Birthday Girl!

Daughters are wonderful.


They like pink, purple, ponies, princesses, pepperoni pizza and have a thing about what to wear.

Maddy Halloween Princess

They’re concerned with ‘going out’ and kissing in kindergarten. (I’m hopeful that she’ll keep those vampire-boys away.)


Twirling is necessary. Tulle a must.


They’re truly delicate creatures who can drum up instant crocodile tears one moment and proclaim their undying love the next.


Daughters are beautiful.

Maddy Pink Grass

Even mine!

Silly Maddy Goggles

Happy 6th Birthday, Miss Is!

Lessons in What Not to Do: Dallas & Donna





Babies, you can’t help but love them!  Especially this one, he’s the cutest, most well-mannered young man I have ever met and I was thrilled that Mommy said yes.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. 


This lesson was a diving board attempt at “studio” lighting with natural light and no strobes (or flash for that matter).  I did fairly well with my Syd homework assignment, the only exception that a mono-light in the background would have added more depth.  So I stole hubby’s worklight from the garage and hooked it onto my tripod.  I lucked out on the backdrop.  You know I’m thrifty, but this one takes the cake considering what a real one would have cost me.  I stopped by St. Vincent de Paul’s the day before the shoot and I stumbled upon a bolt of black, crushed velvety-like fabric.  Happy dance was happen’n for $9.00!  Six a.m. the morning of, my sewing machine and I were humming away stitching 26 feet of fabric.  Home Depot provided the PVC pipe and clamps to prop it all up for around six dollars.  The only thing left was the babe.


As most babies are, Dallas was kind of squirmy.  Like a moth to a flame, he was drawn toward the light and inched that direction every chance he got.  He’s not a big fan of hats either unless something infinitely more entertaining is going on elsewhere.  Be quick, that’s what I learned.  Speedy on the focus.  Now I know what they mean by whether or not a lens is fast or not.  Mine – not so much, but it got the job done.


Second lesson learned, don’t say things like, “Get naked” unless you’re – well, doing something that I wouldn’t be doing – you know what I mean… you do, right?  Dallas was stripped down; the only time pudginess is adorable, the bigger the rolls the better.  Mom on the other hand, now that’s a different story.  Good thing we’re friends or I could be in trouble!  She got “naked” anyway.  For the record, just bared her shoulders.  I think it was well worth it. 


Third, the razzle-dazzle of Photoshop.  It’s like wielding the touch of Midas, if you’re not careful things can go bad.  Very, very bad.  Learned more specifics about masks, tints, and temperatures.  Numbers matter and so does calibrating your monitor.  (Still need to do that!)  But being blessed with software power can be fun too.  For example, to take a photo that leaves the viewer with one impression, tweak it just enough to give it a completely different feel by having the creative tools to do so is freeing to say the least.  I relate it to the power of music; audio cues to visual interpretation.   Bellum Maximus would not have been nearly so funny without the bravado of the Irish Tenors.  Deus Meus – definitely.


Here are a few of my favorites. 



Dallas Brown Hat 1 FLogo


Dallas Green Hat 1 Final a

Dallas Propped FLogo


Dallas Closeup 1 Bronze F-logo





Dallas Donna 1 Bronze Flogo

Loving the Unloved

Jelly Beans Blurry

Love is a many-splendored thing. It comes in many splendid colors and just as many, equally splendid flavors.

Jelly Beans

Those too fat, too small or slighted by imperfections. Those hiding ghastly disfigurements under dark, candied cloaks. Even those freckled, Siamese twins at the factory freak show… they all need to be loved and I’m prepared to love them. To really, really love them the only way I know how.

Yesterday I discovered that our local grocer now sells Belly Flops – Jelly Bellies that have been rejected by their maker and cast out to the swine for a buck-fifty-six a pound. When I'm working on the computer, I more than likely have three things handy. An unleaded Diet Coke, mood music via Slacker and Red Hots or something of the like. It helps unwind all those tangled thoughts in a somewhat orderly fashion and keeps the jitters to a minimum. When I saw these rejects in the bulk food section, staring from out behind the plastic container with those mutated, puppy eyes, I had to take some home and appreciated them just how they are.

I’m still appreciating. And appreciating… I suppose I won’t be too appreciative when those thunder thighs of mine start to roll. Until then, love is a many, many-splendored thing.

Do I Hear Thirty, Thirty-Five?



