Sunday, May 31, 2009

Truman's Name of the Day

Our family is still tossing around names for our new puppy. The first day he was "Truman" but the Munchkins kept forgetting it and Mr. MrsMama finally voted 2 thumbs down. Today the puppy was "Custer", but Master Munchkin kept calling him Custard by mistake and I got tired of listening to Miss Munchkin correct him incessantly. So tomorrow he shall be "Ranger". Ranger has a nice ring to it and can be easily remembered and pronounced; we'll see how it fits.

Other names considered, and rejected:
  • Scout
  • Neo
  • Amigo
  • Tozer
  • Lincoln
  • Hank (as in cowdog)
  • Austen (as in Jane)
  • Pees-a-Lot! (Lancelot's cousin)

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Truman, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

This is the reason we've been happily occupied recently. Half Brittany Spaniel, half Yellow Lab, 100% Puppy!!


There is an exciting new addition to our household! Details and pics to come. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Miss S

Miss S, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

Another from the Senior Shoot I am editing. I love the light in her hair!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Inspiration, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

I am constantly inspired by the incredible photographs that I see on Flickr. These are some of my recent favorites.

1. Matt & Kayley, 2. heavenly shades of night are falling..., 3. What's Mine is Yours., 4. troll and chicken, 5. red door, 6. on the right path..., 7. butter face, 8. moving pictures, 9. Eggs..., 10. bundle of cuteness!, 11. Untitled, 12. as if by a spell, 13. Green and Pink, 14. perfect spheres, 15. in the light, 16. M, 17. Point of Interest, 18. be kind all, 19. elegance, 20. hi

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

43 in 20

Can you guess what Master Munchkin is reciting?

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I had a fun, fabulous Photoshoot with a delightful Senior yesterday. Here's a sneak peek!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Bit Worked Up

I love having a clean house, but my house is usually pretty well lived-in. In fact, every time my children see me cleaning, they get suspicious and a bit worked up.
Munchkin 1: What's going on?!

Munchkin 2: Who's coming over?

Munchkin 1: Is it my birthday?

Munchkin 2: Are we moving?
Sigh. No, no, Dear Children, your mother is just cleaning. It'll be OK.

Don't Call Me Shirley

I've been feeling a bit swamped the last week or two - just the usual end-of-school activities but I am wiped out! But here's a quick link to some very good photography tips on How to Shoot Flowers. I think Tip #1 makes a huge difference.

Now head outside with your camera. Surely you have something beautiful blooming in your yard that you can capture!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Free & Edible is Good!

Today is my husband's birthday. He is now the ripe OLD age of 40! (I am still in my 30s and will be forever, I mean, I will be for almost another year. I'm in denial about that too). Anyway, to celebrate, jump over to Oscar Mayer's, where they are giving away a free pack of hotdogs. This is good only for today, May 20th. Enjoy!

By the way, I still am unsure about what to call Him on my blog. The Mister? MrMama? Mr. Punctilious? Really Old Man? Or I could just call him something totally out there, like "Don". Any preferences?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Light! It Burns Us!

I've been putting it off for some time now, but I have grown increasingly frustrated with my vision. I guess I am almost 40 so I shouldn't be surprised that I need glasses, but I think I've been in denial. I just got back from the eye doctor and am sitting in the house with all the curtains closed, waiting for my sensitive eyes to undilate or re-late or whatever they do when they stop looking all scary and huge. And, yes, the good doctor informed me that I do indeed need glasses. I asked him about contacts (I am concerned that glasses would get in the way of photography and martial arts). I'm a little freaked out about the whole thing though. I'd love to hear from any contact-wearers out there - advise, tips, things you wish you'd known? I'm considering getting the daily disposable kind.

What are the Odds?

Last weekend, the Munchkins had to opportunity to see an outdoor performance of Herold Bell Wright's epic story, Shepard of the Hills. It was a very exciting production, complete with gunfights, buildings burning down, horses, fistfights, etc. Master Munchkin was entirely captivated.

I remember seeing the play when I was a child and still vividly recall how they played the sound of a wild cougar from a speaker in a tree near where I was sitting. In the fading darkness, I pretty much convinced myself that a real live cougar was going to jump down any second and eat me.

