How to Make a Turkey

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Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time of year.  First of all… I love fall.  Crisp air.  Coloured leaves.  Sweaters.  But, Thanksgiving makes it that much better.  We are blessed to have wonderful friends who are more like family than anything, and we shared a lovely Thanksgiving dinner and beautiful day together.  Between our families, there are 8 kids.  Only one of these adorable little people is a girl, and I just love her so much.  Hudson is quite possibly the sweetest little girl I have ever met.  She had planned a craft for all of the kids.  Making Turkeys.  I couldn’t stop photographing the cuteness.  Adorable little girl.  Teaching 6 adorable little boys how to make a turkey. 

Apples, marshmallows, gummy worms, chocolate bits, raisins, toothpicks, gummy pumpkins, and some instructions that Hudsy had planned out very meticulously.

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The boys all followed along and the turkeys all had their own special something.

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I just love these kids so much.  Spending any day with them makes me so incredibly thankful.  Watching them create, and giggle together, just melts my heart.  Happy Thanksgiving!  xox

five people twelve times \\09.10

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September is upon us.  Routine.  Cozy sweaters.  Pots of yummy soup.  and shopping for school supplies (yes, I love office supplies more than I probably should).  And routine… did I mention that?

I love September.  Going back to school was always exciting… either when I was in school myself, when I started university and now when my kiddies go back.  Yes, I love office (I mean school) supplies.  Yes, I love getting new way-too-big-for-me clothes for my kids.  Yes, I enjoy getting a new calendar and find great joy in writing down all of the important dates from the school calendar.  But, the thing I like the most is getting back into a routine.  I love summer, but crave the schedule and routine a bit near the end.  September brings all of that back and I really am thankful.  We have started lots of new things this September and fitting it all in is half the fun. 

September brings new-ness too.  New teachers.  New friends.  New responsibilities.  A few struggles, but that’s what sometimes comes with new things.  This month Owen started Grade 3 and Sean started Grade 1.  Thomas is now in the ‘big kid’ group at Little Dinosaurs, and will attend the PALS sessions at the school this year in preparation for Kindergarten.   We are thankful for the not-so-newness of one element of Sean’s class this year, as he is blessed to have the same teacher that Owen has had for the past two years, and we l-o-v-e her.  We are not so sure what we are going to do next year when none of our boys are in her class…

Quite possibly one of my most favouritest days of September was the last Sunday before school started.  Actually, that whole weekend was pretty great.  Shannon and Ron and the kids came out for a BBQ and to pick up their puppy (that we love like crazy) Sawyer.  After they left, Owen and I sat on the couch together and cried.  Sawyer really reminded us just how much we missed Kelly, and just how much we are ‘dog’ people.  We love Sawyer so much, her personality and manner is so much like Kelly and we are so thankful that we were able to enjoy having her here for 10 days.   Shan and Ron, we’re happy to have her ANYTIME you need us to. 

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So, our Sunday… we made a trip into town to get the last minute supplies, snacks, shoes, and stuff to get ready to go back to school.  We met with a good friend for lunch and then decided at the last minute to take a quick little trip to Courtenay.  We ran, and played, and wrote on rocks with charcoal, and show off our strength by breaking rocks into a million pieces.  That was so funny.  The boys would yell “Aaaaargh”, then throw a rock to the ground and watch it smash.  Then giggle.  And say “I’m the strongest man!”  I think it was some kind of sandstone, or shale or something… but the boys thought it was AWESOME!  We thought we’d head in to a movie, but then decided that a quick trip to Wal-Mart to buy a movie would be better.  And that buying a new Lego set was even better!  (who’s idea could that have been?)  Pizza Hut was the next stop.  It was about 8.  We were the only ones there.  And we all just acted so silly.  Having staring contests.  And smiling contests.  And straight face contests.  And quiet contests (which didn’t last long as we all burst out laughing.)  We all skwooshed (I know that’s not a real word, but that’s what we did) into the corner of our booth to take a squishy pic of us.   And we laughed.  And ate WAY too much pizza.  Then headed off to the grocery store where Andy and the boys raced through the store, chasing each other.  The shopping cart was one of those ones were the top and the bottom are the same size baskets… The boys took turns climbing in the bottom, and then the others raced with Andy and the boy in the cart.  I could hear them howling throughout the store.  It was about 9pm on a Sunday night, and the man in the produce section looked at me strangely as he asked if grocery shopping was a big event.  I just smiled.  I recount every little detail about this day, because we all just had so much stinkin’ fun and we were just doing every-day things (and because I don’t want to forget anything about it.  Like when I bent down to get bread and Thomas grabbed me on either side of the face and said “Thank you for being the best Mommy ever!  I love you!”  before planting a big ‘ole smooch on me) .  I believe that just being in each other’s company is what makes our life so fun.  Don’t get me wrong… we have days.   Oh, boy do we have some days.  But things like this trip to Pizza Hut, and the grocery store and the boys playing ‘tickle monster’ at bedtime with Andy, are the things that I never want to forget.  They are the moments that are so important.  They are the moments that teach our kids that just being together, being with people that you love… that’s what’s important. 

