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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bigger Blog Pictures

I've had lots of inquiries about how to make big blog pictures. It's really not hard at all, it just took me a while to find clear instructions. So, I'll attempt to outline these steps just as simply. If you have any questions (or if I fail at simplicity), email me or leave a comment and I'll try to help you out.

1. Open a Photobucket account. These are awesome! They are free and simple to sign up for and the upload time, though it depends also on your Internet connection speed, is generally really fast.

2. Upload your pictures using the 800x600 (15" screen) option or the 1024x768 (17" screen) option.

3. Once uploaded, copy the "direct link" code (it starts with "http://i".....) for one picture (found beneath the thumbnail) and go back to the "new post" page of your blog.

4. Click on the "edit html" tab and paste the code straight into your text box.

5. Repeat for each picture.

6. Preview your post to determine if the pictures are the right size or the size you want. If you want to adjust the size, go to the html tab in your post, find the picture code (starts with "a onblur=") look for width=400px and change it to either 500px or 600px depending on the size you want.

It really is super simple, so don't be intimidated by all the mumbo jumbo. Just follow it through once step by step and you won't need to read these ever again. It's that easy. And the large pictures are a fantastic way to display the gorgeous pics of your kids and family! Good luck!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Chalk Wars

So, this happened a while ago, but our backyard is still graced by the after effects of this battle. One afternoon, in a desperate attempt to get something done in the house, I gave the boys a bucket of fat chalk, escorted them to the backyard and took my leave with barely a backward glance. I knew what the consequences would be, but I was willing to accept them. Little did I know that a short while later, upon surveying the war efforts, I would discover this - two little painted Indians putting an end to war through art ... chalk art ... everywhere:

*click on storyboards to enlarge*

Saturday, September 27, 2008


This is something that Buddha picked up from his Auntie. I love it. He also says, "OH-MY-GOSH!" With gusto (in case the CAPS didn't already make that abundantly clear). This last is courtesy of his oft-times dumb-founded mother.

So anyway, what's unbelievable is the following story:

I made spaghetti for dinner the other night, nothing remarkable there. But for a side, I made breaded, mozzarella-topped eggplant chips. Guess what Buddha's favorite part of dinner was? He even asked for more...and more...and more!! Go figure that the one time I make a vegetable that I'm not a fan of, he loves it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Lest you think me massively egotistical, I retract my previous proclamation of impending professionalism, and proclaim instead my intention to now use my photography to supplement our family's annual income. I will become a professional when others decide I am professional enough to be "professional." Profound, I know.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Dear friends and family,

I am taking the plunge. I am plugging my nose and jumping off the cliff into the unknown (feet first, of course, because I am a sissy). I am not just getting my feet wet, I am submerging them completely. In short, I am going pro. And, I am ... hoping I don't regret this! Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I have changed my photography name to Lizzie Jane Photography (thanks Ashley, Unkey Dino and Papa, for inspiring this new name). I have changed the actual URL to my blog as well, so it is now http://lizziejanephotography.blogspot.com/. For those of you who have my link on your blogs and websites, I hope you will make the change with me. And for those of you who haven't yet added me to your blog rolls, I hope you will soon!

I am also currently working on getting a professional website up and running, so look for that soon (and be sure to add it to your blog lineup too!).

Many changes and many new developments are on the horizon. I am excited about all the ideas floating through my head as I embark on this new adventure and as I contemplate how my life will be changing (hopefully for the better - would like to avoid any nightmare experiences) as I pursue a dream that I've only recently discovered was indeed a dream of mine. Here's to artistic expression in whatever form it may possess you!

LJP (Hmm...that has a nice ring to it...if I do say so myself!) :-)

P.S. Take note that my photography email address has also changed to lizziejanephotography@gmail.com. Imagine that.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Flashback Friday

I don't think this really needs any explanation. The little Devil, aka Unkey Dino, thought it would be fun to cover his little sister in baby powder. Do I look like I was having fun?

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Gratitude Attitude - 9/15/08

Today I am thankful for...

1. Brothers who play together
2. My patient husband
3. Finished projects
4. Anticipation
5. Trader Joe's yummy frozen meals
6. #1 accidents instead of #2 (Buddha, not me) :)
7. Sore muscles
8. Modern medicine

It's late. Peace out.

Cruise Research

I want to do a little research on cruises, but I've never been on one and I don't even know where to start. So, if you've been on a cruise, could you chime in please to let me know what your favorite cruise line is and why? And what your favorite cruising course was (i.e. Caribbean, Mediterranean, Alaskan, Scandinavian, etc.)? I remember a friend mentioning once that you want a cruise with the freedom to choose when you eat and who you eat with, but I can't remember what that is called and which cruise lines are like that. Help!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Gratitude Attitude - 9/14/08

Today I am thankful for....