Last Saturday morning we went to an auction in town, I was after a bike and the county Sherriff’s department was selling their lot of stolen bicycles to the public.  David and I had inspected the lot the night before.  I picked the one that I really wanted and a few others that would do if I didn’t win the auction.  I’ve been wanting to ride the greenbelt with the Farmers not only to save what’s left of my sanity, but to give them an opportunity to ‘blow some stink off’ as my mother would say.


The first bike up for auction happened to be a red/silver X-100 Mongoose.  Apparently, it was something that we wanted.  Dave would nudge Devin to raise the bidding card, who thought that it was the coolest thing in the world.  Of course it is, spending someone else’s money in a fast-paced bidding war is always fun.  Mere seconds later, Devin was the proud owner of said bike.  Technically it’s for Dad, but Devin can ride it whenever were not going on a family ride.


David Bike a

My bike was next, number 27 – a green Hard Rock ATB from Specialized.  One small, teensy-weensy step cooler than an old-woman bike.  It’s been a few years since I’ve ridden, I can attest to the adage of ‘once you have, you’ll never forget’.  I didn’t crash getting out of the driveway…


Stacey Bike a

As if we haven’t spent enough money already, I bought D.J. the last boy bike of  the singular item lots.  A gold, Hoop D Mongoose.  It’s part of his Birthday and he loves it. His first real-boy bike.

DJ Bike 1 a


We’ve been on two rides so far this week and plan on yet another this afternoon.  It’s hard to be stuck inside on the edge of winter.  The air is still biting cold and numbs your fingers in about five minutes, but it’s so worth the fresh air and worn out Farmers.  Miss Is just might be off her trainers next week!

Labor of Fruits




Kids Digging Maddy Showoff a

At least some of us work it when working.  Miss Is has her Digging Diva on, sequined pants and all.



Last week we picked up a couple of grafted fruit trees at Costco and yesterday it was finally warm enough to plant them. 

It was a family affair; the Farmers dug, Dad supervised the complex operation and Mom documented the activity for future generations.


Devin Digging 2 a

Devin dug a hole by himself, Miss Is and D.J. (with a head start given by yours truly) dug the second. 


Shovels in hole a

Careful, there’s a sprinkler pipe in there!


Boys and Soil

The boys man-handled the ‘enriched planting compost’ soil.



Look! I’m multi-tasking.  Taking a picture and holding a tree with one hand.


Maddy Planting

Maddy makes sure it won’t fall over.


Twig Tree

Wow.  What a tree.  (Dripping with all the sarcasm I can muster.)

This one’s cherry, the other is a combo of Fugi, Honeycrisp, and Gala apples. 

Hopefully we’ll enjoy the fruits of our labor, in the past we’ve always moved before anything actually produced.  Here’s to breaking tradition.


Crouching Tiger


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? 

Our delusional cat, Spike, thought that he could catch another bird at the feeder. 

Instead he dug himself a giant hole of disappointment.

And The Winner Is…




Two weeks ago we got glammed-up and attended our wards Emmy Night. The movie categories were:  Educational, Spiritual & Uplifting, and Entertainment as long as it fell into the standard guidelines.  Being the nerds that we are, we entered into the running.


Being an even bigger nerd, I rounded up a bunch of girls and went thrift store shopping for formals.  This is after all, a red carpet affair. 

The last time I slipped into a formal was for B.Y.U.’s Homecoming, October 1994 at the UT capital building.  A cranberry velvet, floor-length sheath dress with a side slit almost up to you know where.  (It really wasn’t that bad…honestly, a little above the knee is all.) 

We were hot chicks and the paparazzi went wild.


DSC_0039 DSC_0037 DSC_0047 DSC_0048

 DSC_0040 DSC_0041 DSC_0045  DSC_0049 DSC_0044 DSC_0033 DSC_0032



There were a lot of very good entries, I know because we helped with the editing process on a few.  When the lights went dim and the projector lit up, it was show-time and Bellum Maximus started us off.  I was so nervous; I look like a dork.  Dave was so nervous; he pretended to really be a dork.  The Farmers, they just thought it was cool to see themselves on the big-big screen, although there was a scene Devin wanted deleted in the worst way.  Can you guess which one it is?


THE WRIGHTS copy The Girls copy

*photos by A.M.