Now one may ask about our family photo this month… the boys and I spent forever on the Lego.com site this summer building a mini-figure that looked like each of us.  They thought it would be funny if this was our family photo this month.  I thought so too.  Notice the Daddy with the tools, and scruff.  And the Mommy with the camera, and camera bag (and cape… let’s not forget the cape.  The boys said I should wear the cape… and I didn’t argue about that… I just thought it was so adorable!)  Thomas is the lego-man with the ‘mini-legs’ and Owen and Sean dressed their guys up to look just like themselves…. right down to the red hair.  So much fun!  Here’s some of the adorable pics of our lego family.  Couldn’t post just one! 

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Some very exciting moments this month… Sean got his very own ‘Home/School’ book that he is so proud of, Thomas got a Pokemon activity book that he loves working in and Owen picked out a wonderful Lego Star Wars book that he just loves reading.  And speaking of books.  I got a bit carried away at the book fair this month.  I always do.  I just love children’s books so much!  We started swimming lessons, and the boys and I spend 2 1/2 hours together at the pool twice a week now.  I wasn’t sure at first how that all would go, but it has been great.  We have a picnic while we’re watching, and when everyone is done their lesson, we all swim together.  Andy and I worked on our safety plan together for the company.  I gave up a job that I love… but for good reason.  Thomas needs me to be his Mommy more than his teacher this year in PALS.  We had some visits with good friends we haven’t seen a lot of lately.  It has been a very busy month.  Full of routine.  And, I love that!

Thanks for popping by to see what we’ve been up to.  I’d love for you to leave me a comment about your favourite thing that happened in September!

Who Says You Can Only Wear it Once!

I’m not sure just how the idea got going.  Perhaps it was one day when we were chatting about fitting into wedding dresses after kiddies, and many, many years of marriage… but the plan was put into motion.  There would be a girls night.  There would be snacks.  There would be giggles.  There would be photos.  And we would dress up… in wedding gowns!   Wedding gowns/ grad dresses/ adorable dress-up-dresses… nothing was off limits.  I still giggle when I think about it.  Prepping on that Wednesday night.  There were hot rollers, curling irons, jewels, and a whole lot of laughter along the way.  Catherine came over and we got ready together.  We walked into the garage and saw an old flower arrangement, and both said “BOUQUETS!”  We ripped it apart, and made it into a couple of lovely bouquets - for the brides - who would have a photo shoot.  Of course we needed flowers!

My tummy hurt from laughing.  Okay, maybe it hurt from my little-bit-too-tight wedding dress.  It was such a fun night with a great group of girls.  I just adore them all.  We took some photos… of course we did… there was a photographer there.  (and who would want to miss such a sight!)

Here are all of the gorgeous brides.  Love you girls!  xox

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And, just for the record… I think this should be an annual event!  Who’s with me?  :)

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Wheew.  August has come and gone. so quickly!   One thing that I have noticed after starting this project is that I now have photos of my family.  More than one each month.  And, I love this.  So this month, I’m going to share a couple of my favourites from August.

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Our August was filled with little quick ‘get-aways.’  Memory making trips we like to call them.  With Andy still working away, we find that each weekend we usually stay pretty close to home and do ‘home’ things.  Mowing the lawn, laundry, sorting, recycling, cleaning… and we love those things.  But, we decided this month that we would take as many opportunities that we could to take the boys and make some memories with them.  I took my little camera and took as many photos (of my own kids) having fun… being kids.  I loved it.  There is something so nice about pulling out a little point and shoot camera and just catching the kiddies having fun.  I’ve said it before, when I pull out my ‘camera’ they usually run.  Not their favourite thing.  But, with the little camera, I can be a bit more stealthy… ninja-like… and catch them being incredibly cute.  We were tourists… in our own back yard.  And I loved it!! IMG_3353.JPG

