I've officially had enough of all the sickness around this house. Just when I think everyone is over it someone else throws up. I tell ya, its been so yucky. Addie, who I thought was over it, threw up again last night and now Emily and I aren't feeling well. We need it to be spring I think. ASAP.
So Q and A friday hasn't really happened like I thought it would, but I've been collecting your questions over the past couple of weeks and I was able to get them answered this week(I hope I got all of them, if not please ask again). Yay! So here it is, Q and A friday....on saturday.
1. Marueen asked, "If you think of it, could you let us all know where you get the adorable flowers for your baby and the babies you photograph? Anywhere we can find them in the States?
I`ve gotten my flowers from a variety of different places actually. A few of them I`ve made, a lot I`ve gotten at a cute local store called Anna Banana (you can also purchase from them online here.) The breebands are what I`ve bought. I recently ordered a couple of these headbands and flowers and I think they`re so sweet. Can`t wait to get them in the mail. I also recently found some adorable flowers by this lady, she doesn`t have the flowers up on her website yet, but the ones I`ve seen were precious and I plan on placing an order with her soon. I`ve also ordered some from etsy here and here for my own girls.
2. The next question I have is from Ulla about Family Home Evening. She asked, "I followed your links in the post you did about it the other day - but I am still in the dark about the contents of these evenings of yours. I would love to hear more, because it sounds like something I would like to do. I also have three kids, and maybe this could be a way to do something together all of us. Is there a specific theme of a family home evening? Do the kids participate actively? How do you make the content kid-friendly? What have been the reaction from the kids? I am really curious.
Well, Ulla, I`ll give you my best answer of what Family Home Evening is all about and any other LDS readers out there, if there is anything I forget or that you could help clarify please post in the comments. We (as in Latter-day Saints or Mormons) are encourage to hold Family Home Evening each monday evening with our families. While we (our family) most certainly can`t claim a 100% Family Home Evening record we really try to do at least something together as a family each monday night.
We start and end the evening with a prayer, we sing songs together, I or my husband will provide a short lesson (topics that we`ve covered vary greatly from honesty and kindness to specific scripture stories) then we do an activity which reinforces the lesson we`ve discussed and then enjoy a small treat together. Now, when I say short lesson, I really do mean short lesson - my kids are young so if we can get them to sit still for any long than 5 minutes I think we`re doing good. I try to keep the lessons fun and involve them as much as possible. Some nights we`ll just watch a movie together, play a board game or go swimming. To me, its mostly about being together as a family. Our kids absolutely love it and I sure hope that continues as they get older.
There are so many resources out there for great Family Home Evening lessons and ideas. I`ve found this manual to be a great help. I also subscribe to LDS Living`s email newsletter and each monday it includes a Family Home Evening lesson. Recently in our ward we organized a Family Home Evening idea swap (it`s just like a cookie exchange except with FHE lessons) and it's awesome! We`ll be getting together every 3 months and swapping between 12 ladies so by the end of the year we`ll have a years worth of FHE lessons.
3. Monica asked, "Do you have any plans in the scrapbooking world where we can see more of your work."
You know what, I haven't really started thinking too much in that direction yet. I've been so preoccupied with life stuff up until recently that I hadn't even given scrapbooking much thought I have to admit. But I feel like life is slowly returning to some sort of normalcy and I've been finding myself sorting through the old scrapbook paper and sketching out a layout idea or two in my daytimer. And, you'll never believe this, I am having a hard time believing it myself, but the other day I actually made a real life scrapbook page! Its for publication so I can't share but watch for it this summer (it'll be in CK.....shhhh don't tell anyone)
So, I have no definitive plans in the industry. My number one focus right now is my family and my health, but when I have the time I'd love to create a page here or there for myself or for print. I feel my mojo coming back but I am very guarded of my time so hesitate to over commit myself to anything. I'll be taking things very slowly, but am feeling ready to take things on again!
4. I've had a couple people asking for links or food storage advice, but feel I MUST say that I am by no means an authority on the subject but what I can do is share with you some resources that have helped me get our food storage started. But first things first, Why do we have food storage in our house? A few of you have been curious and so I'll attempt to answer and again, any LDS reader please feel free to jump in and help me out, just post something in the comments if you have something to add.
I think that this quote from the First Presidency of the church explains it best:
"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to “prepare every needful thing” (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we can care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others. We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve."
This year I've really felt the urgency to get our food storage established. We've always had a small supply on hand but never anything that was very well organized or that I'd put much thought into. Over the past few months I've set to work determining what types of food our family regularly consumes, what types of food we want to include in our long term (one year) storage and how much we would need of each per family member. It was quite overwhelming at first and has been a lot of work but it has also been very rewarding. Its forced me to get this house organized and brings so much peace of mind knowing that our family would be ok if anything unexpected were to happen.
