Sunday, January 31, 2010

God Willing

This year, God willing, will be a remarkable year for me.

This year, God willing, I will turn 40!
This year, God willing, I will get a black belt in Mixed Martial Arts.
This year, God willing, my baby will turn Sweet Sixteen.
This year, God willing, will mark one more year of remission of my Crohn's Disease.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Little Ground 'N Pound

Well, the guys got their chance to get even last night.  But they didn't take it! :)   Whew.  I'm so glad we have such nice people in our class!

One of the self-defense drills we did started with one person on the ground and their partner straddling them, wearing boxing gloves.  The person on top would throw punches at the person on the bottom.  The goal of the person on bottom, at first, was to just "survive".  You could parry, block, cover, grab his hands and try to trap them, whatever.  But you had to stay there and take it.  After doing this for some time our goal became to get out from under our partner and to get away.  The basic technique is demonstrated below, except we added a good ol' fashioned groin punch at the end, scrambled to our feet and ran away. :P

It made me feel really good that I could get out from under guys bigger than me and I know it is good for Miss Munchkin to have this exposure.  Even though she may not agree at times. ;)

(insert Monty Python's soundbite "Run away!")

Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Kansas

These are some of the photos I've taken of our beautiful state.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


FBPMA-7, originally uploaded by MrsMama.
Master Munchkin chops through a board (held by the elusive MrMama).

The Munchkins and I have a martial arts lesson coming up. During the last class I accidentally hit a Black Belt in the forehead with a hammer fist and kicked another Black Belt in the mouth with a reverse kick. I am rather a bit of a klutz!

I hope they aren't feeling vindictive! gulp

Monday, January 25, 2010


I've always thought it was funny how a lot of contests announce the losers.  Like on candy bar wrappers or under soda lids:

"You are not a winner at this time.  Please try again."

How come you never see, "Instant Loser!"  or "You are a Loser at this time and you will always be a Loser.  Why even bother?"

I used to pick a number for the Calender Contest and, Dawn, you are an Instant Winner!
You are not a Loser at this Time.  Yea!

We have flushing toilets again and, since I'm feeling so happy, I hit the Random button 2 more times.

Margo and The Park Wife, you are Instant Winners too!

If you will send your addresses to, I will get your calendars in the mail. 

Congratulations and thank you all for your kind comments.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How to Survive a Septic Situation

Discover leaking water in basement closet.
Clear out closet and set buckets under drips.
Go Exploring.
Discover brown, murky water backing up in tubs and showers.
Attempt to flush toilets.
Try to remedy situation with plunger and coat hanger.
Declare toilets, showers, laundry and dishwashers Off Limits.
Ignore Looks of Disbelief and Cries of Dismay from family.
Try to reach plumber on Saturday night.
Try another plumber.
Grant permission for son to pee outside.
Ignore son's Whoops of Joy.
Shut off water to house.
Break out paper plates.
Set up emergency toilet, using bucket and trash bags.  And duct tape.
Secretly believe MacGyver would be proud.
Send 8-year-old out to the garden spigot to fetch water.
Repeat as needed.
Wait near phone for 24 hours, Just In Case plumber returns call.
He won't.
Break news that son can't take Weekly Bath.
Ignore additional Whoops of Joy.
Threaten to hose off said son outside.
Consider feeling Put-out and Inconvenienced.
Remember Pioneers.
Remember Haitians.
Feel grateful for warm house and soft bed.
Give Thanks for food and family.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Give Away

Recently, I was contacted by the Kansas Government and asked if they could use one of my photos in a calendar they were putting together.  I said yes and, to thank me, they sent me a few.  I am giving away one of these Official Kansas.Gov calendars (not available in stores).  I've always wanted to say that last part. :)

The photos included feature some of the beautiful scenery that is seen in and around Kansas, as well as a few iconic icons.  Heh heh. 

My photo is seen on the February page.  Does that make me MrsFeburary?

If you would like a calendar of Kansas, leave a comment in this post.  I will randomly select a winner on Monday.  Good luck!

Friday, January 22, 2010

For Rebecca

Rebecca, I had fun constructing foam buildings with you and 15 glue-covered, sparkly children today.  Although, after reading this, I fear you may retract the notion that we are Kindred Spirits. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Up and Coming

Keep your eyes peeled.  I have a little Giveaway coming up!

In the meantime, check out MrsMama Recommends, at the bottom of the page.  I've listed some of the photography books that are on my shelves and a few other of my photography favs.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Hope You Dance

Miss Munchkin went to her first school dance last night. She wore a beautiful long, navy dress that once belonged to my Favorite Sister.

I think the striped socks are a nice touch, don't you?

These two tagged along to make sure students behaved appropriately throughout the evening.

(They are disguised as friendly chaperons, but I actually hired them just to spy on my daughter. Don't tell Miss Munchkin.)

It was a fun evening, full of food, friends and, of course, dancing! There was one major wardrobe malfunction, but that's another story.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tips for Shooting in the Snow

Whether you are watching your child sled down a hill or admiring the beautiful snow in your front yard, there are a few tricks that will help you capture Wintery moments with your camera.