One Sunday afternoon, we loaded up the Ranger and went to the gravel pits to cruise around.  It is so great for our family, because it actually has 3 seatbelts.  So, we took turns driving.  Daddy and a boy or two, then Mommy and a boy or two.  Hard to tell who is crazier - but we all giggled all afternoon.  Something so freeing about just driving 5 minutes down the road and enjoying each other’s company, the scenery and finding little critters.  Memories in our back yard.  We found a puddle, and each of the boys found a tiny little frog - and they still had part of their tails.  They had just made their transformation.  How cool!  Then we found a pond, and saw the frog’s buddy - the tadpole.  Just swimming around with the water spiders.  I think we may have watched that pond for an hour… easy!  We saw an ant fall into the water, and then saw the water spiders attack it.   I had never seen this before.  We all were amazed.  Sean named his frog Hopper Wet Flynn.  And wanted to take him home.  “I’ve always wanted a frog for a pet Mom!”  Poor little Sean was so sad that he couldn’t bring his little buddy home, but broke into a huge smile when I told him how much fun Hopper Wet had, and that he was telling his whole family that a cool little boy named Sean took him for a quad ride.  Love Sean so much.  His gentle spirit and kind heart never cease to amaze me.

We visited Parksville for a couple of days in the beginning of the month and enjoyed the sandcastle competition.  If you have never seen this, it is absolutely amazing.  The things that the sculptors can build out of sand are absolutely incredible.  We all got a ‘chip’ when we came through the gate and got to vote on our favourites.  Thomas’ favourite was the Cupid sculpture.  Sean and Owen thought that was awesome, because Cupid had a bare bum.  Boys.  Never enough time to talk about bums, burps, poop, and farts.  They are so silly - and get such a kick out of making each other laugh!  It’s always amazing just how silly they can be.  I know though, that one day these silly giggles will no longer be, and hold them close to my heart.  And I think that truthfully, Andy and I can be just as silly.  Ok… you know it… we are just as silly!

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We had an amazing time in Parksville and quite possibly everyone’s most favouritest memory could be the Bumper Boats!  We played mini golf a couple of times while we were there.  The first time, Sean got a hole-in-one on the first hole, and Thomas got a hole in one on the last hole and won a free game.  How exciting.  But, the bumper boats… that was a hilight for the boys!  Both Sean and Owen were big enough to drive their own, and Thomas came along to help me.  I was the driver, he was the squirter.  Before we got in, the big boys looked at me and said, “Mommy… we’re gonna spray you right in the FACE!!”  And, that they did.  How much squealing did the Flynn family do?  (okay, maybe Andy didn’t squeal…) How much fun did we have?  We talked about it for weeks!  It’s so cool that the boys are getting so big that we can do fun things like this.  Thomas is already talking about next summer when he can go in his own boat and spray Mommy ‘right in the face!’

While Andy worked in Victoria, the boys and I took the opportunity to be tourists there.  And… we even got a parking ticket too!  We spent the days touring around while Andy worked, and then we met up in the evening for a nice dinner, a walk on the waterfront and a cuddle in bed to watch ‘America’s Got Talent.’  It has become our summer ‘thing’ - the boys and I have spent every Tuesday night together watching…. it was so nice to be able to share our little weekly tradition with Daddy, cause he’s never with us on a Tuesday night.  These moments are so incredibly precious. 

There were a few moments on our Victoria trip that I noticed that Owen is really growing up.  On our way down, we stopped in Courtenay and the boys chanted,  “Playplace… playplace…. playplace!”   How could a mother resist?  We had our dinner at McDonalds and then spent some time crawling around all together in the playplace.  All the boys had ordered chicken nuggets, and the first thing that Owen did was tell me that he’d go back in to the restaurant to get the dipping sauce… all by himself.  How proud was that little boy when he got back to us.  A big moment, that’s for sure.  The playplace was a hoot!  We were there for well over an hour and we all giggled and squealed.  I took my camera in (of course) and captured some of the smiles.  Sean was so proud to show the boys how fun it was there, as he and I had been there once before on a ‘date.’  And, the boys, had all been given a tiny little cone… that they were to use when they went behind the counter and made their own ice cream cone.  I couldn’t believe it!  What a thrill for the boys (and me… not gonna lie!)  The playplace in Courtenay was a great place to start our little adventure together!

In Victoria we visited the Undersea Gardens, made friends with some ducks, picked out some cool rocks and a special velvet bag.   Then we visited Mineral World, and really got to pick out some cool rocks.  If you have never visited… it is a great place to spend an afternoon.  The boys each got a little zip-loc baggie, filled them with amazing rocks and shells.  So now, we have quite a few amazing rocks and we’re not sure what to do with them.  Any suggestions? 

