Monday, May 30, 2011

Bring It!

I wanted to record my first experience in a full "real" photo session as I portfolio build
and learn more about this thing I love so much... photography!
So I have compiled a few images (not necessarily the best ones)
 that sort of tell the story of my journey through that day.

When I first arrived at the location... I was lost!
They found me, and as they walked up,
 I had my camera in hand ready to go and started shooting right away!

As I set the camera lighting and watched the kids I snapped this shot of Momma doing hair preparation... 
like every Momma does who's about to get pictures made of her babies!

Just fishin'... Brings me back a little and always makes me think of Mom!.

I love this shot. A true smile... "Honey buns!" (An inside joke... don't ya just love those.)

Children always have a way of bringing me out of my comfort zone
and a little deeper into the waters. I love that about them.

Brother and Sister!

Moments of Love!
 
He thought the whole process was kind of a comedy and was "posing" and trying to be funny.
But every shot I took of him looked awesome... He's just a good lookin' kid!

See... told you so!

I had the idea of bringing Mr. Takamine's old boxing gloves with me, and I had all of these grand ideas on how to use them, but forgot all about them until the end of the shoot.
I did get a few pretty good shots though...

What a lil' cutie!
Even though it was a hundred stinkin' degrees outside... They were still beautiful!

I enjoyed the experience so much... And I learned a lot too.
(There is bound to be post written on all of that soon!)
I know my pictures aren't the best there are to be made... But I love these people I capture!
These are the moments us Mommas want to hold on to forever.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

In the Stillness

In this day and age, as mothers, we tend to put all of our waking hours into
everything in our lives except ourselves.
Many moms work jobs, take care of aging parents, run a business,
get involved in their kids sports and school activities,
and some even take on the responsibility of nobly and wholeheartedly fostering other children
 (I am in awe of and love these women),
not to mention all of the everyday tasks we already have as wives, mothers, daughters and friends.
Cooking, laundry, diapering, cleaning, carpool... the list goes on.

I look around at the all the mothers I am connected to in everyday life and I am amazed.
I am just simply astounded and full of admiration at all of them.
Each carrying their own load gracefully, often without grumble, and always with love.

So why do we, as mothers, give our all to everything around us,
 leaving very little time to ourselves?
As humans, here on this earth, we each have only 24 hours in a day.
The truth is, if I could (and I can't), stay up for 24 hours every day,
 I still would never be able to finish all of the things
I want to get done in that short amount of time.
So, the only way to get balance, in my world, is to decide what things
are most important in my life and focus on doing those things first.
I've also learned to use a calender. A huge success secret for me.
(Aside from still missing birthdays here and there.)
But, I admit it. I admit to feeling a little guilty for taking time out of the day for myself.
Finding balance has always been a bit of a challenge for me.

But I'm getting better.

I have started a regular workout routine
(after the kids are down for the night... we'll see how long this lasts),
 and I put aside about 30 minutes a day for blogging.
That's a start, right?
Finding some quiet time everyday for myself has been a struggle
(ever since the kids came along anyway),
but I can tell you, that when I do make that time for myself,
 healing and rejuvenation does take place.
In that time of escape, I can better consider all of the people and things in my life
and I can take time to appreciate all those blessings,
 no matter what storms have passed by me that day.




Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Get Your Blast On!"

There's just nothing quite like taking the kids out for a cold treat.


We have discovered one of the most wonderful places on earth. (Well, at least the kids think so!)


 I've never been anywhere quite like it.


It's just one of those places you need to experience.


Some sort of delicious fruity sorbet was my choice... And it didn't disappoint!
 (The kids, of course chose cotton candy...Why do kids always choose whatever is blue?)

Please note: this is pure, unpaid, straight from the heart, advertisement for my new favorite place in town!


Lessons Along the Way

As a mom, there are many things I had to learn only through experience.
No one can teach a woman everything she needs to know about motherhood.
Some things just need to be experienced!

There are a few things that I want to share with you about some of the things
 I've learned about in my experience as a mother.

As a mother, I have learned:

~ To multitask.
 I know, I know, many of you single girls or happily married DINK's (Dual Income No Kids) 
can multitask like nobodies business, right?
I thought I was good at it before I had kids too. There's always room for improvement.
Here is one recollection of a time when I realized
I had honed my multitasking skills through motherhood:
I was talking to someone (who was dealing with the latest family tragedy) on the phone,
while conjuring up a healthy lunch (on a 20 dollar a week grocery budget) for 6 little girls,
while feeding a baby (who isn't  even "mine") a bottle of milk,
while wiping the bottom of a potty training toddler, 
while one child needed assistance on her math lesson,
and 2 others were fighting over a toy, 
and all the while (still listening intently on the phone)
 keeping myself calm while offering assurance to the person on the other line,
 that all of this (her challenges in life) too shall pass!
Nothing can prepare you for days like these...
(Shew... Thank heaven those days are over!)

