9 and awesome.  Loves dragons, can be found with her nose in a book 9 times out of 10.  She’s constantly creating, imagining, crafting, sewing, wishing she could fly.  She keeps me on my toes, that hasn’t changed a single day in the last 9 years.


He says “yes ma’am” and “yes sir” now.  It’s seriously the sweetest thing.


He steals my heart all over again each day.  He has the sweetest, soft, heart.


It’s all hands on deck when momma is behind on editing.  Just kidding!  Mister pushed Jude’s chair across the classroom and did his best to login.  He’s looking way too big these days.


I caught up with this little beauty last night.  She is a graduated baby planner and I am lucky enough to get to follow her around for another year because she’s about to be a big sister!  I can’t wait to watch and capture her falling in love with her new sibling.  When you have your first, you think you can never love another child that much, but then another baby arrives…..and….you do, love multiplies.  A little mommy secret “they” don’t tell you though, seeing your children love EACH OTHER, will make your heart burst.  It’s the best.  I can’t wait to capture it for this sweet family along the way.



When their momma and I talked about this photo before their session, we both teared up just thinking about it.  Ms. Belle appeared on this chair four years ago as a newborn and it appeared in quite a few sessions since then.  To have a photo of her holding her sweet, strong, feisty little sister in it, feels full circle.  Welcome home Ms. Abby, you are so very loved.


Oh Miss L stole my heart all over again this morning!  I showed up and SHE HAS CURLS.  So crazy!  I saw her 6 months ago for her birthday, no curls.  18 months old, BAM, curls.  And the sweetest little face ever.  I just adore her!!


Our homeschool year runs from January to September, so while everyone else is gearing up to head back to school, we are in the home stretch and gearing up for a nice long break!  One thing we did this year was have Taryn (3rd grade) and Jude (1st grade) keep what we call a “Curious Journal”.  I purchased them from Lakeshore Learning and it’s a place for them to write and draw and keep track of all the things they are curious about.  It’s been really interesting to see what they write and what they want to learn.  It helps me to know what direction to head in when we have a little extra time to learn something new outside of what is included in our Timberdoodle curriculum.  We do some unit studies and I try to pick one topic from their Curious Journal a month.  Jude has been super in to Penguins over the last year so I thought I’d come share our unit study on them several months ago (but I’m just getting around to blogging).  We didn’t purchase everything listed below, but we did do a lot of it.  I highly recommend checking out the library or Half Price Books to try and save some money.  We read a lot of books, played games, watched documentaries and movies, searched youtube for penguins, watched live feed penguin cams, made a sensory bin, did penguin craft projects and more.  Below are a few resources we used for our studies!

I Wonder Why Penguins Can’t Fly (fave)
If You Were A Penguin
365 Penguins (Jonah’s fave)
How Do Penguins Play?
Penguin & Pinecone
Penguin Say Please
10 Little Penguins Pop-up
Penguins (Smithsonian)
National Geographic Penguins
Penguin Chick
Your Personal Penguin

Sensory Bin
Penguins TOOB
Bucket of Penguins & Iceburgs (we didn’t buy this but if you are building a larger sensory box, it may be more cost effective than buying multiple TOOBs)
Plastic bin or other sensory box
Glass beads from the dollar store
White cotton balls from the dollar store
Various blue pom-poms
Small hand scoops from Party City

Penguins on Ice (our fave)
Penguins on Ice Math Activity Set
Pop ‘n Drop Penguins

Penguin Race
Happy Feet Two Fishing Game

Heart Penguin Craft (you can see our project here)
Waterbottle and cotton ball penguins (you can see our project here)
Hand Tracing Penguin Craft
Easy Paper Roll Penguin Craft
Penguin Paper Craft
Paper Roll Penguin With Crazy Hair
Learning Shapes with Penguins
Paper Mache Igloo
Marshmallow Igloo
Cotton Ball Igloo

Coloring Pages & Journaling
Penguin on Ice Skates
If I Were A Penguin Writing Prompt
Penguin Writing Page
Cute Penguin Coloring Pages
Penguin Coloring Page on

March of the Penguins
Mr. Poppers Penguins
Life in the Freezer
Happy Feet

Live Penguin Cams
SeaWorld Animal Vision
Animal Planet Penguin Cam (feeds to the NOLA zoo, one of our faves to visit!)
Monterey Bay Penguin Cam
Discovery Penguin Cam

Penguin Village

Penguin Ice Cube Tray
Kidzone Penguin Facts



His momma emailed and asked if I’d be up for a backyard in home session complete with bubbles and a splash pool.  Uhm, yes please!  So much fun this morning!

Aug 05, 2014
posted in my family with  0  COMMENTS

1.  The last month plus has been totally crazy….let’s see if I can catch up a bit here.

2.  Ty left for camp and was gone for a month.  He had an AMAZING time.  He spent a month with 73 guys, diving in to God’s word, focused on the transition to manhood in a Godly way.  They camped, they swam, they learned CPR, they learned how to do vehicle maintenance, household maintenance, daily physical training, how to manage their finances and so much more.  He came home different.  More mature.  Focused, calm (for him!), patient, respectful and more careful with his words.  This camp did amazing things for him and I’m so proud of him.  We missed him like crazy while he was gone and sent him mail, letters and goodies a few times a week for the month.  Every time he called home he sounded so upbeat, genuinely happy, exhilarated by his experiences.  I had to laugh the last time he called, he said goodbye and then he trailed off yelling “send fooooooooood!”  Ha!  We traveled up to go get him the last Friday of July.  It was really great to attend the banquet and see all the men graduate from camp.  He’s thinking about volunteering as leadership for the camp next summer, I think that’d be such a great experience for him.