Our August was filled with little moments.  No big huge vacation… just many, many little moments that we will all treasure.  We spent time at Big Bend with the MacLeods the day after my last wedding of the season.   We ate peas that Sean had planted in Kindergarten.  Celebrated our 13th Anniversary at the Golf Course with a couple of very friendly squirrels the kids affectionately named Alvin and Theodore. Got our lego men we ordered online.  Got a new necklace in place of a toy.  Swam in the ocean and talked for days about a closet that turned into a bed.   Ate our honey nut cheerios “Fresh” (which means without milk…)  And our oatmeal “Original” (which means without raisins).  Tommy hopped on one foot all month, and winked constantly.  Sean likes playing alone “Because no one annoys me and tells me what to do.”   Owen grew up a lot… and LOVES mustard… A LOT!    We had Sawyer for a sleepover for about 10 days, and were reminded just how much we loved having a dog.   We went for a bike ride.  Cuddled in our bed.   And loved all of the ‘moments’ we spent together.  August was a great month.  We are so thankful.

Nicole & Rob ~ Wedding

Shooting Nicole & Rob’s wedding was meant to be.  I met Nicole in the strangest of circumstances.  Now I’ve said before that I am a girl who believes everything happens for a reason and this is a perfect example.  I was out shooting maternity photos at the golf course on what may be the rainiest. day. EVER.  Nicole had just gotten engaged to Rob and was out looking for locations, chatting with a friend about photographers, and was told that she should call me.  Just as he said that, they rounded the corner and there I was… in the pouring rain.  We’ve been working together very closely since that day and I believe that Nicole and Rob are much more than just clients… they are new friends.  Things are just meant to be.

Right along with that sentiment, comes Nicole & Rob’s story.  Nicole and Rob attended the same high school in Ontario, and knew each other, but had never shared classes, or hung out together.  Fast forward 20 years when Nicole was helping to plan their 20 year reunion… the two reconnected over facebook.  They chatted, and then got together at the reunion.  They both realized at that time that they were meant to be together.  They’ve been together ever since!  I have loved all of the time that I was able to spend with both Rob and Nicole.   The love that they have for each other makes me smile… it is so apparent to anyone who is near them.  It was meant to be.

Their wedding day was perfect.  The planning and preparation for the ceremony and reception and all of the details came together so nicely.  From the timing of the arrival of the cars (which was perfect) to the cupcakes at the reception… everything came together just as it was supposed to.  It was a blessing to work with Rob and Nicole and their sweet families, and I have to say that Nicole’s children Caedon and Andrea could quite possibly be two of the nicest children I have ever met.  (and the most fun!)  Our time spent together taking formal portraits was filled with laughter.  I loved it.  Nicole and Rob were up for anything and we just had such a wonderful time together!

Nicole and Rob, I wish you both all the love and happiness in the world.  I know that the love you two share will guide you through anything.  You are such fun people to be around and I am so happy that I was able to document your day.  It was definitely meant to be!

xox Niki

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 Some of Rob’s treasures…

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 Beautiful Nicole

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 I couldn’t resist sweet Dominic… so cute!

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 During the ceremony, Nicole sang while Caedon accompanied her.  Not gonna lie… I had tears in my eyes.

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 The cars were fantastic!

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 More tears… I just love the relationship that Nicole has with her kids.

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 Nicole and Rob wanted to have a photo with me too… Thanks Shannon for this one! 

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 What a fun group!

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 One of my absolute favourites!

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Thank you for stopping by… I’d love to hear your thoughts!  :)

Family & Friends…  You’ll need your login code that I sent you in your email…

To view the slideshow go here:   To go straight to the gallery go here

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So this is my second installment of five people twelve times, and I am so thankful to have set this goal.  To read the first installment it can be found here.  I found myself really taking note of the great things my kids, husband and I say and do with each other.  I know that it will be wonderful to look back on and see all of the things we have done together as a family. 

I absolutely love this photo, because we are all ‘clean’ (4 of us are boys after all) and dressed nicely.  We took it on our 13th wedding anniversary (which is at the very beginning of August…) with our little point and shoot camera hanging off of our van door, after our special dinner out.  It just makes me happy.  We are just standing in a parking lot… together.  I love it!  5-12-july.jpg

And, not even one minute before the sun set (and just before we took the above photo) we took this shadow picture.  We tried to take one more and the sun was gone.  The kids loved watching their shadows fade, and then disappear!

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July… often a time of relaxing, time at the beach and general lazy, fun days.  This July has brought us so many different things… many different than the norm. 

