Posts Tagged ‘kids’

My youngest turned 4 in January and I usually try to do my kids’ birthday photos as close to their birthday as possible but I was sick of all of her photos being indoors or in snow so I waited until there was a bit of color in our world.

I also try to make sure that their pictures reflect them and what they love and are into.  Since she started ballet this year I asked her if maybe she’d like to do her pictures this year in one of her ballet tutus.  To this I received an excited “YES!” followed by, “Can I wear my orange and pink tutu?!”

How could I say no?

Thankfully my orange and pink lovin’ ballerina happened to get a pink and orange umbrella for her birthday this year, because it was a rainy day and the umbrella made for some cute pictures!

Luckily there was a break in the rain and we were able to wrap the umbrella up…

… and trade the rain boots in for her ballet slippers!

Dressed in her favorite tutu and ballet slippers she played and giggled and I captured what is the pure blissfulness and adorableness of my little ballerina at play…

I love her little foot kicked up in this picture!

A successful play time and some great photos of my little ballerina!


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My little man is growing up way too fast but he still embodies the sentiment above and I treasure every little moment with him.  Tuesday, we giggled and laughed through his six year photo shoot that was an expression of him and all that I love about this sweet little boy God has blessed my husband and I with!

He wanted to have some pictures taken with his best buddy Woody and his counterpart Buzz, he even wanted to wear the Buzz Lightyear costume his cousin passed down to him a couple of years ago for the pictures.  Sure, it’s getting small but he still loves it so we laid out his quilt and all his Toy Story snugglies and as you can see he’s overjoyed at having his best friend, Woody and all his other Toy Story things in these pictures…

When going through some picture ideas on Pinterest he saw the photos of the little boys who are dressed like  Superman/Clark Kent and liked the idea of doing that.  When I told him we don’t have a superman t-shirt or costume he said I can just where my Spiderman costume, which resulted in this…

This gave me an opportunity to dress him up a bit preppy and put him in his Easter outfit for some photos which are pretty cute…

I promise I did not tell him how to pose in the photo on the right, he had that swag all on his own, haha!

The next two are my favorite from this outfit and while I set up the chairs and told him to kick his feet up he, once again, did the whistle and tilt of his hat all on his own.  He’s too funny!

These ones of him running on the train tracks and playing on the train are my favorite!!!

Yep, that’s my little man!  It’s no wonder I love him so much!!!

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As I was ordering things for my son’s birthday party today I thought to myself, “I don’t think I ever posted my daughter’s Call Of Duty party!”  Sure enough, when I looked back over old posts, it was missing. Guess that show’s you how relaxed I’ve become with blogging.  I need to get a bit better, don’t I?

So here’s a long neglected post…

Gabrielle’s COD party!!!

Of  course for a COD party you need to have lots of orange, black and camouflage!  Thus the guests were asked to wear orange, black or camouflage.  The table was also set accordingly.   I made up a COD banner and printed off COD pictures to decorate the cake table back drop.


P1250215The cakes were super simple with a rifle and dog tags on one…


and a super simple COD II image cake for the other.


(By the way remind me that I need to show you how to make your own images to put on a cake.  It’ not edible but it’s super easy and cheaper than an edible image!)


Our games had to be played indoors so I didn’t get to set up a military type obstacle course like I was hoping to but I did come up with some fun military type games for the kids to play.

Our first game was like hot potato but I called it “Dynamite”. I made up a Rolo dynamite stick like I made for my kids for Valentines day…

…only I didn’t put the “You’re The Bomb” tag on it.  Just a simple Rolo dynamite stick made with red construction paper and a piece of black yarn for the wick.


I had the kids sit in a circle and we played some COD songs that I found on youtube while they tossed the dynamite stick around.  When I stopped the song the soldier holding the dynamite stick was out.  Thus it continued until only a single soldier was left and was awarded the Rolo dynamite stick!

The second game we played was “Minefield” I set black paper plates out on the floor to be the mines and the kids were separated into 2 teams.

