars and one of the three mandolins (a little too cool look at the camera though 😉 )

Introducing the all new “Mandolin-Air”.

Another electric

Another way to play pizzicato, just hold it like a guitar 😉

Of course, our guests! 😀

After this I joined in with my violin! It was great to play together again! As we’ve grown up and there are more schedules to work with it’s hard to get everyone together at the same time!  Even last night there were at least three missing. If we’re all there I think we’re about 21 musicians strong (not including the mandolin air 😉 )

So very thankful for my grandparents and my parents who have encouraged the love of music in their children and grandchildren!

Definitely a lovely memory of this summer!

Always, Aims

Hair Donation

With the summer heat, my little sisters decided to get their hair cut…and donate it. 🙂

I’m proud of them because I was going to do something similar last fall…and totally chickened out when we started measuring how much to cut off. (Guess I’m more sentimental about my hair than I thought!)

Munchkin donated 8 inches of her lovely blonde curls.

Rasco… (remember her adorable photoshoot?) she’s donating 15 inches of her beautiful red hair.

Yeah, a different type of personal post I know… (it’s not even about me!) 🙂 But I wanted to remember when they did this and chronicle it somewhere… what better place than my blog? 😉

Always, Aims

Sister Love

People keep asking what Boo thinks of Lulu… I think this sums it up quite well.

Boo adores Lulu, loves to give her kisses…always asks if she can hold her. They’re going to have piles of fun when they’re older! 😀

Always, Aims

Summer = An Outdoor Tea Party

Sometimes, life is about taking a moment…and enjoying it. 🙂 In this instance it was taking an extra moment to set up a tea party.

Three of my younger sisters, ready to partake of their tea.

It’s about dressing up…

…and using real china…(a little mismatched though it may be…) 🙂

A bouquet of flowers from around our house.

It’s about pretty hats…

And German chocolate…and lace.

And tea…

But the best part? Spending a little bit of quality time together…talking, visiting.

Smarties taste better when they come from a pretty dish, wouldn’t you agree?

I had fun setting this up for my little girlies…hearing their excitement as they choose their outfits and hats. The sound of their laughter and giggles and fake british accents during the party. They’re such special little kids, after I snapped the pictures I joined them…the memories are more precious than anything else I could’ve done with my time that morning.

Always, Aims

I’m a big sister…For the 10th time!

It’s been officially announced everywhere…except my blog! On June 29, 2012…I became a big sister for the 10th time (seriously! How cool is that?!) 😀 I’m the third oldest of 12 “children”.

How many other people do you know who can say that, eh?

I feel so blessed, so privileged. Holding little Lulu for the first time…I was overwhelmed – again – at the precious gift of life, of health. Sitting in awe of the intricate miracle of a baby, seeing her perfect fingers and toes…Have you ever had the chance to see a newborn baby’s hands? That tiny “pinky finger” with it’s finger nail? The wonder…of life. The innocence. The unknown. A life just begun.

And I have the honour of being part of her life. The honour of being her ‘big sis’. The honour of pouring part of myself into her life…knowing that who she will eventually grow up to be…is (just slightly!) part of what I (and the rest of my family) pour into her life now (and in the coming years).

Indeed, a gift has been given to us.

I hope these words have shed a little pin prick of light into what it is to “be a big family”. I’ve hard all the comments, the snickers and jokes, when people hear we’re a (compared to most) large family. But what people don’t see is the gift. The relationships (imagine growing up with a “live-in” best friend! I don’t have to imagine…I have it!!) The honour. The blessing.  The privilege.

We’re a normal real family, far from perfect. (No, we’re not the Canadian version of the Duggar Family…nor are we trying to be!) There’s miscommunication at times.  Sibling squabbles. Disagreements. Arguments debates. I hope I haven’t painted a “picture perfect” family. We deal with the same problems other families deal with (however, probably on a bigger scale! 😛 ) Every family has problems and issues, when there are 1 or 2 children…or 12 or 19! 😉 By the way, the film, Cheaper by the Dozen (the Steve Martin version) is so exaggerated and unrealistic…I was almost embarrassed. Meal time is never that crazy! I just had to put that in here…I only saw the film once (years ago!) but I always wonder if that’s how people imagine us when I say I’m from a big family! Really, we’re pretty normal…there are just more of us! 

Now that I’ve had my rant. 🙂 We’re all super excited about the new addition to our family! It’s been 4 1/2 since there’s been a baby around here! Adjustments and changes are happening… (but when the changes are for kid as cute as this…it’s pretty easy!)

Every life is precious! We’re so thankful to God for a safe delivery and that little Lulu is healthy!

Guess I got a little more ‘wordy’ than usual, sorry about that, but it happens when I’m passionate about a subject! 😉

Always, Aims…a very proud big sister! 😀

I’ll be featuring “official baby pictures” soon!