We celebrated Canada Day with the MacLeod family at ‘our spot’ again this year.  Sounds silly as I type it, but each year (for probably the past 4 years) we have watched the fireworks from the same place.  It’s our yearly event!  We take our trucks (and now our mini-vans… because there are 8 children between our two families) and park them down by the water.  We back them in, bring lawn chairs, blankets, snacks, juice boxes, more snacks, and get ready.  Now, the thing is… because it’s our special spot we need to get there early.  How early?   Well, the fireworks start at 10:22 or so… and this year we got to our spot at about 6:40.  Now I write this for a couple of reasons.  One, to document the events of our Canada Day.  Two, because every year, we ask each other, “Now, what time did we go last year?”  So, next year when we’re planning up… we can check back here and find out what time was great to go… Brilliant!    So, 4 hours in a sand lot with giant rocks, water and 8 little kids.  Just our families.  And, Grammie and Grampie too!  This year, Grammie Linda put out an amazing spread of snacks, and special treats for us… the back of the jeep was full!  It was so nice of her!  But, the past couple of years we have had a couple of other families come along… so there are a lot of kids.  And, Owen’s the oldest.  8.  Oldest.  12 or more kiddies.  Did I mention 4 hours?  Giant rocks?   The greatest thing though, is that the kids all love being together so much, playing, giggling, eating snacks, licorice and juice boxes… timbits too… that they just have FUN!!  It truly is the hilight of the year for them.  They love it… and we do to!  Just hearing all of them oooh and aaah when the fireworks start makes everything worth it.  Next year, we think we’ll go down early, park the vans, then walk across the street and go for a nice dinner all together.  At 6:40… and we might just want to make reservations… there sure is a lot of us!  :)

Our first weekend of July was very sad, as we lost our beloved Grampie.  Andy flew home to be with his family and the boys and I stayed here.  My heart breaks.  We will all miss him so very much.  Andy was home for a little over a week, then once he got back home (meaning here-home not home-home… sheesh!) we spent the rest of the week together.  I was very busy working on the weddings, but also really wanted to spend as much time as I could with Andy and the boys.  We are hoping to get to go away somewhere together in August and spend some time having fun, and making memories.

We also had a sleepover with the MacLeod kiddies at their house one night.  Our kids love each other so much that they are almost like siblings.  It’s so wonderful to see them all together.  It was HOT…. very HOT… all of July, and when we were in town playing with our friends - Sean had a reaction to something.  Sun? Sunscreen?  Something crazy - and his little cheeks swelled up, and he had a crazy rash all over.  Did I mention it was HOT?  And speaking of the heat… our poor little corn, sunflowers and Kelly tree that we planted are not fairing so well in this heat.  I sure hope they make it through!

My boys have crazy wooly hair and dirty little feet and faces.  I love summer!  We spent a day cleaning out the sandbox.  All of the toys and junk came out of it and we worked hard to tame the ivy that likes to take over.  Owen and I cut back as much as we could, we cleaned it all up and then on the weekend when Daddy got home, we got a couple of truckloads of new sand.  They are in heaven.  I have lots of sand in my house.  And in the tub.  And in their hair.  And I love it.

Thomas visited the dentist and got his first filling.  Yikes.  That feeling when you go to the dentist and hope that even though you brush and floss and do all the things you are supposed to, that they don’t say the dreaded word… cavity.  And, for Thomas it happened.  I took him in… just the two of us while Shannon had the boys, and he chatted up the assistant.  Like crazy.  He talked continually about the wii.  And Bowser.  Peachy’s castle.  Super smash bros.  Gold coins.  You name it, if it has anything to do with the wii, Thomas knows about it.  And is not afraid to share!  The filling went sort-of well.  Poor little monkey.  I just kept promising more stuff if he could just get through.  The dentist did a filling in like 3 minutes flat - I swear!  And, Thomas came away with a frozen little mouth, 3 prizes from the prize drawer, and Ginny… his new Guinea Pig webkinz.  I’m amazed at just how brave my kids are.  This was big.  He did great!  I was so proud of him.  He also continues to amaze with his math knowledge (that he did not get from his mother!)  Skip counting, counting by 10’s, and backwards from 20.  Random math facts are always flying with Thomas.  It’s great.  And, he keeps me on my toes. 