So first off, here is a list of online resources about emergency preparedness, food storage and cooking with food storage, etc. and then I'll share with you how I tackled this.
This is one of my favorite places to check out often: Everyday Food Storage.
This place is great too:Get Me Ready
Good stuff here! Especially given the rise in food prices.
Great ideas don't you think?
This one is another favorite.
Here's another place worth checking out. I thought this video was a great idea for simplifying your inventory and keeping track of what you have in stock/what you need to purchase.
I have also purchased a book called "Practical Preparedness" by Tina Monson and it has been such a great help. With lists and tables to fill out to help determine how much food is needed for your family along with recipes and recommendations it has really helped to simplify things for me. I'd highly recommend it. There are so many great books/resources out there. The trick is taking all the information you read and determining what will work best for your own family and your budget.
The first thing I started with was tracking what foods/meals our family ate on a regular basis. I came up with a 3 month menu of things we liked to eat and then from there a grocery list of all the items that I would need on hand to make those recipes. This really helped me to see what items I needed to have on hand and how many of each. Its also really helped me keep on top of preparing meals and eating better.
Next I started determining what longer term storage items we needed to have on hand and how many pounds of each. Number one being water. We have a huge water tank that we installed in our home before we were finished building so we have that taken care of. Next was wheat, rice, sugar,honey, beans, etc. etc. We've purchased big air tight containers for the things we need the most of (wheat, rice, beans) and the rest we've done in the large #10 cans (these are on the top shelf of our storage room.) These items are for our longer term supply.
The items on the lower shelves are part of our 3 month supply, or essentially what we need rotate and use on a more regular basis. I have my shelves labelled according to what's on them: protien (canned meats and beans), baking supplies (spices, honey, salt, etc.), Dairy (evaporated milk, hot cocoa, cheese whiz), Soups, Grains (cereals, granola bars, white flour), Veggies and Fruits. I don't track my inventory on a regular basis, I probably should. I just shop for sales on items I know we keep in stock and when they go on sale instead of just buying one I'll buy two or more of that item.
A lot of our longer term storage and our storage containers we purchased at In Case Of or we canned it ourselves at the church cannery. I hope this was at least somewhat helpful?? I realize its just a quick overview but its such an indepth subject I could go on and on. Check out some of those blogs and such, you'll find some great information I'm sure.
5. Where did you purchase your kitchen table? I must have that exact one. Or at least close to it, but my I'm hoping its not only available in Canada or something. Oh dear, I'm sorry to tell ya we had our table made by some Hutterites who Randal knows. It is based off a table that I saw in an old potterybarn catalog though? But that is no help either. Sorry.
6. Just love this shots! Do you have some "materiel" for doing this sort of shots? Claire from France Claire, I only have two backdrops. A black one and a white one. The black one I have is from some thick, non wrinkle fabric I purchased at Joanne's and with the white the baby is laying on a white bedsheet and I used my white seamless paper as a backdrop.
7. Just looking through all your 365 photos, and wondering what lens do you use for all the indoor shots? And the setting? I love how all your photos look. And do you take that same lens and camera to the pool? Leanne Most all of the photos I've taken for the 365 blog have been with my 50mm 1.4 lens. Mostly because I love it so and partly because I'm too lazy to switch it. If I want to do a wider angle shot I've used my 28-135mm IS lens. My settings vary but most have been at higher ISO's because there's not a lot of light around these parts in the winter. And I usually have my aperture around 2.5 or so.
8. How do you store greeting cards you want to save? Not necessarily photo Christmas cards, but cards you received when your kids were born, when you got married, birthday cards, etc. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!! Susan Oh goodness Susan, mine are all in a box. I have yet to sort through them all. I have written the date on them all as we've gotten them but thats about as far as I've got. You've inspired me to tackle that project though and come up with a fun solution. It will most likely involve purging my collection though and keeping only a couple really special ones from each occasion.
9. I've never had these. How do you get your background to be blurry - it makes the candy bar look so clear? Susan
Well, I personally feel that it is my duty to spread to the world the wonderful chocolate-minty goodness that is a mint aero bar...so we're just going to have to have three winners from todays comments, one of ya'll simply must try one of these chocolate bars!! And that background blur comes when you are using a wide aperture (the lower the number the wider the aperture). This look can be achieved by setting the aperture yourself in AV mode (remember the smaller the number the wider the aperture) or by selecting portrait mode and focusing on your subject, in this case, the chocolate bar.
10. I particularly love your building blocks segment in the book and in SS do you have any other great ideas/starters following that format? So happy you are back. CARRIE H. I really should come up with some more of these Carrie! I will put that on my list of future post because I really loved those too!
Well, thats it for now. Hope everyone has a great weekend!