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One person was selected to be the teams captain, this person gave directions to his teammates.  The other kids were privates and took their turns being blind folded and listened to their captain as they made their way from one end of the minefield to the other end.  If they touched a plate they would be out.  The point of the game was to get as many team means through the minefield as possible.  The winning team received a Reeses peanut butter cup because they kind of resemble a land mine.  Kind of.

And that was my daughter’s 11 year, Call Of Duty, Birthday Party!  It was simple but fun!

Here’s to the birthday girl!



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Easter is my favorite holiday, next to Christmas!  It’ s celebrating our savior’s sacrifice to give new life to all of us!  What a blessing.  How appropriate that we celebrate his resurrection and gift of life to us in spring since spring is all about new life and new beginnings.

I don’t have a lot of time to post because I want to get out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather with my kiddos on this wonderful Good Friday but I just wanted to pop by and wish you all a Happy Good Friday & Happy Easter and show you a couple of cute crafts my kiddos have made for Easter.  Maybe your kiddos will enjoy them too!


The adorable little egg bunting that my youngest daughter made was her very first sewing project which she had a lot of fun doing…


It hangs in our big dinning room window as shown above, but we also used it in a little mini Easter photo session…



Besides the Easter egg bunting, my girls made these cute little toilet paper roll bunnies with my mom last weekend and it sounds like they really had fun doing this.


Not sure where my mom got the idea probably Pinterest since I was able to find it on there.  The image I found didn’t link to a  tutorial but there is an image here, if you’d like to check it out.

Yesterday the girls and I (my son still wasn’t feeling up to par) made these super easy and cute scrapbook paper eggs…


They are so sweet and you adorable and super easy!  You will find the tutorial here at Craft And Creativity one of my new favorite blogs for finding crafts to do with my kids!  Be sure to check it out, they have lots of brightly colored Easter crafts!

Okay, time to get outdoors with my kids.  Wishing you all a very Happy Good Friday, A Blessed Easter and lots of sweet treats!

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I love photography!  LOVE IT!  It’s a field I’ve considered going into since I was in high school and think maybe someday I’ll  become a professional but for now I just take pictures of my family!  I wanted to share my daughter’s 3rd year pictures I took last week, then thought I should share all of my kids most recent birthday pictures.  These aren’t pictures of their parties they are the pictures commemorating them turning another year older!  

Each year in their pictures I try to capture who they are, what things they are currently into and what they enjoy. I let them have a say in their outfit, though I also help to make sure it’s something I’d like them photographed in, and I let them help choose what props they might like to use in their pictures.  I want their birthday pictures to truly capture who they are!

It was really hard to do but I narrowed it down to just 5 of each of them!  

Gabrielle, my artistic 10 year old who loves reading, animal prints and having fun!

(She actually turns 11 in March so I’m going to have to do these again soon. Though I’ll probably wait ’til spring.)

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My sweet, girly, Miranda who loves to dress up, sing and dance, just turned 8 in November!

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My reptilian, amphibian loving little 5 year old being him silly self!  Pierce had to make sure his frog was in some photos too!

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The baby of our family, Elizabeth, was the most recent to be photographed!  She and her best friend, Bear-Bear, whom she received the day of her birth, just celebrated there 3rd birthday!


This is what makes my life EXQUISITE, these four little cuties and, of course, my hubby!

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I feel so very blessed to have this family and a great camera (and it’s tripod friend) to capture life’s EXQUISITE moments!!!

