Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Micah picture post...

So it was 20 degrees out. I got a new lens and I wanted to use it. And, Micah likes to be outside no matter how cold it is...

Capturing him sitting down long enough was interesting, and you will see how he truly feels about hats.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I have been neglectful (surprise) of my Party of Five..or Six blog...
But for good reason! I have started a Photography Blog, DonnaWilliamsPhotography and have been trying to keep up with it.
So, if you feel so inclined, visit me here too!! And I will try to keep up with our Party more often.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Christmas Cards!

When I first checked out Shutterfly's cards this year, there was one I fell in love with. It said "every good gift" on the front, which has been the scripture I have used this year with a picture I had taken of my kids. I really wanted it. But, it was just a bit out of price reach for me for as many as I wanted. So I found one I loved in their small size.

And then the email came with the promotional offer for 50 free 5x7 cards. And that was just the size of the one I had loved. So I designed it and then, just because, I found another one. And I designed that one too. I took a family poll with each member in private so the older children (Caleb) would not influence the younger (Elisa) And it was unanimous! They all loved my first and favorite card best. is my (favorite) Christmas card of 2010.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An orange envelope...

Since I have been taking pictures of friends and their beautiful children, I have had many orange envelopes arriving on my doorstep each week. I love pictures. I love looking and them and receiving packages of them. I use Shutterfly. A lot.

Tis the season for many Christmas envelopes coming. I recently got my 2011 calendar finished, ordered, and received. I needed November and December of 2010, so I like that I can start the calendar at any time. And I have all my favorite "peeps" birthday's already printed on the calendar. I always choose a favorite picture for each month from the year before. My kids always get their pictures on their birthday month, and my favorite Christmas picture goes in December.

Today I got my newest Shutterfly album of our family pictures. Earlier this week it was some of my Christmas cards. Designing my cards is always something I love. There are so many designs and templates to choose from, and I enjoy "playing" with which picture may work here...deciding whether I should use induvidual pictures or a group picture. Here is a sneak peak of one of my designs this year:

This isn't the first year I have used Shutterfly, I think I am on my fifth year of their Christmas cards. I loved last years because we had another person on it!

One thing I have not tried on Shutterfly is their canvas prints. I recently took my sisters family pictures and she ordered a large canvas print. It is beautiful, and now I am jealous I didn't think of it first after ordering my own family pictures.

Tonight I finished one of my son's Christmas presents. He and Mike got to spend a weekend on the USS Yorktown with the Boy Scouts while we were in Charleston, and he took many pictures. So, tonight I finished his photo book and can't wait to give it to him!

This week, thanks to Sarah, I found out that bloggers can get 50 free Christmas cards from Shutterfly! I have some, but not enough, so yay, another orange envelope to look forward to!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Family pictures...

Our friend, Sam took our family pictures today. He is very talented and I love them! (and our friend, Larry, stood behind him to make Micah laugh!)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Asheville...and Mike...

Mike and I left for Asheville on Saturday. We had planned to go hiking somewhere...but, well, it snowed.

So, we explored downtown Asheville on Saturday, walking around, holding hands, and laughing. It was good to be alone. We went in a lot of different shops. Some that interested us, some that didn't. We even went into an antique shop (which we never do) and found the most hilarious book. It is called "Where Did I Come From." And is a funny approach to teaching your kids about sex. Oh my, was it funny. We laughed so hard we thought we would get kicked out. And we may have, but the owner was more intersted in grooming his dog the whole time we were there. The pictures were cartoon-y and our favorite was of a baby boy looking at his penis and the caption said "don't worry, as you grow, it will grow." It was $18 and we both said, "if only it were $5." So, we left it there, but not before Mike took some pictures of our favorite pages and texted them to Sam.
Sam later texted (is that the correct way to say that?) back "where are you guys?" And then said he would be happy to chip in $9 for usto go get it. So we went back after dinner, and they were closed, and wouldn't reopen until Monday. But, becuase i am a bargain shopper and then had it in my head I had to have this book, when we got back to our room I got on Amazon. And found it for $5. :)

On Sunday we went to the Biltmore for the first time and it was amazing. I was of the thought that I didn't want to pay that much money to tour someone's house, but it was beautiful and I am really glad we went. My favorite part was touring the grounds. I would love to see them in the spring.

We could have spent more time there, including going to the wine tasting, but home beckoned, as did our children. And probably Sam and Gina too!

It was a perfect anniversary weekend.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

15 years...

Today is Mike's and my 15th Wedding Anniversary! We were married on November 4, 1995 in Evansville, IN, on what was the coldest day of the season. And it was cold! I wanted to get married in the fall since it is my favorite time of year, and growing up in Florida, you don't get a lot of fall.

I am sure I thought when we got married, "so and so has been married for 15 years?!" thinking it was such a long time. But for me it has flown by. I am not poetic, nor great with sweet words, but it has been a wonderful 15 years. I married my best friend. I have moved with him four times. I have laughed with him and cried with him. I have rejoiced with him and fought with him. I have four children with him, and one in heaven. And I love him more than anything.

