Feb 26, 2010

Photography Friday – Thinking about Light

There are a lot of important things to consider when you are trying to take good pictures. Light is one of the most important and I have been ignoring it. Have you?

When I take pictures of my kids I am usually thinking about their smiles and just how gosh darn cute they are! Lately I have been trying to think about LIGHT.

The best light to use is natural light. So go and find a window. Place your kids facing the window and start talking to them. When they give you those cute expressions start to snap away.

Most of us probably think that great lighting follows around professional photographers. Yes I know they have more knowledge on the subject and insanely expensive equipment BUT they also take time to think about light and move their subject if necessary.
I have found that the table a perfect place to take pictures of Little Buddy. Not to mention a good time because he is usually happily eating!

There is a window directly in front of him and two windows on his right side. Those windows bathe him in natural light. You know it’s a good spot when the light shines in his eyes.

I zoom in and put his eyes in one of the top corners of the frame observing the Rule of Thirds. (Check out my post on the Rule of Thirds here.)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
 I'm making a fondant cake this weekend. I'll post pictures on Tasty Tuesday :o)

Feb 25, 2010

Things for Kiddos Thursday - Flower Pot Chore Chart

When I first started doing chores with Sweet Angel we didn't use any sort of chart. This last fall I decided that a chart would help her keep track of her own responsibilities and it would keep me from feeling like I was randomly asking her to do stuff all day long. It is also an easy way to add rewards for her hard work.

Instead of a boring sticker chart I searched on line for a more creative idea. I found the idea for a flower pot chore chart here.

It is pretty simple to make. Here is what you need...

1. Popsicle sticks
2. Card stock (thick paper)
3. Green paint
4. Paint brush
5. Color crayons
6. Scissors
7. Your own chosen clip art

Making the flowers:

1. Choose and print out a clip art flower for your template. (Different kinds if you want)
2. Choose and print out a clip art picture for each chore
3. Paint the popsicle sticks green.
4. Make a template for your flowers by tracing the flower onto card stock and cutting it out.
5. Use your template to trace as many flowers as you need on your to card stock.
6. Color both sides of the flowers with crayons and cut them out.
7. Cut out your clip art pictures.
8. Glue the pictures in the center of the flower.
9. Glue the flowers to their green popsicle stick stems.

Making the pot:

1. Choose a pot. I used an empty sour cream container covered with tissue paper and tied with a ribbon. You could use and paint a real pot if you like.
2. Fill with rice or dried beans.

We don’t do every single chore every day so I put the chores for the day on a poster board right by her flower pot. She can easily see which ones she needs to do.

This flower represents Sweet Angle’s “Morning List.” It is a list a chores she does right after breakfast.

I have a “picture list” of it in her bathroom so she can follow it each day. One day she asked me where my list was. I told her that my list was in my head. She decided to see if her list was in her head too and completed her whole list without looking at the pictures!

If Sweet Angel completes her chores without arguing or complaining she gets a flower. If all her morning chores are completed she earns her reward. After nap she gets to play her Veggie Tales computer game. We made a Veggie Tale reward stick to represent her reward. You could make a pretty star and to represent a reward and let your child choose from a few activities.

I know that this is not a good chore chart for a boy! I have thought of a few ideas for your boys…and mine! He is going to need one soon.

If your boy likes things that go you could do cars and trucks instead. Then use a small shoe box and cover it with black paper and draw lines on it to make it look like a road.

Maybe your son likes animals. Farm animals, dinosaurs or any other animal could be used and the shoe box could be decorated to look like a farm yard, jungle or pasture.

Most of all your child is going to have fun making it and using it!

Do you use a chore chart for your kids?

Feb 24, 2010

Welcome Home Wednesday - Chores for the Kiddos

I think chores serve a very important roll in teaching our children many life lessons. They provide an opportunity for our children to learn life skills, responsibility and discipline. Most of all it teaches them that they are an important part of the family unit. For our home to run smoothly and be a nice place to live everyone needs to do their part. Kids totally love the feeling that they are special and the whole family needs them!

Little Buddy is 18 months old and is capable of doing many things. The main chore he does every day is clean up his toys when he is done playing. Several times a day both of my kids pick up all their toys before moving on to another activity.

There are lots of other chores he does every day. I usually just ask him to help out as the rest of us are working. He loves to help. It is so sweet to see him walk around saying, “helps, helps!”

Here are a few of the things that I ask him to do throughout the day…

Put his PJ’s in the laundry basket
Help put clothes in the dryer
Put his cup in the fridge
“Sweep” the floor
Help his sister set the table

Having your toddler do these “chores” might not really help you much now but it does start teaching him that helping mommy and doing chores are important. That will help you out A LOT later!