P1200009My goal is to have a monthly post, that shows off some of that months favorite pictures!  I’m even thinking of creating a photography inlinkz party, so that some of you can show off your love of photography and share your EXQUISITE moments too!  I just have to figure out how to set up inlinkz…

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(Sweater (similar & similar), Under shirt, Jeans, Ring & Earrings – Maurices, Shoes (Old, so old, in fact, I can’t recall if they were from JCPenny’s or Younkers), Necklace – Gift)

I was all set to head out of the house in a casual outfit, the plum basic tee under the sweater (not the sweater), the jeans and a pair of boots, when my two-year old brought me these shoes and said, “Wear dees,”  As she set them in front of my feet I thought, they’re a little dressy for what I’m wearing.  But she persuaded me with her next comment, “Pretty!”  “They are beautiful,” I told her, and slid them on over my Minnie Mouse socks.  (Yes, I’m wearing socks with these sparkly heels, it was too cold not to.  How’s that for fashionable?! :-))

Of course the shoes, that I wore to prom my freshman year (I told you above they were old!  I just can’t part with their sparkly-ness.  Like my two year old said, they’re pretty!) made me feel I needed to dress up the rest of my wardrobe so I donned my sweater, that has silver knitted throughout it, and added some sparkle on top of my plum nail polish.

Considering I received compliments on my outfit while out celebrating my friends b-day, my two-year old knew the perfect shoes to make the perfect outfit for the day!

This isn’t the only lesson she taught me yesterday, she taught me not to take my photo session too seriously.   I always try to look as good as possible in my pictures and have them look as professional as possible.  You have no idea how many pictures I have to wean through because one of my four little off spring is in the background, foreground or sometimes even on the ground.   Yesterday while trying to get these pictures she knew that her Mom actually prefers silly, adorable pictures with her kids so she decided to slide in…  

Note how she inches closer and closer in the pictures to follow…

She came to stand beside me but since I feel my blog needs my outfit posts to be childless I stepped away and became oh so professional (Because that’s me, I’m all about professionalism, sarcasm)…

Professional me ignoring that she’s inching closer with her saltine cracker in hand…

Trying not to laugh as she inches closer…

And she got me!!!  And I’m so glad she did!  

Life’s too short not to let my little ones interrupt my blog photo shoots!  And these pictures are always my favorite and usually make their baby books or get framed because of the laughter, love and joy that accompanied the moment.

Sorry for the long outfit post it was too cute not too share!

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Yesterday was the first day of school for my oldest daughters!

Miranda started 2nd grade…

…and Gabrielle started 5th grade!  I cannot believe I have a middle schooler now!

As is true for every first day of school, I was very emotional, but I held myself in check and didn’t cry once yesterday.  Honestly.  I was about to but a good swift punch to the shoulder and talk with a friend (You know who you are;-)) came at just the right moment and I was able to ward off the tears.

Today, however, was the kicker.  Ever since school started last year I’ve been dreading today.  The day when my son would go off to kindergarten.  The first day of kindergarten has been difficult with all of my children.  I am not exaggerating when I say that I cried the first two weeks of my oldest daughter’s kindergarten year.  My second daughter’s kindergarten year wasn’t as bad, I only cried for a week.  I guess I was getting more use to a child going to school every day by then.  (I cannot imagine what I’ll be like when they go off to college.  Yikes!)

I wasn’t sure how I’d do today for my son’s first day.  As I said I’ve been slightly dreading it since last year.  He’s such a mama’s boy, so sweet, snuggly, silly and he makes me feel just plain wonderful.  He’s been so excited about going but has also said, “I want you to go with me.”  wich made me unsure of how he’d do.  As school got closer he was growing more nervous and even said a couple of times that he didn’t want to go anymore.  Wich, of course, made it even harder for me to let him go.

Last night as I tucked him in bed we read the book his teacher gave him at open house, “The Night Before Kindergarten” and a book I bought for him called The Kissing Hand.  We prayed for his first day of school, a calm spirit for him and that he would feel Christ near him.  When we were done praying he took my hand, as Chester Racoon did to his mommy, and kissed my palm saying, “Kiss that a lot tomorrow okay, Mommy.” I had planned on kissing his little hand in the morning at school but decided not to wait.  I felt that was the perfect moment, so I took his little hand, that was already open in anticipation of my kiss, and kissed his palm.  Immediately he held it to his cheek, smiled and sighed a sweet little sigh.  I had to fight back tears as I kissed him goodnight, but they welled up and spilled forth as soon as I was out of his room.