Tonight we will celebrate at our favorite restaurant, the Melting Pot. And this weekend we will get away by ourselves to Asheville, NC.

Happy Anniversary, Mikey. I love you so much!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My weekend..

I'm supposed to be in Florida, I'm supposed to be in Florida, I'm supposed to be in Florida....but I am not. Mike is in Florida, I am here. He has his second to last Love Worth Fighting For Marriage Event of the year in Lakeland today. We were all going to travel down there together, have dinner with my best friend from high school, see my brother, reminisce about when we were dating down there, and of course, have lunch with Kirk Cameron when it was all done on Sunday afternoon (and see if he remembered my name this time so he doesn't call me Mrs. Williams ever again)

but...Micah started feeling puny on Tuesday and we both got a little (a lot) worried that 11 hours in the car with a possibly sick baby and three other kids wondering "are we almost there?" would be a bit much for a four day trip. So Mike flew there instead, and I stayed here.

which meant...I got to take the kids to Chic Fil A last night for dinner and then get ice cream...take Caleb to his best friends house for a sleepover, and then cuddle with my girls in their bed while looking through the American Girl catalog, wishing which dolls we could get. (yes, we. I want a Julie doll, she is from 1974, the year I was born)
It meant that Micah got a full nights sleep in his own bed, and I got to watch Elisa score two goals in a soccer game I thought we would miss.
I also got ahead (by 3 weeks!) on my planning for the 50 states class I teach, impressing my co-leader who is much more organized than I.
And, I sat and watched my Thursday evening programs on that I missed the night before since we no longer have cable.

I do...miss Mike. I miss that I am not there with him trying to help bring his stress level down. I miss that I am not the "ticket" lady today and I won't be there first hand to see how excited all the couples are going in, and coming out of the conference. I miss the funny stories Warren Barfield will tell and that I can't text my friend Eileen tomorrow bragging that I had lunch with Kirk (who does recognize me now)... I will enjoy my little people, curl up with a book when I get the chance, and enjoy that I will get to spend Sunday morning at my favorite church, leading the worship team, and learning from our pastor. And I will get the chance to say goodbye to my oldest nephew, Travis, who is leaving for basic training on Monday.

and...I will look forward to coming home from Monday Fun on Monday and having my Mike(y) home for a few days, and we will share how great our weekends were.

Friday, October 1, 2010

NASA...Space Museum

When I was but a little girl, one of my dreams was to be an astronaut. I grew up in Orlando and loved watching the Space Shuttle launches from my back yard. I remember the devastaion of the morning of the Challenger the sky looked, how cold it was that day, how devastated my sixth grade teacher was. I have always loved the idea of going into space. So, I was so excited when we were able to take a trip to the NASA Space Museum in Huntsville, AL when we were in town for one of Mike's Feed Your Faith Marriage Events...
There was not a lot on the Space Shuttle program, ( I didn't get to see the IMAX movie on the Hubble telescope, Caleb tells me I would say otherwise if I had) but all they had on the Apollo program was so amazing, and fun, and are some of our pictures...Here we are!

This is my favorite picture from the husband is so talented and creative!

This showed a launch and how loud it would be as well as the vibration if you were there.

They have a fun play area where Micah and I spent a lot of time, this cracked me up...he doesn't look so good! Ok, this was my favorite Micah picture of the day. He is on the go so much so it is hard to get a good picture...but this one was so great! We hung out together while the "big kids" and Mike went to the IMAX movie.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fighting in the Civil our backyard...

I am not sure if we will ever make it through this war or not, it has taken forever. So, we took the fighting outside and "reenacted" many battles in our backyard.
For the Union: Mike, Rebekah, and Elisa
For the Confederacy: Donna, Caleb, and Micah (our little spy...he even took Mikes weapon using his sweet little smile) (oh, and he was captured too)

Caleb getting in some target practice..
Micah was captured early...they got him by coaxing him with a wagon...the Union meant business with their lineup
It was fun watching my girls playing with "guns"
Here they are on the Monitor
And the Confederates on the Merrimack...we got Micah back, but he got gun powder in his eyes here!
Micah on the lookout
Micah doing what he does best...acting sweet, then swiping Mike's sword
Another victory for the Union
The kids had a really great time, and hopefully this will be something that will help them remember some of the battles and victories of the Civil up, who shall be Abe Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Homeschool...take 6...

Today we began our sixth year of homeschooling. I really wasn't planning on it, especially since I just ordered from Rainbow Resource last Thursday. But yesterday, I started getting excited about a new year, without a newborn and with a little more sleep. (though I am now seeing that a one year old will be more challenging than a newborn) Anyway, I decided to start today. It is so stinkin' hot here, and the kids hang out inside off we go!

I called last year the "year of the workbook" That is pretty much all we did...I did not do so well on such little sleep and would grow even more tired at the thought of reading a novel to my kids...sad, I know...but, that is how it went. So this year I have decided must be fun, and hands on, and exciting...well, hopefully.