Sean has spent the month amazing me with his lego-building abilities.  Anyone who knows Sean, knows that he likes to  play by himself.  When the craziness gets going with his big and little brother, Sean will often be found in the basement building… quietly… where he is in charge of all that goes on.  Because upstairs, sparks are often flying between the other two.  Sean is an incredibly smart, sensitive, kind, gentle boy who has always been one to play on his own.  Even when we are with friends.  I love this about him because I know that he has the ability to be incredibly creative and independent, and I love watching his mind work.  He has built some incredible creations this month and is always so proud to show all of us.  Sean and I spent some time one afternoon looking at lego.com and putting together little lego men.  Did you know that you can order individual pieces of lego… and lego men.  Like their pants, and shirts, and faces and hair.  Seany and I had a blast building little men for each of our family members.  We even created a girl lego person for me complete with white pants, a hawaiian shirt and a pony-tail… (cause I always dress like that!  :)  and, because I’m the only girl in the house… Sean thought it would be special if I had my own Lego-girl.  Cause he’s just like that… incredibly thoughtful.

Owen has grown up a lot this month.  Not that he’s really grown so much, but that I have caught glimpses of who he is going to be when he’s a teenager, a lot more than usual.  And, that scares me a bit.  He’s just getting so big.  He’s up to the top of my shoulders now - and he’s 8.  Owen’s my little helper.  Often when I come down in the morning after my shower, he’s there to tell me that he has already eaten breakfast and helped Sean and Thomas get theirs too.  He likes to be a big helper.  He likes to be a part of the action.  He and I have spent some more time this month having conversations.  Just talking.  About whatever.  I’ve really been enjoying our time together.   He’s got the cutest little grin and when I ask him silly questions like, “Who are you going to marry?”  he just giggles and answers, “I’m never getting married… I’m just going to hang out with my friends.”  I am amazed at how well he can read and can see the pride he feels when he reads what is on TV, or instructions on the wii.  He is just growing up so fast.  All of the boys are.  I’m so proud of them, but a little bit sad and excited at the same time.  Life is like that.  Always changing.  This month brought lots of changes for us.  I’m learning that the key is to accept the change and move on, not dwell in the past… because there will always be change.  And growing and changing is good.

July also brought races on the lawn, laundry on the line (ahhh summer…), random afternoon walks for soft ice cream, a jewelry party and birthday parties.  We saw a quick black bunny, ‘Alvin’ our little buddy, and made a friend with a little birdie we like to call Greg (who, by the way, spent some time in the boys bedroom).  We all got haircuts, ate lots of corn on the cob, and decorated gingerbread men (but didn’t eat them… YUCK!)  We went to town for a ‘breakfast date’ at Ricky’s and had waffles and built towers out of creamers.  We spent days and days at big bend, playing in the water, catching minnows and building forts out of sticks and rocks.  We played with our friends, and had a ‘dirty bird’ picnic in the park.  July has been HOT - not a day of rain.  Mommy photographed another wedding with Auntie Shannon, and Daddy spent another day with 8 kiddies.  He’s amazing!  The summer is going fast.  One more month and we will be back to school.  July has been busy, and we’re looking forward to a few more lazy days, and fun memories come August.  I hope you’ll pop back to find out what we’ve been up to!

Thanks for being here… please leave a little comment about your favourite memories of July.  :)

xox Niki

Pattie & DJ ~ Wedding

I met Pattie in the fall of 1996 as we both began University in the Comox Valley to become teachers.   I think it’s ironic that we both came back to the Comox Valley late in June, 14 years  later… this time Pattie as a bride and I as her photographer. 

Pattie and I had met for lunch one day where she told me that she was thinking of teaching in Singapore.  I was excited for her and the opportunity that was ahead of her.  I had a feeling though, that Singapore would bring much more than teaching experience and great opportunities for travel…  turns out I was right! 

DJ began teaching through Canadian International Schools in Singapore just as Pattie was.  Both very fun loving individuals, they immediately hit it off.  They worked together, travelled together, and made memories together.  Pattie decided to further her education and get her Master’s degree back home in BC.  Both Pattie and DJ agree that while standing in the Vancouver Airport together as DJ was about to return to Singpore, they both knew they had found ‘the one.’  DJ returned to Singapore for one more year, but then decided to come to BC as well.  They got engaged on a May afternoon in 2009, on Denman Island… one of Pattie’s very favourite places.

One thing that both Pattie and DJ love is food and one of their favourite things to do is to watch the ‘Food Network’ early in the morning with a good cup of coffee, then make a great breakfast together.  It’s no surprise then that these two, who appreciate great food, had their wedding at the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa.  What an amazing location with incredible food!  Everything about the wedding was perfect.  Guest tables were named after places that both Pattie and DJ have lived.  The Kingfisher dining room and wedding site - both naturally beautiful, were transformed into something amazing by the very talented Christina from Krylea Creative Solutions.  It was absolutely a beautiful day, stunning location and adorable couple.  

