DAY 'O FUN

DON'T LAUGH...

Okay, you can laugh...

You may not be able to contain it once you scroll to the bottom of these pictures...
(things you do when you are feeling your age...and then pay for it in the morning)

Anyway...

My husband has installed a tradition in our family for the past few years...

He calls it the "Day of Fun"

Basically, the premise is to see how long we can spread activities, eating, etc in a day for the least amount of money...

It's about learning how to value relationship over money, but also how to make a dollar stretch as far as possible...

So, the day prior to our schedule "FUN" day, the girls scour the coupon book, they claim their reading program prizes, they google coupons online and try to come up with a plan of activities that will fill a 24 hour period...

some of the recreational choices are free, some are discounted and some we pay full price if necessary...in the end we see how much we can do for our family of 5 without spending over a certain amount...

This year, they planned the following:
Start off at the library to claim prices from reading programs and check out movies for later in the evening (free)

We then headed to our free games of Mini Golf at Magic Mountain (in the rain...that's another tradition for another day) cost here was $8 for the rest of the family that didn't have "free" coupons

We had 2 free chick fil A sandwich coupons and free taco/burrito at Taco Bell ($14 to pay for rest of meals for entire family)

Skyzone was next, where we had buy one, get one free...and the time was buy 60 minutes, get 90 minutes...so all 5 of us could "jump" for 90 minutes for $30

We were exhausted after that and had free frozen lemonades at Sonic...so we headed there to cool down.

Then up to OWU to play some Pokemon Go before heading to Meijer to pick up "dinner"..

Now, remember this is DAY OF FUN for Momma too, so NO COOKING...

The girls chose their favorite Bob Evans mac & cheese and bags of ready-made salads for dinner.
They also ran around Meijer looking for deals on dessert items.

All in all, we were spent by the end of the day, but we had FUN and spent way less than $100 in our day, but accomplished so much TOGETHER!


















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SENIOR SESSION: Paige

I had another senior session last evening.  
Can I just say that it's a SMART idea to get those Senior Sessions completed BEFORE school starts.  I feel like Senior year is much like starting a relay on the starting block with an angry rhino chasing you. You've got so much on your mind, so much to accomplish and at the same time trying to focus and enjoy the last year...Trying to fit in pictures can sometimes be a challenge...Therefore, I love getting to meet Seniors during the summer months, as they tend to have a more relaxed approach and are happily anticipating the upcoming school year. 

I took Paige's sister's senior pictures and so it was really neat to get to meet up with her & her mom again!

I loved her ideas and vision for her pictures! She's the middle girl in her family and I kinda have a special place in my heart for those middles...You all know I'm a firstborn and my hubby is the baby in his family... It wasn't until I became a mom did I understand the plight of the middle kid :)  

I love what I perceive to be their added compassion and insight. Paige fits the bill! 
She has a smile that is gentle and kind...and then it bursts into laughter and you can't help but chuckle along with her. I loved my time spent with her as we traveled from place to place.  

Congratulations Paige and I wish a fantastic Senior Year!










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SENIOR SESSION: McKensie

You've "heard" me say it before...Senior sessions are experiences that are set up to draw out the essence of a person.  I know this seems like a daunting task within a 2 hour time frame. In that same duration we want to get those frame-worthy pics that grandparents always love...they still have a love for the tradition of 'school pictures'.  I understand this dichotomy and I actually love the challenge...

I love getting the smiles & and the laughter, the goofy faces and the serious conversations...the everyday mannerisms, as well as the "look at the camera" shots.

I believe McKensie is passionate and confident and focused...and yet she collects these strong convictions & personality traits into this humble, kind-hearted and friendly package.  I love her drive, her warmth and her sweet nature.

She's already off on a big adventure this summer with Young Life and I so admire her desire to serve! I had a wonderful time with her & her mom doing her senior sessions...She was also one of my Senior Day gals, so she got double the outfit and seasonal fun for her pics this year!









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FAMILY SESSION: Pop of Color

There has been so, so much going on in our world lately...

People choosing comfort over integrity, popularity over truth, justification of wrongs in order to be on top, irrational choices, hate, meanness, arrogance and so much sadness...

It seems overwhelming and weighs on us all...

We have homes and children for whom we would lay down our lives...
we expect more of and more for them...

and yet, we are so small in the seemingly immeasurable about of "stuff" going on around us...

I saw a meme recently with two contrasting ideas...
A leader asking a group of people, "Who wants change?" and everyone raises their hands.
The same leader asks this same group of people, "Who is willing to change?" and everyone looks to the floor.

This is where the rubber meets the road...
where we might be the only ones who go against the current of society...

I watch these families that I meet at each of my sessions...

Dads who do what is right, who live by a set of rules of integrity even when they are exhausted...
Moms who find joy in the little things and who store those treasures in their hearts...
Parents who work as a team to not give their children the "easy" life, but to mold them and help them struggle through so that when they reach adulthood, it won't be a "smack in the face" but rather a confident challenge because they know they'd weathered things in the past and they are ready for whatever the future holds...

and the future is always unknown...

I'm so thankful for the hope that these families bestow on me...
that little ray of sunshine when I don't think I can face another news program on the TV

That Pop of Color when things around us look so grim...

This family emulates what I've spoken about in this post...and that little 'pop of yellow' is a perfect example of finding the smile and the hope in a day...











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FAMILY SESSION: Kindred Spirits

I've written about them before...

When I first met them I did a double take because she looked so much like my vision of Anne of Green Gables...

And if you know me, you will know that I put a HIGH value on my Anne-girl...
I secretly wish I was a ginger...

Can I just tell you WHY I love Anne of Green Gables so much?  
First off, you need to understand that Lucy Maud Montgomery (the authoress) was sort of the "Jane Austen" of my time...her vocabulary and writing style is lyrical, poetic and VERY verbose...

Most of all though, Anne was fearless...all the odds were against her, but she never lost hope or determination...she never gave up...

it was this spunk, this loyalty, the good she sought in other people that was inspiring to me...
I wanted to be brave like Anne...

And so, often when I see a red-head, I get nostalgic and something deep in my heart gives a twinge...a reminder, if you will, that despite the yuck around us...whether in politics or hate crimes, or bad news concerning health or job or school, or when the garage door, the washing machine, the dishwasher and the ipad all break at the same time that you discover that you paid a medical bill twice...
Well...you can put your chin up...you can choose to have perspective...
and that little bit of "hope" is special to me...

This gal brings that to mind when I see her too...

She's got two little blondies though and both are as adorable as they appear!

I love their active play and sweet natures...

they are a joy to be around and make this summertime all that more enjoyable!!

I think they will bring a smile to your face as well...








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FAMILY SESSION: Meant to Be

She contacted me a long while back...
A former teacher, a lover of photography, a mommy to all girls, who also happen to have the same birthday months as my daughters!!!

You can pretty much guess that we hit it off pretty well...

I love her joyful nature, her love of family, her desire to see the beauty in the little things..which in turn make you appreciate so much more the significant moments...

I think you'll see all of that portrayed in her family's images...

ENJOY...








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I can't wait to hear from you!
"Teach us to number our days, (savor the moments) so that we may gain a heart of wisdom" ~Psalm 90:12

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