We ended last year at the start of the Civil War, and I had bought a Civil War lapbook from Hands of a Child. Let me say I love lapbooks, at least the idea of them. If I finish one, I will let you know...anyway...I didn't even print it out. I found our this summer that HOAC have online co-ops, so I decided to check that out. The first lapbook they chose to do this year is Civil War. I decided to join, hoping it will keep me on task. It is really cool. Everyone has a "job" to do, and posts it to the group. (math, scripture, geography, games, crafts...) It goes on for two school weeks. Today was day one, which was also why I decided to get going on school, to stay with what the group was doing...

We had fun math problems about how many states there were, and subtracting out how many were free, we made a Nettie doll, looked up the Atlantic triangle slave trade on a map, and had a fun story starter with a writing assignment for Caleb. Ok, so I know it is day one and I have 13 days to go, but I think we all had fun, and the kids were so happy to have something hands on to do.

Like I said, I recently placed my Rainbow order, which contains a lot of our books...but we had math already and a few things here and there. So, we are gently easing in to the year. I really hope to spend a little more time with the girls reading fun "girly" books that I had overlooked before, play a few more games, and, well, just enjoy my kids.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Birthday, sweet Micah boy

My sweet boy, Micah turned one today! It is a bittersweet feeling. My baby is growing up fast, but he is growing, and healthy, and wonderful. And I couldn't love him more!!

Happy Birthday, Micah James, you are a blessing to me, and I love you more than I could ever say...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back yard transformation...

Last year for Mother's Day I asked for a patio in our back yard so we could set up our pool, and then have it for furniture when the pool wasn't in use. I didn't get it. I did however, get my "luxurious" get the hospital that is...Mike lovingly gave a detailed description here.

This year, I didn't want the patio, or the pool, but a new deck since ours fit only the grill and a table, but we couldn't fit our chairs around it...and here is what I got...
The "old deck" on top was a little more than half the length it is now...we brought it past our bedroom window, and hope one day to make our window french doors. Then we added the second level, which is the length of the old deck and 1 1/2 times the width...oh, and by we, I mean Mike's friend Josh and his crew.

So, since we got a new deck, I wanted new furniture...but, well, we spent our money on the deck...and so my HGTV knowledge kicked in... I went to JoAnn Fabrics, got some outdoor canvas, some spray paint at Lowe's, hopped on my sewing machine, and went from this...

to this... I just have to finish it :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just because I love him so much...

Here is how cute my 10 month old is...

Monday, April 26, 2010

What we've been up to...

Same excuse...different month...I always intend to blog but..don't...there you is a bit of what we have been up to...
Since it has been...oh a long time, I have to back up quite a bit...
We celebrated Rebekah's 8th birthday in the beginning of March with an American Girl party. She got her first doll, Rebecca, from my parents, Mike's mom and step dad, and us...

Caleb's birthday is soon after and we had an amazing Amazing Race party! This was probably my favorite party I have ever thrown for one of my kids, and I hope the girls want to do it one day...lots of clues and running around the neighborhood...even a roadblock and detour...and now my oldest is 10...sigh...

Caleb and Ezra came out the winners!!...and they each got a $5 gift card to Walmart...I didn't have one million on hand...

...We went for our first family hike to Look Rock on Good Friday. It was a beautiful day and we talked about the death and resurrection of Jesus while looking out at the beautiful creation God made...

...and we celebrated Easter!...

..and we celebrated Little Joe's 10th birthday...he is the best stuffed rabbit a boy could ask for!..Caleb threw him a party, and made him gifts!

...we planted our first vegetable garden at our "new house", thanks to our neighbor who rota-tilled for us....

and I have been working on discovering the lost flower beds in my yard that have been overgrown for years...Mike says my next door neighbors may no longer like me since they will be able to see our back yard now...oh well, it is looking fabulous!

....we have been taking lots of pictures of my sweeties and all the beauty the spring brings... baby boy keeps growing and idea how big he is...but he is so awesome! He loves to talk...dada, nigh nigh, yeah!, and what sounds like hiiiiii....he loves me to read to him...I generally read Good Night Moon (while he holds another book so we don't fight over who gets to hold the book I am reading)...he gets really excited when I say "good night, moon." he makes a fist and says "ah!"..then I read Oh My, Oh My, Oh Dinosaurs....I love Sandra Boynton...he loves when I say, "Dinosaurs plump, and dinosaurs lean" I get a "ah!" again...
Micah is growing too fast...almost 9 months, and I am going to have to start thinking about his birthday...I thought for sure that it wouldn't go this fast...but it did...he is not interested in crawling, still hates being on his belly...but scoots around (backward) while sitting...and is still toothless...

...this past Saturday my Aunt Vernette, cousin Joe and his wife, Rhonda, Aunt Barb, cousin Julie, and her little boy,Linc, came to visit at my was so good to see them all...and I didn't have my camera. Julie's husband is soon graduating from, something that I can't remember enough to put into words...BUT they are possibly looking at Knoxville for job opportunities...I would be thrilled!!

I have fallen in love with is something I have wanted to do for a long time, and really have enjoyed learning, playing, and making hand bags...

...and we are trying to finish up what has been an interesting "skeleton" school child at a time, one book at a time...and we are getting closer...