Category Archives: family

Happy Halloween!

Yet another month has BLAZED by since my last post.  School (work) has me so busy this year, there isn’t much time for things like blogging, Facebook, personal email, etc.

I’m only working with 4th grade this year via a Team Teaching / Co-Teaching model.  Our 4th grade Inclusion Homeroom teacher is Mrs. Shockey. We have 26 students.  The kids are with Shockey/Ecklor for  Math, Science, & Social Studies. Then they switch classes for Reading & Writing with Evans/Ecklor.

Ryley got to dress up 4 times this year for different Halloween activities. Last weekend she was a cheerleader princess for the Stockton Fun Run and she dressed as a princess for Spooktacular at the Jax Zoo.

Friday night we went trick-or-treating at the Avenues Mall with some friends (cheerleader princess again). Then for Halloween, I made her a giraffe costume.  We had found a giraffe print hoodie that inspired me to make her a full costume. I made a tail, mane and horns and sewed them onto the hoodie. I painted a pair of pants with a giraffe print to match the hoodie & then made her some hooves.  

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Wanna see something CREEPY????

We took Ryley trick-or-treating in a neighborhood near where I work and parked on the side of the road. There were a couple small trees in the area between the sidewalk and our vehicle (foreshadowing).  When we were finished Ryley was tired, so Jerry carried her back to the Explorer. I went around to the driver’s side (on the road) to unlock it, while Jerry crossed the grass from the sidewalk to the truck and headed between the two trees.

Luckily his “spidey sense” kicked in and he spotted this ‘little’ guy  (more like 3 inches) right in front of them building a web between the trees. I have no idea how I managed to get out of the car without running face first into the thing. The shock probably would have killed me!!!

Being a ‘come here’ to Florida, I have no idea if this guy is poisonous or even what kind it is. So if anyone knows, please fill me in!

 

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Can you IMAGINE walking FACE FIRST into it????  AAAAAHHHHHHHH

Check out my Facebook albums for more photos from Halloween and other recent events!

 

From the Heart,

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Recent Events…

HOLY COW… another month GONE! 

Facebook has definitely taken my attention away from my blogging.  I don’t even know where to begin to catch up. I still have so many pix from my trip home to NY this summer that I want to share, but haven’t managed to make time for it.

The past month in a nutshell…

Being photographed by Hanson Fong was a lot of fun. I haven’t received portraits from him yet, but then again, I haven’t asked him for them either! I keep “meaning to.”  I wrote to him on Facebook right after the convention, but then never followed up.  For those of you who aren’t on Facebook, here’s a couple pix…

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Here’s one of my favorite images that I shot of Ryley while everything was going on during Hanson’s workshop…I just couldn’t stand watching everyone else photograph her and not get to myself! SOOOO glad I did, because this image inspired me to update my look… this is something I’ve been playing around with.         Whatcha think?   I’ll use these for my children’s portraiture business card. This is the front and back of the card, plus a new logo I’m considering. Feel free to give feedback

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Ryley turned THREE on August 25th, the day after Hanson photographed us. What a blessing to have Hanson Fong create her 3 year portraits!  The image I saw on the back of his camera was phenominal…competition quality.  He’s such a great person & teacher.   Jerry said, “Now I know why you like to attend these photography classes so much!”

The school year has gotten off to a GREAT start. I’m busier than ever… working solely with 4th grade this year. I thought I’d be less busy, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. It takes A LOT of planning time and extra hours outside the school day to make our inclusion program work successfully. On a lighter note, Jerry & I are now both official business partners for my school John N.C. Stockton Elementary. We’ve been helping out through our businesses by volunteering our talents over the past 2 years, so this year we made it an official commitment.

Finally, this past weekend, I walked in the Inaugural Stop Child Trafficking Now Walk. I never knew that Human Trafficking is the SECOND largest criminal industry in the world, second only to drugs! The number of children trapped in sexual slavery is staggering. Florida is the 3rd ranked state in the nation for it’s number of child sexual slavery cases.  To learn more go to http://www.SCTNow.org .   Also, check out my pix from the event on FACEBOOK!