~ Not to compare myself to other Moms.
God made me (and you) unique. There is no one else in the world like me (or you).
He also gave us (me and Mr. Takamine) three unique children. Each one different from the others.
Therefore, we have had to learn to deal differently (but as fairly as possible) with each one.
Certain ways of discipline don't work as well for one child as it may for the other.
This fact has stretched me to learn to get to know each of my children as separate individuals.
I love that they are different. This makes life so much fun. Live and learn!

~ To choose my battles.
Not everything is an emergency and not everything requires a fight.
Wisely decide whether it is a mountain or a mole hill.

~ That if I didn't like the way my child was acting,
 I had to look at the woman in the mirror first.
No explanation necessary!
There have been times when I had to stop, re-evaluate, and decide to change
something about myself that I knew would eventually hinder my relationship with our girls.
This took courage, humility, and discipline. I'm still looking in the mirror every day.
There is always room to grow.

~ That I need a balance between "sweet" and "mean".
At some point in motherhood, your child will, in fact, believe you are being mean
 in an instance that is meant only to be a "teachable" moment.
We have lots of those teachable moments in our home.
I've just learned to get used to being "mean" sometimes.
My husband used to tell me
 (when my first daughter was around 1 year old, before the other 2 came along),
 that I was way too nice.  I can assure you, he doesn't say that anymore.
There is a famous Author, Stephen Covey, who says,
 "Begin with the end in mind". I love this quote.
I don't always live by this quote. But, I am inspired by it every now and again.
You hear the cliche that "Kids grow up so fast these days", and you may think ugh,
people say that ALL the time. But here is why... because it's true!
Because, if I begin with the end in mind, I decide what kind
 of person (adult) I want my child to become.
Then I do what I can to get those qualities and characteristics
 instilled in our children within a certain amount of time.
Children need and want discipline. Give it to them.

~ To smile more, yell less, play often, 
 pray constantly and love always!


~ Oh... And a dozen other really important lessons!


I would like to make reference to one of my favorite books now.
The book is called Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman.
I had the opportunity around this time last year to be around a lady that I respect.
A wife, mother, leader, and friend.
 She wasn't talking to me, but I overheard her mention this book in conversation.
 And because I respect her and value her words,
 I ran straight out and bought that book the very next day!

I am so glad I did. I pick it up on a regular basis and it has given me
 a tremendous amount of ammunition when dealing with my "ankle biting battalion"!


One morning long ago, probably before I'd had my regular 5 cups of coffee.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just Love

All photos in this post are taken by and copyrighted by Eternal Instants By Jenny Davis.

My husband and I have been married for almost 8 years now.
We have had our ups and our downs as most couples do.
 But, I can honestly say that we have grown closer and more in love with each passing year.
We have always been different personality types. 
We tend to balance one another out.
And I think that's why (or at least the main reason why) our marriage has been so healthy.
Not to mention all the time we've spent getting to know each other. 
Trying to understand why we are the way we are and how to work together as one,
united together for the greater good.

And besides that... we are completely in love!

 As the celebration of our lives together came closer,
 May 31 to  be exact, I was gifted an item.
I had only recently put a picture of the item up on our refrigerator.
Why did I have a picture of something on my refrigerator?
Because, that's what we do!
When one of us decides we want something, we find a photocopy of it
 and pin it up on the fridge as a reminder of some of our short term goals.

I have recently become obsessed with one of the most expensive hobbies a girl can have.
No, it isn't shoes! (At least not today.)
It's camera and photography equipment.
 Yowzer... this stuff is oh so NOT cheap!
(Then again, Mr. Takamine has an awfully costly hobby himself!)

When I started my blog over a year ago, I began taking more and more
pictures of anything and everything I could find.
 I loved being able to capture an image that came together perfectly with a post I was working on.
Whether it be about a book, a recipe, my kids, homeschooling,
some crazy health topic I found interesting enough to share.
It gave me satisfaction to include an image, along with the post, that I personally created.

My first camera ever was the Kodak Easyshare Z760,
which I happily handed over to my six year old a few months ago.
 It came with a very simple and easy to use photoshop and once I taught myself
 how to use it, I became obsessed with every facet of photography.
I am certainly adored by my husband, who has now equipped me with a nicely upgraded SLR and two new great quality lenses that I have absolutely loved and enjoyed.

