Through the Lens Thursday: Stars and Celebration (THE END)

As I write this, it’s 11pm on Dec. 31, 2015. I’m not sorry to see December go, and it’s very existence has clouded my view of 2015 as a whole, so I don’t even know how I feel about the incoming new year right now.

I do know that I’m kind of glad to be at the end of Through the Lens Thursday Round 2. Not that I didn’t enjoy the prompts or the picture-taking, but life got overwhelming and it went lower on the priority list this time around. Although, I am afraid that I won’t post here at all, on the ol’ blog, if I don’t even have this commitment once a week.

I don’t even really have anything for last week’s prompt, STARS, except this guy, HP, the star of my stocking on Christmas morning. I love him. I also like this picture kind of a lot.

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CELEBRATION seems like it would be an easy prompt on New Years Eve, but this NYE here at Double F Ranch has consisted of a manicure I did on myself, a trip to the grocery store for our contributions to the last two family Christmases (numbers 5 and 6) happening tomorrow, a haircut that the littlest daughter asked me to give her, a movie or two, and one lonely glass of Prosecco before coming upstairs to write this post, less than an hour before midnight.

So, here are a couple of pictures from Christmas celebration #4, yesterday.




Happy New Year, friends. I hope 2016 is good to you.


Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that I did again this year.

I Had To Help Her Move.

I never wanted an elf in our house, but the kids have them in their classrooms and kept asking when we’ll have one in our house. So last year, I got one that didn’t look like that skinny little Elf on the Shelf and tried to remember to move her occasionally. We named her Snowflake.

This year, Snowflake didn’t come out of the attic until last week.


So, last night I went to bed late and while I was flitting around getting ready for bed, I thought, oh! The kids are in bed, I’ll move the elf. Easy peasy.

Except I was too busy flitting around and completely forgot until this morning.

But the kids were upstairs playing so I ran downstairs, grabbed the elf out of the kitchen and rushed her over and stuck her in the Christmas tree.

Whew! I did it.

Except I didn’t. Because I turned around after sticking her between the branches and I see a little blond head on the chair looking at me.

“Why did you just put her there?” the first grader asks me.

“Because she was tired of reading! She said ‘mama, I’m tired of reading.’ So I helped her move.”

Because I suck.


Have Yourself a Dino Little Christmas


On the first day of Christmas, John Hammond gave to me…

Henry made up the 12 Days of Christmas: Jurassic Park Edition yesterday.


Just try not to sing along.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, John Hammond gave to me:

Twelve pteranadons

Eleven mosasaurs

Ten ACU*

Nine tyranosaurs

Eight dino fights

Seven saurapods

Six DNA samples

Five gyrosphere rides

Four spinosaurs

Three stegosaurs

Two Utahraptors

And a ticket to Jurassic Park!

*Asset Containment Unit for those unaware

Merry Christmas from my dino lovers to yours!

I was unsure of some of the spellings here but he insisted they were correct. And he’s read all the dinosaur books, so….

Through the Lens Thursday: Muted

This is how we usually spend Thanksgiving….I cook the meal, some of it gets eaten, then we decorate for Christmas. This year, it rained all day so the outdoor décor didn’t get done. We’ll see if it ever gets done at this point.

You should be glad there’s no sound (ahem….muted) on these pictures because there was a singing ornament that never stopped singing.

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tree 2


Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that I’m doing again this year.

Next week’s prompt is VIEW.

Random Thoughts on a Sunday

~~~Is it summer yet? Because I’m already sick of all the cold weather laundry and it’s barely even begun to be cold.

~~~These pictures of baby Essie with a Mohawk make me say things like “wook at the boodee widdle boonieboodieawwwwww”



~~~And then looking at 6 year old Essie right after makes me realize that she’s lost all of her physical baby-ness and wahhhhh.


~~~I’m in Christmas denial. Even though I have a lot of presents bought/ordered already, I have a mental block. I added an “Indie Christmas” playlist on Google Play, but I haven’t even been able to open it yet.

~~~While I don’t mind cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I wish my kids would eat more than just the most basic, everyday items on the menu (like plain turkey and biscuits).