Check out this quick guide to get you started and this one for a little more detail.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Frozen Fog

This morning we were greeted by a thick fog, which had covered the trees and froze to everything it landed on. It was so beautiful that I just had to get out with my camera. These were all taken within walking distance of our house.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Yesterday the Kansas wind spent all day taking little bits of snow from our front yard and depositing them in our driveway. We woke up to some pretty deep drifts! I tried to drive through them but my van became quite stuck. Master Munchkin and I did some digging, then our wonderful neighbor showed up on his tractor. With a plow. Before we knew it our driveway was clear and our van was free. Woo HOO! Did I mention we have an awesome neighbor?

This is our driveway. After.

This is Master Munchkin and his Man Cave, er I mean, snow cave that he made after school. Cool, huh?

Now I'm off to take our neighbor a steak or two. He's the best!

Friday, January 08, 2010

MrsMama, Pet Whisper

We have quite a few furry friends at our house. Pictured here is Trooper, our new puppy and Frodo, cat adventurer. Not pictured are Lizzy and Strider, who are currently enjoying a rare visit inside (since it's soooo cold out). In fact, their furry bottoms are in my way as I'm typing this! Shoo. (Why must they step on the keyboard or lie on the mouse?) Also not pictured is Freedom, our eldest cat. We've had her forever. She's napping in a quiet corner right now.

These pretty kitties are also featured here on Flickr. Pop over to see what they've been up to.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Joy Ride

The other morning we were in a bit of hurry to get off to school. We jumped in the van and pulled out of the garage and started speeding down the driveway. I am pretty good at making up time on the road when I need to.



meow! meoooow!

"Do you hear a cat?" I asked a Munchkin.


I could hear Frodo meowing sort of nearby, but I couldn't see him.

"Frodo's not in the back of the van, is he?" Master Munchkin looked around.


I slowed to a stop, opened the door and stepped half-way out of the van.

"Frodo.... here kitty, kitty...."

There, on TOP of my van, was our wide-eyed orange cat. I have no idea why we didn't see him earlier. I picked him up and craddled him in my arms.

"Poor baby!" His heart was beating pretty quickly. After a good petting, I set him down and pointed him towards home. He had ridden almost a quarter of a mile at a pretty good clip.

That gave us something to laugh about on the rest of our ride to school. :)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Warms my Little Heart

We are sitting snug in our house while a Winter storm rages outside. The family is all home and school is already canceled for tomorrow. Later this week, the high temperature of the day will be ZERO! Brrr....

Here are some things warm my heart this time of year:

Going to bed -we have a heated mattress-cover, which we turn on an hour or so before bedtime. Crawling into those warm flannel sheets and snuggling under the down comforter is pure Bliss.

Padding around the house in thick, comfy socks. Also warming my cold feet on my husband and children.

Curling up on the leather couch in a soft, fluffy throw blanket.

These coasters, given to me by a dear friend. This time of year they are constantly being used to hold my favorite body-warming drinks (strong coffee with 1/2 and 1/2, Irish Breakfast tea with sugar and milk, or a mug of hot, milky chai).

Taking a cat nap with an actual cat.

A roaring fire. On the very coldest of evenings, we'll build a wood fire in the living room and sit close by, reading or playing a family game.

And today my husband called me to make sure I was safe driving home from picking up the children. There's a big heart warmer for me.

How are you keeping warm this Winter?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Now that Christmas break is over and school is back in session, I've started exercising again. Today I'm really regretting ever having stopped.

I. am. so. sore

I know, it's good for me, but I hate it. I would much rather live pain-free. Unfortunately, when I don't exercise I get fluffy. Very, very fluffy.

It's not a pretty sight.

Yesterday I hit the gym in the morning and went to Kickboxing in the evening. This morning I Kickboxed and now I'm sitting at martial arts getting ready for Class.

All that bean dip and rum cake have come back to bite me, big time! :P

Monday, January 04, 2010

Summer's Secret

Of winter's lifeless world each tree
Now seems a perfect part;
Yet each one holds summer's secret
Deep down within its heart.

~Charles G. Stater

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Resolutions for the Photographer

I posted this last year, but I think it's worth another look. Here are 22 New Year resolutions for the Photographer.

Here is the list from the previous year. Lots of good stuff!

Most all of my work is online and this year I want to get some photos off of my computer and up on my walls and into the hands of my family. That and learn to shoot in Manual mode. Wish me luck!

Do you have any photographic resolutions?

Friday, January 01, 2010

Baby Come Back!

The last few weeks have been delightful having my favorite sister visit. We finally had to send her back, but she left behind some mighty fun memories:
  • playing Farkle
  • ordering ketchup from Sonic, with extra ketchup and a side of ketchup (OK, we didn't actually do this, but we were *this* close)
  • sledding on campus
  • sledding off campus
  • playing Wise and Otherwise (Go Banana Slugs!) and Apples to Apples
  • bean dip
  • being snowbound
  • watching movies together (Avatar, Terminator 2,3 and 4)
  • eating more bean dip
  • playing Poptropica with Master Munchkin
  • attending the Munchkin's Christmas concert
  • hunting for treasures at the consignment store
  • being despised and rejected by Borders (who knew they closed at 7pm on New Year's Eve?!)
  • watching deer walk by just outside the window
  • watching Star Trek Enterprise, Firefly and MacGyver reruns
  • the 12 Days of Christmas Dinner
  • the country music countdown
  • kickboxing
  • morning wakeup calls from the the cats, Munchkins, and/or Trooper
  • the checkout lady at the grocery store mistaking Rene for one of my children
We miss you already, Rene. Come back soon!