Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wedding Photography..

...is sooooooo not my speciality!!!

It was so lovely to be involved in Sam and P.J's wedding. It was tonnes of fun spending the day with the family and experiencing the dynamics as they got themselves ready, went to the temple, rushed to the reception, strolled down the beach for photos and then finally said goodbye to eachother. Job really enjoyed it too, especially the reception. He gets emotional whenever he talks about it :)

But....


Count me out for any future wedding photography. Although I really did have fun, I'm just nowhere near qualified to take these sort of photos. Now dont feel like you have to comment and tell me otherwise (Lisa) I know how my photos look, and I know what proper professional pictures look like. I am so relieved that this wasn't a job I was doing for some strangers or I would have felt immense pressure. The Honey family knew my insecurities but wanted me to take photos for them anyway. It really was a special weekend and I can completely understand why photographers enjoy shooting weddings. It really is an amazing experience, and one I will leave to them from now on ;) So if anyone ever asks me again to take photos - you know what the answer will be. I have been practicing my 'no' in front of the mirror - I am prepared!!

-Except for you Anita, you know I will take photos for you when you get married. You better not get anyone else! ;)

So, here's some of my favourite shots. I am trying my best to stop looking at all the mistakes. I never realised how may times I cut peoples feet out of photos - and sometimes, their arms!
-And don't even get me started on the ISO. Hahaha










Thank you Honey Family for the experience :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Trick or treat!

Last Sunday, we had some cute little (and not so little) trick-or-treaters come knocking on our door. I woke up Job, haha just kidding, I think he was already awake this time. The kids ran to the door and then ran back inside saying "Mum, don't go out there, Sam is really scary!"

A little bit aprehensive of what we were going to see (and with Sisi tucked snuggly into Jobs neck) we came to the door. Not at all scary....just some very cute little witches.


                    Hang on, what's that ugly thing in the background??!! This photo cracks me up!

                                                 Now I know where Archie gets his hair from

                                                                    Double Trouble

                                                      Does this man look scary to you.... ??!


The only thing that frightened me, was when Kym took her mask off. 
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!

                                                  One of the cutest witches going around

                                                         Joe's turn with the ugly mask

            Kym stealing Archies lollies. (If you wanted some lollies too Kymbo, you only had to ask)

                                                Cute Hanisi showing me her lolly bag

We got a kick of having them drop by. Afterward we wished we had have been better prepared so we could have joined them. We'll have to wait until next time :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

Sunday afternoon as we drove home from church, Job and I watched the kids as they sat in the back, heads bobbing up and down as they drifted in and out of sleep. The only one truly asleep when we got home was this little princess..

Sometimes I am struck with how beautiful Sisi is. Yes I am biased I know, but I just love her dark locks and beautiful skin. She looks so sweet when she is asleep. I always fall in love with my kids when they are sleeping - it must be because its the only time that they are so well behaved :)


I love the quote by Joe Houldsworth - "The only thing worth strealing is a kiss from a sleeping child."

                            
                               And dont think I didn't steal a few kisses from those beautiful Tongan lips

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday - our favourite family day

Sunday is my favourite family day because it's the only day of the week that the TV and computer dont go on (apart from the occasional peep at facebook!) After church, Sisi has a sleep while the kids and I pig out on whatever food we can find left in the cupboard. Job watches us, amused at what sort of food combinations we can come up with. He is usually fasting and has to wait for his. So once we've stuffed ourselves, we take the opportunity to play some board games while Sisi is still sleeping. Once she wakes up.....board games are over. It must look like some sort of '30 second game evacuation' in the house. When she wakes up, someone yells "Sisi's awake!!" and we all rush around, picking up pieces and quickly packing things away in a crazy type of frenzy before she comes down the hallway and discovers us.
Try playing a board game with our little Sisi and you'll understand why.

So after the mad board game clean up, we'll often continue to play other games, ones that Sisi can join in with (and ones the often send Job off to sleep on the couch) I have taken so many photos and so much footage of our Sunday afternoons together but I am learning that if I spend too much time looking for photos and videos my blog never gets done. I am also learning that I desperately need to organise my photos! So in an effort to continue blogging, I am only going to post some pics from Sunday last week and maybe when I get time.....or not, I'll post all the other fun things we have done (including family wrestling...there needs to be footage of me throwing Job on the floor!)