The photo below is the very first image I captured with my newest lens yesterday.
I ripped open the gift and slapped it on my camera within just a few minutes.
(After drying the tears dripping from my cheek from reading the sweet card
that came attached to the bottom of the gift.) 

It was my husbands favorite image taken that day.
This is my middle daughter. I think she's lovely!




I also snapped a few shots of the card... Because I heart cards!





There are few things in this world that please me more than receiving a card from someone I love.

My husband is my best friend, lover, father to my 3 children and partner for life.
I couldn't be more blessed to have him in my life.
He has been my dream come true.
I am thankful beyond measure for his love.

Transparency

I once wrote a poem in high school that my teacher made me rewrite
 because she swore I stole it from somewhere.
Yup... that's called plagiarism.
I've never done this before.
Honest to goodness, it was mine. I never stole a single line!
 But, I took this false accusation as a compliment because I thought my poem must have
been pretty good for her to think that, right?
 Or, she didn't like the content. 
The teacher was a known atheist, and I was by no means closed mouth about my beliefs.
When I was told to write, I wrote purely out of my heart.
I haven't always done this however.
I used to think everything had to be perfect all the time.
 Now, I'm just extremely thankful for my "spell check" button.
Now, if blogger would only create a "grammar" check button... then I would be set (mostly)!

The other day I was checking a spelling on a sentence and the spell checker said to me:
"Please avoid using contractions (ie: "didn't" rather than "did not") when writing formally"...
I was like, "Dude, I try never to write "formally"". Seriously.
Unless there is a professional letter being written... formality is just not my style.
The best writing, for me, is the kind that seems to be written from the heart.
The kind that isn't contrived or conjured up.
 I love to read writing that shows the persons personality and heart.
This is the writing that moves me and speaks to me.
 In other words. The writer becomes real!

Even face to face, a genuine person is easy to spot and sometimes hard to come by.
I recently spent a short period of time with a person who runs a
successful photography business.
The reason she is successful is because she is genuine.
It comes through in everything she does, and people are drawn to that!

Something that I have always found difficult doing is being transparent.
 I've heard people call it being a "glass house".
What does that mean you ask?
It means that what you see is what you get. It's sincere.
It's truly and really who this person is... their soul exposed!
 Here is why I always had trouble being transparent: I had skeletons in my closet!
And who doesn't. None of us are perfect.
 I recently read somewhere this quote:
I love this quote! It's true.
I always get nervous when my mother in law comes to visit.
Oh, you have never seen a person clean so quickly and so well as when my mother in law comes to visit. Why do I do this... Because she makes me nervous!
 Her house is impeccable, and she always complains about it being filthy.
 So what am I to believe she thinks of my home?
 It's all nonsensical, trying to make others believe you are perfect.
 We all know that none of us are!
Doing your best, using proper grammar, and correct spelling is definitely a good thing.
 In my world of homeschooling, it is a very good thing.
And it is important to know how to use proper grammar, and spell words correctly.
 I do take pride in all of these things.
However, when writing, I find that this should never be the main focus.
The content is what is most important.
Getting the message across loud and clear, in a personable way.
In my opinion, the less "professional" a person is,
(oftentimes but not all the time) the more personable a person can be.
 Someone trying to be too professional, often comes across as fake.
 People like "real" people.
 It keeps a person relate able and likable.
And that will bring in a modem for trust between two people.
Don't treat people like a number.
 Treat them like you want to be treated.
 It's one of the best rules ever written!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happiness Is...

All photos in this post are taken by and copyrighted by Eternal Instants By Jenny Davis.



Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's All About Relationships



Now 'a days, it seems like everyone wants to be a photographer. I know I've thought about it.
 But only because I love to be behind the camera. The more I do it, the more I love it.
 I have so much fun snapping those shots and tucking them away for memory, attempting to teach myself photoshop for hours, only to realize,
I've done nothing to really further my knowledge.
But I sure had fun!

As the thought of starting my own photography business came to mind, I went to the book store, (one of my favorite pass times) in search of a book that would tell me the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the business of photography.

 I found & I read the book.
(And still do from time to time.)
It scared the pants off me... figuratively speaking!

 Here's a great quote from the book:

"I think we all come into this business thinking we are going to be shooting most of the time. In actuality we spend very, very little time shooting, and a whole lot of time taking care of business."
There were a few things I needed to learn...

Here was a list of pretty important things to check off before making the decision:

#1. Be really good at photography... Marketable.
#2. Love what you do. I think you have to truly LOVE it with all your heart.
#3. Expect to work hard! Really hard.
#4. Not only must you be good at photography... but you need to be willing to get good at business as well.
#5. Read the book... There is so much more!

