Photo credits by Savannah

I have a lot of "old" cameras.  They aren't really that old but for the past few years with the number of shutter clicks I use I only get about 2 years out of them before they get quirky.  Which is never good when shooting professionally nor does that make them good to sell in good conscience.  So my daughter inherits them.  She used to say she wanted to be a "tographer" when she grew up but now is exploring other ideas.  However, the other day she asked me if we could get our "her" camera. And I did a little lesson on the timer function since we were inside and had low light that day.  If she held it the shots were blurry from her lack of stillness.

She did her own posing and composing and we all benefited with a family activity and cute pictures to remember the day!

Maybe one day she'll be a "tographer" like me (a great extra job as a Mommy!) or just photograph her view of God's creation (people and places!)  Either way I'm so glad we get to share this!  All the pictures below she took except the selfie I took with my girls.
Her take on editing (all by herself!) is to add and remove things.  She wanted to make sure you were focused on the owl.
Not in focus but she had great composition!!!  And I loved C's smile!
A family picture worth keeping! She lined us all up and then jumped in the picture :)

Messy But Worth It

Friday was glorious.  Like the perfect dream temperature and not just for winter but the fact that it is still winter is amazing!  It may be premature but I put play sand in the sandbox!  Eeeek!  I just couldn't help myself.  The kids wanted to be outside and there it sat empty.  We really need a much bigger sandbox but this is joy for kids of all ages really.
The sand was wet too.  Exactly like the sand on the beach where the waves stretch to reach.  The perfect sand for Castles and Mountains for Handprints and Volcanos for digging and scooping and Name writing.  So sad that we won't be going to the beach this year due to Grant's vacation allotment in his new job.  But oh so thankful for that job!!!
Even though this was Caroline's first play in the sandbox she's been around dirt so her first idea was fill a hole in a boat and she was determined.  I wanted to make sandcastles for Jack to knock down.  But really her "job" worked on her OT skills.  And eventually after Jack and I built a few castles together she wanted in on the fun.  She did better making starfish.  And was amazed by her handprints.
One day girlie we will take you to the largest sandbox you could ever imagine!

 Anyone know a beach around here?  The one at Ft. Gibson is the only one I know of and it always seems closed lately. Comment below!

Sometimes we are given a gift...

Our oldest daughter is in 1st grade.  She's a reader.  Not really sure how this happened.  I didn't teach her.  I think she had great teachers but there are a lot of kids in those classes and we didn't practice at home.  It actually was a surprise to me last year in kindergarten when she flew through the "take home" books.  Flew as in from where she got the book out of her backpack in the laundry room to the 20 ft it takes to get to the kitchen table where I thought we would hash out this reading thing.

Reading is her gift (other things are not) but reading is!  She just "gets" it.  I graduated from college with a teaching degree and spent time helping little ones during my student teaching to sound out letters in hopes that they will figure out the word by the end.  We've never done that together and that is a gift to me. I never taught school past student teaching and reading may be why.  I have a feeling with some of the others we will go through that process.

One of the joys of my day is if everything (naps) goes as planned I get 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted time with Savannah after she comes off the bus.  And some days she chooses to read. I get to snuggle with her and hear the gift that has been given to both of us.  She is growing up so fast and I'm doing my best to enjoy and remember these moments!
Reading Chapter books with your first grader
Although on this particular day post Valentine's it was a Christmas book.  Katie Kazoo Switcheroo's Holly Jolly Christmas.

Q. What Did the Buck say to the Doe on Valentine's Day?

A. You're a Dear (Deer)!

All four of my kiddos came home with sacks filled to the brim with love, corny jokes, and candy this week.  To be honest I never know the "right" way to handle the insane amount of sugar whether it is Valentines or Halloween. So this year instead of storing it stale in the out of their reach cabinets I thought we would do something a little different...maybe crazy.
When Savannah got home from school we went through all of her love notes together opened a few fun candies and the sugar smells woke the rest and we dumped out all the valentines and they showed each other what they got and squealed and delighted by all the treats and fun "jokes".
Then the crazy part I let them eat candy!  Yep.  In 15 minutes they tasted most of treats.  A little bit of this and that and when it was time to clean up they were done.  All of it either eaten or tasted and then in the trash moving on to something else.  It was awesome.  No rationing out candy for weeks.  No begging "Mama PLLLLEEEAAASSEEEEEEE". No hoarding. No secret stealing candy out of the cabinets.
Just fun! Enjoyment of a short lived holiday and little candy induced silliness ;)

Comment below with your favorite Corny Valentine's Day joke :)

That's not a Trunk..

Winter and the zoo go together as long as the buildings are open!  This rare moment of cousin stillness and smiles was awesome.  The background memorable.  Nothing like being up close and personal with your zoo animals.  :)

They Grow..

There was a warm"ish" evening last week where if you were willing to run around you could be outside without a I was bundled up pretty good.  I've been noticing that my kids are growing and changing.  They seem a little taller and everyone's hair seemed a little longer.  And I just had a sense that time had passed.  So I went in and got the camera and thought I would capture them playing if they would let me.  One of the best gifts they ever received involved these bows and arrows.  They light up in the dark and make the best night game ever!  It's like chase, fetch, racing, tag, and challenge all wrapped into one awesome game.  Daylight they just shoot each other and since they don't have a lot of power yet it doesn't hurt too much.  But at night Mom and Dad shoot them on the golf course behind our house and they sail quite a distance and the race is on to collected the light up arrows.  Memories I hope to never forget!

Grant was at a "cute" disadvantage most of the afternoon. 
 We ended the night watching Hook with Robin Williams from the 90's with the kids.  They LOVED it.  Especially Luke who now regularly runs around shouting "Bang-a-rang" and "You, You, NOT you, Youuuuuuuu (in his scariest Hook voice)"


Winter isn't really my thing.  It's cold.  I know I have no right to complain seeing how we have only seen 3 snowflakes at eye level mid melt.  But this weekend the 70's found their way through the dreary winter air and we all enjoyed it thoroughly.  We were celebrating 4 family birthdays in a big joint party at the Dawkins Farm.  The kids found sand and then dirt and lots of sweets and ice cream. They couldn't imagine a better day ever. And well I picked up my camera and joined them.

She said "my name"  ummm...maybe in Chinese?  We need to work on our C a little more.
 Adoption Rocks with The Persimmon Perch
The Persimmon Perch
 Grant received a toy for his birthday present this year.  A metal decorator so he took his nieces out to explore.  They found a pull tab.  But it was more about the hunt than the treasure and it was fun and full of memories.
Metal Detector The Persimmon Perch

The Persimmon Perch
The "castle" The Persimmon Perch
The Persimmon Perch
The Persimmon Perch
The Persimmon Perch
Peek a boo The Persimmon Perch
Dirt with The Persimmon Perch
The Persimmon Perch
 The afternoon ended with jump olympics.  Grant went first and had great form.  The nieces went next and cleared the ravine.  Then the littles thought they could of course do it too...since the girls did it.  Some jumped across some jumped down but all jumped!  It was a great day!
Jump Olympics with The Persimmon Perch
Jump Olympics with The Persimmon Perch
Jump Olympics with The Persimmon Perch
Jump Olympics with The Persimmon Perch
Jump Olympics with The Persimmon Perch
Jump Olympics with The Persimmon Perch
Jump Olympics with The Persimmon Perch

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