1. New exercise beginnings
2. My 1st and 2nd counselors
3. Quiet time
4. The Spirit
5. My thoughtful husband
6. Sibling love
7. Family phone calls
8. Validating conversation
9. Pain relief
10. My book-loving boys

Today was a rough day, but even so I managed to recognize at least 10 blessings. Imagine the wealth of gratitude a good day must elicit!

*By the way, I am still reading all of your blogs...religiously. I just haven't the time to comment on each and every one of them anymore. This kills me as you all know I have a lot to say. Photography is picking up (hooray!) and I spend most of my spare time processing clients' photos. I hope you understand and will still drop by to see what's going on in our neck of the woods every now and then! A big squeeze from me to you. Blog on!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Gratitude Attitude - 9/13/08

Today I am thankful for....

1. My camera
2. Sand in my toes and wind in my hair
3. The sound of waves
4. Liz time
5. My handy husband
6. Creativity
7. Little arms squeezing me tight in a bear hug
8. Nighttime
9. Mint chocolate chip
10. Bribes
11. An awesome new closet courtesy of my aforementioned handy husband
12. Order

Closet Before (The Chief's shelf and all his clothes came crashing down in the middle of the night a few weeks ago - scared us to death!)

Closet After (The Chief created this heavenly order today. I love him!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Gratitude Attitude - 9/12/08

1. Sleep
2. New friends
3. Gift-giving
4. Surprises
5. Early bedtime
6. Tomorrows
7. Photo editing software
8. Fruit
9. Jesus
10. Rousing debates

Buddha the Scholar

While most kids Buddha's age have been in preschool for at least half a year now, he has yet to start. The reason for this is his unwillingness to poop on the toilet. He always poops in his diaper standing up and has somehow convinced himself that his poop just can't come out if he's sitting down. Hmmm...I wonder if I should try having him stand on the toilet seat....?

Well, anyway, I got some workbooks from Costco and have been working on writing with him. He's got his ABC's down. He's reading phonetically already. He knows his colors and shapes backwards and forwards. Counting is a cinch for him. So, what I set out to work on are his writing skills. Unbeknownst to me, he can actually already write as well. When I pulled out his workbook for the first time, I thought I'd test him and he just sat right down and wrote his name when I asked him to. Just like that. Well kick me in the pants and spit in my eye! I was flabbergasted. So, now we're just working on perfecting all these things and every day I'm wondering if I'm going to have that child who is excruciatingly bored in public school.

I love my little smarty pants. Here are some cute pictures from a recent school "session."

Ring Around the Phonesies

I was calling all around to try to get my dad's office number at BYU. I tried INFO, but they didn't have a phone number for him. So I tried my mom, but she didn't answer her cell phone. So I tried my parent's home phone, but nobody answered. So I tried my brother's cell phone, but he didn't answer.

Finally, my mom called me back and gave me my dad's office number. However, while I was talking to my mom, she got another call and had to go. It was my brother. So, when I hung up with her, I tried to call my dad. He wasn't in his office, but while I was leaving a message, my phone started beeping at me. It was my brother. So, I called him back and while I was talking to him, my phone started beeping at me again. It was my mom calling me back. So I finished talking to my brother and called my mom back to tell her the twisted telephone tale. How's that for a super-complicated cell phone circle?

Flashback Friday

I have a friend, Tamber, who does Flashback Fridays with old school pictures. I love the idea and I'm going to steal it from her. I hope you don't mind, Tamber. It's just that old pictures are some of my favorite things to look at. They evoke strong emotions in me and they make me laugh as I think of days gone by (not to mention the hair-do's and clothes that have long since gone by). My only connection with my past lies in photographs as I obviously cannot rely on my own memory to do the job.

This is my dad, Deputy Sheriff, being worshiped by a coworker. :) Just kidding. My dad is a goofball and I love him for it. No doubt these two were setting up the perfect scene for all the world to know my father in all his public safety glory. Actually, as an interesting side note, my father was Deputy Sheriff in the Ogden area at the time of the infamous Hi-Fi Murders ('tis a brutal story, not for the faint of heart).