Our intro before the film thus follows:  <em>(Channel that deep, sultry announcer voice I know you have.)</em>


<blockquote>From the film company Smooch-a-Pooch Productions, winner of prestigious independent film awards such as "Down the Drain:  The Golden P-Trap" and "A Moldy from the Lost in the Back of the Fridge Festival" bring you the highly anticipated, throw-out movie of the year, Bellum Maximus.  Or in very loose, Google-translated Latin, The Greatest War.


The following presentation is a dramatization of actual events as portrayed by highly skilled and completely broke actors.  Any similarities to a particular family are by in part and wholly coincidental.


Parental Guidance is suggested.</blockquote>




There were nine movies in all, including a blast from the past home movie ten years prior.  It took a second to figure out what family it was and sweet to see them as young kiddos.  After the final film, time was given to our esteemed judges.  Categories included; Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Picture. 


Judges copy *photo by A.M.


Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for.  The Oscars!  Best Actress:  Hannah E. for Channel 6 E-News.   Best Actor:  Casey W. for his work in Too Busy, a True Blue Production.  Best Picture:    (oh, oh, oh)   Bellum Maximus!!!  Yeah, we won!   The fam got up to accept our golden man, thankfully we didn’t have to give a speech!  And of course while were up there, in front of the audience, the Farmers fought over who gets to hold the statue.  Talk about drama.  The picture below was taken long after the fact, Miss Is wouldn’t budge an inch and let little K.W. hold Oscar.


2 Little Stars copy

*photo by A.M.


The night ended with final awards for all entries and the massive cleanup began.  A hundred folding chairs, garbage sacks full of popcorn now emptied on the floor.  Plastic cups, half eaten Red Vines and mint patty wrappers scattered everywhere.  Props had to be taken down, the red carpet peel up and tossed in the trash and when all was said and done, the lights went off for good on an outstanding ward activity. 





Us girls took time to pose for the camera.  We can’t clean in formals!


Glamor Girls copyLf – Rt:  Moosey, String, Smek, Ity, Sessie, Mitch and some obnoxious girl.  Hey, this wasn’t my idea!

*photo by A.M.

What I Didn’t Know I Wanted


Stacey Hair 5 copy


I’m always up for a good bargain even if it seems a little too good to be true.  Not that I don’t have my wits (what little I have) about me and follow whatever the Pied Piper happens to be playing.  I’ve referred to my boyfriend, Craig before and all those wonderful things I’ve been lucky to receive.  In fact, last Saturday I found my desk for my soon-to-be office for five whole clamshells!  Just wait until you see it.


Anyway, back to this post and why I’m daring enough to post a picture of me front and center.  Craig told me about free haircuts given by the Supercuts chain as part of their yearly training.  It happened to be in my neck of the woods and the price was right.  I have to admit, I was a little scared.  Most of my rash, “I need a haircut” whims where no appointments are necessary have been… no the best.  Free added a whole new dimension of what if’s.  I went with Miss Is, who needed trim as well and made our way to the back of the store to sign in.  An hour wait – not bad considering – so we perused Freddies next door.  You would think that I would have an idea of what I was after by this point; think again.


Fifteen minutes left and the stylists (6) were finishing up their current freebie clients.   I flipped through a seriously old hair-do book; it was like jumping into a time machine and landing in 1985 instead of 1935 when I personally think hair was much, much better if you like the glamorous girly thing.  Time was up and I picked what remotely kept my length.  I was so disappointed in myself, same ol’ same ol’.


Is was easy.  Three inches off the bottom to get rid of the “ick” and taper her bangs.  No further instructions needed.  She sat like a pose able statue and it all came off without a hitch.  Whew, one down – one success.


After plopping my wide-load into THE CHAIR, I flipped through the book and showed the gal what I was after with the exception that I wanted all my “ick” off too. 


“Where do you want your top layer?”  she asked, snapping gum between her teeth like the young, barely twenty-something she was.


“Here?”  I motioned cautiously to my chin.  That was all the conversation needed I guess.


Chunks start flying and I’m trying not to freak out.  Even wet it doesn’t even begin to look remotely like the picture. Being the good non-paying customer I am and having a tendency to live on the “wild side” for this sort of thing, (right, Stace) I just went with it.


Of course, I left the store with a damp, shaggy mess now that my curl was setting in and practiced my deep breathing techniques on the drive home.  Is was good; Mom not so much.  Once through the door, I bee-lined it to the bathroom to plug in the 2” curling iron and slathered myself up with serum.  A few quick curls here, a couple there and I was really happy. 


I love my cut.  I love my free cut. I love my free cut I didn’t know I wanted.



Stacey Hair 2 copy