As I shared this memory with the Master, he thought for a second then asked, "How many people were in your row?"

Me: What?

The Master: How many people were sitting near you? 25? Because then there would have been only a 1-out-of-25 chance that the cougar would have attacked you.

Me: Well, actually there were more people than that, probably about 200 closeby.

The Master: There you go then. See? You weren't really in any danger. Because what are the odds that a cougar would jump out of a tree and attack you? It's much more likely that he would get someone else.

Me: So I shouldn't have been afraid?

The Master, shrugging: Of course not.

How can I argue with the logic of a logical 8 year old?

By the way, if you haven't read, The Shepard of the Hills, I highly recommend it!

Monday, May 18, 2009


This Summer Miss Munchkin turns 15 and is wanting to take Driver's Ed. Or is it Drivers' Ed? (muttering, let's see, there is more than one driver, possessive Ss....) Anyway, I mentioned this to my Great, Great Uncle and he shared this gem with me:

"I can remember when I started to drive. I was about 14, we had an old 1927 Nash touring car. I was so small I had to hold myself up on the edge of the front seat by holding onto the steering wheel. I could barely touch the pedals. My dad only let me drive in the pasture but I was excited. I saved money very hard and finally, by the time I was 17, I had $75 which I used to buy my first car, an old, 1931 Chevy. I repaired it and drove it until I enlisted in the Navy. Then my brother used it all the time I was in the service."
I learned how to drive in this guy, a distinguished old Chevy that has been from Missouri to Alaska. Twice.

Old Faithful

Do you have any special memories associated with learning to drive?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Free is Good

Right now, Amazon has over 700 MP3 songs that you can download for free. Once you find the section you can sort by artists and browse. There are some goodies in there - I found a few songs by some of Miss Munchkin's favorite groups and snagged them.

Also, if you live in our neck of the woods, Pendleton's is giving away asparagus this weekend. They were hit by hail today and are going to mow down the field. The public is invited to come and gathered the damaged asparagus for free. Isn't that nice? It reminds me when Ruth gleaned in the fields in the Old Testament. And look what that got her!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

When I Come up for Air

Ack! I've been up to my ears editing photos this week but had to take a second to share a very convicting post by my friend, Donna. If you are more often seen behind the camera than in front of it, you must read this.

When I come up for air, I shall blog on:
  • Why one should not pose their Senior High model on a rock occupied by a poisonous snake
  • The time MrsMama noticed a green tint to the sky and reached for her mouse to correct the color, only to discover that, in real life, she cannot change the weather
  • A bittersweet photoshoot in which a neighbor says goodbye to her dear canine companion

Monday, May 11, 2009

Round 2 with Miss B

I had another Photoshoot with this fabulous Senior. I'm still editing but wanted to share a couple. How cute is she?!

All the Horrors!

For Mother's Day, Miss Munchkin cleaned out my van. She vacuumed and dusted the insides and cleaned the windows and mirrors. But first she had to get out all of the extra "stuff". This is what she found, just lying around somewhere in there.

(no, not the couch - sheesh!)

Just to be clear, this is not a little bitty box. This is a 20 gallon tub. Tub of assorted... (checks tongue) stuff. Why was all of this in my van? How did it get there? Has that 6-foot bo staff been riding around with me for all this time?

Is that a computer motherboard? I know I see some nunchucks. And an old-fashioned quill and ink pen well. Right next to the spy-gadget briefcase. And the unopened kite.

Miss Munchin also carried away a huge bag of trash. I'm not going to show you that. And I'm not going to show you all of the stuff that is still in the back - like my emergency bag (hey, I like to be prepaired! Anyone need an ice pack? Finger splint? Candle? Fishhook? Emergency foil/solar blanket? I got you covered), 3 duffle bags for 3 martial artists, an extra booster seat and a box of stuff that's been trying to go to Goodwill for months now. Wish it luck.

And just to top it off, my darling daughter also cleaned out my husband's car. His box of junk was slightly smaller but his bag of trash was bigger. Much, much bigger. Ha!

Anyway, my van now looks and feels great. Thanks Sweetie!

Saturday, May 09, 2009


We have a winner from the first ever Giveaway at All Astonishment!

