Monday, February 28, 2011

Photo shoot: not mine, though

I put the camera on the tripod and handed the remote to the kids. This could be a fun new project for when they need to just unwind/be creative!

Jasmine took:

She then handed it to Bekah:

Who kindly shared it with Hudson:

but to make up for his sweet shot, he then got:

and one more from Jasmine:
Moral of the story: a backdrop and a good camera don't mean the pictures will be any good ;)


We made pretzels this morning! And they really are as good as anything at the mall.

And a lot more fun, too. (more dishes afterward, of course).

I spent too long helping the girls create the pretzel shape to get pictures of that. You'll have to imagine that....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

...someone want to tell me why I'm tired?

For those who don't live in the same part of the country I do, these may need a little explanation!
A house made in the style of a 19th-century house, but to kids' proportions. They pretend to churn butter, use a water pump to bring water into the kitchen sink, and use a cast-iron stove.

Hudson thought it was his job to clean up the place, so he was always putting things in the "door" (cupboard), the drawers and in the oven. It was very sweet.

Then over to the miniature Wegmans. Jasmine and I made a hat for her bakery job. (now that we're home, she's put on her white polo shirt and is carrying her toy tray of cookies around the house. TOO cute!)

And Bekah went shopping, checked herself out, and put the "food" back on the shelf a half-dozen times. I had to drag her into the "store" but she immediately figured out how much fun it was.

She liked to hit "override" on the prices.
Some of the registers (i.e. when they're working and the kids haven't messed it up) print out receipts for them, identical to the ones at the stores. It really does feel like you're shopping at Wegmans, just SHORT!

And on that miniature theme, I had fun with a couple more pictures last night.

I'm not convinced they look quite like true miniatures, but I think a lot has to do with having just the right picture to start with. I rarely take quite the right shot for the look, but now I will start trying for that type of shot!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Miniatures...bringing a childhood obsession to a new level

As a child and teen, I loved miniatures. I dreamed of having a dollhouse (never happened). I went to a miniature shop and drooled over the displays.
I had a small collection (get it?? small?) of them, but they cost more money than I could part with at that point.

Fast-forward to today. My friend Stacey asked if I'd ever heard of tilt-shift photography. Oh my goodness. I had to try it right away.
Obviously not by buying a lens.
So to Photoshop I went!
After a bunch of failed attempts, I finally got what I wanted!

How'd I do??

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

half-price candy

Josh and I never buy Valentines...I always thought it was a dumb holiday and I'm glad to avoid spending the money!
But I wanted to play with conversation hearts, so I picked up some on clearance last night.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to have a wild and wonderful photo weekend with only 10 days to plan

1. Make sure your friend living in Arizona doesn't have anything she can't get out of that weekend.

2. Leave early Friday morning so you're in Arizona by 5:45.

3. Get there at 9:30, thanks to questionable wing safety.

4. Leave the house at 6 the next morning to get to Sedona.

5. Climb Bell Rock. All you need is cameras. No need for sunblock, hat, or water. You'll be fine in the direct, cloudless sunshine for the four-hour hike.
Piece of cake.

6. Stop for pictures. Often. Especially when out of breath. You're sure to find the best shots at the same time as you really need a breather.

6. When things get tough, when you find yourself having to climb the tough bits, just imagine yourself a spider monkey. It helps if you keep repeating 'spider monkey, spider monkey' as you do it.

6a. don't worry about how you're going to get back down the tricky bits with your camera. You can figure that out later.

(full disclosure: I didn't climb this bit. I watched Heidi. She was much braver than I could be.)

6b. Give thanks when she gets back to the "safe" part.
7. start the descent. Take more pictures.

8. Drive up to the Grand Canyon.

9. Stop when you see a *really cool* green bus. Perfect for the year's "green" theme. Talk to the owners of said bus, forgetting that it's not wise to tell complete strangers, in a very isolated part of the world, that you're on a "girls' weekend." Maybe next time tell people the husbands are 10 minutes behind you...

10. Continue to the canyon, checking the rearview mirror a few times to be sure you're not being followed by bus-owning men.

11. Dress warmly to see the Canyon at sunset.
12. Crash for the night. Decide that you should just get moving in the morning, rather than try for sunrise pictures.

13. Find an awesome place for more canyon pictures way off the beaten path.

 Waaaaay off the beaten path.

14. Continue to explore whatever you can find.

15. Stop for Mexican food with another online friend!
16. Leave very early the next morning to go home. 

17. Plan the next one!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Saturday, February 05, 2011


So far today, Bekah was sung to in ballet class...
and we made something incredibly sweet for lunch*...

now the kids are playing with punching balloons, and then we're headed to a bounce-house place, until they crash.
hopefully we can get them to eat dinner before they fall asleep for the night!

*these are based on a recipe for cake batter pancakes (I still can't copy and paste. it is seriously time for a reboot), but using 1/4 of a recipe for chocolate cake from scratch. Well, the dry ingredients from it. Basically, it's chocolate cake made in the consistency of pancakes, with sprinkles inside, and then a vanilla glaze with more sprinkles. Serious sugar-rush!

They say it's your birthday

4 years ago right now, my water had broken, I was walking around the mall to try to get contractions going, and Josh was calling the Realtor to tell her we wouldn't be able to walk through the house (this house, by the way) that day because I was in labor.
It wasn't for another 12 hours before I finally got to see her. And hear from Josh that we had a second perfect daughter.

Who grew and learned how to draw and write (mostly on her own)

Who loves puppies

My sweet, innocent daughter

with more than a splash of spunk

Jeepers Creepers!!

someone who always manages to get someone to carry her....

and bowls, even when the ball is bigger than she is

someone who waits patiently when her daddy concocts her ice cream sundae

and is 100% girly

my intercessor

and model
and rockstar
and fishy-face expert

who comes up with all her own poses

knowing that I'll love them all
(I know they're in no order. I'm having computer issues this morning and it will cut but not paste)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Hudson does something no other Virkler child did at this age.

He sleeps. By himself.

In unusual positions.

and I fall in love every time.

and take a picture. every time.