Now that Sweet Angel is 3 she does many more chores. Here is a list of her chores (not all of them are done daily) …

Make her bed

Get ready (brush teeth, get dressed, put away PJ's)

Put away her clean laundry

Sort socks

Help dust

Practice dancing

Put away toys

Do homework

Set the table

Clear the table
Put dishes in dishwaser

Do your children do chores? Are any of them different from what I have listed?

Come back tomorrow I will share a fun chore chart that your child can make!

Feb 23, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - Pico de gallo and Guacamole

I love Mexican food! Do you? I love to make it at home (Tacos, Enchiladas, Tortilla Soup, Quesadillas) and I love to eat it at restaurants (Don Pablo's, Qdoba, Chipotle). Our families love for mexican food is so strong that we even eat it on Christmas!

Every Christmas Eve we go to church with my husband's family and then go to their house for a serious taco spread. My mother-in-law even makes that sweet and tasty corn cake. Oh my!

With all of this taco love I think it was about time I learned how to make Pico and Guacamole!

Pico de Gallo

4-5 roma tomatoes
1 onion
1 lime
3 jalapenos
1/2 bunch of cilantro
Dice the Jalapenos, seeds and all, into small pieces
(It's surprisingly not very spicy with this amount)

Dice your tomatoes too.

Finley chop your onion.

Chop up your cilanto too.

Mix it all together

Squeeze in the juice of a lime

How easy is that?

So I've heard from some people, like The Pioneer Woman, that you can just mash up avacado and throw in some pico to make good guacamole. But I'm not so sure about that. The best guac that I have ever had was made by my good friend Jennie. She has kindly allowed me to share this recipe with you! Thanks Jennie!


3 ripe avacados
2 cloves of Garlic (1 Tbl minced in a jar)
1/4 red onion
1/2 bunch of cilantro
4 dashes of Tabasco
2 tsp worschester sauce
1 tspSalt
1 lime (not pictured)
1 serrano chile (also not pictured. hmm?)

Cut open the avacadoes and take out their pits.

Scoop out the avacado into a bowl.

Mash them up.

Finley mince the serrano chile.

Chop up the onion.

Then chop the cilantro

Mash all of the ingredients together and squeeze in the lime.

Store it in the fridge with plastic wrap completely covering it and touching the top.

I have mentioned how much love my Tupperware Quick Chef???

It was given to me as a Christmas gift by my good friend Abby a few years ago. It has quite litterally changed my life...in the kitchen anyway! [Check out Abby's blog here.]

My family and I like our onions chopped very finely.

You could even describe it as...pulverized.

Do you have any idea how long it takes me to chop onions this small with a knife?  Oh the crying! Chopping them this way is quick and easy and the whole thing goes right in the dishwasher.

Come back tomorrow for Welcome Home Wednesday. I'm going to share my thoughts on chores for kids.

Recipies for printing...
Picco de Gallo

4-5 roma tomatoes
1 onion
1 lime
3 jalapenos
1/2 bunch of cilantro

Dice it all up, squeeze in the lime and enjoy!


3 ripe avacados

2 cloves of Garlic (1 Tbl minced in a jar)
1/4 red onion
1/2 bunch of cilantro
4 dashes of Tabasco
2 tsp worschester sauce
1 tsp alt
1 lime
1 serrano chile

Mash it all together, sqeeze in the lime and enjoy!
For tips on picking a ripe avacado click here.

Feb 22, 2010

Memory Verse Monday - Review

I think it is just about time to start reviewing our verses. If we keep chugging along memorizing week after week we are going to start losing some of the great truths we have hidden in our hearts. I'm also going to throw in a few pics of the kids because blogging without pictures is boring!

Cute Pic of Little Buddy

This is a great exercise for Mommy! Our minds are a little more tired, old and filled with other things then our children. I think you will be pleasantly surprised this week when you ask your children to recall these verses. Give them the first few words and watch them rattle off the whole thing!

Sweet Angel pretending to be Miriam (Moses' sister)

It will be quick and easy to say these verses together a few times each day. If you are new to my blog read here about Memory Verse Monday and the importance of memorizing Scripture with your children.

"Do good, be rich in good deeds, be generous and willing to share."
- 1 Timothy 6:18 -

Children obey your parents in The Lord for this is right.
-  Ephesians 6:1 -

"Do to others what you want them to do to you"
- Luke 6:31 -

“Be joyful always; pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16 -18 -

Playing in the first snow of the year. October 15th! Down the Road "1 Thess-a-what?" might get lost but the truth will be remembered loud and clear!

Notice the lush green grass under the freshly fallen snow.

Come back tomorrow for Tasty Tuesday. Pico de Gallo and Guacamole...oh my!