Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Taste of Testing

Here are a few moments of our Black Belt test. You can tell we were really tired!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Country Christmas

Country Christmas, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

Look at this cutie! I love the sparkle in her eyes. :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Three years ago I started martial arts along with Miss Munchkin.  Mostly I wanted her to learn self-defense skills and she agreed to the lessons as long as I took them with her!  Along the way, I’ve learned some valuable techniques, become physically stronger and made some wonderful new friendships.

Miss Munchkin and I have been testing for our Black Belt over the past six weeks.  Last week was our final test.  It was 2 hours long!  Before class started, we had to complete 100 situps, 75 pushups and 25 laps around the dojo.  Then, for the first 30 minutes of the test, we were pushed to our limit physically with strenuous drills and exercises.  After we were good and tired, we were asked to demonstrate all of the techniques we’d learned over the past 3 years.  Kicks and punches, escapes from various chokes and bear hugs, throws and grappling on the ground. Then we sparred.

At the end of class, we learned that we’d passed!  The following night we received our Black Belts in an official graduation ceremony.  We also read a 3 page paper that we’d written about our “journey though martial arts”. 

I’m so glad testing is over.  It is one of the harder things I’ve ever had to do.  I’m really proud of Miss Munchkin for hanging in there though it all and of myself, for doing this at age 40!

PMA DecGrad5
Reading my paper
PMA DecGrad21
Miss Munchkin graduating
PMA DecGrad24
Getting my new belt
PMA DecGrad35
The graduating class (we’re on the right)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pictures You Won’t See

On our Christmas card this year:

Smile! 302947

Yes, I know you’re cold.  Just a few more minutes…299247

Get down Trooper!301447

Now put your heads together, closer, closer…. too close!  Ouch.304747 

The Lick309147 

Perfect (if you ignore the galloping dog in the background)306147

Friday, December 03, 2010

Linkey Love

Miss Munchkin and I are halfway though our 6 week intensive black-belt boot camp!  It's pretty tough and we are really sore. Don't make either of us laugh.  Ow. :)

Here are some neat things I've found recently.  I love to share!

10 Free Holiday Icons for your website

The Frugal Find (great for getting deals for Xmas shopping)

Ninjabread Men

10 Tips for a Sharper Photo by one of my favorite photographers

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Something New

I’ve been busy working on something entirely new the past few weeks – I’ve been taking photos of the students at our martial arts studio.  This project required the use of lights and a green screen and digital backgrounds – all new stuff for me!  It’s kind of funny – the students get to choose their backgrounds and every single child (and even a few of the adults) choose Fire. :)

Here’s a little taste:

  Berryman40   MarkFire  MrsB8Berryman3

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


My Favorite Sister is still living abroad in the Philippines but now she has a visitor - my mother!   We've all been missing Rene, but my mom couldn't stand it any longer and hopped on a plane for a ride around the world.  She's been having all sorts of grand adventures - hiking and riding around on motorcycles, helping in Rene's classroom and taking showers out of a cold bucket of water!  I'll miss being with them for Thanksgiving, but I'm thankful that they are together.

Between baking pies this week, I've been working on a required paper for my Black Belt Test.  We have to write a three page paper and read it out loud at our graduation.  I think I should do an interpretive dance instead.  ;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pharmaceutical Fun

I learned a thing or two about my son this week.  Apparently Master Munchkin is one of those kids who gets an awful itchy rash when taking the antibiotic, Amoxicillan.  The kind that keeps him up at night, scratching madly.  So, like any good mother, I treated his allergic reaction with Benedryl.  Ha!  I bet you didn't know that Benedryl  makes some children hyper instead of sleepy!  I had no idea until this week.  The Master was chirping around, all perky and taking non-stop, generally getting on my nerves. Finally I took him by the shoulders and looked him in the eyes.

Why aren't you getting sleepy?!! 

He stared back, his eyes widening.  "I'm immune!"  And then he laughed his evil scientist laugh.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fall Family

Here are a few shots from a recent family photoshoot.  This time we hit the local train depot.Big1 CFamily3 CFamily9 CFamily15

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Black Belt Boot Camp

If you have followed my blog for awhile now, you know that my children and I have been training in mixed martial arts.  We’ve been taking classes for 3 years and this month we are starting to train for our final test!  There are 5 weeks of grueling classes that we have to go through and, at the end, we learn if we passed.  So I hopefully I will become a black belt in December!  Miss Munchkin will be testing with me.  Wish us luck!

Part of our test includes being able to do 100 situps and 70 pushups.  Uh oh! I can do about half those amounts right now, so I need to get busy!

Speaking of busy, I just finished coordinating our school’s Book Sale.  We’d been taking donations since the summer and about a bazillion books needed to be organized and, well, sold!  It was a lot of work but we made $600 for our little school library, which is more than its yearly budget.  Yea!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Picture Within

We’ve all gotten those “less than perfect” shots from time to time.  You know the ones, where somebody wiggles at just the wrong moment or blinks right when you push down the shutter.  Wait!  Before you hit “delete” on your camera or computer, take another look.  There might be a wonderful picture hiding somewhere in there!