Jesus in My Backyard

A few minutes ago, as I was laboring at the kitchen sink, up to my elbows in greasy water and soap bubbles, Bugga came in from the backyard announcing, "Jesus, backard, saw him," all while gesturing toward the roof in our backyard. So I asked him, "Is Jesus back there? Did you see Him?" Bugga's reply to both questions was a simple "Yes." Now, I want to interject here with some personal beliefs about Jesus and children. I firmly believe that the little ones on this earth are closer to heaven than anyone else. I believe that the veil is thin between heaven and children and that they see things we can only dream of. So, naturally, I kept the conversation going and asked Bugga what Jesus wanted. He said, "Food." And then Bugga shut the door and resumed play in the backyard. Less than a minute later he came in and started all over again, insisting that Jesus was in our backyard and that He was hungry. So, I asked Bugga what he thought Jesus would like to eat. Buddha had arrived at this point, not to be left out of anything, and he suggested carrots. I grabbed Bugga's half-eaten, yesterday carrot out of the fridge and offered it up to his eager little hands. He trotted outside with his carrot held high and proceeded to yell at the top of his lungs while holding his stump of a carrot toward the heavens, "JESUS! FOOD!" And then he turned toward the trees and offered his carrot toward the treetops, repeating his trumpeting food call. I got a bit teary-eyed as I thought of how much Jesus must love His little ones, especially when they acknowledge Him and try to care for Him. I know Bugga saw Jesus out there. He's still in here talking about it. In fact, I just asked him if he remembered to shut the door to the backyard when he came back in. He thought a second and then said, "Yes. Jesus stuck," and went running right back out. As I write this, he's banging on something and calling, "JE-sus! JE-sus!" I love him. And I love Him.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Gratitude Attitude - 9/11/08

1. Dates to remind me of significant events
2. Occasional remission of my eczema (today being one of those occasions)
3. Hot showers
4. Band-aids
5. My sensitive husband
6. Freedom from tyranny
7. Earth's edible offspring
8. The color grey
9. Increased self-control
10. My hooligan boys
11. Naps
12. Modern invention (i.e. waffle maker)
13. The return of Wednesday nights with the high school band
14. Sweet forgiveness
15. Girlfriends and movie nights
16. A book that can bring me to my knees in humility and in gratitude for the abundance in my life (The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver)

You know, when I first did this yesterday, I thought to myself, "Now here's something I should do every day - just list ten things I'm grateful for." However, today when I tried to limit myself to ten, I had serious problems trying to eliminate some blessings. So then I thought to myself, "Self, why are you trying to eliminate blessings from your gratitude list? That's absurd." And so, at the risk of boring my journal readers, I'm actually going to try to list each day all the things that I'm feeling thankful for that day. I've already felt myself drifting away from my tendency to be a victim, moving toward embracing a new, empowered, productive and humble me. Try it. You may be surprised at the change a little vocalized gratitude brings to your life outlook.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Gratitude Attitude - 9/10/08

1. A break in the heat that has allowed me to turn off my A/C and open my windows
2. The cool ocean breeze
3. The color green
4. Big hazel eyes
5. My hard-working husband
6. A clean floor
7. A tired body at the end of a productive day
8. My hands
9. Renewed determination to overcome my weaknesses
10. My clever boys

P.S. Beets. We ate beets. They were simply delicious drizzled with a little olive oil and soaked in a bit of apple cider vinegar. Fresh beets definitely beat (no pun intended) the canned version! I loved all your guesses.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mystery Dinner

We recently joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) called Be Wise Ranch. For those of you not familiar with CSAs, they are farm co-ops. We bought a share in the produce grown/harvested at the farm. Everything is organic and delivered the same day it is harvested. We pick up a large box of produce every other week. I have to admit, the produce doesn't look the greatest, but it certainly tastes divine! So fresh and so good. We mowed through the oranges in no time and they were sweeter and juicier than any oranges I've ever tasted. I've also been using the different leafy greens in shakes that I make for the kids.

The other night we had a dinner that included a mystery veggie. Well, I know what it is, but I'm not telling. Use the last picture below to help you guess what we ate a few nights ago (Libby, you're not allowed to guess). It was really, really good. My friend, Libby, who has been part of this CSA for a while, mentioned that the vegetables last longer because they are so freshly pulled from the ground when we get them. I can attest to the truthfulness of that statement. They've been in my fridge for a week and a half and they're still nice and perky. I definitely recommend checking out what CSAs you might have in your area, wherever you might live. What could be better than having your necessary fruits and veggies delivered to you fresh from the earth?!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Where in Oregon Have the Bagels Been?*

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...so why do I still write so dang much? In this post, I am challenging myself to say as much as possible with as few words as possible. I'm going to attempt to let my pictures do the talking...well, most of the talking. So, here below lies the two-week time line of my Oregon saga, complete with photographic journaling and video proof of occurrence.

(All images are mine unless otherwise noted)

Thursday - August 14, 2008
Arrived in Oregon.