Thank you Pattie and DJ for the opportunity to document the first step of your next journey together.  After travelling together to places such as Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and many others, I know how exciting this brand new adventure you are taking together will be.  I wish you many new memories, and much love in the journey.  

xox Niki

 

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 This might just be my favorite.  No, wait… there’s too many favourites!

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 Friends made this sign for Pattie and DJ… it looked lovely at the entrance to the Kingfisher

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 The Kingfisher looked beautiful.

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 Amazing desserts!

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Family & Friends…  You’ll need your login code that I sent you in your email…

To view the slideshow go here:   To go straight to the gallery go here

Crystal & Roger ~ Wedding

Crystal and Roger’s wedding may very well be one of the most fun weddings I have ever attended.  They both have such an easygoing nature and their friends and family are so much fun.

Their wedding reflected their love for the outdoors and each other as well as both Crystal and Roger’s simple, laid back, easygoing nature.  I absolutely loved the unique touches that were a part of the day.  From centrepieces made of wood with oyster shells that they had collected together, to the gifts for guests which stated “Live, Love, Laugh” Crystal and Roger’s personalities and outlook on life were so apparent throughout the day.  I absolutely loved spending the day with two people who love life and each other so much.

Thank you so much Crystal and Roger for allowing me to share in the absolute beauty of your wedding day.  I wish you both nothing but happiness in your future together!

xox Niki

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 I couldn’t resist the beautiful antler chandelier.  And… sweet Jessica!

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 Cute girls…

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I love how you can see Roger’s Mom and his Uncle Mike reflected in Dick’s sunglasses… one of my favourites! 

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 So. Much. Fun!

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 Married!

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 Gorgeous!

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 Beautiful Crystal

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 This shot was so much fun to take.  Ok… maybe a little bit scary too!  Thanks to Shannon for capturing the image on the left!

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After we were finished taking photos, Roger’s Uncle Mike said that he thought Crystal and Roger would like to have a picture taken with me, so we asked Keyla to be our photographer.  So cute!   There Mike, I told them it was your idea!  :)

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What a beautiful day.  I absolutely loved it!

Thanks for popping by!  I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

 

Family & Friends…  You’ll need your login code that I sent you in your email…

To view the slideshow go here:   To go straight to the gallery go here

 

Callow Family

Each year I donate a photo session to the Gold River Minor Hockey tournament fundraiser.  This year, Rhonda won the session and over the weekend, I got to spend some time with her and her family and their adorable dog, Zion.

Now I’ve photographed dogs and families before, and typically we can get a few shots with Mr. Poochie in them, but that’s it.  I couldn’t believe how great Zion was during the shoot.  He was in most of the group photos, and he was working it!  What a great dog. 

Here are some of my favourites of the day.  Thanks Rhonda, Brett, Izaac and Zion for a very fun morning… Enjoy!

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 Rhonda has the prettiest eyes!

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 …and I just love this image of Izaac

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 Beautiful morning light…

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 awe Zion… what a great dog!

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five people twelve times \\ 06.10

Recently I was reading the very talented Tara Whitney’s blog and she had done a series of posts entitled six people twelve times, where she took a photo of her family every month and journalled what was going on in their lives.  I was incredibly inspired as I read it and decided right away that I wanted to chronicle our little family every month for a year too (at least!)  As a photographer, my job is to capture moments and emotions that families will cherish forever.  As a mom, my job is the very same, however these photos that I capture of my own family, rarely have me in them… and I am a part of this family!  So the goal is this… take at least one photo of my family each month for the next 12 months (and I must be in it!)  It doesn’t have to be a “photo session”… a phrase that sends my three little boys running for cover.  It just has to be a photo, of our little family.

So, here’s the first installment of five people twelve times 

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Today was a day that my girlfriends and I had been planning for months.  We were off to the spa for the day.  I have learned that it is incredibly important as a mom, to take time for myself.  Whether it be a spa day, or a 20 minute walk by myself… some Mommy time is always important.  When I came home at abut 6:00pm, my beautiful little family was playing ‘Red Rover’ in the yard.  My heart smiled.  I was so happy to be home and so lucky to be sharing my life with these 3 amazing little boys and one big boy.  I took out my point and shoot camera, which had just been to the spa with me and asked the boys to all sit with Daddy for a second.  About a minute later, a photo I absolutely love.  I love that no one ran screaming when they saw the camera.  I love that they all gathered around Daddy and Mommy for a quick family picture.  I love their dirty little faces.  I love that Owen is wearing the new soccer shirt he won at last night’s soccer wind up.  I love that Thomas has his very favourite ‘Billabong New York’ shirt on that I got for him last year (that he’s been wearing for days)… and that Sean’s wearing his favouite colour… red.  I just love how real this picture is… and how perfect.  My family is not always dressed in their best duds waiting for a perfect photo op.  They are little boys… playing and having fun.