3.  My mom was here for 3 weeks, the majority of the time Ty was gone.  I loved having her here.  It was her first visit since Larry passed away and she was able to stay more than just a few days for the first time since we moved to Austin.  It’s always been so hard for her to be away from him as his primary caretaker.  I know it was stressful each time she had to leave him.  We spruced up Taryn’s room, cleaned out a wardrobe in there and my mom was able to stay in her room.  T bunked with Jude for a few weeks and it worked out wonderfully.  Just having her here with us was really special.  She’s such a good Gee.  She has been taking better care of herself and took Jonah on a long walk almost every single day.  He was so cute marching out the front door with her each morning.  He was a boy on a mission.  It makes my heart happy to see them spending that time together, bonding, making memories.  Thankfully, my mom also got to make the trip to go get Ty from camp, she did get to see him for a few days at least!  And Jase and I even got to sneak in our first date night in 3 years while she was here!

4.  My baby girl turned 9 on July 21st.  NINE.  We celebrated by taking the family to Hawaiian Falls Waterpark.  T and I had a blast splashing around in the wavepool.  I felt like I was 9 we laughed and splashed and played, it feel so free and so fun.  Jude and Jonah were the kings of the lazy river.  Jude was cracking me up relaxing on his tube, while Jonah was waving at the lifeguards each time he passed one.  They were like a built in audience lol!

5.  The day after we got back from our overnight trip to Dallas and picking up Ty, we turned South and headed to San Antonio for the night.  My mom and I took Taryn to her first concert to see the Top 10 American Idol contestants.  We had a blast, Taryn loved it and we had a really good time.  That trip also marked the beginning of Jonah’s love for boats.  He could see the riverwalk from our hotel room at the Drury.  “A BOAT!  A BOAT!  IT COMING!”  It was thrilling.  He hasn’t stopped talking about it since.  In the middle of dinner tonight he declared out of nowhere…..”Boats are fun momma!”

6.  Speaking of, Jonah has been going through a language explosion in the last month.  He says 6 word sentences now, gets 5-10 or more new words every single day.  It’s crazy!  The other day Ty was in the kitchen looking for something to eat, hemming and hawing, and Jonah ran through, yelling over his shoulder, “Just eat a burrito!”  So funny.

7.  Oh!  Check out this IKEA hack Ty did!  It’s a little mini learning tower make from a step stool.  Jonah LOVES it.  I love having him up at the counter and Ty did such a great job building it.  He came home from camp wanting to be more productive and hands on in a lot of ways.  Such a fun project!

8.  Oh yeah, Taryn’s birthday cake.  My girl, she has big ideas, big dreams and even bigger expectations.  Her request for cake this year included a dragon cake that breathed fire.  I cried a little inside when she told me because I’m not that great of a baker.  Ty is, but he was at camp for her birthday.  With her allergies and our need for the cake to be gluten, dairy and soy free, it was a challenge.  Especially the frosting.  But, I buckled down and made it happen.  She was thrilled with the results and was so happy, her face lit up when she saw it.  If you know my girl and her high expectations, that’s amazing.  She loved it and I loved seeing her so happy.  She appreciated all the hard work and I really love how it turned out.  You can check out her fire breathing birthday cake here.

9.  I recently bought myself a new devotional called Jesus Calling.  It is so beautifully written that I also bought the kids version.  The kids have loved our devotional time each day.  I’d planned to start using theirs in January at the turn of the year, but they ask for it each day now so we are just going with it.  The author, Sarah Young, was blessed with a beautiful gift.

10.  Our garage reno is coming along nicely.  I’ve been able to use the new elliptical quite a bit and the home gym is now also in place.  New cabinets and it’s looking pretty good.  As soon as we finish a few more projects and organize some more I’ll come share a before and after shot.


This momma is getting an extra little sneak peek tonight since I’m a little behind on getting galleries out.  My laptop took a swim in some coconut shampoo months ago (don’t ask) and it’s never been the same since.  It’s been in the shop so many time, I’ve lost count, but 4 times just in the last month or so.  Make that 5, it’s going back AGAIN tomorrow.  I need to just break down and buy a new one but man it hurts.  Macs are expensive!  Anyway, this momma deserves an extra peek for being so patient with me!  Could these two be any cuter?!?!  Seriously.


Thank you to all the mommas and nurslings who came out to our charity event benefiting the Central Texas Birth Center Open Arms Program in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week.  We raised $700 to help low income mothers.  Mommas helping mommas, it doesn’t get any better than that.  I love being a community of women who support one another and lift one another up.  Just one little sneak peek tonight but I’ll come back and share more during the week.  This one jumped out at me….happy, light, beautiful.