~~~Related: my fourth grader still wants to bring his “sack” lunch when they have their “Thanksgiving feast” at school. I’m pretty sure the girls would love to be able to eat that school offering.

~~~I’m ridiculously excited about only getting the kids to pack two lunches for school this week.

~~~My kids are ridiculously excited to see The Good Dinosaur in the theater this week. They’ve only been seeing previews for nine months.

~~~I have very mixed feelings about this school year being nearly half over already and Ervin being in full day kindergarten next year. It will be so nice to actually have time to do things during the day (vs two and a half hours between drop-off and pick-up) but I really like hanging out with him in the mornings, and he’s really really good when I take him on errands and to appointments. And kindergarten is the basically the beginning of the end.


Excuse me, I have something in my eye.

What are your random Sunday thoughts?

Through the Lens Thursday: Smile

I tried to take pictures of our family last Sunday for our holiday cards this year, because (to be real) I had a good blow out from the salon on Saturday and I didn’t want to waste it. It was also a pretty nice day out, and I didn’t want to waste that. And it’s kind of like pulling off a Band-Aid….you know it’s going to hurt, and your family is going to complain, so it’s better to just do it quickly and get it over with. I didn’t even try to coordinate outfits; I just figured we’d go with black and white pictures this year.

Most of the family was just fine (although Ivy was really not feeling well), but we can’t allllllll be happy and smiling for 30 minutes. God forbid, right? One child was not having it.

fall family 20

But I think there are a couple we can use. Because Lord knows, I’m going to have to get an oversized package of patience in the mail before I try it again.

Some, though…..if they’re used for the card, they’ll just be proof that I have a sense of humor.

fall family 1

fall family 15

fall family 19fall family 17

You like the cat photobomb?



Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that I’m doing again this year.

Next week’s prompt is CUT.

Project 365: Week 52 (and a 1/2)

Yeah. This is late. Motivation around the holidays is tough. I’m just going to finish up there year here, kay?

Dec. 21

Christmas celebration #1, with our family in AR.

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Dec. 22

We went to see a movie with my good friend and her kids, Aunt Ginny and Vic, and Nana and Papa (Night at the Museum 3). Afterwards, the girls tried on their new Elsa hats from Nat.


Dec. 23

Louise made herself at home at my brother and SIL’s house, and met a couple of new friends: their two giant dogs and squirrel.


Last minute Christmas shopping and a movie with one of my best friends (and one of my favorite reasons to visit AR).


Dec. 24

Christmas Eve. We drove home from AR and made it to a late lunch and the afternoon Christmas Eve service at church.


Dec. 25

Christmas! We are always home on Christmas morning (it’s my own personal rule, so we have a bit of an anchor in the middle of the busy holiday break and travel).

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(That lovely spot on T’s shirt is batter from making breakfast for us all. Sexiest thing ever.)

Dec. 26

We celebrated Christmas with T’s parents at a hotel in KC. There was A LOT of swimming, shopping, eating, etc that took place.

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Dec. 27

The girls and I went with grandma to see Annie while the boys went with grandpa to a WWI museum, and then….MORE SWIMMING.


Dec. 28

Home again. Baking with my best helper for a Christmas party with my parents the following day (she did all the work).


Dec. 29

One last Christmas party! (We’d normally have two more but our schedule didn’t work out so nicely this year, and we missed them).

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Dec. 30

Play and lunch out with Essie, my nephew and my niece. I think we can see where they get their cheeks.


Dec. 31

New Year’s Eve! We did nothing out of the ordinary….ate finger foods for a late supper and played video games, watched movies. Oh, and I read a lot with a sleepy puppy on me.


So, how were your holidays? NYE more exciting than ours (I hope)??

Through the Lens Thursday: New

Happy New Year! I drank Moscato Spumanti Champagne (or something) last night and was asleep by 11. So I’m just assuming it’s 2015 now!

Christmas, new presents, new new new.

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christmas 2

I have a lot to say about the new year, and the old one. But I’m also the old one and headed for bed (the asleep by 11 is a premonition that I have no doubt will come true).

More later, but here’s to the first TTLT of 2015!


Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison of Writing, Wishing and I are doing this year.

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is COLORFUL.