The Amity First Baptist Church est. 1858. Very cool.

Friday - August 15, 2008
Picked up Chub and Auntie from the birth center. Took them home.

Saturday - August 16, 2008
Took the boys to Scotty's Playhouse at Church on the Hill in McMinnville. It's free. Have I mentioned that before?

Sunday - August 17, 2008
Attended church then took the boys to Glacier Rock followed by meadow exploring. Fresh air, beautiful scenery, exertion in the great outdoors - what more could one ask for to feel close to our Creator?

Jumping contest on Glacier Rock

Monday - August 18, 2008
Stayed home all day and wanted to shoot myself at the end of the day. Don't think I was the only one who felt that way.

Tuesday - August 19, 2008
Took a trip to the beach and lighthouse at Yaquina Head, towing five boys through squall-like conditions. It was cold...and wet...and miserable...and very memorable. It was the definition of adventure. Felt like a sheep herder by the end of the day. Actually, Auntie's description is probably more accurate - it was like herding cats. Stubborn cats.

Photo (above) by Ratchet

Photo (above) by Ratchet

I saw a few random mailboxes. This one cracked me up.

Wednesday - August 20, 2008
Played with the boys at home while Auntie took Chub to a check-up with the midwife and Ratchet went for a massage. Much better "home day" this go-round.

Thursday - August 21, 2008
Took the boys to Scotty's Playhouse again. Nearly got trampled by the stampede of children charging through the open doors. Left after a little while for lack of breathing room. (Weekends must be better there). Called Ratchet on the way home, picked him up as we drove by the house, kept going in the direction of the river. The three little guys had a blast throwing rocks and wading in the river they had all to themselves. I had a blast photographically chronicling the unabashed display of testosterone. Boys will be boys...and I love it.

Friday - August 22, 2008
Took the boys to Discovery Meadows Park - every child's dream park. It was hot. The boys had red faces and sandy bottoms by the time we left, but they enjoyed every minute of it! Picked up The Chief at the airport that night.

Discovery Meadow's Park

Saturday - August 23, 2008
Took the boys to Silver Falls with The Chief. Hiked the South Falls. Couldn't have managed it without The Chief. Steep drop offs and slippery pavement wasn't what we were expecting. Found out later that Auntie and Ratchet had hiked the North Falls. Oops. Thank heaven for The Chief and the stroller that contained the two little guys. Buddha has a problem with not watching where he's going when he walks/runs. He nearly ran straight off the edge to plummet to his death. I screamed at him and he stopped just short of the side. I scared him. He scared me.

North Falls pic by The Chief

Sunday - August 24, 2008
Spent a lovely afternoon just chillin' with my family. Took The Chief to the airport that night. Sniff sniff.

Monday - August 25, 2008
Took the kids to an orchard for a photo shoot in the morning. Ratchet knew of the perfect place. It was beautiful and mysterious and, well, perfect. Bugga played in some rocks and discovered some runny doggy poopy...all over himself. Held him at arms length all the way to the car, frantically dug for wipes, then stripped him down. Three boys took a quick bath at home then we were off to the airport again. Picked up Unkey Dino at the airport and headed to Multnomah Falls - second tallest continuous waterfall in the continental U.S. Another scary hike and adventure with the stroller. Unkey Dino went alone to the top. I walked next to Buddha the whole time with him on the inside of the path - not taking any chances this time. We made it to the bottom alive. Breathe.

"Yucky, Mommy, yucky."

Say Multnomah

Tuesday - August 26, 2008
Went to see Auntie's Naturepath doctor against my will. :) He gave me some great treatment plans for dealing with my eczema. I have yet to start them because I'm too busy (and afraid) to take a 15 minute shower while alternating between cold and hot water every three minutes. Yikes! Must have courage. Thanks Auntie and Ratchet! Played with Unkey Dino.

Do more "pull ups" Unkey Dino!

Unkey Dino

Wednesday - August 27, 2008
Took the boys to Pacific City Beach with Unkey Dino. It was misty and rainy with billowing grey clouds threatening to overtake our tiny section of beach. Eventually they did. We ate snacks in the car. It stopped raining and we explored another section of the beach. Kiwanda Rock was a formidable site and the rest of the seascape was breathtaking. The boys were properly worn out and, as planned, fell asleep for the car ride home. Unkey Dino and I talked about the Twilight series as we wound our way back home through dense, encroaching, moss-covered forest.

Unkey Dino's Crab Act

Thursday - August 28, 2008
Came back home. Back to the daily grind. Miss the little guys we left behind. Love San Diego.

*...Perhaps it would be easier to ask where haven't we been now?