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I’ve never done any kind of fundraising before that I can remember…and I signed up only 5 days before the event. So I set my goal at $100. I met my goal and have continued to receive contributions this week! I’ve almost doubled my goal!!!  That’s pretty exciting.  I believe in this cause because when I was young, my mom taught me about ‘bad people’ who do this sort of thing to children. It’s stuck with me my whole life…every single day children are sold and forced into prostitution and VERY YOUNG CHILDREN are raped to create pornography.  This organization is the first of its kind, because its focus is AWARENESS of the problem and CONVICTION OF CRIMINALS through Special Operative Teams. Other organizations focus on rescuing children only, which does nothing to DETER and PREVENT this from continuing.  “The efforts of a single operative team will do more to save children than millions of dollars put toward rescuing victims!” 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uMbE5bvV2c Link to a good, short video explaining exactly what the Special Operative Teams do & how:

http://www.sctnow.org/contentpages.aspx?parentnavigationid=5813&viewcontentpageguid=503caffe-d8d0-498b-996a-9a01134b898c

In the picture I have a SCTNow.org sticker on my shirt, because they only printed 400 registration signs for participants to wear.  There were a BUNCH of people wearing a sticker instead, so that shows how good the turnout was for this inaugural walk! Next year, I imagine it’ll be at least twice as big. Go to this link to view my donor page &/or make a donation

Please help me in praying that this organization will continue to grow and succeed!

Love & blessings, my-signature-75dpiweb

PS…I have lots more photos from the walk in my  Facebook photo album 🙂

Blogging My Trip Home to Western NY

I had every intention of posting photos daily on Facebook while I was home, but just never made it happen.  I stayed 3.5 weeks, so I ended up with a ton of photos. 

 

Ryley and I stayed with my dad and had loads of fun.  I’m going to post photo albums on Facebook, so check there to see more.  

I LOVE this one of my brother Brandon, me, my Dad, and Ryley!  I think it’s my favorite image from my whole trip.

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And a few more….

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My next post will be about my high school reunion from my trip home LAST summer, and I’ll be adding a photo album of all my reunion images to Facebook.

 

Love, Hugs, & Blessings!

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Where’d the time go?

Good grief, 2009 is flying by

I’m in NY with Ryley visiting my family. Today was my mom’s 70th birthday, and since I’m home, she was able to have all 3 of her kids together. Being a photographer, do you think I got a photo of all three of us with her??? NOPE!   I’ve taken over 1,000 pictures since I got here, but I dropped the ball today. So now it’s my mission to get the 4 of us back together again for that photo before I head back to Florida.

I’ll try to write again soon and share some of the shots I’ve gotten so far.

Love & Blessings!  my-signature-75dpiweb

please PRAY!

My friend Tracey who lives in Gloucester, VA sent me this message request for prayer, and I just had to share. If you are a parent, have family with young children, or know anyone with small children you have to read this! Stories like these are becoming more and more frequent, so we need to keep building awareness and also pray for those who have experienced this horrific tragedy!

PLEASE read the message below.  I’ve joined a group on Facebook – We Love
Katie
– Katie is 15 and the daughter of Kristi Milby Vann and David Vann
(Helen Vann’s son).  Since Jan. Katie has been in a wheelchair and is now in
Boston for evaluation to see if she qualifies for treatment for a very rare
disease known as RSD or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (chronic, painful and
progressive neurological condition that affects the skin, muscles, joints,
and bones.  Her injury is a direct result of a broken ankle she suffered in
Jan. 2008.  Through all their visits to CHKD, they are hearing and sharing
so many other stories of people in need of prayer.  This family is in
NEED!!!!!  PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM AS WELL AS FOR KATIE AND THE VANN FAMILY!
Thanks,
Tracey

Butch Holland sent a message to the members of We Love Katie.

——————–
Subject: We were sent this and just feel led to ask for your prayers for
this family

Since we already have a huge prayer chain, we would like to ask for your
prayers for a family in Farmville, as they are going through an unthinkable
tragedy.

The Williams pastor a small church in Farmville, and they have three
children and 6 grandchildren.  On Saturday, Mr. and Mrs. Williams were
keeping all of their grandchildren for the day and were outside playing at
the church.  Mrs. Williams got in her car to go get lunch at McDonald’s, and
as she pulled out onto the street, she didn’t realize that her nearly- three
year old grandson Addison had run out to the car.  Pastor Williams had tried
to catch him, but wasn’t quick enough.  Little Addison was struck and killed
under the back tire of Mrs. Williams’ SUV.  Not knowing what had happened,
Mrs. Williams continued on to McDonald’s, while Pastor Williams frantically
called for emergency services while trying to keep the other five
grandchildren (ages 4-9) from being so traumatized.