The Sunday just gone, we added a new activity to the list, probably our favourite one so far. We had to make a drop to the Terrys, so we took the dog and went for a walk. I should probably also mention that the Terrys came to our house first and woke up Job and myself. We had accidently fallen asleep on the couch! Must have been another game of duck, duck goose that sent us both off to sleep ;) Haha, Sundays are also sleepy days for some reason.
So anyway, on the way to the Terrys we came up with the brilliant plan that we wouldn't knock on the door as usual, but rather sneak up and knock - and - run. We cut accross the vacant blocks near their back fence when suddenly we saw Sam in the backyard. I yelled "Everybody Down!!" Instantly we all dropped to the ground ninja style and started crawling and ducking along the grass trying to get to the fence line and out of sight. I wonder if any of the neighbours peered out of their windows and thought we were Charlies Angels. We were all hiding behind their neighbours fence when the neighbour came out. He politely ignored us (which helped Job and I keep a little dignity)
So the 4 kids and the dog went up to the front door, left a little package on the doorstep, knocked and bolted back to the fence where Job and I were waiting. We were all squealing and shooshing eachother. I'm sure the Terrys (and the rest of the neighbourhood) could hear us. The kids weren't sure if the Terrys heard the knock so they went back but got caught. Mission Failed! The Terrys had no idea there was a mission at all. Lani had a chat to Mariah and the girls and then we walked back home. We had so much fun in stealth mode we decided to do the same thing to the Clarks and the Rogers, but were caught out both times too. Looks like we'll have to work on our stealth mode for next time. It could become a Sunday tradition...next time I'll have to take the camera. Job and I laugh hysterically whenever we think of all of us dropping down low on the middle of the vacant block....surrounded by houses....and windows. It would have been hilarious if Sam had have turned around and saw us.

Ah, good times. I do have some photos handy of the Sunday beofe that (8 days ago) we played quite a few rounds of celebrity heads. I don't know who Sisi had on her head (it may have even been blank)

         Samuel the Lamanite, The Wise Men, Blank piece on Sisi's head (I think) and The Brother of Jared

           
               Not sure how JJ ended up with that funny looking peice of paper. Wait. Job did that one ;)
                                             
                                                  Strippling Warriors and Gadianton Robbers

I love this photo of the boys, this was taken at the end of the night. The rest of the pics and videos will    never make it to the blog as you can see on the bathroom floor where all their clothes are :) 
                             

                      I love the fun you can have with your family within the walls of your own home.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Teddies and Kisses

                  These are all the Teddies I am asked to kiss each night when I say goodnight to Lani

She has them all lined up on her bed during the day. I remember doing the same thing when I was younger. I don't rememebr expecting mum to give them a kiss but I do remember the names of some of my favourite teddies....actually they were stuffed dogs - Emily and Robert. I remember some of Kym and Toni's toys too. Next time you speak to Kym - ask her about Potty Bear ;)

hahaha, don't laugh Toni, or I'll have to mention your rug. I don't have to mention mine as this is MY blog :)

                                                             I also remember doing this...

                 ....giving my teddies prime position on the bed while I tried not to fall off the edge.

*Sigh* I think I miss my teddies, they were much more comfortable to sleep with than a husband and children! - and they didn't make funny noises durung the night!

...Wasn't it somebody's duty to inform me of that before I got married?! ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rehearsals!

I thought it was about time I had a follow up blog on the kids music.

We went through a bit of a slump where I wasn't teaching the kids much in the way of music. We were way too content lounging around doing who knows what else instead. About 5-6 weeks ago I decided it was time to start a fresh. I found a really good website where you can listen to, and print out kids music. I have been using some of the songs for the kids but the thing I love the most, are the pratice charts:


The chart covers a whole month. We told the kids that if they met their weekly goals for the month, we would have a little reward for them. We began last month with smaller ammounts of practice time. Lani started off with 5 mins a day, Benny 8 mins and JJ 10 mins. They filled their entire charts and even practiced a little bit extra. We were very proud of them and gave them their little rewards a week ago (a lego person each).


Even Sisi got one! They loved opening up the packet to see who the mystery lego characters were. Of course Benny was disappointed that he didn't get what JJ got.

I have been telling the kids that they'll be putting on a concert soon. We thought the perfect time to do so would be next week while my mum and (other) sister are here visiting. I made up some invitations but didn't get them sent out in time, so mum and Toni, you'll have to count this as your invite :)

                                                                      ...and with the flash...

The kids have been practicing hard. So far, for the first week of the next rehearsal month, the kids have put in double time. They are eager to finish their songs before the concert.

                                 As usual, I don't know who's more excited, them or me.

Here's a sneak preview. I found this video that Job took of Lani. Judging by her hair, I'd say it was 2-3 months ago. This is the first song Lani chose to learn on the piano. Its from the Barbie movie 'A diamond Castle.'
video

                                           She can play the whole song now, plus three others.

Sometimes the kids grumble, but most of the time they are happy to practice and enjoy showing us what they can do. The practice charts really help too!

- If anyone would like to take over teaching Benny, let me know!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Noah

It's been a while....

I know I often blog in bursts these days because I get too busy (usually paying attention to my kids) but this time its been a while for a different reason.