Our life this month has been busy… the last month of school always is.  We started June minus one family member… we had to say goodbye to our beloved Kelly girl at the end of May.  It has been hard, just remembering that she’s not here.  We all miss her like crazy, but have almost 14 years of wonderful memories to cherish.  kelly-3.jpg

June brought field trips o’ plenty in the Flynn house.  Thomas went on two field trips with Little Dinosaurs at the beginning of the month.  The post office was a highlight for him as he got to go in the back “where the mail ladies work” and stamp a letter to Mom, and put it in our box.  The excitement that day when I picked him up was adorable… he was thrilled to go to the mail to get a ‘surprise’ for Mommy.  Owen visited Seaview Game Farm with his class and got to see a little baby goat arrive in the world.  He told me it was pretty cool.  They petted a bunny and got to spend some time combing the beach for treasure.  Thomas and I were supposed to go as well, but both weren’t feeling well… so we asked Owen if he would take us and show us around with Seany and Daddy too this summer.  He is growing up so much.  I am so proud of him and just how much he’s grown.  He’s reading like a crazy man and loves it.  We are so thankful for the year he has had, and that he was blessed to have the same great teacher for 2 years in a row.  Sean and his class visited Strathcona Park Lodge for a morning of outdoor adventure.  Thomas and Mommy were able to go along for this one and it was fantastic.   We took a giant canoe that held 20 kids and 13 adults over to ‘Treasure Island’.  The kids (and the adults) loved it!  For the past 10 years for me, and 16 for Andy, we have driven past the lodge and have NEVER been there.  What a great place that I know we will have to visit again in the very near future… a treasure in our own backyard!

We celebrated our Seany-boy’s 6th birthday this month, and had a bakugan themed party.  We counted down the days for what felt like forever to Sean.  He was thrilled to invite his friends and we had a giant bakugan on his cake.  This marks the first birthday that I did not transform flour, sugar and some eggs into a magical cake creature, but Sean wanted to have a giant bakugan on his cake and he even picked a cake at the grocery store to put it on.  He told me “Cause then you won’t have to bake one tonight when we get home.”  What a sweet, kind, thougtful boy!  He’s getting so big and so grown up. 

Thomas continues to amaze with his counting, spelling and general wit.  He is one funny boy!  Each day after morning drop off, he can’t wait to watch his favourite program “Super Why”.  Daily, he tells me random math facts and out of the blue will say “I know how to count backwards from 14…” or “I know what 50 + 50 is.”  He’s really amazing!  I always giggle at his humour too when I brush his teeth every night and tell him to look at the sky.  He looks up, then looks at me and says, “Ya mean the roof!”  He is growing up so incredibly quickly.  We emptied his drawers this month and realized he still had a bunch of size 2 things in there… and now he’s 4.  I feel like we jumped through time.

And of course, talking about the boys would not be complete without talking about the wii.  Oh the wii.  The cause of so much joy, frustration, tears, laughs, ideas, chats, bites, hugs, high fives, cheers, and fun. 

And Andy… such an amazing man that I am so incredibly blessed to share my life with.  He is so loving, kind, and supportive and for that I am forever grateful.  He spent so much time for me in front of the camera this month which I know is a big deal because he’s not really all that into having his picture taken.  Tonight, as I look through countless photos of him, I just smile.  I  just love every single thing about him and am so thankful for him.

This month we’ve laughed, cried, danced, sang songs about pickles and bubblegum, paddled a canoe, went for our first family bike ride, got a massage, got a goat, got some new shoes, passed an exam, won a t-shirt, ran & taught mom some new things, worked hard, played hard, painted faces, celebrated a birthday, re-arranged an office, and a bedroom or two and built bunkbeds, had our first dinner outside together, saw a deer in our front yard, pressure washed the deck, caught carpenter ants, blew bubbles, played ‘red rover’ in the yard, had a sleepover with our friends, photographed some weddings, got a new camera, went to Boston Pizza, planted corn and sunflowers, and a tree for Kelly, fixed bike tires, “graded” and had ‘grading day ice cream’ and grew and changed so much… all of us!

Thank you for being here!   I’d love to know…what’s a favourite memory of something that happened in June for you?