First of all, I have to say that I feel like *I'm* the winner. All of you had such kind comments and such sweet things to say. I am all aglow. Thank you!

I had Master Munchkin pick a number from a bowl held over his head and he chose

(drum roll.....)

#2! Congratulations, Dawn. If you will email your address to "mrsmomster at", I'll happily send your magnet your way.

Thanks again everyone. This was fun!

Friday, May 08, 2009


I drove by a sign at a veterinary clinic the other day that cracked me up.

"If you don't talk to your cat about catnip, who will?"

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Of Teeth and Bonding

Miss Munchkin split my lip in martial arts class tonight. She had me in a clench and was throwing knees at my face. I pushed aside her knee and grabbed her around her waist to slam her to the ground. She didn't go down easily. We both ended up on the ground and, during the scramble for the top, she accidentally bumped me and my tooth cut my lip.

Ah, good ol' mother-daughter bonding time.

I was going to show a photo, but it's so completely non-exciting, just a little tiny cut actually. It sounds much more exciting to say it than to see it.

Speaking of teeth, last night Master Munchkin lost a filling. When I took him to the dentist, we learned that his adult molar is coming in and was pushing on and killing that tooth. They went ahead and pulled it out and the Master got to take a tooth to school for show and tell. I was so proud of him - he was quite brave about the whole thing.

Hey, I could have just asked his sister to knock it out. She's got a mean right elbow. ;)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I had my second Senior High photoshoot yesterday. We wandered down an awesome alley downtown and found some fun, funky backdrops.

Miss K was delightful and up for anything. Isn't she lovely?!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Give Away

My site counter is telling me that I have had almost 10,000 visitors since I started "All Astonishment" almost three years ago. I actually am a bit astonished that so many of you have come to visit, well, me!

To celebrate, I am giving away this Jane Austen magnet, fresh off my fridge.

If you'd like a chance to win, please leave a comment and tell me the square root of 4,783,456.

Just kidding.

Actually, tell me which Munchkin is cuter and why. In 53 words or less.

Just kidding!

Just tell me why you like to visit "All Astonishment".
The winner will be randomly chosen by a random Munchkin sometime this weekend.

Monday, May 04, 2009


This is what greeted us when we walked in the door today:

My double batch of dough had, well, doubled.

Master Munchkin tried to contain it and force it back into its habitat.

It fought back.

For awhile there, we weren't sure who would win.

But, ultimately, it really never stood a chance.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Remember with Gratitude

Remember with Gratitude, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics. ~Bill Vaughan

Friday, May 01, 2009

Ladies, This One's for You

I know I have been guilty of this: being totally oblivious while loading stuff like groceries into my car. This is especially easy to do when your children are along; sometimes it seems like it's all you can do to get them into their carseats and keep them from eating the groceries! Please watch this short video and keep it in the back of your mind the next time you are out and about. I want you to be safe!

Another time I feel totally vulnerable is when I am vacuuming out my van in one of those public places. My rear is sticking out, my head is looking under the seats, and the noise is so loud that I would never hear anyone approaching. I have one of my Munchkins be my "lookout" so I won't be caught unaware.

Haiku at 3:49 AM

Munchkin in my room
muttering about bad dreams
Now the dog wants out


What Dosen't Work

I am fairly new to photography so I am thrilled when my friends let me practice on them; It's one of the quickest ways for me to learn what works and what doesn't. I've recently learned, the hard way, a few thing to avoid.

Dappled light. When patches of sunlight fall through trees and land on your subject they leave "hot spots", areas that appear bright white on your photograph. These are almost impossible to fix. If you have to shoot in harsh sunlight, look around for some full shade and place your people there. For example on the shady side of a building or, Miz Booshay's favorite, in the garage with the door open.

Double check what's in the frame. I recently was having so much fun at a photoshoot that I forgot to look around and check what was in the frame. In this case there was a garden hose on the ground. I spent a LOT of time in post-production trying to get rid of that stupid hose, which ended up intertwined in the feet of my subjects - I couldn't just crop it out. It would have save me so much time to have just stopped and moved it before I kept shooting (smacks forehead). Look around - what's in the background? An ugly trashcan? Move it. An ugly trampoline? Move your subject. ;)

Hope this saves you some pain.