       This cute little 10 year old boy passed away.. (here he is with his mum on his last birthday in June)

Lisa (Noah's mum) commented on her blog the day this photo was taken that she hoped Noah would be more awake for his birthday next year :)  Noah was born with hydranencephany, meaning he was missing most of his brain. I don't think any of us thought so much about Noah's disibilites, we all just saw and knew him as 'Noah.' You can read lots more about Noah and his awesome family here on Lisa's blog.       Although he didn't live long enough to celebrate his eleventh birthday, he outlived his life expectancy by 6 years!! Good on you Noah!!  Heavenly Father gave him 10 years to bless the lives of everyone around him.
I didn't know Noah as well as many others did. I've been a bit slow building friendships over here. I still feel like a bit of an outsider in a place where so many people are related or have grown up together. Most of the members at church share a history together. I came to know Lisa through my love of photography. She takes beautiful photos and once I found out she also liked tim tams, I was hooked! I didn't feel entitiled to shower Noah with cuddles and kisses as others did because I didn't know the family so well (stupid I know!) but I did have many quieter moments at church when no one was around and Noah was parked quietly in his wheelchair in one of the hallways, to have a quick chat and give his chubby cheeks some kisses :)

Along when so many other family and friends, I have been thinking about the Kings a lot over this last two weeks. They are loved by so many people and I think its because of they shared Noah with everyone.
If I ever lost one of my children, I would curl up in a dark corner somewhere and hybernate. I'm pretty sure I would want everyone to leave me alone. The greateset lesson I have learned from Noah and his family is how to share yourself. I'm sure it will take me a lifetime to be able to do what they have in these short years. They have the ability to completely share their joy, their pain and grief with people around them. Maybe they learned this special gift from Noah himself. :)

When we loose someone we love - especially family and even more so - a child, we mourn for what 'could' have been. The Kings had 10 wonderful years of what 'could' have been, with Noah.

I love this photo of Noah and his older brother Jaylen. This picture is also from his birthday. Jalen felt that Noah didn't have very much time left and so he got some extra cuddles in :)

The service for Noah was just so beautiful. So so beautiful. I felt privilleged to be able to help with the music and contribute to the photos. The Kings gave such moving talks and I think Noah would have been especially proud of his brothers!

At the cemetary, there was lots of colour....beautiful flowers and decorations, a bubble machine and colourful balloons for all the children to release into the big blue sky.



                                                      It truly was a celebration of Noahs life!

                    Thank you King family, for teaching me so much more about love and sacrifice xx

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Disco Dancing!

I wanted to title this blog 'disco fever' but a friend has already used the title and I don't want to be a copy cat!

This afternoon...or evening (when does afternoon turn into evening anyway...) At 5pm, the kids had their school disco. We love discos and dancing!! We were a little late as we had to wait for hot lips to get home. When we arrived I thought Benny and Lani might take a while to warm up to the scene (as the usually do) but to my suprise, they jumped straight in. The first dance called for partners - who better to partner with than your older brother :)



...and younger sister. Sisi loves to sing and dance, she busted a move the whole time.
   
    It was fantastic to see ALL the kids dancing. They had a dance instructor who has been at the school this
    last week teaching them the dance moves. She was up the front on the stage guiding them through each
    song.



Here' s Sisi getting cosy with a couple of Bennys friends

Benny and his friend Alex playing air guitar (no wonder Benny is taking a while to learn the guitar at home, look how he's holding it!)

                                           Bennys teacher snaps a photo of some good looking kids ;)
                                                                    
                                                                              The Dads
                                                       
                                                       Charlotte and Sisi having a dance...

                                                      and Lani and Chelsea (they'll be 6 soon!!!)

                                                  Job even got a chance to get his groove on
                              
                                     ............or maybe it was just an excuse to flex his muscles
       
           I think the kids loved this dance the most. It was 'Kung Fu fighting' - they call it 'Kung Fu Panda.'

The younger kids had their disco from 5-6pm, after that, it was the big kids turn. JJ (who'd been sitting down watching the younger ones) suddenly came to life when his friends arrived.



                                                  The first dance was with partners..

Silly Ben chased JJ around once the song had finished, chanting "JJ danced with a gi-rl!"

The bigger kids disco was a total contrast to the little ones. The music was louder and the light went out. It looks like it was light in the photos because I had the flash on but it really looked like this a lot of the time:

video

The kids had lots of time in between rountines for freestyle dancing

JJ with two of his good friends, Jordan and Sam


Playing a game - they were meant to construct the letter 'm'




The Wonderful Kiosk Ladies :) - The kids were able to buy food and drinks throughout the night..

There was an air guitar competition. Everyone displayed their best air guitar moves while the dance instructor walked around and chose 6 of the kids to compete at the front. Here's some of the younger kids:
                                  
                                        Much better Benny, your guitar is the right way round :)

...and here's one of the big kids, grade 5/6 teacher and our Stake President 

One of JJ's friends - Jordan, was chosen to dance at the front
                                                         
                                                            The boys cheered him on...

He couldn't believe it when he won!


I was so disappointed to find out that all the videos (except for the short one above) didn't come out. I'm not sure what happened, its a shame to not have the little kids dancing to Kung fu fighting - and Jordans air guitar routine, it really was the best air guitar anyone had seen.

It was such a good night, a big thank you to the teachers and parents that made it all possible!