I’ve dedicated the past few months towards learning photography in manual mode… learning composition, the exposure triangle, etc… here are a few photos I’ve taken recently. This one of the local church taken today…

Local abandoned church – put my first watermark on photo… still working on an online portfolio. Thinking of going towards old, abandoned buildings, homes, churches, etc… I love going black and white on certain photos.

Cocoa our kitty

Abandoned house down the road…

Shot from our backyard

Learning how to use aperture… our parakeets.

An earlier photo… the abandoned home in color and from another angle.


Christmas Day

Our kids have always wanted a Christmas tree. We haven’t had one in many years, I decided to get one for them.

We had to put it in the guest house as there isn’t much room in our house and Benjamin would likely begin disassembling it as soon as it went up.

The three girls decorated it while listening to Christmas carols. It was such a memorable day for us girls.

Then on Christmas morning, we went over to the house to open presents.

So excited! Matthew and I didn’t think to use the other colors of wrapping paper… maybe next year.

Benjamin all excited too…

I love your happy face, Matthew.  The girls got some bead kits…

Matthew got a remote controlled truck.

Play dishes for the littles…

Back at the house playing with dishes and water…

Matthew chasing Ben with his truck…

Ben’s little police car…

Merry Christmas… the kids shared it was the best Christmas they have ever had.

November in Missouri

Looks like I need to edit this post….  something went wrong.  : (  

This is from our snow storm in October/November frame time. We only got a dusting during the recent snow fall. Miriam is in her own igloo here. 

The igloo… I love the kids creativity. 

Hannah in the igloo… 

Big snowballs… 



Going back to Fall… leaves… 

Happy kids… 

Leah holding Ginger

Nice of the olders to give the littles wheelbarrow rides. 

Elisabeth holding Ginger now. Spoiled kitty…  ; )  

It was a beautiful, invigorating day… 

Natalie… I think Leah looks like you here. Natalie is my sister.  : ) 


Leah’s 9th birthday in October. We can’t believe she’s nine… 

Strawberry shortcake on yellow cake. My stepmother used to make it this way. I miss her. She passed in 2012 at only 57 years of age. She loved me… 

Tiny Tabi… you aren’t so tiny anymore. 

My $45 cedar chest… just a beautiful addition to our home. Summer blankets are in there now. 


Back to the Fall scene… chestnuts

They loved gathering them and playing with them. Matthew and I had to take care not to slip coming out the front door.  : ) 


Sweet Matthew… 

Some of my older photos… this is a dove flying near our home

The before strawberry… 

The “after” strawberry after I put it through photoshop. Shutterstock accepted this photo of mine. 

They felt this one was too “grainy”. I decided to pour my time into photography and see where the Lord takes it. While taking a forensic photography class while working on my criminal justice degree 20 years ago, I loved it so much I had considered switching my major. Now I wish I had. I am taking a 21 hour online course for only $10 through Tons of cheap courses there… I believe some are even accredited. 

Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet

You either get this song or you don’t. You can fast forward to 3:02 for music accompaniment. This homeless man was not drinking when he sang this song in 1975. Read further below… 

Bryars on this piece:”In 1971, when I lived in London, I was working with a friend, Alan Power, on a film about people living rough in the area around Elephant and Castle and Waterloo Station. In the course of being filmed, some people broke into drunken song – sometimes bits of opera, sometimes sentimental ballads – and one, who in fact did not drink, sang a religious song “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet”. This was not ultimately used in the film and I was given all the unused sections of tape, including this one.When I played it at home, I found that his singing was in tune with my piano, and I improvised a simple accompaniment. I noticed, too, that the first section of the song – 13 bars in length – formed an effective loop which repeated in a slightly unpredictable way (in the notes for the 1993 recording on Point, Bryars wrote that while the singer’s pitch was quite accurate, his sense of tempo was irregular).I took the tape loop to Leicester, where I was working in the Fine Art Department, and copied the loop onto a continuous reel of tape, thinking about perhaps adding an orchestrated accompaniment to this. The door of the recording room opened on to one of the large painting studios and I left the tape copying, with the door open, while I went to have a cup of coffee. When I came back I found the normally lively room unnaturally subdued. People were moving about much more slowly than usual and a few were sitting alone, quietly weeping.I was puzzled until I realised that the tape was still playing and that they had been overcome by the old man’s singing. This convinced me of the emotional power of the music and of the possibilities offered by adding a simple, though gradually evolving, orchestral accompaniment that respected the homeless man’s nobility and simple faith. Although he died before he could hear what I had done with his singing, the piece remains as an eloquent, but understated testimony to his spirit and optimism.”Show less97REPLY


…well, almost 70 lbs. I’m 179 lbs today. Be nice to me, don’t do the math!  : )  I got down to a 66 lb loss over a month ago… maybe 2 months ago and it just stalled and kept going up and down. I finally figured it was time to change the diet around so a little over a week ago I started the keto diet. Wow, what a change. I have a 3 egg omelet in the morning with LOTS of cheese in it and am full until dinnertime. I do have coffee and tea with heavy cream throughout the day so it does sustain me. What a change in everything… I don’t need a nap everyday as I used to. I attribute it to the diet.  I supplement with MCT oil and what a difference it has made in not only me but my husband’s energy level.