This morning dawned cool and gray and I allowed myself more tears as I was getting ready.  I was determined not to let him see me sad so that it didn’t make this day harder for him, so felt the need to get it out before he was awake.  I was completely put together, no signs of tears, by the time my little kindergartener arose bright and early.  The first thing out of his mouth was an excited, “Do I get to go to school today?!”.  His excitement was so high that he got ready in record time this morning and we were able to get his first day of kindergarten pictures taken while his sisters finished getting ready.

(I got the idea for the board from Pinterest.  unfortunately I don’t have a small chalk board (Note to self, need small chalk board.) but our white board worked great!  I added the grade they were entering and had them write their name so that we can see how their writing changes over the years!)

After everyone was ready to go he grabbed his favorite snuggly and we headed out the door.  As we usually do on our way into school, we said our prayers for that day asking for special blessings and good friendships for Pierce.  The nerves were starting to hit him again and he kept asking me to stay with him in his class today.  I wanted to say, “Yes, of course, I’ll stay with you all day.  I’ll sit right next to you so that you don’t feel sad or lonely or miss Mommy, Daddy or home at all,” but I couldn’t say that.  Instead I assured him that I would walk him to class and help him get settled but that I would then have to leave so that he could have time to get to know his teacher and classmates.  The girls sensed his nervousness and assured him he would have a ton of fun at school and shared with him all their favorite things about kindergarten and school.

By the time we got to school he was excited again and ran off ahead of the rest of us, in the sprinkling cool rain, towards the school doors…

He remembered where his classroom was from the open house last week and quickly located his coat and backpack hooks.  He was pretty shy around his classmates, hardly even looking at them but was extremely interested in the toys.

Once he and his teacher, Mrs. Piskie, started talking I could tell he was doing better and it was time for me to say my good-bye’s.  So with a kiss and hug from my handsome little man I left him in his class room and walked to my van, clenching the hand he’d kissed the night before like I was afraid I’d drop his kiss.

I had done it!  I held myself together the entire morning, around him at least.  Even better, he never cried!  For as many tears as I shed, not one of my kids has ever cried when they went off to school. I feel really blessed by this, because if they were crying I probably wouldn’t be able to leave them.  I would probably tell the teacher, “You know what, we’ll try this again tomorrow or next year.” as I would cling to them carrying them out the classroom door.  So I believe it is for my sake that God gives my children an eagerness to start school and that they don’t cry when we say goodbye.

However, my friend that had ebbed the tears of yesterday was not there this morning and as I drove my minivan out of the school parking lot, with three empty seats, the emotions hit hard and I cried the entire way home.  (I confess I’m crying now as I type this.)

It’s so hard to let them go and grow up.  Maybe if it happened a little more slowly, if each day didn’t pass by faster than the one before it, it wouldn’t be quite as hard.  But the fact of the matter is that time does pass us by quickly, they do grow up, way too fast, and eventually they have to leave the nest.  I’m just so thankful that it’s not college yet and that they’ll fly back to the nest at the end of each school day.

I’m also thankful that I still have this little cutie to keep me company…

When we got home from dropping her siblings off at school I asked her what she wanted to do today and she said, “Pajamas and popcorn!”  Sounded like an excellent idea to me so we changed into pjs, had a tea party, played games, wrestled, tickled, ate popcorn, drank chocolate milk and watched Pooh’s Hefelump Movie.  And, yes, we had to get dressed back into our clothes to go pick up my school aged children, but the pjs were fun while we wore them!


I also wanted to add that I did as I said I would in Whats In Your Lunch Box and made my kiddos all these for their first day’s of school!  They were a huge hit!  The “Love You To Pieces” note unfolds and they each had the normal first day of school note from Mommy.

Thus commences another bittersweet and exceptionally EXQUISITE day in the Schroeder home!

Now for some snuggle time, late night snack and football with the hubs!  The only thing that could make this day better was if the Packers were playing.

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