I attended the visitation/wake for the family last night, and I can say with
certainty that I have never in my life seen such heart-breaking grief.
Pastor Williams and his wife are absolutely broken and defeated.  They both
blame themselves.  The other grandchildren are having nightmares and the
oldest one is angry at God for “allowing this to happen.”

The funeral for Addison is today around 2.  Please pray that divine peace
that can only come from Christ be poured out onto this family.  They are an
important part of the Farmville community through both their church and
their business.  (Ironically, Rex Williams owns the main towing business in
Farmville and is the one who cleans up wrecks.)

Thank you for praying for this family.  I simply cannot imagine what they
are going through right now.  Please feel free to pass this along to any
other prayer warriors you know.

Happy Mom’s Day!

I’ve been up since 3:00 am – just enjoying the peace & quiet, and working on photos of course. I hope everyone had a Happy Mother’s Day!

I spent a lot of time playing with Ryley this weekend. She’s so much fun!

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Ryley’s 2 years and 8.5 months old – that’s all really!

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Jerry was very sick all weekend, but he managed to muster enough energy for a 5 minute photo session in our front yard.   A little bit of trivia – Jerry & I met 7 years ago on Mother’s Day weekend 🙂

Have a great week!

Love & Blessings, my-signature-75dpiweb 

Family, Birthdays & Orlando

Just a quick post.

On Monday March 9th, it was my brother Brandon’s b-day. On Tuesday March 10th, it was my husband Jerry’s b-day AND my sister Jacki had her second baby that morning! I only have cell phone photos of her though. Sara Ann Tothill was born at 6:38am on  3/10/09 weighing 6 lbs 10 oz.  She is PRECIOUS!    Both mine &  Jacki’s middle names are Ann 🙂

Jacki went into labor the night of the 9th, and I was so excited text messaging everyone I could think of, that I must have forgotten to turn my alarm to ‘on’ when I set it.  Either that or I slept through it (again).  Luckily, my friend Debbie called me at 7:35 am (I have to leave for work at 7:30 to make it on time).  It was one of those delirious, crackly voiced  “What time is it???…Deep Gasp…. HOLY CRAP  I’m LATE!” moments.  As I was FLyING around the house to get out the door, my phone buzzed.  There was a pix message of sweet little Sara Ann, just born, laying in just her diaper….and that’s how I found out she had arrived safely. It was such a relief, since it had been a long pregnancy & Jacki was sick a lot.  A flood of gratitude rushed over me and I cried like a baby … THANKING  THE  LORD as I rushed out of the house.  The only photos I have are on my cell phone, so I can’t share 😦   just yet.

I just put new photos on Facebook from this past weekend. My brother Brandon, his wife, niece & in-laws were vacationing in Orlando last week. They spent Brandon’s birthday at Disney and the rest of the week visiting all the parks.  Jerry, Ryley, and I went down on Friday, hung out, had dinner at the Polynesian Resort, spent the night, had breakfast with some Disney characters, then we took Brandon & Ashley to the airport.

At breakfast, Ryley was very excited to get to meet Mickey. Unfortunately, Stitch came to our table first. . . . . .

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Stitch trying to greet Ryley

Ryley let out a blood curdling scream when Stitch tried to say Hi to her (which I DIDN’T get any photos of, because she needed comforting). Ryley flew out of her chair so fast that she left her shoe behind!  She had never seen him before, was terrified of him, and cried hysterically.

Lilo came over and fussed at Stitch for scaring Ryley.   

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Then, Mickey came over and covered his ears trying to make Ryley laugh.  She wasn’t having any part of him either though.  This was the best we could do for a photo of Ryley with Mickey….

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Notice she only has on ONE shoe??!!! I can relate…I’m that way with spiders

On Sunday, I took Ryley to Blockbuster, found Lilo & Stitch, and she rented it.  Now Ryley LOVES these photos  and loves to tell the story.

To see more fun photos from our trip, click on this link  to my Facebook page.

Gotta get to bed. . . . . HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!!

love & blessings, my-signature-75dpiweb   xoxo