Is the keto diet healthy? I don’t believe so, long term. But, I don’t see anything wrong with anyone using it to lose some weight. It is better to be a little void nutritionally or calories wise than to have 100 lbs or so lugging around destroying your organs, blood pressure, heart and your life. I don’t know if I will stay on keto the rest of the way down (35 or so more lbs), but am happy to see the scale moving again. I do use keto urine strips and like what I see, it’s motivating for me. I was able to easily ride my bike 13 miles the other day, 4 miles with the girls.  : )



Here are some resources:

I am currently reading this book:

In the book she describes how they put kids into ketosis when they are NOT responding to anti-seizure drugs at all. They put the Navy Seals on a keto diet so that during training underwater they don’t have a seizure.

She also has some many other youtube videos: I really like her personality but moreso her knowledge.

I WILL add more to this later in hopes that it will help a few others… I need to finish lunch for my kiddos.


Catching Up – October

I let Leah pick out whatever she wanted to make… she picked out strawberry cake with chocolate frosting with sprinkles.  Pretty easy to stay away from on my diet.  : )  Anyways, the girls wanted to help her make it. They were dressing up in some pretty strange outfits this day. Hannah is wearing Matthew’s vest.

The invader on the floor snuck in!

Trying out my new camera… our neighbor’s house. I walk down the road for my walk each day.

We’re STILL getting strawberries. Matthew has some plastic over them to keep them from frosting over.

This is Maple. Her name used to be Sassy when we bought the house as the previous owners gave her to us, but we like Maple better.

Cocoa and Ginger…

Our part Great Pyrenees/Antolian Shepherd… His name is Bisquit. The kids came up with his creative and cute name. The rest of the pictures are ones I took with my new camera to test it out. At the bottom is some of the kids helping Dad put the plastic on the strawberries.

Behind our house….

The sun was rising while we were out enjoying our morning tea/coffee one morning just a few days ago.

Before the sun rose… looks cold.

Pretty fog.

One of the twins helping Dad.

Our strawberries are underneath here…

Going Back to September

We’re almost caught up! Going back to September and I had practiced shots using one of my cameras that I returned (as my camera had broke), that showed the whites too white.

Elisabeth, one of the twins (I can’t tell for sure, probably Anna) and the kitties.

Pup holding one of our cats.  She has a beautiful gaze, looks like a girl from the 40’s or so to me.  Kind of a dreamy look.

Beautiful picture of you Pup.

Little Leah

Matthew, a little blurry but we got to show you too!  : )

Going Back to August

August Birthdays…

Hannah went to Walmart with me on the day of her birthday. I let her pick out whatever she wanted for her birthday treat. She picked out a peanut butter cream pie. She wanted candles on it.

Eleven years old…

Little Miriam had brownies and ice cream for her birthday. I like the candles, I think we’ll have all the kids do them at least once.

Seven years old… she gets the leftovers in the pan.

I had to share my find I bought in August, a beautiful cedar chest for only $45.00!

It goes perfectly with our house.

One of my weird posts, I know… where does pepperoni fit in with this all? I wanted to share my find from the Amish store… five pounds of pepperoni for only ten dollars. It is a 45 minute drive that I do once a month but it is so worth it for feeding our family. I have bought asiago cheese for $1.49lb there before and pastrami for under $2.00 a pound as well. I bought 3 cases of yogurt for the kids for only $12.00… though I still make my own kefir, it’s convenient to grab during lunches for the kids.


And Going Back to May…

In all the mess that happened in June, I didn’t realize that I had unpublished pictures from way back in May.

Here is Pup looking all friendly at nearly 12 years old.

Now onto the bee, sheep and kid pictures…

Some of our sheep we got back in March or so. We now have a ram so he can mate and we can have some lamb in our freezer one day.

Momma and her two baby girls. Katahdin lambs have hair, not wool, No need to shear and they are prized for their meat.

Dad bought one hive in March and kept doing splits… now he has 7 hives. Unbelievable.


One lone bee…

On Saturdays, my husband does his bee inspection on his hives. Our friends and neighbors, Gregory and Patty came to be a part of this one.

The kids are brave…

Dad’s gotta be proud of his bees…