There are a million other things to learn before you make the decision!

Go buy this book as reference.
 I have to share with you the Title and the Author.
Give credit where credit is due!



I love this book. It gives you the facts!  But it also gives you inspiration!
This book will give you plenty to think about when it comes to building your own business!

(The author of this book is in no way affiliated with this blog
or the writer of this blog (me) and is written about
purely out of love for the book and because
 I found the information to be helpful on a personal level.)

Another thing I would recommend is talking to a successful photographer
 who has been running a business long enough to give you some great advice.

There is nothing like the wisdom of a master.
~
I am rarely inspired to write so much.

Lately, I've been posting only photos, with very little personal writing.
I've missed writing. It always makes me feel better when I can get
those words out in front of my eyes on the screen.
With this book I mentioned above, in the forefront of my mind, I want to share.
 In review of my personal business history, I wanted to share a little about myself.
Just in case someone was interested.

I have been self employed for quite a few years now.
I remember my first thought to be self employed.
It came to me when I was working as a nurse, 9 yrs ago,
for an endocrinologist back in my hometown.
I loathed my job there.
I was empty inside and, at the time, felt no purpose in my life.

All I could think about was freedom.

Freedom from the mundane.
Freedom from the nine to five.
 Freedom from the endless boredom of a "job".
It wasn't that I was lazy. I am not afraid of hard work.
(I am a mom of three after all!)
 I actually enjoy working... especially when I'm doing something that makes me feel fulfilled.
The office job just wasn't cutting it. 

A year later I found myself fully self employed with my own housekeeping business and a schedule I could barely keep up with. I worked for several clients who had more house
to keep up with than I had time to keep it in!
  (Our biggest client's home was approximately 15,000 square feet... I'm still in awe!!!)
This was good. It was the perfect change for me in my life, at the time.
 I made friendships with families I still keep in touch with today.
 Then I married my best friend in the whole world
(who was a business major and had now become my business partner).
One of the happiest days of my life!
We immediately moved to another state.

In this state, the housekeeping business was flooded
 with folks doing it for a lot less than we were getting paid for it back home.
We decided to get out of the business.

A few short years later came the babies. Three of them.
Pretty much all in a row!
We chose, as a couple, not to enroll the children in a daycare,
and for me to be a stay at home mom.
 I waited a few tables here and there in the evenings to help pay the bills.
 But fillin' up drinks and carryin' trays of food...
 well, that wasn't cutting it either.

 I then began to get opportunities to babysit children for friends. 
Eventually, I was doing this full time.
Suddenly, I had a full blown child care center right there in my own home.
I really enjoyed it. I love children and it was allowing me to stay home
 with my own children while helping my husband out with our everyday expenses as a family of five.
At times, things did get stressful, financially, in our home.
 But I was just where I needed to be, at that time in my life.
I was providing a needed service, often for friends
 (who I am still in contact with on a regular basis).
And I am still running a very part time child care business. 

Then came the big kicker!
I had heard a few people talk about it in passing,
and I think God planted a little seed in my heart and mind one day.
 I felt a very strong tug on my heart that homeschooling would become
the choice of education for our children.
The tug turned into a very forceful pull, and when my oldest daughter turned five,
 I found myself living life in the fast lane, as our home quickly became an Academy.

 I had no background in education. The only thing I knew anything about was Science.
 As a nursing major, there was no time for learning "other" things.
Especially since my college experience was also full of "extracurriculars" (aka: Party Time).
 But that's a post all it's own.
I felt unqualified, and quite honestly a little scared.
 But, I knew one thing for sure. It was what I was meant to do.
I could run, but I couldn't hide!

So, here we are now, one full year of home education under our belt.
(I'm still alive to tell you about it!!!)
And I am once again at a cross roads.
What will my future hold?
Exactly what I make of it!

" If it's to be, It's up to me."... I love this quote!

Another year of school begins... and we aren't taking a summer break.

Why?
 Because I'm a bit crazy.
 Because I love to teach my children.
 Because I like taking days off in the middle of the week
 to do what we want to do, and sometimes that doesn't include "school"!

Sometimes we just wanna go explore, take some pictures, climb a tree!
Right now, I am just taking life one day at a time.
And I'm loving and learning all the way!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Every child has a gift to give!

All photos in this post are taken and copyrighted by Eternal Instants By Jenny Davis.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Homeschool Discovery Day

All photos in this post are taken and copyrighted by Eternal Instants By Jenny Davis.

A day of learning and fun at the local Science Center!











Saturday, May 7, 2011

Strawberry Smiles

All photos in this post are taken and copyrighted by Eternal Instants By Jenny Davis.