For example, this cutie-patooie was showing me her sweater.  Her brother was showing me some “Cheese”.A&Q1-2

A little cropping, a zoom, and a slight rotation later you get this!A&Q2

This next photo was pretty cute to start with but I think the viewer’s eye is drawn away from the girl’s face down to her lower arm and leg.  I’m also distracted by the strong purple flowers above her head.  And that’s a shame because, with a zoom and a crop…


You get this!  So look twice at your photos; You may uncover a hidden treasure.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Samuel, 8 days

Samuel17 Samuel21

This little guy was actually pretty alert for a newborn.  We had to work fast between catnaps. :)

These were shot using natural light.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Geddes Gone Wrong

I’ve had a few adorable babies in front of my camera recently.  Of course, not every shot is a keeper.  I’ll usually delete most of the seconds but, occasionally, I’ll capture something that just cracks me up.  I call these “WGGW”s or “When Geddes Goes Wrong”.


After messing with this little guy quite a bit, he finally woke up and glared at me.  Then he gave me me the Finger.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Nesting, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

I'm in the middle of editing a Family photoshoot. The mother is expecting in January and she let me do some fun tummy shots. Dang, I wish I looked that good when I was expecting! :)

Friday, October 08, 2010

Beep, Beep Beep

As a music lover, one of my goals is to introduce my children to all kinds of music and to have them learn to enjoy it as much as I have.  From the time they were babies, our Munchkins have been exposed to a wide variety of sounds, including classical, choral, Broadway, pretty much anything except Light Jazz (which makes me cringe).

One of the fun ways we’ve found to hook our kids on some classical tunes is through the Beethoven’s Wig series of CDs.  They are a little goofy and a lot of fun.  There are 4 out now and we borrowed the latest from the library last week.  One of our favorite songs on this album is set to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.  You can hear it here (click Track 12).

Others worth a listen include:

Beethoven’s Wig (Track 1)

Musical B’s (Track 4)

Warning, they are rather silly.  And once you've heard them, you may never listen to the music again without hearing the words in your head.  But if you need a laugh on a long trip, they are worth a listen!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Sweetest Senior


This sweet thing was such a joy to work with.  Here are a few of my favorites shots from our time together.



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Okay, Break it Up People

Last night, MrMama and I were having a, er, discussion.

Me, in a slightly grumpy promising tone: Are we going to need to have a fight about this?

MrMama, calmly: No, I don't think so.  Why?

Me: Because you're being..... (struggles for word).... wrong!

MrMama chuckles.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Fall Y'All

On the first day of Fall, the Munchkins and I were were listening to Vivaldi's Autumn concerto on the car radio.  Or at least I thought they were listening.

Miss Munchkin: Is it pronounced "Ni-vall-di" or "Vi-vall-di"?

Master Munchkin:  I think it's "Na-Baldy."

Me (trying not to laugh): It's "Vivaldi".

Miss Munchkin:  Are you sure?  I always thought it was Nivaldi!

Master Munchkin:  Yeah!  I mean, what kind of idiot would name his kid, "Vivaldi"?!!

(fade to spirited classical music)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Notes to Self

Lessons recently learned the hard way in Photography:
Pond scum on a lake does not a pretty background make.  Check and double check what's behind your subject before you start shooting.

Apparently I need more than my personality to charm a baby.  Must get squeaky toy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby

I got to take photos of the sweetest baby yesterday.  It was hard for me to stop smooching her chubby little baby feet and to pick up the camera.  Luckily her mother was very understanding. :)



Overheard at our house recently:

 Miss Munchkin:  Madeline had to have her expendix taken out.

Master Munchkin:  We need to make that again or I will die of Lack of Potato Soupness.

Miss Munchkin:  I walk all-the-day.  And I'm tired.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Life of Fred

 One of the benefits of homeschooling is that I can tailor the curriculum to fit my child.  Last year Master Munchkin was bored in Math at school so I really wanted Math to be challenging for him this year.  And fun.

Happily, I found a Math textbook that is both.  Stanley Schmidt, Ph.D. wrote a series called "Life of Fred".  The lessons are infused with unexpected humor and surprises.

For example, here are a few of the questions from this week's quiz:

(A little background info for those of you who haven't been through the first 10 chapters, Fred has had an Accident.  So brace yourselves.)

1.  The knife in Fred's foot weighs thirteen pounds.  How many ounces is that?

2.  Reduce as far as possible 120/360

3.  Drip!  is the onomatopoetic word describing Fred as Betty carried him down the stairs.  If Fred were losing one drop of blood every four seconds, how many drops of blood would he lose in four minutes?

8.  It is seven furlongs from Fred's office to the hospital.  How many feet is that?  (A furlong is 220 yards)


Now what boy wouldn't love that?!  I love hearing him laugh out loud as he's reading the chapters and I'm thrilled that he is enjoying Math again.  Now what mom wouldn't love that? :)

Friday, September 17, 2010


., originally uploaded by MrsMama.
A quick snapshot from a recent photoshoot. This is the Greek Goddess' little sister. Their mother brought along this beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers, which we incorporated into several of the shots.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fight Class

This year my Fight Class consists of 3 ladies and 6 men.  Last night it was just me and the guys though.  We took turns practicing some combinations then we sparred with each other.  I always come out of class utterly exhausted and dripping in sweat.  I think I won’t show you that.

Here’s some footage from last week.  I actually landed a Superman Punch (I was so happy!)

Fight Class

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Meet Meaghan.  We did her Senior photos downtown in the alleys behind the shops.  I call her “The Greek Goddess” inside my head.  She was tall.  She was poised.  She was beautiful.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that people stopped and stared.

She was also really fun to shoot and was up for anything.  To get this shot she had to climb over a railing, schooch out on a ledge, and stand in the middle of a bunch of bees.:)

Coming soon: some sweet shots of her sister.